Sunday, January 27, 2008
Offered by Martha Langford, Pastoral Resident
Steadfast and faithful God, we raise our prayers to you, calling from our hearts with the pleas of the psalmist: Hear, O Lord, when we cry aloud; be gracious to us and answer us! We lift our voices to you, for you are our light and salvation, the stronghold of our lives in whom we trust.
Heavenly Father, your Son Jesus Christ called out to the world, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” He called disciples to follow and calls us still. We pray this day that the church, which bears his name, be united as a witness to his redeeming love. Strengthen us with your Holy Spirit. Give us the will to use our hands and feet and voices to act out and proclaim Christ’s vision of your kingdom in our communities and across the world.
Creator of the cosmos, you set the stars in the heavens and fixed the limits of the seas. You established this world as a place of beauty and found it good. You created humankind and set us in the garden to be stewards of the earth. Yet we most often live not as earth’s caretakers but as if we were its conquerors, vandals of natural resources and despoilers of peaceful life. Recreate us with your Holy Spirit. Ease our fear, amend our greed and vanity, and give us hearts that seek contentment in you alone.
Sovereign God, you sent your Son to redeem this world, which is filled with war and prejudice, poverty and oppression. We pray this day for your world, that it might be a place of peace and justice and righteousness. Draw all humankind with the tether of your Spirit. Guide the hands and hearts of earthly rulers so that they would seek the greater good and work diligently for the welfare of all people. Move them to humble service so that they might seek your peace.
God of compassion, the ministry of our Lord was also one of healing and comfort that tended to the sick, the blind, the deaf, and the lame. Through the example of his care, we see more of your love for all peoples. May your Holy Spirit bring a healing touch among all those who are ill and support for all those who care for them. May we also bear healing hands and caring arms for those who suffer, and may they be restored to the wholeness of life that you intend.
Eternal God, comfort those who mourn this day. Fill the emptiness of their loss with your boundless peace and the blessed assurance that nothing—in life or in death—can separate us from your love through our Lord Jesus Christ.
God of grace and mercy, we too ask with the words of the psalmist that we should live in your house, the house of the Lord, all the days of our lives—to behold your beauty, to inquire in your temple, and to find shelter with you during days of trouble. And may we lift up our heads in song and lift up our voices in prayer praising your name. Amen.
Prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church