Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary, bless the dying. . .. All for your love’s sake. Amen.
Our Advent prayer is specific this week about those who need to be watched over and guarded. Nighttime intensifies the struggles of daytime. Fevers go up and pain increases in the dark. The fatigue that followed us all day becomes the weariness of “I’m too tired to fall asleep” when we finally turn off the lights. Death roams hospital corridors during the night. We need the presence of Lord Christ to tend, give rest, and bless.
First, we pray for those who are sick. This includes everyone who is sick—from a scratchy throat to stage 4 cancer. No one is excluded. Interestingly, we aren’t necessarily praying for healing, but rather tending. Tending means that we are asking Lord Christ to watch over the sick as a night nurse: attending to the intimate nighttime needs of the sick with compassion and love to bring relief and comfort.
Next, we pray for those who are weary. Being weary is more than just being physically worn out. The weary have worn out souls. They need more than sleep. They need rest from all that is too much in their lives, all that leaves them feeling helpless, hopeless, and overwhelmed. Once again, our prayer is not particular. We pray for all who are weary.
Lastly, we ask Lord Christ to bless the dying. We usually think of blessings as happy and upbeat. However, because Jesus named the poor in spirit, mourners, and the persecuted among those who are blessed, we know that blessing is much more than a wish for happiness. We ask Lord Christ to bless all those who are dying so that the tragedy and sorrow of death are embraced in the goodness and love of God.
Our prayer for Advent is one of hope for the sick, the weary, and the dying. We trust that tending, resting, and blessing come because we pray, All for your love’s sake, dear Lord.
“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
- Pray our prayer each night before bed.
- Our prayer is inclusive of all who need tending, resting, and blessing. We all know those who are sick, weary, and dying. Use our prayer to talk to God about those you know. Then continue on praying for their specific needs.
- Perhaps you are the one who is sick, weary, or dying. Use our prayer for your tending, resting, and blessing. What do you need to share with God?
- Read this week’s scripture slowly, knowing it is a personal invitation to you. You might read it this way: [your name], come to me, I know that you are weary and carrying heavy burdens. [your name], I give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart. [your name], you will find rest for your soul. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who sleep. Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary, bless the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the joyous; and all for your love's sake. Amen.