Prayers of the People

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Prayers of the People March 24, 2019

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Based on Ephesians 4:1-6, Unity in Love

For these gifts, that you have first given to us, dear Lord, we are grateful.  Take them, we pray, as our offering today, and let them now become a source of blessing and joy for others.  We share, with the realization that it is in giving, that we receive the greatest of your gifts.

We are mindful today of those in need across the face of the earth – and we pray your support, your comfort, and your aid for them.  We pray for an end to hunger and hardship.  We pray that here and everywhere, your people may find the wisdom, tolerance, compassion, and courage it takes to steer toward productive and peaceful paths. We pray for renewal and restoration for those places in the world damaged by storms of nature or storms of human origin.  And we pray especially today with a keen awareness of the costly divisions that separate your people, preventing our working together for the good you envision for us.

Let this day be a call to us to rise above the frays that divide us, that we may join hands with sisters and brothers everywhere, acknowledging that however else we may define ourselves, our truest identity is as the unified people described as the Body of Christ, who share the hope-filled expectation Jesus held: that we may come to love one another, as he loved us.  Then, by our love for one another, let us demonstrate our acceptance of your calling to be a strong and compassionate people who are committed to one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God.

And so, though love may be costly, let us love.  Though love may be challenging and trying, let us love.  Though love may test our patience, our gentleness, and our self-control, let us love

We pray in the name of the One who commands love, and offers it with gracious and wondrous self-giving.  Hear us as we say together the words of his prayer … the Lord’s Prayer.