Prayers of the People

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Pastoral Prayer - June 11, 2017

Based on Genesis 1:1-3:8

God who was, and is, and ever shall be, we come to you in prayer this day. We know you as the creator and provider of all we see and touch and hold - and the giver of every good thing. And so we try to give in imitation of your generosity. Receive what we are able to offer today for your creative and redemptive work in this world, we pray.

Today we remember all those who need some assurance of your on-going, active presence in the world, God. We pray for those whose needs are so grave that their doubts and fears are foremost. We pray for the outcasts who have no one near. We pray for the ill who long for recovery. We pray for the lonely and the grieving whose futures they cannot but see as bleak. Grant to all who look for you, the firm and uplifting assurance that, yes, you are there… always were, are now, and always will be. You have promised your sustaining presence to those who walk through flame and flood, peril and loss.

So let signs of your eternal presence be seen and heard and felt in thousands of ways and places: in the kindness of others, the diligence of advocates, the dedication of teachers, the compassion of care-givers, the laughter of happy children, the dawn of every fresh morning, and the steady hum of a universe that you made so long ago and still tend with a loving hand. Help us see each trace of your presence, whether small or great, as evidence that you created us and our world for good, that you still work to redeem the world’s faults and our failings, and that come what may, you will never abandon us.

As your people, made by your hand, God, we acknowledge the web of existence in which we are all entwined, and the possibility for us to affect and shape one another both near and far. Let our entanglement in the web of life bring only blessing to all those whose lives are influenced by our own. We accept that you have high hopes for us, and high expectations. So let us harness the creative energy with which you have blessed us – whether as scientists, engineers, poets, painters, parents, farmers, or friends – let the results of our efforts in this world bring wisdom as well as knowledge, fulfillment as well as contentment, fruitfulness and well as abundance.

And day by day, as time draws us all closer to you, let our lives grow to mirror the life of your Son – whose creative love was lavished upon the world – often where it was least expected, and always with profoundly important results. May our lives, too, be spent in the currency of lasting and lavish, life-changing love.

We pray these things to you, God, who was there in the beginning, and will be there to the end, using the words of prayer your Son taught us, as we say together…the Lord’s Prayer.

Pastoral Prayer - June 4, 2017

So long ago, O God, frightened disciples hid themselves away
because the crucifixion of their beloved messiah had shattered all their dreams. And today, so many years later, if we are unsure or afraid that Christ’s spirit is absent from us, then help us to do as those first disciples did. Let us wait, hope, trust, and finally receive the grace and renewal your Spirit offers to propel us back out into your world with purpose and confidence.

Let us never doubt the church’s ability to make a difference in
the world. You have given us your Holy Spirit, and prepared the
church for great things. You have granted to the church a new
language governed by a grammar of grace and filled with a
vocabulary of possibility. Let us dare to speak that universal tongue to the tired, warring, and divided world that needs to hear it. Let us speak words of grace and possibility. Let us use your language of concern where grief and loss have numbed life or left it bereft of joy. Let us communicate your vision for this world and offer a helping hand for its renewal, wherever it is needed most.

Until we meet again around this table of promise, God, where
we meet Christ’s living presence, let your sustaining Spirit blow
freshly, bravely, among us. Let it remind us that your love for each of us, and for all of us, is as strong today as it was when the church began.
We pray in the name of the one we call your living Word. And
in his memory we sing now the words of prayer he taught his
followers so long ago… The Lord’s Prayer.

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