Sunday, August 10, 2008
Offered by Adam H. Fronczek, Associate Pastor
Lord, we come into your house this morning, each with our own joys, our own concerns, our own needs. You meet us here. You greet us as the sun rises on another day in your crowded world. You gather us in prayer and send us out for service so that the evil and hardships in this world will never crowd out the good.
Life in this world can leave us feeling like we are alone or naïve and foolish to believe. We don’t expect to see a lot of miracles; we are overwhelmed by the difficulties that consume us; we wait for some abatement of the consuming waters, asking, “Who’ll stop the rain?”
But as for us, our prayer is to you, O Lord. You challenge what we think and know about reality. So save us, O God, when the water comes up to our necks.
At an acceptable time, O God, in the abundance of your steadfast love, answer us. With your faithful help, rescue us from sinking.
Answer us, O Lord, because your steadfast love is good.
We live in a world in which families are straining to survive. Television and politics would lead us to believe that adultery, substance abuse, and lack of regard are the norm. Our own lives lead us to believe that these things happen too often. But you, O Lord, stand for something better. So convince us once again that family, in its great variety of forms, is a word for those who are faithful and steadfast, who struggle together to make life about more than bad habits and lowered expectations. Family means presence and effort and often means forgiveness, which begins with you, Lord, so forgive us where we have fallen short, and lead us to forgive others.
We live in a world that is at war today. We pray for your children in Russia and Georgia, in Iraq and Afghanistan. We ask that you would pacify places where people struggle for power, for control, and for independence. But you, O Lord, are a God whose kingdom knows no boundaries. Lead us toward acceptance rather than division. Help us to recognize that our dependence upon one another is more important that separations made by national lines. Help leaders to empower the powerless instead of taking more for themselves. As the world gathers in Beijing for peaceable competition, grant safe passage to athletes and travelers who will watch them, and grant a measure of your peace where violence has taken place. In all places, help us to make efforts at reconciliation. Challenge us to take an active role in the redemption of the world.
Lord, we know we cannot do it all on our own, so make our trust in God as deep as the waters that threaten to consume us. Empower us to bring a measure of your peace and justice and hope into a world that is in great need. Guide us with the words your Son, Jesus Christ, gave to us when he taught us to pray saying, Our Father . . .
Prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church