Sunday, July 8, 2007
Offered by Joyce Shin, Associate Pastor
Holy God, we turn to you because your will is greater than ours. You have the whole world in your hands and in your heart. You have taught us that we should love not only ourselves, but also our neighbors; not only our neighbors, but even our enemies. We know, God, that the circles of whom and what we love are too small, and we are sorry that we spend our energy defending rather than enlarging our hearts. We ask you to help us to see the preciousness of your image stamped upon all of humanity, and we ask that your Spirit soften our hearts so that we may be moved by this image.
Holy God, we turn to you because this world is in trouble. We cannot depend on ourselves to fix things. Our own words have damaged the relationships that we were to hold sacred. With our own actions we have betrayed our highest values and deepest commitments. Our own practices, habits, and lifestyles have damaged the world to the point that we cannot ever revert to the original state of your good creation. We are fallen. We turn to you, God, because only your creative spirit can renew this world—make growth in the unlikeliest of places; open up new possibilities where we saw only dead ends before; transform loss into gain, hardship into reward, and mistakes into lessons learned. We ask you to engage us, as imperfect as we are, in your creative work to redeem this world.
Holy God, we turn to you because we know that you can empower us to bear witness of you to our brothers and sisters. We feel unworthy to be witnesses of your glory. Remind us that you have given us the church so that we are not alone in our witness. We pray for the mission and ministry of the church in every part of your world. Embolden congregations everywhere to witness faithfully the truth of your loving gospel.
Holy God, we turn to you because we know that you provide for us what we most need. We pray this day for all those who stand in need of ministry: for the sick and the dying, for the powerful who are bewildered, for the poor who lack so much we take for granted, for the brutalized who wait for relief.
Holy God, shape us, day by day, until we pray as continually as we breathe and until all our acts are holy prayers. In the name of your Son Jesus Christ we pray, saying, Our Father . . .
Prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church