Prayers of the People

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Prayers of the People October 28, 2018

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Based on Luke 11:1-13.

Receive our gifts this day, God.  And let them be a statement of our recognition that we owe our well-being to you.  In gratitude for all we now have, and all we have yet to receive, help us to hold lightly the blessings in our care, that we may be always ready to give what we can to those whose needs exceed our own.

Especially today do we acknowledge the need of our Jewish brothers and sisters in Pittsburgh to receive our sympathy and support in light of the shooting yesterday that has shaken them deeply.  Help us find ways to acknowledge our connection to those who are grieving.  We humbly ask that you will bring all of us wisdom for this hour.  Grant us all your enduring peace.

We stand in so many ways today, O God, in a thoughtful and humble attitude before you.  And like Christ’s disciples of old we ask… teach us to pray.  Whether we pray in complex words and deepest thoughts, or with simple caring acts, expand our vocabulary of prayer.  Teach us to pray.

If we’ve veered away from acknowledging in our prayer that you are the one who is both near as our every breath, and higher than the heavens we watch in awe, then remind us that we stand in relationship to you as our maker, our keeper, our sustainer, our closest friend, our Father.  Or if we pray as if we alone deserve your ear and your attention, remind us that Jesus taught us to pray with every other sister and brother in mind.  Then may our prayers be turned outward with compassion, more often than inward with need.  Teach us to pray… to pray well, to pray often, to pray faithfully, to pray in ways that matter for our lives and the welfare of our world.

Then as we pray, we trust, O God, that Jesus’ promises to us will be fulfilled, and all our seeking, all our asking, all our knocking will yield some results – even if the greatest results we witness will be changes to our own hearts and souls.  Teach us to pray, God, that whether we receive what we ask for or not, we may open ourselves, nonetheless, to receive everything you have to offer to us. 

We pray these things in the name and memory of the one who first taught us to pray.  And using his words we sing them together now… The Lord’s Prayer … Amen.