Sunday, January 24, 2010
Offered by Alice M. Trowbridge, Associate Pastor
We awoke by your light this morning, almighty God, and through the low-hanging, gray skies of this winter day, we gather to proclaim that it is by your grace that we live and move and have our being. We come this morning with a heightened awareness of the fragility of life and of your mighty and tender strength that helps us to endure. We have seen your glory in recent days, in acts of courage, compassion, and common humanity, and we give you grateful thanks and praise for your love that is everlasting, your love that upholds us, challenges us, calls us out from darkness into the light of the life you intend for your creation.
We pray today for loved ones and friends tested by unexpected illness; we pray for hearts grieving loss; for places where humanity is met with the tragic forces of nature; places across the world where war rages on. In each of these we look into the eyes of another and see ourselves; we come face to face with our own vulnerability. We recognize our frailties, how we can fall prey to lesser instincts, cling to fear, and amidst the cruelties of life, we can become encumbered by darkness. Forgive us, dear Lord. Remind us of the words of the psalmist who knows your ways and calls them perfect, you who call us out of darkness and into the light—for darkness is as light to you, and there is no place we can find ourselves where you have not already been, preparing the way, hallowing the ground.
Especially today we pray for the people of Haiti, whose lives have been shattered. We pray for the suffering and the sick, we pray for relief workers. Fortify and sustain your people to do your work of healing and compassion. We pray for our president and his advisors who govern this land. In the complexity of public policy and rule of law, we pray for the clarity of your truths to guide all elected officials to further justice, freedom, and peace. We pray for leaders of all nations, for your people around the globe, and where neighbors and loved ones are in need, grant your strength, your courage, and the gift of a quiet mind and resilience, to rise up, to rise again, to be restored and renewed.
As the years wear on, O God, and we are tempted to relent or rest, help us dig deeper and hold on, and remind us that you delight not in our complacency, but in our living fully, trusting in your love and grace, willing to take risks to think boldly, to love deeply, and always to hope. Grant our spirits rebirth, O God. “Come into my light,” you say, “come to the life I intend for you, where souls are revived, hearts are made joyful, eyes are radiant, and thoughts are made pure” (Psalm 19). O God, may it be so, for us and for all your creation. We pray in gratitude and always by your grace, through Jesus Christ your Son, our Lord, who taught us to pray together saying, Our Father . . .
Prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church