Prayers of the People

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Pastoral Prayer - Novemebr 12, 2017

Based on Matthew 25:1-13- waiting

Receive our gifts this day, God, offered as gifts of hope and trust in your timing. Spread our gifts. Let all who wait for their dreams of something better to be realized, find they are sustained by what our gifts today will offer.

We understand the difficulty of waiting for the fulfillment of dreams, God. We wait, too. We wait for our biggest and boldest dreams to come true. We wait for an end to warfare that lays waste to nations. We wait for children’s empty stomachs to be filled and their hungers quelled. We wait for opportunities that will change desperate lives. We wait for discoveries that will heal the bodies and restore the futures of those who suffer. We wait.

And we wait for our own more personal dreams as well, God. You know our deepest hopes, even those we guard well and do not share. You know what awakens us at night and what quickens our pulse. You know what we fear and what we long for. We wait.

Help us to know, God, how to wait wisely, and not foolishly. Help us to be wise: to act where we can, to grow as we can, to give what we can, that the dreams we are capable of helping to fulfill will not wither for lack of our attention. But help us, too, to wisely recognize that when our capacity to bring about the good we envision has been exhausted, we can patiently trust in you. Let us retain our focus upon the hope that Christ’s followers have always sustained, the hope for your kingdom to come – for your reign of justice and righteousness, peace and plenty to come. Keep us waiting expectantly for that. Keep us looking for the Spirit of your Son to come near and cheer us, regardless of what else may take our attention and distract us.

As we wait for you to fulfill every promise to your people, God, let us prepare for our wait by storing up the spiritual resources we may need. Let us ensure we have filled our spiritual reservoir with forgiveness enough, hope enough, generosity enough, and faith enough to see us through – until the end of our waiting has come, and the dawn of a new and brighter day has come – and we find ourselves at last in the presence of your Son, our Christ.

We pray in his name and memory, with trust in your timing of all things – for our own lives and for the world you so love. Hear us as we say together now the words Jesus taught us to use when we pray together, The Lord’s Prayer.

Prayers of the People Sunday, October 29, 2017

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Reformation Sunday, based on Jeremiah 31:31-34

God of creation, you create still, by offering us this new day, this new chance, this new beginning. Today we have brought to you an offering from the abundance that is ours. Let our offering help to secure new beginnings for others, wherever there is need for fresh starts, we pray.

We join our prayers today, O God, with followers of your Son from across the globe and across the ages who have weathered storm after storm, through his Spirit’s guidance and grace. When life’s uncertainties tempt us to cling for security to projects, purposes, and practices of human design, help us remember that no earthly authority may make a claim to permanence which belongs to you, alone, O God. Help us be willing to let all perishable things pass away, as time sweeps on, with the assurance that you are the imperishable constant that will see us through.

Make us then, not reluctant witnesses to the inevitable cycles of life and faith, but their awed and grateful observers. In fact, help us to willingly participate in clearing away all that is unhelpful, rigid, or unbending. Help us to welcome the new things you are about to do among us. Keep us watching with hopeful anticipation as the cracks appear in old, outworn ideas and structures. Remind us that perhaps it will be through those very cracks that your life-renewing spirit may find room to bubble up and bring restoration.

And allow us, we pray, O God, to be willing to let our own lives be periodically transformed, reformed, and renewed, as well. Let what should recede and depart from us, go. Then write your covenant of grace boldly and lovingly across our hearts – erasing records of our wrongs, claiming us for your own, shaping us to your purposes, drawing us ever nearer to you.

Help us to be, O God, Christ’s reformed people, who are reforming still people of pliable minds and hearts who follow Christ’s call to meet new challenges, to love new people, to care with new depth, to learn new duties, to strive for greater good. And using now Christ’s own words, we pray together saying … The Lord’s Prayer.

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