Sunday, November 11, 2001
Offered by Thomas C. Rook, Parish Associate
Almighty God, we give you thanks that you are not distant but that you invite us freely to come to you, to express honestly our thoughts, our emotions. And so in these moments we do come, individually and together, voicing our gratitude and our concerns.
We thank you, creator God, for life—our life, each person here. And we thank you for all living things that fill the earth and waters and skies with such abundant variety and surprising beauty. And for the earth—we thank you for earth’s seasons, for good crops and ample harvests.
Thank you, O Lord, for our life together, for hope and hardships shared. Thank you that even within unsought times of distress you bless us as you call forth qualities of courage and faith, of hope and perseverance.
Thank you for the work you give us to do in life and the strength to work, for colleagues in work and play, for daily exchanges of good humor and mutual encouragement.
Thank you for all loving relationships—for family and for parents and teachers faithful in their care of children. We are thankful for the children, Lord, who embody our hopes for the future. Help us to be generous in providing for nurture of their bodies and minds and spirits. Thank you for young adults, for their high hopes, their search for freedom and independence. And thank you for later seasons of life, for wisdom deepened by experience, for time made precious by its passing. And within all life’s seasons, loving God, thank you for your help in the difficult times of doubt and sorrow, for preserving us in temptation and danger.
And on Veterans Day, we thank you, O God, for our country and for all those who have defended it through the years. We pray your special watch over young men and women, the pride of our nation, who even today are placed in harm’s way in distant lands. Give stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness in their faith. And for those of generations past who fought for their country and those who gave their lives in its defense, we give deepest thanks, O Lord. And in these days of threat, we pray for President Bush, for Secretaries Powell and Rumsfeld, and for all our leaders. Grant them wisdom and strength in the national journey that stretches before us. With your gracious help, O God, may it be a faithful journey toward human freedom and ultimate peace. Comfort those who mourn and those who are homeless and displaced by the violence of war.
God of all nations, bless your people—in whatever land they live, in the best faith they know—to move toward your kingdom where swords are beaten into plowshares, where no one will hurt or destroy, and where war is learned no more. We pray all in the name and the Spirit of one called the Prince of Peace, saying together the words he taught us, Our Father . . .
Prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church