Advent Prayer for Families that don’t Talk

TW: This is not meant to excuse Toxic/Abusive Behavior (more at the end)

God this is a prayer

for all the family members

who aren’t talking to one another

because I have that right now…

on both sides…and I get that

and honestly, all the sides have some kinds of points

Some bigger, and some smaller…

but it’s really not my job to sort

And the reality is, because it’s a family thing

everyone is involved

(parents, adult children, the adult sibs of course and the niflings* tangentially)

And everyone is just so sad

and angry…that we all know the truth

that no one is going to win

because it’s not really a fight right now

Just a sea of disappointment, and tears

and it hurts to talk about it

and it hurts more not to…

So this is a prayer for the holidays,

for all those family members who have lost touch

or haven’t talked

or can’t talk this year

Because, you know God,

(and maybe only you know God)

what is really going on there.

And it’s times like these, I think that this is why

we don’t read the prodigal son, coin, sheep parables at Christmas–

because even though that are exactly what Christmas is all about

they hurt too much–

they, Holy Spirit here it comes,

hit too close to home.

So sit with us God, the broken families,

wishing our families were whole again,

and help us as the time of advent


becomes all too real,


we pray.


Feel free to use/adapt/share with credit to Pastor Katy Stenta

*Gender Neutral term for nieces and nephews, Nibling is much more common but I like the sound of nifling

Additional Note: Please Note this is not meant to be an excuse or apology for toxic or abusive family members. Also sometimes the only protection some people have is to walk away from family, even if some people miss them. If you need to do that I encourage you to do so! In family systems the only person you can work on is yourself and so a safe action to do is break away from your family system to do the work. Holy Spirit help you if that is the hard work you need to get done. I’m praying this prayer for me and the work I need to do–and not for pity.

Author: katyandtheword

Pastor Katy has enjoyed ministry at New Covenant since 2010, where the church has solidified its community focus. Prior to that she studied both Theology and Christian Formation at Princeton Theological Seminary. She also served as an Assistant Chaplain at Trenton Psychiatric Hospital and as the Christian Educational Coordinator at Bethany Presbyterian at Bloomfield, NJ. She is an writer and is published in Enfleshed, Sermonsuite, Presbyterian's today and Outlook. She writes prayers, liturgy, poems and public theology and is pursuing her doctorate in ministry in Creative Write and Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. She enjoys working within and connecting to the community, is known to laugh a lot during service, and tells as many stories as possible. Pastor Katy loves reading Science Fiction and Fantasy, theater, arts and crafts, music, playing with children and sunshine, and continues to try to be as (w)holistically Christian as possible. "Publisher after publisher turned down A Wrinkle in Time," L'Engle wrote, "because it deals overtly with the problem of evil, and it was too difficult for children, and was it a children's or an adult's book, anyhow?" The next year it won the prestigious John Newbery Medal. Tolkien states in the foreword to The Lord of the Rings that he disliked allegories and that the story was not one.[66] Instead he preferred what he termed "applicability", the freedom of the reader to interpret the work in the light of his or her own life and times.

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