Sunday, August 12, 2007
Offered by Elizabeth B. Andrews, Parish Associate
Almighty and tender God,
We gather once more in your presence,
another week flown past in summer’s swift passage,
another week opening out, inviting and challenging.
For all the ways you have blessed us in recent days,
we thank you:
For your presence in the midst of
celebrations and sorrows,
playful moments and hard passages;
For the wonders of your creation—
the spectacle of storms,
the hazy pastels of dawn and evening skies,
fragrant, bright bounty of garden and farmers’ market;
For the miracle of new lives, the insights of aging,
the holiness of breath and heartbeat,
gifts of the fresh and the familiar, we are grateful.
Touch and teach and transform us, dear God,
that we may be ever more open to your presence in all our encounters,
open to the opportunity, the word, the healing
to be offered or received,
open to new concepts, deeper commitments,
to hard questions and to faithful responses.
Along with our gratitude and good intentions, compassionate Lord,
we bring before you, as well,
concerns that weigh upon our hearts:
Anxiety as we contemplate changing patterns or empty spaces,
pain as choices and endings confront us.
And we remember before you this morning those of this fellowship,
and those of the wider circles of the family of your children
for whom the day is hard:
We remember those who are lonely or ill
those struggling in grief, in the shadow of despair,
the hungry and the hurting, and
those facing special challenges in the week ahead.
We are mindful of communities still seeking to cope,
to recover from disasters.
We pray for all near and far
who live in fear; those caught in conflict,
in the chaos of violence and destruction
of the world’s travails.
Your grace and light we ask for all those who lead and decide
in the perilous balances of power and policies where
so much of life and future are at stake.
We pray in the name of Jesus,
the One who invites us to grow in love and service,
our hope and our help,
and as he taught us, we call upon you, saying, Our Father . . .
Prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church