Prayers of the People

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Prayers of the People April 22, 2018

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Based on 2nd Corinthians 4:8-9

Receive, we pray, dear God, these gifts we have brought before you today with gratitude, acknowledging the fullness and goodness of our lives. We are learning to see that your gifts to us throughout our lives are real, rich, vast, and sustaining.
Trusting in your provision for our needs, we ask you to help us faithfully face the many difficulties that come through the course of our lives: the setbacks and downturns, heartaches and hardships. May we encounter these difficulties with constancy and courage. We pray that though afflicted, we may not be crushed; though perplexed, we will not despair; though struck down, we will not be destroyed. Let us rely upon your leading and guidance through hard times. Show us that we may walk with you, step by step by step, rebuilding hope, renewing strength, reinvesting in goodness, seeking a better, stronger, and more faithful future.
We pray today, God, for new visions to capture our imaginations on our walk with you, visions that transcends our every loss and failure. Encourage us to reach out, asking for the help we need to reorient ourselves and direct us on the way. We pray for new clarity and new humility that allows us to recommit to a mission bigger than ourselves. Perhaps, God, you may see within us something we have not seen in ourselves – a capacity for completing some task that’s worth doing, or sustaining someone who is floundering, or leading others through rough terrain toward a sure goal, or serving, or giving, or caring. Stir your spirit within us. Let it enliven, embolden, and enrich us for your work.
Let us observe the world anew, God, by your light and through your eyes: with all its needs, all its gifts. And let us see ourselves anew, in light of your wiser assessment of us. Make us, like so many of those whose stories we treasure, overcomers of whatever hinders the way before us. Show us, God, what good we can do today, and inspire us to do it with all our heart and soul.
We pray all these things in the name of the One whose life overcame death and whose love for us never ends. Praying in his words we say together: Lord’s Prayer.

Prayers of the People April 15, 2018

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Based on Luke 24:13-35, meeting Christ on the road to Emmaus

Receive the offerings we have brought to this place, this day, O God. We bring them in faith – trusting that you will receive and multiply everything of value which we bring to you in Christ’s name.
After all, how many times, we who follow Christ have been astonished by the blessings that abound in his presence! When we least expect it, when we least deserve it, or when we find ourselves wandering, farthest from the paths of hope, we who seek to walk with Christ have learned to hope that he may find a way to walk with us. And where Christ’s life-giving presence walks, hardships and heartaches ease and goodness grows.
We pray that Christ’s presence may be felt today in the troubled areas of the world where peace seems never to take hold, or safety to flourish. Let the Prince of Peace enter in. Let eyes, kept from recognizing him and his capacity to establish a reign of grace, be opened to the possibility he brings. Let Christ walk with them.
We pray for Christ’s presence to be felt today among those who are angry or hurting or ill or lost or defeated. So many struggle with more than they feel they can handle. Let the one whose scarred hands heal, touch them and bring the cures which he alone can accomplish. Let Christ walk with them.
We pray today for Christ’s presence to be felt among us. Each of us has taken our turn in walking dusty roads we hope will take us away from abandoned hopes, and damaged dreams, and lost causes. We, too, need the reassurance that we find in Christ’s presence. Let broken bread, and the splashing of baptismal waters, and hymns sung with earnestness, and prayers uttered in honesty be the occasions for our recognition of Christ, here, in our midst – to set our hearts aflame with hope again. Let Christ walk with us.
We pray all these things with gratitude for our Messiah – whose Spirit has not, will not, cannot die – but in fact, brings yet more life. Using now Christ’s eternal words, we pray today, saying together… Lord’s Prayer.