Prayers of the People

Sunday, July 13, 2008
Offered by Thomas C. Rook, Parish Associate

Almighty God, Creator of the universe in its vastness, we come here to worship you in your power and majesty and mystery. But we are thankful that you do not leave us alone in the cold silence of infinity. As Lord of the human heart, you come to us individually with gentle touch; you speak to us with the quietness of a whisper, patiently drawing us in love to yourself. Within the open arms of the crucified and risen Christ, you hold us safely in your love and mercy. We thank you today for guarding us thus far in our life journeys, for bringing us into relationship with yourself and with others, for comforting our wounded hearts through your forgiving grace.

We acknowledge, O Lord, that we find ourselves so often in conflict with one another. Whether by chance or by intent, we rub up against each other in hurtful ways—as individuals, as ethnic and religious groups, as nation states. Offenses, given and received, seem woven into our human experience. We are thankful that your good word to us, gracious Lord, is that you are a faithful, healing presence through it all. As our Savior encountered ones long ago, within their places of weakness and sorrow, in spirits troubled by ill health, burdened by financial and employment insecurities, in relationships wounded by sin and misunderstanding and grievance, so it’s in these places that you yet come to us today.

Thank you, gracious Lord, that you still look for us and find us within our regrets of the past, our fears of the future, and in the hard places of the present. Though we may often be faithless, you remain faithful, steadying our spirits, calming our fears, lifting us up when we fall. To those wounded ones who this day are unsure of your goodness or of their worthiness, grant them growing trust, finding in you abundant welcome and mercy and that healing, forgiving touch that Christ extends to the soul in need.

In these days of national and global concerns about war and economic uncertainties, bring wisdom to political and corporate leaders. God of the nations, inspire leaders to pursue goals of justice and fairness, of liberty and peace. And hasten that day when indeed, as envisioned by your prophets, the tools of war are changed into the implements of peace, a time when “nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.”

Gracious Lord, renew within us a spirit of trust in you, a heart of gratitude, and the will to pursue the noble purposes of Christ, in whose name we now pray together in words that he taught us, saying, Our Father . . .

Prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church


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