Prayers of the People

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Prayers of the People May 13, 2018

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Based on Ephesians 4:1-7, 11-13 -

Hear our prayer today, dear God.  We pray that you will see in our outreach to others, through our gifts of offering today, our desire for unity with all your children.  We pray you will acknowledge the praises and the gratitude spoken in the depths of our hearts today, and accept that they are signs of love for both you and for others.  We pray that Jesus’ prayer for human unity, and those of his followers across the ages, will be realized in every possible way in our lives.  And today we ask your help to assure that.

God, help us to love.  Today we celebrate the many mothers who have loved gladly and selflessly and patiently.  Help us to adopt their pattern of generous love.  And we have witnessed, through receiving the love of Christ for us, that love is an irresistible force, a magnetism beyond all others.  Let us be drawn to it gladly.  And let Christ’s love, as we receive it, take root in us and grow in power, so that others may be drawn to the love that so clearly lies within us and among us.  Let us be known, as Jesus hoped, by our love.

And God, help us, your loving people, to live in oneness.  Christ’s compassion and loving outreach was intended for the whole world and all its people.  Yet our customs, our understandings, our beliefs, and our commitments are so diverse that we grow apart and find ourselves facing seemingly unbridgeable divides.  We may live out different callings, bear different gifts, demonstrate different talents, yet we were called to one Lord, one faith, one baptism.  Unite us, through your spirit, in bonds of peace.  Draw us together, where together we may achieve so much more for you than any of could achieve alone.  Make us one.

We pray today with wonder that across the ages, despite doubts and set-backs, discouragement and division, the dream for human unity and all the possibility it represents, remains.  As followers of the One who calls us to lasting and durable unity, we pray today using his very words as we say together: the Lord’s Prayer.

Prayers of the People April 22, 2018

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Based on 2nd Corinthians 4:8-9

Receive, we pray, dear God, these gifts we have brought before you today with gratitude, acknowledging the fullness and goodness of our lives. We are learning to see that your gifts to us throughout our lives are real, rich, vast, and sustaining.
Trusting in your provision for our needs, we ask you to help us faithfully face the many difficulties that come through the course of our lives: the setbacks and downturns, heartaches and hardships. May we encounter these difficulties with constancy and courage. We pray that though afflicted, we may not be crushed; though perplexed, we will not despair; though struck down, we will not be destroyed. Let us rely upon your leading and guidance through hard times. Show us that we may walk with you, step by step by step, rebuilding hope, renewing strength, reinvesting in goodness, seeking a better, stronger, and more faithful future.
We pray today, God, for new visions to capture our imaginations on our walk with you, visions that transcends our every loss and failure. Encourage us to reach out, asking for the help we need to reorient ourselves and direct us on the way. We pray for new clarity and new humility that allows us to recommit to a mission bigger than ourselves. Perhaps, God, you may see within us something we have not seen in ourselves – a capacity for completing some task that’s worth doing, or sustaining someone who is floundering, or leading others through rough terrain toward a sure goal, or serving, or giving, or caring. Stir your spirit within us. Let it enliven, embolden, and enrich us for your work.
Let us observe the world anew, God, by your light and through your eyes: with all its needs, all its gifts. And let us see ourselves anew, in light of your wiser assessment of us. Make us, like so many of those whose stories we treasure, overcomers of whatever hinders the way before us. Show us, God, what good we can do today, and inspire us to do it with all our heart and soul.
We pray all these things in the name of the One whose life overcame death and whose love for us never ends. Praying in his words we say together: Lord’s Prayer.