Sunday, May 13, 2007
Offered by Martha Langford, Pastoral Resident
Maker of all things, Ruler of all the earth’s peoples, we bring our prayers of thanksgiving and praise. You have provided the water of life for our baptism. You have fed us the fruits of the earth and nourished us through your Word.
Faithful God, this day we lift up prayers for the world. We see and hear the evidence of brokenness all around us, where people exploit one another and pillage the earth, which you created. Grant us the strength of obedience to love one another and to seek an end to injustice and oppression, bigotry and greed. Open our hearts to the message of your Word, who became flesh and dwelled with humanity here on your earth.
God of mercy, you have called us to be the church of Jesus Christ and to continue his work of reconciliation in the world. Grant us the courage of our faith to seek and serve those you would have us call our neighbors. Remind us that you formed your church from the despised of the earth and showed them mercy, so that the church might proclaim your salvation to all.
Compassionate God, this day we lift up prayers for those who are sick or suffering and for all those who care for them. Bring restoration to their lives—body and spirit—and give them peace. Grant us a depth and breadth of community to reach out, to touch and to care for them as a tangible witness to your love.
Eternal God, we know that your love is stronger than death, and your passion more fierce than the grave. Comfort all those who mourn this day. Enable us to see beyond this time and place to your eternal kingdom and to a time and place where tears shall be no more, a time and place where death is swallowed up in the victory of resurrection.
Tender and caring God, who—like a mother bird—shelters us in the shadow of your wings, we give you thanks this day for mothers. Bless all those who care for children across the face of the globe. Grant us the power to support and uphold those who share so willingly and openly of their very lives. Enable us to work for peace and equity among all peoples so that mothers everywhere may see their children grow and flourish as you intend.
God of love and peace, whose healing Word is offered to every person and group and nation, we long to hear and see and feel your presence with us. Send your Holy Spirit to overpower our excuses, lend new perspective to our troubled thoughts, and equip us to walk into the future with courage. Reign among us so that we may proclaim good news to all who need it. Our Father . . .
(Portions of the prayer adapted from Gathered by Love, Lavon Bayler (Cleveland: Pilgrim Press, 2001), pp. 96–97 and from The Book of Common Worship, 103, 106, and 943.)
Prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church