Sunday, April 27, 2008
Offered by Adam H. Fronczek, Associate Pastor
Lord, God, you come to us as one unknown. You are ever present in our lives, though often we do not see you and often we do not understand. But we come to know you in our experiences. In the toils, conflicts, and sufferings of life, we feel your presence, guiding us, calling us, sending us into the world. And so we pray for the needs of that world, a world full of your presence and blessed by your promises.
Lord, the psalmist sings that in your presence the sun shall not strike us by day, nor the moon by night, but we see around us people who have been struck down. We pray for the people of our city and our nation and our world who have been struck down by crime. We pray not only for the crimes of action, but for crimes of neglect. We pray for those who suffer for lack of food and clothing and shelter, and we pray for those who suffer for lack of parents and role models, and for lack of education and opportunity. We pray that for those who are struck down in the world you would empower us to help, that those who have been struck down might rise up again.
Lord, the psalmist sings that in the face of evil you will keep us; in the dark nights of our lives you will neither slumber nor sleep. Be present to those for whom the nights have been long and dark. We pray your presence with those who are sleepless and with those who are stressed beyond what they can bear. We pray for those who are sick and lack comfort, and we pray for those who feel alone. We pray for those who have sought solace from their pain in even darker places, abusing alcohol and drugs, and those who are stuck in a destructive relationship. We pray, O Lord, that you would uphold us with the strength of your presence when we cannot stand on our own. Remind us that we can begin again, even when we are sure we cannot.
Lord, the psalmist sings that you will keep our going out and our coming in from this time on and forevermore. And so we pray for your presence in all of our going out and coming in. In the ordinariness of every day, may we have a sense of your presence. Show us your comfort in the embrace of a friend. Help us to bring a sense of your sustaining power into the upbuilding of our families and homes. Help us also to know your presence in the challenge of work to be done and in the persistence of questions that go unanswered. We pray for new lives today, lives whose goings out have just begun, and we pray for your aged children, who are coming in at last, preparing to find their rest with you. In the mystery of all of those goings and comings, we lift our eyes to the hills, from whence your help comes to us. Our Father . . .
Prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church