Prayers of the People | Sunday, November 9, 2014


Judith L. Watt, Associate Pastor

Great and gentle God, Giver of all life, refuge and strength, Light of the world, as the days before us continue toward ever-increasing darkness and cold, make us ever more mindful of your light and warmth. Help us to see signs of your presence: the hand of a child, the gift offered, a meal delivered, a call of condolence, a truthful but needed word, the quiet loyalty of a spouse or a tutor or a good friend or a family member. Help us to read those signs harder to detect: the inner turmoil that leads to greater trust in you; disturbances that keep nudging us to move on; the tears of a child or the struggle to speak of an aging adult, causing us to slow down, to get on our knees so that we can listen more intently; a blaring siren heard and the prayer we quickly pray for whoever it is being rushed to the hospital.

Merciful God, the world around us groans with disruption and need. We continue to pray for health workers everywhere at every level, on the front lines of the Ebola crisis, for families devastated by its relentless attack, and for health workers everywhere, paid or unpaid, revered or hardly noticed.

On this day we remember veterans of all wars. We thank you for their service for the sake of freedom. We cry out to you wishing there was no need for soldiers anywhere, but the need still exists. And so we pray for those who have lost their lives and for their families who remain. We pray for those who continue to live with haunting memories. For those with injuries and no easy access to adequate health care, we ask for agencies to move and advocates to speak. And for ourselves, dear Lord, we ask for forgiveness because we have taken these ones who fight on our behalf for granted. We have judged from the peaceful places of our living rooms.

You know our hearts, O God, the painful memories, the joyful thanksgivings and praises, the people for whom we worry, the places in the world that seem so in need of the miracle of peace. So in this next moment of silence, hear us as we lift those particular concerns in our lives to you.

We pray all of this, holding fast to the hope that you are our sovereign God, Creator of the universe, Redeemer of all sin, Sustainer of our lives when we don’t know what or if we believe. In the name of your Son, our Lord, we offer now the prayer he taught to his disciples, saying together, Our Father . . .