Prayers of the People

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Prayers of the People March 31, 2019

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Based on Luke 15:11-32, the Parable of the Prodigal Son

Receive our gifts God, given to you this day in recognition of your loving outreach to all your children.  May our gifts participate in your open-handedness, by sharing the love you have so readily granted to us.

We pray today, dear God, for our world, shaken by hardships, sometimes of human making.  Help us to be willing and swift to help others.  Let our own experience with hardships and tragedies help us to know how to soften their impact upon others.  We pray relief for those people around the world struggling with violence or grief, political insecurity or illness, abandonment or poverty.  In parable after parable, your Son, Jesus taught us that we are connected to these problems and these people.  Show us how we may help.

We pray for those in our very midst today who are struggling somehow.  May those of us here today who are hurting find new joy, new hope, and new promise here among this Body of Christ.

And we pray for ourselves … We confess, God, that we see ourselves only too clearly in Christ’s parables.  Like the younger son in today’s parable, we sometimes take all we can, focused only on our self-satisfaction.  We may be careless in honoring and protecting our vast inheritance from you.  Like the elder son, we sometimes chafe at the kindness and forgiveness you offer to those less dutiful than ourselves.  We may jealously desire your exclusive favor.  But however we may have distanced ourselves from you, teach us that like all who are lost and then found, by your gracious love we may always be restored to you.  You seek us out with a deep, vast, and prodigal love and gladly welcome our return to you.  You want, above all else, to bring us home.

So help us all, no matter what shape our lives have taken and what turns our paths have followed, to come to you willingly now, to join in the joyous celebration you have planned for all your children.

We pray these things in the name of Jesus, who taught all his disciples to say these words when they prayed together: The Lord’s Prayer.