Prayers of the People

April 20, 2008
Offered by Adam H. Fronczek, Associate Pastor

Lord Jesus Christ, you are the light of the world. As light breaks forth on our lives and on our city this day, the heavens are telling the glory of God.

Yet under the bright star of the morning lies a city and a world that is in need of healing. Under the canopy of a bright blue sky today are people who are in need of your love and your presence and our help.

We know that when we call upon you, you will incline your ear to us. And so, Lord, help us to seek refuge in you in this hour as we bring our prayers before you.

Lord, you have seen the afflictions of your world. You call us to love one another, but you have witnessed us fighting, neighbor against neighbor and nation against nation. As people once picked up stones against Stephen, you have seen us also pick up stones against one another and store up arms to scare one another. Our arms races happen in nightstands and backseats, in the streets and alleyways of our cities. They continue in the shipping ports of China, in the storehouses of America, and on the roads of Zimbabwe. We pray this day, O Lord, for all of the places of the world where there are too many stones and too many guns. We ask that you would grant us the courage and strength to stand against violence and to look for a way to peace.

Lord, you have seen the afflictions of your world. You call us to love one another, but even when we have no guns, we keep up our defenses. Remind us of the need to heal divisions. We pray for our brothers and sisters of other faith traditions. We pray especially this week for our Roman Catholic brothers and sisters and for their pope as they continue to work for reconciliation. Forgive us all, Lord, and teach us to forgive others. Help us not only to open our eyes to the needs of our human brothers and sisters in distant places and other traditions, but also to realize that our deepest divisions often exist in our own homes and lives. We hold grudges and refuse to forgive one another. We are afraid to love others for fear that they will not love us back. Lord, make us bold to love one another as you have loved us.

Lord, you have seen the afflictions of your world. You call us to love one another as you have loved us—and so we must remember how you have loved us. Born in Bethlehem, you came to live among us in this world, experiencing all the joy and pain of human life. We know that as we struggle, you have been there. You took little children on your knee and fed a multitude. You made sick people well; you bound up the brokenhearted; you celebrated with your friends; you prayed to God and showed us how to live in the midst of a world where things are not yet perfect. You even went to the cross for us, and there you defeated death, so we know we can trust you when you say to us, “In my Father’s house, there are many rooms, and I go to prepare a place for you.” Thank you, Jesus.

We pray as you taught us: Our Father . . .

Prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church


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