Sunday, August 17, 2008
Offered by Alice M. Trowbridge, Associate Pastor
Eternal God, your faithful servants through the ages have worshiped you in spirit and truth, and by their example and with our own authentic faith, we join our hearts in worshiping you this day, in response to your astonishing love.
We praise you for the earth and all its splendor: the soil and the sunshine and the crisp blue skies, the fullness of your bounty visible in the flourishing courtyard gardens, and the wind-crested waters, all gleaming by your design. We thank you for these summer days, for times of leisure and renewal, times of beginning again. And we come today as seekers, knowing that you meet us where we are, and you show us the way. For the promise of your guidance, Lord, and for the companionship of the Holy Spirit, we offer you our grateful praise.
We thank you for the church universal and for this church, where we join together in community to remember the life you call us to lead—one of genuine faith and ardent hope; a life of compassion and kindness; a life where our actions speak of justice and peace. We thank you, dear Lord, for the intercession of Christ when we fall short of these goals, for the times when we have mistakenly allowed the strivings of our lives to overshadow the steady reminder of your presence in all life’s realms. Forgive us, O God, and rebuild us in your image. Teach us again the meaning of true discipleship, and plant our feet upon the rock that none can move, that of our Lord Jesus Christ, who knows us and who stands with us always.
You are the Lord of all, and you are with us in all our suffering. Our world is diminished by war, disease, poverty, and famine; people live in fear. We pray especially today for the conflict in Georgia, in Iraq, in Afghanistan. We know of these situations only in part, but you know them intimately, so we pray for comfort and security and lasting peace.
We pray for those who are ill of health, those who await test results, those whose strength is waning; may each know your silent presence and find comfort there.
We pray for those who have lost a loved one, those who grieve this morning. Remind us all once again of your eternity and the company of heaven, and where our vision fails, carry us by the gift of renewed trust in you.
We pray for our loved ones, our families and friends with whom life has deeper meaning and unexpected grace. We give thanks for our elders and peers and those who have loved us and shown us what it means to be humble, to not think of ourselves as too wise, and to be seekers—with curiosity and fervor and zeal for life’s joys and your abundant love.
Remind us of the ultimate purpose of our lives, to grow in our relationship with you, and that in so doing, we will discover a quiet peace beyond any we alone can achieve, for in you we are fed by the living waters that nourish us in the ultimate way, in the places we need it most. And so take us now, dear God, and fill us with hope for all that will be, through Jesus Christ our Lord, who taught us to pray together, saying, Our Father . . .
Prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church