O Come O Come Emmanuel (Prayer)

An Advent Prayer based on the Christmas Carol, “O Come O Come Emmanuel”

Have you ever stopped to ponder the lyrics for “O Come O Come Emmanuel”? A few days ago I did stop to ponder in order to write the Welcome Prayer for our 4th Advent service this morning.

First, here are the lyrics as we’ve heard and sang them…

O Come O Come Emmanuel [Lyrics] [RRCC] by Henry Sloane Coffin, Thomas Helmore, and John Mason Neale

Verse 1

O come O come Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear

Chorus 1

Rejoice Rejoice Emmanuel
Shall come to thee O Israel

Verse 2

O come O come Thou Lord of Might
Who to Thy tribes on Sinai's height
In ancient times didst give the law
In cloud and majesty and awe

Verse 3

O come thou rod of Jesse free
Thine own from Satan's tyranny
From depths of hell Thy people save
And give them victory o'er the grave

Verse 4

O come thou Dayspring come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine Advent here
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And death's dark shadows put to flight

Verse 5

O come Thou Key of David come
And open wide our heavenly home
Make safe the way that leads on high
And close the path to misery

© Public Domain
CCLI Song # 31982 — CCLI License # 166723

And when I turned them into a prayer, I was deeply impacted by the message of this Carol. May it’s truth impact you and may you ponder it deeply as you sing it this Christmas season.

Here’s the prayer I penned in order to lead our congregation in prayer after we sang the opening Carol…

Lord of Might, you gave us the law from Mt Sinai to protect us from self-harm. You raised the bar high for us because of your great love, and then you came as our rescuer from the tree of Jesse, defeating the enemy, bringing victory over the grave.


Jesus, you are our Dayspring, our dawn, our sunrise. Jesus you send away the clouds of the night and send away the dark shadows of death to retreat. Jesus, you make a way wide open to heaven safely and you shut the road to misery.


O Lord Jesus, God with us, you came to rescue your people out of slavery, out of lonely bondage. And you are here with us now. You have appeared. Allow us to see you in our life today, to see your nudgings, your promptings – through people, events and your Word. Prevent us from overlooking your Godly authority in all things and help us to know deeply that we are rescued and not alone. We receive your love through the Christmas miracle. We receive your love this morning. Open our hearts to worship you, Lord Jesus, for you came for each of here today. Amen.

And here’s one version I’m enjoying this Christmas…

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