Prayers of the People

Sunday, January 21, 2001
Offered by John A. Cairns, Dean, Academy for Faith and Life

God of each new day—and of this day—as we come stumbling into your presence, we are increasingly aware of the ways that we are blessed by your love and surrounded by your goodness. For the beauty of this day, for the beauty of the earth, and for the beauty of the lives that impact on our life, we give you thanks and praise. May our awareness of your presence continue to grow, as day by day we experience the power of your Holy Spirit moving through our lives and our actions.

Our words of praise sometimes feel half-hearted, O Lord, for there is much that troubles us today. We are saddened by the all-too-frequent loss of life through random violence and unrestrained emotion. We seek ways to lift up the value of all of your children; to help one another to see your face in every human face; to move together into community instead of separating ourselves into self-protective ghettos. Increase in each of us a determination to build bridges of reconciliation and understanding. May we find new ways to learn from each other and about each other; to walk with each other instead of away from each other.

Among those with whom we would stand today are those who are ill, those who are struggling with disease or depression, with pain or persecution. In this time of prayer, we remember them all: those whose names and situations we know—and the myriad of others known only to you. Healing God, may all who are hurting be restored to wholeness, and with them, heal each of us who carry our brokenness in ways that others seldom notice.

We lift up particularly this morning our new president and those who will serve with him in the cabinet and the Congress. Give them wisdom, humility, a passion for justice, and a deep desire for peace, we pray. Be with our nation, that by our actions we may offer hope to the world and to those who struggle within our own borders. May compassion be genuine, communication be honest, and commitments be faithfully kept. Help us, and our leaders, to not only listen to one another but to always be attuned to your voice—to the moving of your Spirit in the midst of this land.

We give you thanks this morning for the church—for the company of brothers and sisters that stretches to all the corners of the world, endeavoring to live lives of discipleship—faithful to Jesus Christ. Empower us to say what we believe, to live what we profess, so that people everywhere will come to know your great love for them, kind God. And enable us to know and celebrate that same love in our own lives in the days and weeks ahead. May our witness to Jesus Christ begin as we join our voices to pray the prayer he taught us, saying, Our Father . . .

Prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church


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