Prayers of the People

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Prayers of the People January 20, 2019

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Based on John 2:1-11

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.

Then, God, 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.  Where there is hunger or want, let us enlist the resources at hand to help.  Where there are neighbors across the globe that live with fear, grief, loneliness, or violence, let us find ways to help bring them your hope and assistance.  Let your compassion find its way, by our prayers, our generosity, our efforts into the lives of all those who are thirsting for what will satisfy, with our acknowledgement that our neighbors’ needs surely have something to do so with us.  Help us risk our engagement where it is most needed, knowing we will receive your blessing to further our efforts. 

If some of us came today feeling depleted, ourselves, by life’s demands and concerns … if some of us came feeling empty of hope or opportunity or purpose … if some of us came knowing time or energy or initiative had just about run out for us, then here in Christ’s presence and among his people, we pray we will find the refilling and restoration we so need.  Show us that in Christ’s presence now, as in days long past, his abundant grace freely flows to fill our emptiness.  In Christ’s presence the dry and barren places of our lives find themselves awash in gallons and gallons of forgiveness, purpose, and plenty. 

And so let us take from here today our fill of the profound gifts of goodness you offer to every life; and 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 together the words of prayer he taught us … the Lord’s Prayer. 

Prayers of the People January 13, 2019

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To be named your people, O God, and to receive in our baptisms your Holy Spirit, these are unsurpassable gifts.  And so today we acknowledge them.  We celebrate the assurances of your steadfast care for us, and your unchanging claims upon us as your children.  We find, in our brothers and sisters, reasons to claim pride of family, even when our differences may seem to divide us. 

We pray for your whole family, today, wherever it is facing hardship.  We pray for your children, our brothers and sisters, who face violence and war.  We pray for our brothers and sisters who are ill or lonely, downhearted or distressed, poor or deprived of the riches we enjoy.  Let our pride in being claimed as your people enable us to reach out graciously and generously to others you love.  Let us stand up for them and with them.

We do confess that we may still search misguidedly for other identities for ourselves, that we feel will better suit us, than the identity you grant, God.  We strive for our own success, assuming it will have ultimate power to save us from hardship.  We hunger for relationships that will save us from loneliness.  We ally ourselves to group or faction, clique or community, hoping to save ourselves from the threat of not belonging.  Forgive us these attempts to define ourselves without you, and to save ourselves from anxiousness and uncertainty.  Show us that who we are in your eyes is an identity more to be sought than any we concoct for ourselves.  We are somebody.  We are your children. 

If ever we forget the momentousness of belonging to you, help us to recall the indelible mark we wear upon our foreheads.  As if still dripping with the waters of baptism, let us feel upon us the sign of our covenant of grace with you.  We trust by this sign, that wherever we go and whatever we do, however we may be threatened or in jeopardy, you will never abandon nor betray us.  We are yours – your people.  We have waded deep into the same living and life-giving waters as Jesus, the Son with whom you were so well-pleased.  Be pleased with us, we pray, for his sake. 

Today we pray in his memory, using his own words when we say together now … Lord’s Prayer.

 

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