Prayers of the People

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Prayers of the People June 17, 2018

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Mission Trip Celebration

Please receive the gifts we have brought to our worship this morning, God, and see that they are used wisely and well, to further the best and most significant work of Christ’s church.  We are deeply honored by the efforts of our young people who worked on our behalf – and yours—this past week in Houston.  They have offered themselves for significant purposes and a mission greater than themselves.  We are honored, God, to witness and support their idealism, their industry, their faithfulness, and their love for you and others. 

And we pray that you may lead us all to fully understand what service may be entailed in our role as your people.  And when we set out in service to you, let our motives be rightly focused:

If we are fearful that we lack the stature, the strength, the wisdom or the will to do the work to which your people are called, then show us we are not too small or insignificant to make a difference. 

If we are less forgiving than we should be, less caring, less involved, less hopeful, less helpful – then we ask that you intervene to wake us to your vision for our lives.  Focus us on all you hold to be possible, if we will work together on your behalf.  Help all of us strive to:

Share our prosperity, and lessen the pangs of poverty.

Comfort the grieving, and reorient the lost.

Restore confidence, and overcome despair.

Encourage cooperation, and diminish contention. 

Conquer cynicism, and reclaim your dreams for us.

Remember your call, and honor it with our commitment and loyalty.

Let us play our part, we pray, in bringing to reality your great dream for a realm on earth where Christ’s love reigns supreme.  As followers of your Son, we would be his faithful, diligent agents. Let us all walk his path, speak with his words, and love with his heart.  We pray all these things in Christ’s name today, using his very words, as we say together now… Lord’s Prayer.

Prayers of the People May 20, 2018

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For Pentecost:

So long ago, O God, frightened disciples hid themselves away in a room, uncertain of everything, because the crucifixion of their beloved messiah had shattered all their dreams.  And today, so many years later, if we are as uncertain of important matters as those first disciples were, help us to do as they did: to wait, to hope, to trust, and finally to receive the grace and renewal your Spirit offers.  Let that Spirit overcome all our doubts, that we may receive new certainties for life and faith together. 

How can we doubt the work of the church and its ability to make a difference in the world?  You have given us your Holy Spirit, and prepared us for great things.  You have granted us a new language governed by a grammar of grace and filled with a vocabulary of possibility.  Let us dare to speak that universal tongue to the tired, warring, and divided world that needs to hear it.  Let us use your language of concern where grief and loss have numbed life or left it bereft of joy.  Especially today let us speak your love and hope to those who mourn the young people lost to the school shooting in Santa Fe, Texas.  In fact, let us communicate your uniting and loving vision for this whole world and offer a helping hand for its renewal, wherever and whenever it is needed. 

Because we have heard your voice speaking in the church and through its people, we cannot doubt our call to respond by making a difference.  May we always be contributors to the conversation you began so long ago with the world.  The ancient prophets told us, O God, that when the Holy Spirit was poured out upon us we would see visions; dream dreams; speak your truth; and calling upon you, find ourselves saved from every dark and despairing threat the world might present to us.  We pray you will hear our voices call to you today, God.  And we trust that when you respond, your words will speak again to us in that grammar of grace and vocabulary of possibility that every one of us understands. 

So let your Holy Spirit blow freshly, bravely, among us.  Let it tell us that your love for each of us, and for all of us, is as strong today as it was when the church began.  Make us capable of sharing your assurances far and wide.

We pray in the name of the one we call your living Word. And in his memory we say now the prayer he taught his followers so long ago… The Lord’s Prayer.