Based on Psalm 51:1-17
Wondrous God, accept, we pray, the offerings we have brought today to contribute to making our world a better place for all your children. Direct our gifts that they may help to heal division, strengthen injury and relieve sorrow, restore health and enliven hope. And help us to give beyond these gifts in ways that will stretch and even test our commitment – by also giving of our store of forgiveness, offering love and kindness and compassion – even where we may not feel they are deserved… for we recognize that we have sometimes received just that generously and undeservedly from you.
We pray today for our world that struggles on, week by week, year by year, to achieve goodness and justice in fuller ways. We pray for our nation and its leaders in these contentious, troubling times. We ask that you guide us all, God, in knowing how we may help to establish peace and fairness, order and mercy, freedom and responsibility. Keep us watching with hopeful anticipation, even if some cracks appear in our treasured ideas and best-laid plans. Remind us that perhaps it will be through those very cracks that your life-giving spirit may find room to bubble up and bring the restoration we crave.
We pray for our neighbors and for this church. We pray for our loved ones and friends. You know their needs surely better and more fully than we do, O God. We ask your presence, your aid, in providing for them, graciously and compassionately, in ways our prayers may not know how to ask.
And we pray for everything that lingers still in our hearts and minds … our own troubles, our joys, our losses, our successes and yes, perhaps, our sins. Write your covenant of love boldly across our imperfect 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, no matter how else the world may define us, Christ’s people -- people of pliable minds and hearts who follow his call to meet new challenges, to love new people, to care with new depth, to learn new duties, to strive for greater good, to receive grace upon grace.
These things we pray in the name of Christ, by whose life we are directed, and with whose words we have learned how best to pray. Hear us as we say together his words …the Lord’s Prayer.