Sunday, July 15, 2007
Offered by Alice M. Trowbridge, Associate Pastor
Eternal God, surely you are in this place! We worship you in response to your movement toward us, for there is nowhere we can go from your Spirit; you find us, and your mighty hand rests upon us. Thank you for the promise that nothing can separate us from your love and for the wonder this knowledge inspires in us.
We give thanks for the example of all who have searched for an authentic faith, who find the courage to let you in, even in the dark places. We give thanks for the things that enable us to go on in hope: for words of compassion and encouragement when we are down, and words of sympathy when our hearts are heavy; for the memory of the cloud of witnesses who guide us; for those who have touched our lives with grace and led us toward maturity; for the people whose confidence in us has encouraged us in difficult days; for those who have stood firm for the good when the winds of popular opinion have been against them; and above all, we remember the gift of our Lord, who has promised to be with us always. For all these assurances, which anchor our faith, we give you thanks, O Lord.
Forgive us for the inconsistency of our trust: when disappointments come to us, we can forget that you are working all things together for good; when sorrows meet us, we can forget that your hand will never leave us in endless despair. Remind us again, God, that transformation is your intention for us and that sometimes we must hold on through the long night before we gain clarity.
We pray for our neighbors throughout the world, dear Lord. We honor the wide diversity of your people of varying religions, ethnicities, orientations, and traditions, and we give thanks for all our brothers and sisters who also pray for peace and justice this day. We pray for the alleviation of fear, which fractures your intention for humanity. Where there is violence, where there is hatred, where there is humiliation, where disease and hunger and poverty have taken their toll, equip us as your agents of redemption to speak and do the works that are in line with your eternal truths. Keep us fervent in our belief that honor and dignity are the bonds of our common humanity.
God, we pray for each other: for those for whom life is a struggle this day; those who are having trouble making ends meet; those who have never had enough; the ones who are concerned about their health or someone else’s health; the ones whose hearts are heavy because of the loss of a dear one; the ones who find faith difficult. Take the places of alienation and estrangement in each one of us, and enfold us in the hallow of your hand, so that we may be renewed in our assurance that we are bound by your Spirit with a love that will never let us go. We gratefully pray in the name of Jesus Christ, saying, Our Father . . .
Prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church