Sunday, November 18, 2007
Offered by Dana Ferguson, Executive Associate Pastor
God of all power and beauty and grace, you come among us. You come among us giving bread in the wilderness, homes to the exiles, futures to the lost, comfort to the lonely. You give life and breath to the world, and we receive. You give miracles of deliverance and newness, and we receive. You give yourself in the person of Jesus Christ, and we receive. The pattern is clear enough among us. You come and give and overwhelm us. You give far more abundantly than we can ask or imagine, and we receive. So we pray that in these days of thanksgiving you would give ways to say thanks with our words, thanks with our study, thanks with our money, thanks with conversations, thanks with our lives.
As we gather around table in the week ahead, let loose our tongues, we pray, and not only our tongues but thousands and thousands to sing our amazement at all you are in our lives, to sing old, old songs that we have loved so well and to tell the unique stories of our lives that are your grace living day in and day out and to tell the old, old story of you living and leading in this world. And as we celebrate, let us not forget those whose tongues are paralyzed by hurts that are too deep, fear that is too massive, hate that is too torrid, alienation that is too thick. As we celebrate welcoming home old friends and cherished family, let us remember those who sit waiting to welcome home those who spend their nights and days on the battlefield who afford us residing safely at home, those with grief fresh and loneliness long who wait for comfort and the day when new beginnings take their hold, those who long to set before their children the bounty of a full table but have no work to do, those who await medical tests and procedures and fear that life may never be healthy again. As we sit around table this week, remind us and remind them, O God, that you have ears—ears to listen, to heed, to care, to promise.
And then, when we have been nourished from table this week and are full and satisfied, send us out into your world again, ready to let loose our tongues to veto hunger and poverty, to override need and abandonment, to cancel out hurt and dying. When at our table we have claimed all that is good and right and wonderful, so send us forth with a thousand tongues to sing the praises of your love in our world in the innocence of little ones, in the wisdom of older ones, in the sustaining power of close ones, in the inspiring ability of the noble ones. Open our eyes, O God, that in the week ahead we might claim all that is good and right and in the months and years ahead we might claim boldly and courageously your great love at work in this world. And hear us now as we pray together saying, Our Father . . .
(Portions of this prayer were taken and adapted from Inscribing the Text by Walter Brueggemann.)
Prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church