Sunday, February 25, 2001
Offered by John Wilkinson, Executive Associate Pastor
All beautiful the march of days, gracious God, when seasons come and go, and so we lift our hearts in thanksgiving for rains that fall from the sky and strong winds that remind us ever again of your majesty and imagination and creative power. We thank you for all good gifts received as blessings according to your providence: for the earth our home, for evidences of your love in the faces of those who love us, for gestures grand and small of grace and hope and joy. And we would beseech you, loving God, to allow us to be stewards of such love and creativity in our vocations and in the living of our days.
In the light of your love, we would pray for the world and gather our dreams around your dream of peace—peace in Africa, peace in the Middle East, peace in Northern Ireland, peace in the streets of this country and this great city. We pray for all those everywhere for whom the tyrant’s power brings oppression and hardship, and we would claim once again the name of the Prince of Peace, that justice might flow like a river and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream. We pray for children everywhere—for their health and happiness and safety—and in special and particular ways for children at risk. We pray for enough food in their bellies, enough resources for their learning, enough toys for their playing, enough love for their living. We pray for teachers and parents and all those whose task it is to tend to this most precious gift. We pray for all those facing illness this day of body and mind and spirit, for those facing addiction, for those facing cancer, for those facing depression, for those facing HIV/AIDS, for those facing a troubled relationship, for those facing a crisis in career, for those facing doubt. Help us to reach out with the healing touch of the great physician, whose ministry it is to meet us in our hurting places and whose own journey enables us to journey in strength and wholeness. We pray for your church, the church of Christ in every age and the church of Christ in this moment. We pray for the body of Christ scattered around the world, reflecting every hue, every perspective, every tradition, and we pray that from such wondrous diversity you might continue to build a church of integrity and hospitality and boldness, a church that worships rightly and serves courageously and teaches creatively and gathers extravagantly. We pray for all those who labor in the church, elsewhere and for this congregation, that their labors may be thank offerings to you.
May all our work be praise, gracious God, as you grant us wisdom and courage for the facing of this hour and the facing of every new day. As we prepare to commemorate once again your Son’s journey to Jerusalem, help us to journey one with another and with you, living each moment as a gift and loving each stranger with your fierce love. For in the name of that great shepherd we pray, saying together the prayer we learned as children, Our Father . . .
Prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church