Sunday, October 22, 2006
Offered by Dana Ferguson, Executive Associate Pastor
God of mercy and of grace, you have spoken in voices loud and voices small. And we, at times, have spoken back, questioning your faithfulness to us, resisting your call for our lives. And yet our questioning has been no deterrent for your presence and leading, love and mercy in our lives. Listen now, we pray, not to the strength of our demands or doubts, but to the passion of our longings and the yearnings of our hearts. God of wisdom and of grace, by the Spirit of Christ your Word echoes in this people and your presence in our lives. So listen now, not to the logic of our cases argued but to the conviction of our belief that you hear us and respond.
Move among us, O God, that in these days when it is not always easy to be the church we might be your brave and faithful people. As a congregation of your people, keep us dreaming. We want to be a voice for truth, a place of justice, a balm of healing, a sanctuary of mercy, a people of nurture where children are seen as signs of your kingdom, where noble ideals are fostered in the days of youth, where faithfulness is encouraged among adults, and where the wisdom of long years is cherished.
We recognize around the world in the pictures we see people whose lives are shattered by war and famine and people whose lives are wracked with pain and disease; but also we see signs of peace and plenty and healing. Restore this good earth to a place of tolerance and peace, reconciliation and justice among all people. We find on all sides of the roads we travel people who are afraid, people who are angry, people who are searching; but also we see signs of goodwill and hope. Restore this city to a place of security and fair play, opportunity and cooperation.
God of mercy and compassion, we pray this day where there is illness, bring wholeness; where there is grief, bring comfort; where there is loneliness, bring companionship; where there is weariness, bring rest; where there is anxiety, bring calm; where there is regret, bring forgiveness; where there is hunger, bring sustenance; where there is addiction, bring freedom; where there is homelessness, bring shelter; where there is estrangement, bring reconciliation; where there is conflict, bring peace, where there is new life, bring joy; where there is long life, bring satisfaction; and to all of us, bring a good and right and true spirit of thankfulness. And God of power and might, let us not make this prayer without asking that you give us grace and courage to be answers to the prayers we make. Hear us as we pray now in the name of the one who came to give his life a ransom for many: Our Father . . .
(Portions of this prayer are adapted from Prayers for the Lord’s Day: Hope for the Exiles by James Lowry.)
Prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church