Gracious God,
inspire us this Advent
to make straight our ways
so that you can come to us and our world,

Challenge us to fill in our valleys
by increasing our deeds of charity,
by expanding our times in prayer,
and enlarging our gratitude for all your gifts.

Guide us with the light of your Spirit
to be aware of the rough ways in our relationships
with family, friends and strangers,
with co-workers, co-learners
and with those in authority,

Help us smooth out the bumps,
and hills and mountains in the way.

Grant us patience as we pick away at Old Pride's Peak,
our mountain of self-importance and selfishness.

With your grace may we become less,
so that you can be more present in us.

May we carve out a space in ourselves
where the Prince of Peace, the Wonder Counselor,
can be born
By all these Advent works
may we prepare a roadway
for a truly holy Christmas.

Edward Hays in Make Straight the Crooked Ways: Daily Reflections for Advent