Prayers of the People

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Prayers of the People August 4, 2019

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Based on Luke 12:13-21 

We pray, dearest God, with deepest gratitude in our hearts, for the blessings, the nourishment, the comfort of having shared the meal your Son has offered us at this table today.  May the memory of this meal sustain us whenever we grow uncertain of ourselves and our futures, or even uncertain of you.  Remind us then that our hope in you is not in vain. 

Teach us to rely upon you and your promises.  Though we may not see the fulfillment of all our wishes and dreams, show us that you will stand ready to give us gifts we never imagined and grant us guidance and grace to safely move us beyond all our trials and difficulties.  We trust in you to guide our Senior Minister Search Committee, that their work may help to fulfill your vision for our church. 

With acknowledgement that you long for us to be one, committed, and caring human family, we pray for unity in our midst and for the repair of the chain that links your people, wherever it has been broken.  We pray for peace.  We pray for healing of bodies and minds and spirits.  We pray for forgiveness, and tolerance, and respect, and also for the love which Jesus demonstrated, and gave to us as so costly a gift.

Having received so much, let us take our place among grateful, trusting, and faithful people across the generations and spanning the centuries, who received Jesus’ astonishing message of love that engenders hope and trust, who lived in light of it, and who passed that treasured message on to others.  Let our grasp of that treasure help us to release our grasp of all earthly treasures that ultimately fail to satisfy.  Teach us not to store up for ourselves those things that will not make us rich in you, God.  Orient us always toward what matters most, toward what lasts and sustains and restores, toward all that is, finally, eternal. 

We pray today, with wonder at your plans for us and with humility that our prayers may be spoken in the name of your son.  Hear us today, as we pray in his spirit and using his own words, sing them together … the Lord’s Prayer.

Prayers of the People July 28, 2019

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Based on Luke 11:1-13

Receive our gifts this day, God.  And let them be a statement of our recognition that we owe our well-being to you.  We ask for your guidance of the search process, looking for new leadership for our church.  May the committed members of the search committee, dedicated to hearing your voice and to finding our next senior minister, find also your wisdom, your patience, your assurance, in undertaking this task.   

We all stand in so many ways today, O God, in a thoughtful and humble attitude before you.  And like Christ’s disciples of old we ask… teach us to pray.  Whether we pray in complex words and deepest thoughts, or with simple caring acts, expand our vocabulary of prayer.  Teach us to pray.

If we have been too timid in prayer to turn the full content of our hearts and souls over to you, then open us to your influence and your grace.  If we have been too fixed in prayer upon the ends we’ve determined we must achieve, or must receive, or must accomplish, or must overcome, then help us to check those inflexible intentions against your greater designs for our lives and our world. 

Remind us of the privilege of standing in relationship to you as our Father – a relationship that gives us brothers and sisters everywhere.  Then let our prayers be turned outward with compassion to our brothers and sisters, more often than inward with concern for our own needs.  Teach us to pray… to pray well, to pray often, to pray faithfully, to pray in ways that matter for our lives and the welfare of our world.

Then as we pray, we trust, O God, that Jesus’ promises to us will be fulfilled, and all our seeking, all our asking, all our knocking will yield some results – even if the greatest results we witness will be changes to our own hearts and souls.  Teach us to pray, God, that whether we receive what we ask for or not, we may open ourselves, nonetheless, to receive everything you have to offer to us. 

We pray these things in the name and memory of the one who first taught us to pray.  And using his words we sing them together now… The Lord’s Prayer … Amen.

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