Prayers of the People

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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.

Prayers of the People May 13, 2018

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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.