Sunday, February 20, 2000
Offered by Carol Allen, Associate Pastor
Holy Lord God, source of life and light, in the beginning your breath and Spirit drew forth the world and filled the earth with your creatures. At the last, your breath shall gather us in, each in our time, to the shelter and mystery of your love. We turn to you now, trusting in your grace.
O God, the days speed by, full of details and demands. Interrupt the regular rhythm and routine of our schedules. Show us a glimpse of beauty in the world. Show us the resiliency that helps the human spirit to endure. Draw us into silence and calm when we pray. Set our thoughts on you, Heart of the Universe.
In the stillness of these moments, hear the aching of our silent sufferings and unspoken joys. May the music of this service encourage and offer us a means of expression of these. With minds cluttered and weary of making decisions, may this morning’s worship offer renewal. We long to grow in you, O God. May the prayers we pray be a means both of confession and commitment.
O God, we try to be self-sufficient but fall short. We are tempted to let numbers and dollar signs become signs of success, to let entertainment take the place of worship. We try to claim your power as our power to make ourselves healthy, wealthy and wise. At these times, draw our eyes to the cross where we see your power at work raising Jesus from the dead. We remember Jesus who waited tables and washed feet, who sought not to save himself but to bring others into your caring presence, through his healing touch. Because of the power of your Spirit continuing with us in the risen Christ, you give your forgiving and affirming love in our moments of failure and loss of strength.
Through those moments when you meet us in our grief and restore us to hope, develop us into a source of healing for others. Anoint our hands to hold, reconcile and mend the broken. Bring comfort, healing and understanding to persons in our families or our communities who are ill. Be support for individuals or families facing trying times, upcoming surgery, or hard choices. May new strength well up in those who have lost a family member or friend or who have lost confidence or direction. Enter into the spirits of hurting children, O God. Remember the men and women unable to work. Watch over the elderly and all with failing strength. Use us to heal the earth tortured by misuse and greed. Bring satisfaction to those throughout the world who hunger and thirst for food or for justice. May adversaries become allies in those places engaged in conflict or victimized by war. May the building of peace become a valued calling.
We thank you, gracious God, for this congregation and for all who labor in and through it, and for your enduring loving-kindness; from womb to old age and beyond, we are carried in your strong arms; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who taught his follower to say together when they pray: Our Father . . .
(sources of inspiration: Barbara Brown Taylor, Glen Rainsley and Diane Karay)
Prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church