Prayers of the People

Sunday, August 31, 2008
Offered by Thomas C. Rook, Parish Associate

Holy God, as we come to you in prayer, trying to put words to our thoughts and emotions, let our first word to you be one of thanks. As our minds cannot encompass your greatness, so our hearts are too small to embrace the expanse of your goodness. We give you thanks that “there is a wideness in your mercy, like the wideness of the sea.”

How often, O Lord, we are more ready to acknowledge your power than we are to receive your goodness. There are ones of us who carry the burden of regrets from the past, revisiting time and again painful, accusing memories. Reassure our hearts today, merciful Lord. Help us to receive your forgiveness more fully, to hold confidently your promise that as far as the east is from the west, so far do you remove our transgressions from us. And so we thank you for your unfailing mercy, which finally trumps our inability to forgive ourselves.

There are others of us here today, O God, who have known times of closeness to you, experiencing the sense of your goodness and power, and yet for some time have felt a distance and a loss of heartfelt nearness to you. With the psalmist we can ask, “Where are you, O God?” Gracious Lord, touch afresh our hearts with your love. Let us deeply sense again your compassion as a strong father, your closeness as a nursing mother, your loyalty as our eternal friend. And so we thank you for your constant love and care.

On this Labor Day weekend, we give you special thanks, gracious Lord, for productive work to do and for the energy to work. At the same time, we recognize that many look for work and look in vain, and that many have jobs that are unfulfilling. Within the multitude of all your blessings, you know, O Lord, that our joy in life may yet be clouded by fear, by daily anxieties that depress our spirits. Around this city and this world today are ones who hunger and thirst for security and justice, for health, employment, for the necessities of life, who yearn for a respect of their humanity. As in ancient times, O God, you heard the cry of your children in Egyptian bondage, so we pray that you hear those in need today, whether in Chicago or Baghdad, in the Sudan or in the Middle East. Strengthen every man and woman who would be instruments of your peace, who would extend your heart of kindness to others, who would be your hand of helpfulness. And so we pray, gracious Lord, let us be those peacemakers, and let us look to the needs of others and pursue justice right where we live, in our everyday lives.

Hear, O Lord, these prayers and the unspoken thoughts and concerns of each heart throughout this congregation. And now joining our voices, we pray the words of the Lord’s Prayer, Our Father . . .

Prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church


126 E. Chestnut Street
(at Michigan Avenue)
Chicago, Illinois 60611.2014
(Across from the Hancock)

For events in the Sanctuary,
enter from Michigan Avenue

Getting to Fourth Church

Receptionist: 312.787.4570

Directory: 312.787.2729



© 1998—2023 Fourth Presbyterian Church