Sunday, January 3, 2010
Offered by Adam H. Fronczek, Associate Pastor
Gracious God, morning breaks on another day in your world, O God.
The coldness of the wind strikes us in the face; we brace ourselves against it; we try to resist its power. And likewise the coldness of the world around us can strike us in the face; we often feel the need for protection, for guardedness, for a barrier against that which we fear.
And so we come to you in prayer, for you are our refuge and strength.
We pray for the dangerous world in which we live. We pray for your presence in the midst of terrorism in distant Afghanistan and on our own shores. We pray for the families of those who suffer and die in the many war zones of the world. We pray for those who live in fear of violence, whether it is in a distant land, on the streets of our city, or even in our own homes. We pray to you, O God, for you promise to break the bow and shatter the spear. Make us wise and gather us in the way of peace. Help us learn to talk to one another across the boundaries that separate us.
We pray for all kinds of immediate needs in our lives and the lives of our neighbors. We pray for people who hunger and freeze in the January cold. We pray for children who received no presents for Christmas and for parents who were unable to give them. We pray for people who are jobless or behind on their bills, many due to no fault of their own. We pray for people who have made mistakes and now find themselves in a difficult place, who have turned down the wrong path and cannot seem to find their way back. We pray for exiles, for those who are separated from others and from the life of the church. We pray that you would help us to look within ourselves and reach out to those we have left behind.
We pray all of these concerns to you, O God, for you have promised to find us where we are and where we have gone astray and to lead us in a straight path where we shall not stumble. Along the way you came into the world; you became flesh like us. You knew hunger and thirst. You learned and struggled and grew up. And you taught us. You taught us to hope for something better. You taught us to love one another. You taught us through you to look at the world that seems a treacherous journey and find a river whose streams make glad the city of God.
And so we come to you in prayer, for you are our refuge and strength. May we recommit ourselves to faith and action in the world so that your refuge and strength is real to us and to others. Make us creative and relevant. Make us bold and new. Let our lives give meaning to words that may seem empty when people are suffering.
As we hold silence together, let us consider your justice and mercy that surround us . . .
“Be still and know that I am God; I am exalted among the nations; I am exalted in the earth.”
With mouths to speak and ears to hear as if for the first time, let us pray together the Lord’s Prayer: Our Father . . .
Prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church