Prayers of the People

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Prayers of the People March 25, 2018

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Holy and redeeming God, with Christ we enter the gates of Jerusalem on this Palm Sunday, and begin to walk with him the way of the cross. We’ve brought our gifts of offering, as we’ve brought our waving palms and our hosannas.  Let us prove truer in our gift-giving and our praise than did Jesus’ followers of so long ago.

We pray for courage to be diligent and dedicated in our walk with Christ toward Calvary.  We recognize that Christ’s way may bring us deeply into the pain of the world. Christ’s way is not boldly triumphant, not always grand or powerful, but it has persuaded us, as it has millions before us, that it is the way to which we are called –and the way that leads most decisively and directly to your kingdom. 

We earnestly pray not to fall into temptation, as we follow Christ’s way.  May we be tempted neither by inflexible patterns that grant us no new perspectives and no new dreams – nor by expedient means and worldly-wise powers that seize the day but miss the motives of eternity.

We also dare today to ask for you to take from us the cup that demands more than we feel capable of giving.  Nevertheless, we remember that it is not our will but yours to be done – even when we feel strained by the effort, and incapable of following well, the way of Christ.

On this hard road ahead, may we not trade our love and commitment to Christ for a few pieces of silver, or trinkets of little worth.  May we not hide when we are recognized as Jesus’ followers.  May we not deny him when we are asked about our allegiance.  May we fulfill his bidding, even when the tasks before us seem trivial – for we have seen that he will use our every small and humble effort to build your kingdom.  Keep us walking the way with him until we are at the cross, where we may see again the light, feel the earthquake of holy renewal as the burdens of our hearts are rolled away like a stone, and find the promises of the ages have all come true for us.

We pray these things today in the memory of our Savior, who enters our world still, with humble, simple splendor.  Hear us as we pray now in his words, as we say together: … Lord’s Prayer.

Prayers of the People March 11, 2018

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We have brought these offerings to you, O God, in recognition that we are blessed each day and every minute by your generous care.  Let our gifts today be a way of conveying our thanks.  We place our offerings in your care, praying that in your hands they may relieve needs greater than our own. 

We acknowledge that you are the God of every people and place.  Your vision is eternal, the scope of your care, universal.  Help us to widen our perspectives, too, so that we care for places we have not been, and people we’ve never met, and dilemmas we may never have to face.  You so loved the world as to give yourself to it entirely.  May we care for all your creatures and all of your creation, too.

In concern for our sisters and brothers, everywhere, we pray for peace, for patience, for compassion.  May the young may be nurtured, and the old find their dreams’ fulfillment.  May each one find places where hopes sprout and bloom, where the promise of security and safety and stability is realized.

And we pray for our families and for our friends today.  We know there are those who grieve, those who are ill, those who are lonely or lost.  Where we see such needs in others, help us to be quick to respond.  And where needs are unknown to us, may there be others to step forward and serve in your name.

And lastly, eternal God, we pray for ourselves.  We pray that no matter what we have done or failed to have done, no matter what has slithered threateningly into our lives, that you will point us in confidence to the bright future which is the legacy of faith for each Christian.  If we are downhearted or discouraged, lift our eyes up to the cross and the promise that lies beyond it.  You have raised Jesus, and he has taught us that it is your will to raise and save all your people.  So keep the vision of the cross before us and the hope of your healing and salvation ever upon our minds and hearts.  We pray these things in the memory of the one who stepped from the cross into your eternal care, and bids us follow.  Using his words, we pray together now, saying … The Lord’s Prayer.

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