Prayers of the People

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Prayers of the People October 20, 2019

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Based on Jeremiah 31:31-34

God of creation, you create still, by offering us this new day, this new chance, this new beginning.  Today we have brought to you an offering from the abundance that is ours.  Let our offering help to secure new beginnings for others, wherever there is need for fresh starts, we pray.

We join our prayers today, O God, with followers of your Son from across the globe and across the ages who have weathered storm after storm, through his Spirit’s guidance and grace.  When life’s uncertainties tempt us to cling for security to projects, purposes, and practices of human design, help us remember that no earthly authority may make a claim to permanence which belongs to you, alone, O God.  Help us be willing to let all perishable things pass away, as time sweeps on, with the assurance that you are the imperishable constant that will see us through.

Make us then, not reluctant witnesses to the inevitable cycles of life and faith, we pray, but their awed and grateful observers.   Help us to willingly participate in clearing away whatever has become unhelpful, rigid, or uninspired.  Help us to welcome the new things you are about to do among us.  Keep us watching with hopeful anticipation as the cracks appear in old, outworn ideas and structures.  Remind us that perhaps it will be through those very cracks that your life-renewing spirit may find room to bubble up and bring restoration. 

And allow us, we pray, O God, to be willing to let our own lives be periodically transformed, reformed, and renewed, as well.  Let what should recede and depart from us, go.  Then write your covenant of grace boldly and lovingly across our 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, O God, Christ’s reformed people, who are reforming still … people of pliable minds and hearts who follow Christ’s call to meet new challenges, to love new people, to care with new depth, to learn new duties, to strive for greater good.  And using now Christ’s own words, we pray together saying … The Lord’s Prayer.

Prayers of the People October 13, 2019

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Based on Philippians 2:1-5 

Eternal, patient God, you sustain the vast web of life that makes our lives possible.  Keep us humbly mindful of our privileged place, and keep us thankful for every possibility you offer.  Accept the gifts of gratitude which we have brought to you this day.  Let your spirit guide their flow from our hands to hands in greatest need. We pray our gifts may make possible blessing and goodness where they are lacking now. 

We pray today for the needs and concerns of people we cannot name or know.  We pray for the sick, the lonely, the angry, the bitter, the discouraged, the grieving, the poor, and the abandoned.  We trust that your healing touch may be brought to those in need whenever we are moved to give, to love, to serve, to soothe.  So guide us all to discern where your healing touch could be offered, we pray, and let compassion and generosity spur our desire to bring our assistance.

We also we pray for our own dear ones and our friends.  And knowing that you care for us, we even dare to pray for ourselves.  We ask that we may grow in depth as Christ’s faithful.  We ask that we may bravely show forth our true colors, as we humbly follow in a long line of believers.  We follow in recognition of the privilege of being among Christ’s people, taking his path for so many reasons.  We follow him because we are awed that he has “skin in the game,” having lived among us.  We follow him because we aren’t here to just remodel ourselves but to lose ourselves in service to you and to others.  We follow him because we know that our personal stories find fulfillment in Christ’s story.  We follow him because he holds us in his patient, forgiving love. 

And so, as Christ’s steady followers, we pray that day by day we all may draw a bit closer to unity in Christ, a bit nearer to being of one mind and heart, a bit dearer to God because of our growing love for one another.  We pray these things in hope and in faithfulness to the one we call our Savior, Jesus Christ.  Hear us as we say together his words:  The Lord’s Prayer …  Amen.

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