Prayers of the People

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Prayers of the People July 29, 2018

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Based on Luke 10:25-37, The Good Samaritan

Generous, provider God, we come before you once more, asking that as we have received all your gifts of grace, you might receive from us our hearts, our hands, our minds, and our offerings, brought today in hope and in faithfulness.  Take all of our gifts, and use them as you see fit to further Christ’s miraculous ministry of love to this, your world.

We pray today for the needs and concerns of people we cannot name or know, across the globe or even close to home.  We pray for the sick, the lonely, the angry, the bitter, the discouraged, the poor, and the abandoned, for we acknowledge that they are all our neighbors and fellow travelers on the Jericho Road.  We trust that your healing touch may be brought to those people in need whenever someone is moved to give, to love, to serve, to soothe. 

We pray today for our own dear ones and our friends.  We pray for their health and security and for stability.  We pray for their joy and fulfillment – their growth as your faithful people. 

And God of all, knowing that you care for us, we even dare to pray for ourselves.  If we are thinking today about gaining entry into your kingdom and your good graces, remind us that Jesus taught his followers it all began with doing small things with great love – as marks of their fellowship with him. 

Show us what small acts of goodness we are capable of.  Help us foster the goodness that comes from deepening our relationships to those we love, the goodness that comes from appreciation for all we’ve been given, the goodness that comes from widening the scope of our compassion, the goodness that comes from knowing there is real meaning to this life and an important purpose to our living.

And if we feel today that we but dimly grasp your dreams for our world or your purpose for our lives, then expand our vision.  Lead us into living lives worthy of Christ’s followers today.  Show us how we might better live out Christ’s large-heartedness, and open-mindedness, and his willingness to serve.  Help us risk our engagement where it is most needed, knowing we will receive your blessing to further our efforts.  Let hope thrive in us and through us.

Then increase in us, day by day, God, the capacity for awe, the willingness to wonder, the acknowledgement of the miracles that shower our lives, and the stability of a steady faith in you.  Make us Christ’s own.  Hear us now as we say the words of prayer he taught us … the Lord’s Prayer. 

Prayers of the People July 22, 2018

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Based on Psalm 51:1-17

Wondrous God, accept, we pray, the offerings we have brought today to contribute to making our world a better place for all your children.  Direct our gifts that they may help to heal division, strengthen injury and relieve sorrow, restore health and enliven hope.  And help us to give beyond these gifts in ways that will stretch and even test our commitment – by also giving of our store of forgiveness, offering love and kindness and compassion – even where we may not feel they are deserved… for we recognize that we have sometimes received just that generously and undeservedly from you. 

We pray today for our world that struggles on, week by week, year by year, to achieve goodness and justice in fuller ways.  We pray for our nation and its leaders in these contentious, troubling times.  We ask that you guide us all, God, in knowing how we may help to establish peace and fairness, order and mercy, freedom and responsibility.  Keep us watching with hopeful anticipation, even if some cracks appear in our treasured ideas and best-laid plans.  Remind us that perhaps it will be through those very cracks that your life-giving spirit may find room to bubble up and bring the restoration we crave. 

We pray for our neighbors and for this church.  We pray for our loved ones and friends.  You know their needs surely better and more fully than we do, O God.  We ask your presence, your aid, in providing for them, graciously and compassionately, in ways our prayers may not know how to ask. 

And we pray for everything that lingers still in our hearts and minds … our own troubles, our joys, our losses, our successes and yes, perhaps, our sins.  Write your covenant of love boldly across our imperfect hearts – erasing records of our wrongs, claiming us for your own, shaping us to your purposes, drawing us ever nearer to you.  Help us to be, no matter how else the world may define us, Christ’s people -- people of pliable minds and hearts who follow his call to meet new challenges, to love new people, to care with new depth, to learn new duties, to strive for greater good, to receive grace upon grace.

These things we pray in the name of Christ, by whose life we are directed, and with whose words we have learned how best to pray.  Hear us as we say together his words …the Lord’s Prayer.