Sunday, September 30, 2007
Offered by Martha Langford, Pastoral Resident
Almighty God, who taught us to pray not only for ourselves but for people everywhere, hear us as we pray for others in the name of Jesus Christ.
As your church, dear Lord, we offer ourselves, asking that you take our hearts, minds, and wills and use them to fulfill the plans you have for your creation. Grant us the grace to yield ourselves to you—time, talents, all—as we seek to hear and answer your claim on our lives.
Bless those whom you have called to ordained service in the life of this congregation. May their ministry reflect your love as they share the gifts that you have given in service of this congregation and the world.
As your children and citizens of the world you created, we pray that all peoples would come to profess your holy name, to trust your steadfast love, and to live together in your peace.
Lead all nations in the way of justice and goodwill. Direct those who govern, that they may rule fairly, maintain order, uphold those in need, and defend oppressed people.
Awaken all people to the danger we have inflicted upon the earth. Implant in each one of us a reverence for all that you have made so that we might preserve the delicate balance of creation for all coming generations.
As people who stand in need of your love and mercy, O God, we pray for comfort for all who sorrow, who are troubled, who live in poverty, sickness, grief, especially those known to us, whom we name before you in silence . . .
Heal them in body, mind, or circumstance, working in them, by your grace, wonders beyond all they may dream or hope.
Bring to our remembrance all those who, having served you on earth, now sing your praises eternally. May their endurance give us courage and their faithfulness give us hope.
Remind us again and again of your steadfast loving-kindness, of which the psalmist speaks: that when we call to you, you answer; that when we are troubled, you are there; that in you we find rescue and honor and contentment; and that you show us your salvation.
Eternal God, your will for humankind is that we live within your rule of love. Call us out of our preoccupation with riches to sense our common plight with all who suffer. Help us to identify with rich and poor alike as your children, that through mutual care and compassion we might grow toward your eternal realm.
We ask these things through Jesus Christ our Lord, who taught us to pray, Our Father . . .
(Prayer adapted from Book of Common Worship, Prayers of the People G; the hymn “Take Thou Our Minds, Dear Lord,” by William Foulkes; and Lavon Bayler’s Gathered by Love.)
Prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church