Prayers of the People

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Pastoral Prayer - August 13, 2017

Based on Matthew 14:22-33

We give to you, dear God, with open hands today – knowing that your generous hands are opened to us day by day by day. Take our gifts and let them work for the good of those you love, those who need these offerings most.

Today we pray with special awareness for the role of fear in our lives and the lives of others, when life’s storms batter and bruise. We pray for those whose fears are of war or violence. Grant them protection of body and assurance of spirit. We pray for those whose fears are for an uncertain future or an unwanted outcome. Give them peace in waiting, and calm in relinquishing their worry for what they cannot control or direct. We pray for those who fear for friends and loved ones. Show them how to express their concern, their support, and their hope, while trusting that those they love are ultimately always in your wise care. 

And God, we pray for our own fears… those worries that wake us in the dark of the night and trouble us at dawn… those things that sap our energies and take us on a detour from the path toward you we might otherwise walk with conviction and grace. Teach us how to acknowledge our fears without letting them master us. Let the vision of Jesus’ walk on the water toward the buffeted and battered boat be for us a vision of eternal reassurance. When we are storm-tossed and afraid, in our darkest hours, let us see you with us, coming to us through the turmoil. And let us, whenever we are fearful, recall the words of Christ: “Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.” Let these words echo in our hearts and minds, let them sound above the roar of the storm, and let them nudge us to reach out for support to you, in order that in our renewed strength, we may also reach out to others who are yet caught in the storm. 

We are grateful for every way you come to us, God, and we are especially grateful for your Son, Jesus Christ, whose life, death, and resurrection provides us with the final assurance that we need not fear whatever befalls us. Christ has overcome it all. In his memory we pray, using now his very words… The Lord’s Prayer.

in Prayer

Pastoral Prayer - June 11, 2017

Based on Genesis 1:1-3:8

God who was, and is, and ever shall be, we come to you in prayer this day. We know you as the creator and provider of all we see and touch and hold - and the giver of every good thing. And so we try to give in imitation of your generosity. Receive what we are able to offer today for your creative and redemptive work in this world, we pray.

Today we remember all those who need some assurance of your on-going, active presence in the world, God. We pray for those whose needs are so grave that their doubts and fears are foremost. We pray for the outcasts who have no one near. We pray for the ill who long for recovery. We pray for the lonely and the grieving whose futures they cannot but see as bleak. Grant to all who look for you, the firm and uplifting assurance that, yes, you are there… always were, are now, and always will be. You have promised your sustaining presence to those who walk through flame and flood, peril and loss.

So let signs of your eternal presence be seen and heard and felt in thousands of ways and places: in the kindness of others, the diligence of advocates, the dedication of teachers, the compassion of care-givers, the laughter of happy children, the dawn of every fresh morning, and the steady hum of a universe that you made so long ago and still tend with a loving hand. Help us see each trace of your presence, whether small or great, as evidence that you created us and our world for good, that you still work to redeem the world’s faults and our failings, and that come what may, you will never abandon us.

As your people, made by your hand, God, we acknowledge the web of existence in which we are all entwined, and the possibility for us to affect and shape one another both near and far. Let our entanglement in the web of life bring only blessing to all those whose lives are influenced by our own. We accept that you have high hopes for us, and high expectations. So let us harness the creative energy with which you have blessed us – whether as scientists, engineers, poets, painters, parents, farmers, or friends – let the results of our efforts in this world bring wisdom as well as knowledge, fulfillment as well as contentment, fruitfulness and well as abundance.

And day by day, as time draws us all closer to you, let our lives grow to mirror the life of your Son – whose creative love was lavished upon the world – often where it was least expected, and always with profoundly important results. May our lives, too, be spent in the currency of lasting and lavish, life-changing love.

We pray these things to you, God, who was there in the beginning, and will be there to the end, using the words of prayer your Son taught us, as we say together…the Lord’s Prayer.

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