Sunday: Song Prayer

Start out by listening to, singing, or reading meditatively the first stanza of “Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus.” Spend some moments in silence and let the words and the music enter your mind and heart. What word or phrase invites attention?

Read through or listen to the stanza again. This time, listen to what the hymn says to you today. Is there a message you are hearing for the first time? What is God saying through this tune or these words?

Pray the song-prayer that follows on the next page. Sing or read the lines to the song, followed by the prayer. (If listening to a recording of the song, play the section indicated and then pause.) Spend a moment in silence, and then continue to the next phrase.

If you feel led, write a song-prayer and record it in your journal. Close this meditation time by singing or reading the hymn again.

Come, thou long-expected Jesus,

born to set thy people free;

Jesus, Child of God, we welcome you now. Long have we waited for you. Our cluttered minds and our fettered hearts yearn for the freedom you bring.

(Silence)

from our fears and sins release us,

let us find our rest in thee.

Jesus, Child of God, release us from the barriers that keep us from hearing your voice in our world today. Slow down our frantic, busy minds and activities so that we can “find our rest in you.”

(Silence)

Israel’s strength and consolation,

hope of all the earth thou art;

Jesus, Child of God, you are our strength, our hope, our comfort, and our consolation. You are, indeed, the hope of the world. Send your strength and healing to every broken place, every despondent heart.

(Silence)

dear desire of every nation,

joy of every longing heart.

Jesus, Child of God, you are our desire, our joy, our hunger, our longing. Even nations desire you. We desire your peace and your presence in our hungering world and our longing hearts. Jesus, Child of God, let us welcome you with holy hospitality during this season of Advent. May we prepare a place within our hearts and our lives for your loving presence. Amen.