Sunday, September 23, 2007
Offered by John M. Buchanan, Pastor
O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth. We come before you, O God, in wonder at the mystery and majesty of your creation. We come in gratitude for the gift of life, renewed each morning, for the beauty of the world, for bright autumn days, for cool nights and softening light, for leaves turning to yellow and red, signaling the orderly, creative processes of your world. And we come in humility that out of the infinite reach of space and time somehow you know us and call us by name and care about us.
We bring before you, O God, all the content of our hearts: our love for our families, our parents, brothers and sisters, spouses, children, partners, and friends. And we thank you for all the ways we are enriched and blessed by the gift of love.
We bring before you our concerns for the world and our hopes for peace. We pray, O God, for the people of Iraq, trying to maintain a semblance of normalcy in the midst of daily destruction and violence. We pray for the men and women of our armed forces, serving with courage and devotion and living daily in danger of sudden lethal violence. We pray for their families, who love them and who wait and pray for their return. We pray for the Palestinian people and the people of Israel and for their leaders. We pray for a renewed commitment to our nation’s highest and noblest ideal—of justice and fairness and compassion and peace.
And this day we pray for our neighbors, for Jewish and Muslim neighbors in their holy days and observances.
We pray, Gracious God, for those whose needs are urgent: for the sick; for those awaiting test results, surgery; for those undergoing difficult treatment; for those who are afraid and lonely and anxious. Bless them, and be with those who mourn the loss of a dear one.
We pray for this church, O God, that it may represent your love and your grace and your compassion for all your children in all that it says and does. We pray for all its people—for those who serve, those who lead, those who generously support. May this church be your church, the body of your Son in the world.
You have invited us to pray for ourselves: “Ask and it shall be given,” you have promised. And so we ask—for the gift of courage to be your brave people, for the gift of strength to do the work to which you call us, for the gift of patience with people and situations that feel like impediments, for the gift of attentiveness to those who need us and look to us for support and encouragement, for the gift of compassion to see those who hurt and suffer, for the gift of faith to trust you with our lives. And for the gift of love to love the world, to love neighbors, to love our dearest ones with your own holy and unconditional love.
Hear our prayers. Hear the prayers that remain unspoken in our hearts. Hear us as we pray, Our Father . . .
Prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church