Prayers of the People

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Prayers of the People January 5, 2020

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Based on Matthew 2:1-12

Wondrous God, we thank you for the gifts of this table, and we wonder anew today at all the gifts by which you sustain us.  We thank you for visions, for light by which to walk, and for your love.  May all the gifts we, in turn, offer in gratitude, like the gifts offered by the wise men of old, demonstrate that we willingly bring our best to you and others – confident that you will wisely put to use whatever our trusting hearts and open hands provide.

We pray this day for all those terribly troubled locations in the world.  Be with those in the midst of upheaval, or chaos, or storm.  Let your guidance be felt, that spirits may be strengthened and futures may shine with assurance and the promise of better possibilities.   

We pray for all those who grieve today, or long for healing, or find themselves concerned for their family’s welfare, their children’s safety, their future dreams, their past mistakes.  Let your healing presence wash over these troubled places, renewing confidence, restoring hope. 

We pray today for this church family and its future.  You know all the needs we have dear God – better, surely, than we do ourselves.  Keep us focused on worthy aims.  Keep us watching for all the signs and signals you offer to lead us onward.  Let us be ever more surely drawn to you and your purposes.

And finally, God, we dare to pray for ourselves, knowing that no matter where we have been, or what we have done or failed to do, you open your arms to us, gladly.  You have greeted us today at this table where a holy meal has been served, and we have savored your presence.  You show us that you are, in fact, with us every day in wondrous ways. 

So help us dust off the visions we thought had grown stale, and let us see them again now, by the light of the star of Bethlehem that shines to guide all seekers toward your Son.  Help us, as Christ’s followers, to claim his restoring, renewing, and life-directing grace – so that we might share it lavishly with all those we encounter.  Hear us as we join our voices in the prayer he taught us … the Lord’s Prayer.

Prayers of the People December 22, 2019

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Based on Luke 2:1-7 – the Innkeeper

 

Eternal God, we pray you will receive from us today the offerings we have brought in gratitude to you.  We know that earth’s redemption is your goal, and so we hope we are always contributing in meaningful ways to that redemption – by what we give, by those we serve, by how we live, by the wideness of our welcome. 

As we await the consummation of your dreams for our world, we pray for those whose pressing needs are in our hearts and on our minds – those near to us, and those whose needs we only know by report.  We hold our hopes for them up to you now, in this moment of quiet reflection ….

And God, we also pray for your help for ourselves and our lives.  If we find ourselves a little uncertain or cynical, if we are tempted to close the doors of our hearts, claiming there is no room for anything new to be born here, then gently nudge us to acknowledge you as the God of possibility.  Show us all the compelling evidence of Christ’s spirit already present, already influencing our world with grace, and ready to offer yet more, if we will lower our lives’ barriers to let him in.  Help us to recount all the little drops of grace that have already showered us across the years.  Let us see that we are actually awash in grace.  Strengthen us to fling open doors to make yet more room for it.  Let us rejoice at the Good News that the long-awaited Messiah is prepared to come in and make a home among us. 

Show us how we may be bearers of that Good News to others, until by sharing Christ’s Spirit, no corner of the world will have failed to feel the joyful impact of his presence and the healing miracle of his love. 

We pray all these things with gratitude for our Messiah’s birth.  Indeed, he is the one we have been waiting confidently for, the one we will make room for, the one we’ll leave the light on for – for he brings to us an bright, guiding, eternal light.  Using now the very words he taught us to say when we pray, we say together: The Lord’s Prayer.

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