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.