Based on Ephesians 4:1-7, 11-13 -
Hear our prayer today, dear God. We pray that you will see in our outreach to others, through our gifts of offering today, our desire for unity with all your children. We pray you will acknowledge the praises and the gratitude spoken in the depths of our hearts today, and accept that they are signs of love for both you and for others. We pray that Jesus’ prayer for human unity, and those of his followers across the ages, will be realized in every possible way in our lives. And today we ask your help to assure that.
God, help us to love. Today we celebrate the many mothers who have loved gladly and selflessly and patiently. Help us to adopt their pattern of generous love. And we have witnessed, through receiving the love of Christ for us, that love is an irresistible force, a magnetism beyond all others. Let us be drawn to it gladly. And let Christ’s love, as we receive it, take root in us and grow in power, so that others may be drawn to the love that so clearly lies within us and among us. Let us be known, as Jesus hoped, by our love.
And God, help us, your loving people, to live in oneness. Christ’s compassion and loving outreach was intended for the whole world and all its people. Yet our customs, our understandings, our beliefs, and our commitments are so diverse that we grow apart and find ourselves facing seemingly unbridgeable divides. We may live out different callings, bear different gifts, demonstrate different talents, yet we were called to one Lord, one faith, one baptism. Unite us, through your spirit, in bonds of peace. Draw us together, where together we may achieve so much more for you than any of could achieve alone. Make us one.
We pray today with wonder that across the ages, despite doubts and set-backs, discouragement and division, the dream for human unity and all the possibility it represents, remains. As followers of the One who calls us to lasting and durable unity, we pray today using his very words as we say together: the Lord’s Prayer.