Prayers of the People

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Pastoral Prayer November 19, 2017

The Grateful Leper, Luke 17:11-19

A Thanksgiving Prayer

God, we lift up our hearts this day in thanks, and ask that you make us, every day, a more grateful people:

For the silence of the night and the bustle of the day, make us grateful. For the splashing rains and the peace of quiet seas, make us grateful. For laughter that comes unbidden and helps us lose ourselves in sudden mirth, make us grateful. For the tears that flow through our lives, marking sadnesses and showing us our deep need for you, make us grateful. For the links to friends that grow through mutual appreciation and glad obligation, make us grateful. For family whose bond to us is of flesh and also of love, make us grateful. For bountiful food, grown, shipped, prepared, cooked and served for us, make us grateful. For your presence among us, that teaches us that we may trust your provision for us always, God, make us grateful.

And for your greatest gift, the gift of love revealed to us through Jesus Christ, make us especially grateful. Let our appreciation for the gift of your Son reprioritize all other commitments and values. Help us to measure the bounty of our lives, as he did, by the depth of our loves, the breadth of our friendships, the sincerity of our faithfulness. And then let us stand in awe at our riches – a grateful people whose faith in you has healed us from lesser loyalties and saved us for communion with you.

As we look forward to sharing a splendid Thanksgiving dinner, remind us that a feast is more than food. For we have learned at Christ’s table, that even a simple taste of bread and cup satisfies our deepest hungers. So let our Thanksgiving meal be a reminder of his perfect meal, where your love for us reaches out to fill us, to comfort us, to heal us, and to satisfy us. Let our Thanksgiving meal together be a feast of splendid proportions – full of your healing, hopeful love. Hear, dear Lord, the thanks of our peaceful and grateful hearts today. Amen.

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.

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