Prayers of the People January 5, 2020
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.