Prayers of the People

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Prayers of the People December 10, 2017

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Based on Luke 1:39-45 ~ the Visitation

Eternal God, a season of wonder and watching and waiting is upon us. Receive our thankful gifts. We hear the haunting words of prophets, and we wonder at the long, rich history of promises made and fulfilled. We watch the symbols of your incarnation begin to appear among us in wreath, tree, and crèche, and we are reminded of your tender coming. We know that earth’s redemption is your plan, and so we wait. We grow heavy with expectation.

Help us to prepare a place for Christ’s presence among us as we wait. As we decorate, remind us that our faith must be more than decorative. As the season’s cheer builds and grows, let our care for one another build even more strongly. Let our appreciation for the spirit of this season be demonstrated by what we give of ourselves – and let our giving be guided by the pattern you offered – simple, humble, self-giving. And when our minds turn to the bustle of celebration, remind us to keep our hearts turned to your holiness.

We pray for those whose needs are in our hearts and on our minds those near to us, and those whose needs we only know by report. We hold our hopes for those in need up to you now, in silence ….

And God, as we prepare to leave here today, we pray for your help for our lives. If we have heard from the world that the humble seem weak, the pure seem naïve, and the openhearted seem gullible, then strip away our pretensions to worldly wisdom. Urge us to attend most closely to your voice, to accept your word to us, and to learn from the wisdom you offer. Help us listen for annunciations you may make to us about the possibilities for your spirit to grow and flourish in us; and give us the will to fulfill all your hopes for us. Help us to be expectant for you, God, alert to what you may need our help to bring about.

Hear us now, we pray O God, as we, your waiting people, say together the words Jesus taught us to say when we pray … The Lord’s Prayer.

Prayers of the People December 3, 2017

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Based on Mark 13:32-37

Thank you, Eternal One, for this glimpse into the future. Around Christ’s table we see the plans you hold for our world begin to unfold. We who are so many and so varied, share at this table so simply and completely, and are fed so fully, that we understand there is indeed a possibility that one day all might live content, together.

As the weeks march on toward Christmas, keep us expectant and watchful for the signs of Christ’s coming. If there are barren places in our lives, where fuller life once flourished, then let us watch for the tender shoots of fresh life to arise from them. Let us trust that the life you offer us is not subject to ultimate death. Instead, tenaciously, resiliently, when all seems lost, it will arise, green and new and imperishable.

So help us face the chaos of life now with an eye to its subtle patterns that reveal your presence and ultimate purpose. Help us wait with open and expectant hearts. Keep us in the race, trusting you will see us through to the finish, and that your future will come and your purposes be fulfilled among us one day.

We have learned to trust in your timing God, for you offer us sustaining gifts, large and small, every day - especially the gift of love, come to the world as Christ. And so we await Christ’s coming gratefully and hopefully. Hear us as we sing together now the words of his prayer… The Lord’s Prayer.

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