Prayers of the People

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Pastoral Prayer for World Wide Communion Sunday - October 1, 2017

Based on 1st John 4:7-12 ~ unifying love

Generous God, who meets us at this table and throughout our lives with infinite grace, we thank you. So many have gathered today across the globe to remember your eternal gifts, and to taste the love in them once more. Bread has been broken, the cup has been poured, prayers and praise and songs have been offered – all part of our effort for faithful remembrance. To this table we were called and gladly came: for nourishment, for healing, for renewal. And from it you send us back into the world to share the abundance we received here.

Today, in the wake of the tragedies in Huston, the Keys, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and beyond, help us become more committed than ever to searching beneath the rubble of shattered dreams, to sifting through the shards of broken certainties, for the sturdy bedrock you alone offer. Let those whose lives are disrupted and overturned, who grieve deeply this day, find that despite the deepest imaginable loss, there may be hope to be found in relying upon a simple, basic, sustaining trust in you. You teach again and again that when life is over, your resurrection restores. When dreams seem lost, you create anew. And when all is gone, your love remains. For the greatest gift you have given your world, O God, is love – simple, ferocious love. And it is enough.

And so let us go from here, dear God, with the acknowledgement that having glimpsed, through our shared bread and cup, the wonder of your presence and the bountiful loving goodness it offers, we have the encouragement we need to help make our world glow with your transforming love every day. Let our lives spread your love as we reach out to heal broken hearts, to promote justice, to work for meaningful and lasting peace, to rebuild from devastation, and to share in countless ways the comfort and hope you have shared with us – that your gifts may be spread all around the globe.

We ask these things as Christ’s followers, who long to be recognized by a single primary and defining characteristic - our love. Hear us as we sing together the prayer your son taught us … Lord’s Prayer.

in Prayer

Pastoral Prayer - September 17, 2017

Based on John 13: 31-3, Post Hurricane Irma

For these gifts, that you have first given to us, dear Lord, we are grateful. Take them, we pray, as our offering today, and let them now become a source of blessing and joy for others. We share, with the realization that it is in giving, that we receive the greatest of your gifts.

We are mindful today of those in need across the face of the earth – and we pray your support, your comfort, and your aid for them. We pray most urgently for the survivors of Hurricane Harvey, and now Hurricane Irma. We pray for those whose lives have been permanently altered by destruction from wind and wave, those who struggle to recover, those who
offer their hands-on practical and much-needed assistance, and for those who serve us in positions of leadership that will especially now require your wisdom, courage, and compassion to be their guides in effective and purposeful decision-making on behalf of others. We are mindful of all these needs in our world, and more. 

Indeed, today we have come to this sacred place with much on our minds and in our hearts. And so we also pray for our community …. our church … our friends … our dear ones … and ourselves. You know each need even before we ask for your help, God. Trusting that you will orchestrate all things to work together for good for those who love you, we entrust our dearest hopes and dreams to you, with loving hearts.

We have learned the significance of love from your Son, O God, who told us that we were, above all else, to love one another, as he has loved us – that our identity as his people may be obvious to all. And so, though love may be costly, let us love. Though love may be challenging and trying, let us love. Though love may test our patience, our gentleness, and our selfcontrol,
let us love. For faith steadies us. Hope sustains us. But love is greater yet. Love is your way with the world, and the pattern you have left for us to follow. Let us love, though it be the simplest and most excruciatingly difficult of all commandments to fulfill. Let us love.

We pray in the name of the One who commands love, and offers it with gracious and wondrous self-giving. Hear us as we say together the words of his prayer … the Lord’s Prayer.