Prayers of the People

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Prayers of the People October 14, 2018

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Extravagant God, you have given us every good thing imaginable and ask that we enjoy your gifts, honor them rightly, and distribute them justly.  We are grateful for the blessings of plenty.  Receive our offerings today, that like the rich man in today’s scripture lesson, who longed to live with honor and to inherit your finest gift, we too might live honorably and nobly in your eyes.

We pray for those whose needs we have seen – our friends and our families, and we pray for those whose lives will never touch our own – but whose needs, we nevertheless know, are pressing and great.  May some of the many blessings we have offered here today, be shared among those in greatest need.

Today, God, as we consider the gifts you have to give, our prayers extend to all those who cling too tightly to the things that fail to satisfy.  We pray for those who cling to terror, believing their violence could lead to peace.  We pray for those who cling to hatred, believing their rejection of others could ever make them safe or happy.  We pray for those who cling too tightly to narrow judgment of others, believing that their fine lines of division reflect your own and will lead them to a place of distinction in your eyes.  And we pray for those who cling to money or to things.  May they be allowed a glimpse of the extraordinary pleasure of giving away, that their empty hands may be ready to receive even more from you.   

And if we are among those who have clung too tightly to things that fail to satisfy, help us cling instead to you, God.  Help us heed your insistent call to us with the same self-abandonment that those early disciples did, who laid down fishing nets, and left the tax collector’s booth, to come and follow your Son.  Give us the confidence in him, and him alone, that lets us let go of everything else, to follow, too.

We pray all these things, and offer all else that lies upon our hearts today, in the name and the spirit of Christ, using his words as we say together… Lord’s Prayer.

Prayers of the People October 7, 2018

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Based on Ephesians 2:13-19 – Christ tears down dividing walls

Generous God, who meets us at this table and throughout our lives with infinite grace, we thank you.  So many have gathered today across the globe to remember your eternal gifts, and to taste the love in them once more.  Bread has been broken, the cup has been poured, prayers and praise and songs have been offered – all part of our effort for faithful remembrance. 

To this table we were called and gladly came: for nourishment, for healing, for transformation, and for renewed hope.  And from this table you send us back into the world to share the abundance we received here. 

And so let us go from here, dear God, with the acknowledgement that having glimpsed the wonder of your bountiful realm, reflected in the shared bread and cup, we might strive to establish that realm far more fully here among us.  We could reach out to heal broken hearts, to promote justice, to work for meaningful peace, and to spread in countless ways the blessings you have shared with us. 

Help us to open our hands: loosening our hold on whatever we grasp for ourselves alone, releasing any anger or bitterness to which we cling.  Then let us grasp hands across all divides and encourage others to join with us in linking hands and hearts and minds in ways that will promote your vision for our shared lives.  Let us stand beside our sisters and brothers, sharing in the expectation Jesus held: that we will see your kingdom come, when all the walls that divide us have finally been dismantled.

Today, with spirits satisfied by Christ’s holy and unifying meal, we dare to believe in that possibility, and so we pray together, savoring Christ’s lasting presence, as we sing together his words of prayer … Lord’s Prayer.

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