Prayers of the People

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Prayers of the People November 18, 2018

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A Thanksgiving Prayer

God, we lift up our hearts this day in thanks, and ask that you make us, every day, a more grateful people:

For the silence of the night and the bustle of the day, make us grateful.  For the splashing rains and the peace of quiet seas, make us grateful.  For laughter that comes unbidden and helps us lose ourselves in sudden mirth, make us grateful.  For the tears that flow through our lives, marking sadnesses and showing us our deep need for you, make us grateful.  For the links to friends that grow through mutual appreciation and glad obligation, make us grateful.  For family whose bond to us is of flesh and also of love, make us grateful.  For bountiful food, grown, shipped, prepared, cooked and served for us, make us grateful.  For your presence among us, that teaches us that we may trust your provision for us always, God, make us grateful.

And for your greatest gift, the gift of love revealed to us through Jesus Christ, make us especially grateful.  Let our appreciation for the gift of your Son reprioritize all other commitments and values.  Help us to measure the bounty of our lives, as he did, by the depth of our loves, the breadth of our friendships, the sincerity of our faithfulness.  And then let us stand in awe at our riches – a grateful people whose faith in you has healed us from lesser loyalties and saved us for communion with you.

As we look forward to sharing a splendid Thanksgiving dinner, remind us that a feast is more than food.  For we have learned at Christ’s table, that even a simple taste of bread and cup satisfies our deepest hungers.  So let our Thanksgiving meal be a reminder of his perfect meal, where your love for us reaches out to fill us, to comfort us, to heal us, and to satisfy us.  Let our Thanksgiving meal this year be a feast of splendid proportions – full of your healing, hopeful, saving love.  And let our gratitude be for us a double blessing.

Hear, dear Lord, the thanks of our peaceful and grateful hearts today.  And hear us as we say together the words of prayer your son taught us … the Lord’s Prayer.  Amen.

Prayers of the People November 11, 2018

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Based on Ruth 1:1-6, 11, 16-17

 

We thank you, God, for the numberless gifts of our lives.  We acknowledge, with deepest gratitude, the ways you reach out to us to nurture and uphold us – even when we are unaware of your aid.  Open our minds and hearts to you, so that in difficult times we might be less prone to worry or despair – and more likely to trust patiently and hopefully that new beginnings are yet possible for us, because you never abandon us or leave us comfortless.  Help us witness all the ways you reliably enter our world and our lives to make all things new.  Let us find peace in that recognition.  

And we pray for such recognition of you, and such sustaining peace, for others.  We pray that today wherever there is loneliness, wherever there is hardship, wherever there is pain, wherever there is grief, wherever there is disillusionment -- that you may enter in.  We recognize that solutions to life’s challenges and losses do not come easily and quickly.  But let those in need learn to rely upon you, O God, for the unexpected resolution, or the unanticipated alternative plan, or the surprising gift of grace.  Let them see, in the undying love of your risen Son, the certainty of your will ultimately being done and your final mastery of uncertain outcomes. 

We acknowledge that every time we meet at worship, we find Christ is among us, and we solidify our identity as his very body on earth.  And so, as his people, we accept today the work to which we are called in his name.  We ask that you will direct us toward our next roles and responsibilities.  If we are to welcome the stranger, let us throw wide the door.  If we are to heal the broken, let us employ every skill we know to speed a cure.  If we are to forgive an injury, let us set aside our pride and set down the anger or bitterness we harbor.  If we are to give of ourselves, as our Christ gave so freely, then direct us in how we may offer what is most needed in places most desperate for it.

As the living, breathing, beloved Body of Christ, we pray that we will harbor within us always his spirit, that our lives may move to the beat and rhythm of his heart of welcoming and all-embracing love.  We pray now in his memory and in his own words, as we say together … The Lord’s Prayer.

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