Sunday, October 12, 2008
Offered by Calum I. MacLeod, Acting Executive Associate Pastor
O God who brings forth order from chaos
and speaks light to dispel darkness;
God who feeds us with bread from the sky
and slakes our thirst with water from a rock;
God who welcomes us home,
like a father running to restore one who had turned away;
God whose being we cannot apprehend,
but who, in Christ, we call our friend,
make your presence known to us
as we bring our concerns for the world and your people.
In the words we say out loud, in the deep, unspoken longing of our hearts,
hear our prayers, O Lord.
Hear our prayers for the places where today chaos reigns:
chaos in the economy, where anxiety and fear are present
where once there was pride and a sense of superiority.
Forgive our human frailty in not focusing our trust on you.
We pray for those most affected by the downturn—
the one whose savings have diminished,
the one whose job is in danger,
the one whose house is lost.
We pray for the places in our world where the chaos of war and violence rule,
for people oppressed and dehumanized, dislocated and afraid.
Lord, bring to the world that orderly peace that promises
fullness of life and healing of wounds,
and may your light of reconciliation shine strongly in the lives of your people.
We remember those who are hungry today—
hungry for the physical necessities of bread, shelter, medicine—
and those who are thirsty today, who thirst for justice and equality,
thirst for opportunity and community,
thirst for the knowledge that their kids are safe from guns.
And we pray for all whose hurt has them crying out
for the soothing balm of your presence.
And in our remembering O God,
we pray that you would strengthen us to be bakers and givers of bread,
to dig deep for wells
and share the burden of carrying the water pots.
We know you, Lord, as Love—in all its simplicity and complexity,
made known to us in Jesus, our friend and liberator;
and so we would pray for people known to us,
family, friends, people beside us in the pew, public figures,
people who feel that your love has stopped short of them,
perhaps because of loss—loss of good health
or a relationship or a livelihood,
or because of a sense of being imprisoned by old ways
and unable to do the new thing.
O Lord assure them and us
of your encompassing and abiding love
And we gather together all our prayers, and the prayer of the whole church,
in saying together the words Jesus taught his friends to say:
Our Father . . .
Prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church