Sunday, July 15, 2007
Offered by Dana Ferguson, Executive Associate Pastor
God of creation, who has promised to be found by those who seek you with sincerity of purpose, who is known by those who love you with a true devotion, and who is seen by those whose hearts are pure, your faithfulness is no accident. And our faith in you is not born of chance. We test you at every turn. We bargain with you, abandon you, blame you.
Yet you continue to forgive us. Your patience is a match for your understanding. You understand the pain that drives us to despair—the child who goes another way; the parent who will not let the child grow up; the partner who separates; the friend who drinks to ruin; the companion who suffers. And yet you never give up on us, bringing new hope out of despair, resurrection out of defeat, and new life out of death.
So fill us with that same spirit, O God. Remind us again that what we might deem helpless, the one we might decide is beyond help, you can revive. You can bring from it new fruit—new beginnings and new possibilities. Bid us not pass by a brother or sister we deem not worth the time. Bid us not pass by an opportunity to share your grace, lest we think there is no hope in it. Lead us to the lonely and forlorn, to the anxious and the afraid, the grieving and the overwrought, to all of those in our midst yearning for your touch, waiting for a glimmer of hope.
In grace, break through the barriers we have erected against our fellow brothers and sisters that we might instead be instruments of your peace. Enter into the places where friendships are broken, family members alienated, children of yours forgotten, for we are all too quick to dismiss those who have hurt us, who have not loved us enough, who have not reached out to us as we thought we needed. Give us words to say and deeds to do that in all our living we might proclaim your love.
For those beyond our physical touch, we pray, O God. Where strife and struggle have grown for too long, where walls of famine have continued to crumble countries, where walls of injustice have grown too strong, bring your comfort. In those places where others wonder if justice will ever come to them, where people live in fear and have stopped waiting for an end to the violence, make your Spirit to move over lives and lands and let us and them continue to believe in the power of your Spirit to transform.
O God of new life and new opportunity, who has given us minds with which to discern your truth, hearts with which to discover your will, and strength with which to do your work, we have promised to serve you to the end. So give us grace to follow, we pray. Let our deeds speak so loudly that the hearers of our words will become the doers of your word that all your children might know the world of plenty grace and love. We pray this and all things in the name of Jesus Christ, saying together, Our Father . . .
Prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church