Prayers of the People

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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.

Prayers of the People July 14, 2019

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Based on 2nd Kings 5:1-5, 9-14

 

In faith, we yield to you, O God.  If we have fought against your claims upon us, or have asserted our utter independence and self-sufficiency, today we work to acknowledge our dependence upon you and one another.  And with loving thanks for your constant care of us, we bring gifts and offerings that demonstrate our willingness to help others, as you have so generously and consistently helped and blessed us.

We pray today for those, like the proud commander, Naaman, in need of physical healing.  Help those whose lives are disrupted by illness to remember that your compassion, and your life-giving touch, are capable of restoring lives and redirecting them.  Let simple trust in you prevail.  Let hope overcome fear.  As the author of life, we ask your help in repairing it in the broken places.

And, we recognize, God, that like the proud commander, Naaman, many experience wounds that are more than physical.  We see the world’s struggles and recognize how often hurt pride and simple arrogance are their cause.  We pray for healing from these attitudes that afflict the human spirit and torment human lives.  We pray that those who oppress others may be healed.  We pray that those who lash out in anger may be healed.  We pray that those who neglect the duties they might fulfill will be healed.  We pray for expansive vision for those whose viewpoint is too confining and too narrow and too self-serving – so that they may be healed of their distorted view of the world.    

And we pray that you may look upon all our own needs for redirection and restoration, and that you may heal us, too.  Make us willing to submit to the treatment you prescribe for us – whether the prescription is diligent prayer, or more committed service, or stronger compassion toward others, or re-awakened faithfulness, or an honest humility.   Help us risk removing the armor of self-protection we wear, and immersing ourselves seven times, or a thousand times in your grace, until we are healed of all that lessens life.  Let our bodies, and our minds, and our spirits be renewed.

We pray these things in the name of the one we have named our Great Physician.   Using the words Christ taught us, we pray together, saying … Our Father … Amen.

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