Prayers of the People

October 21, 2007
Offered by John M. Buchanan, Pastor

       We give thee but thine own,
       Whate’er the gift may be;
       All that we have is thine alone,
       A trust, O Lord, from thee.

And so we thank you, dear God, for all the blessings of this life, for the gift of life itself—our lives with which you have entrusted us. We thank you, merciful God, for the precious lives of our dear ones, our families and friends, our beloveds, our lively children and newborn infants. And we thank you, creator God, for the amazing diversity of human life, for people of all colors, races, nations, cultures—each and every one carrying the delicious mystery of life, each and every one created in your image.

In our gratitude for life, O God, we come before you, sorry that we find it easier to pay for wars than to invest in life; persuaded to buy weapons rather than health care for our children. We come before you, gracious author of all life, sorry for all we have done to despoil our planet, our refusal to do what is necessary to sustain the lives of our children and our children’s children. We come asking for a new movement of your spirit of life to create within us and our leaders the will, the courage, the righteousness to do what must be done to honor and nurture the gift of life.

We pray in gratitude this morning for your holy church everywhere: give it courage and strength to speak truth, to work for justice, to show compassion, and to reflect your love. We pray for this church and its life and mission here on the busy Avenue. Bless its outreach programs. Bless those who look to it every day for hope and comfort and encouragement. Bless its ministers and staff and leaders and members and friends, that it may keep the light of your love burning brightly.

We pray, merciful God, for those whose needs are urgent this morning: be present with healing love to those who are ill, those in hospital beds, those who are lonely this morning and isolated. We pray for dear ones who struggle this morning with issues of employment, relationships, depression. Bless and keep and encourage them with your steadfast love. We pray for the men and women of our armed forces in harm’s way, for their families and dear ones. And as your Son commanded, we pray for the other: we pray for Muslim and Jewish leaders, brothers and sisters, in our community and throughout the world. We pray for young men and women prepared to kill themselves and others for reasons we cannot always comprehend. And, O God, we do pray for peace.

And now bless us, as we attempt to live lives that are pleasing to you. Give us the gifts we need to live: love, strength, compassion, commitment, and your good gift of joy. Remind us again that all we have is thine alone, a trust, O Lord, from him. All this we pray in the name and for the sake of Jesus Christ, who taught us to pray saying, Our Father . . .

Prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church


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