Prayers of the People

Sunday, May 2, 2010
Offered by Sarah A. Johnson, Minister for Congregational Care

Gracious and loving God, you are the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. Out of the dark and formless void, you called the earth into being, separating light from darkness, waters from waters, earth from sea and sky. The wonders of our world are the work of your hand. And from the earth you created each one of us, in your image you created us, breathing into us the promise of new life.

In your mercy you continue to call us into places of newness. You did not create the world to leave it to its own devices, but to dwell with us in the ordinary places of our lives, enabling us through your grace to continually be transformed in the ebb and flow of what was, what is, and of what will be. You enable us to imagine, hope in, and create better worlds.

Through you, O God, there is new life happening in us and around us each day. We give you thanks this morning for those places where we have experienced that gift of new life: a child born, a marriage blessed, a heart changed, a friendship formed, a job found, a vocation discovered, a faith renewed, an openness to another, the kindness of strangers whom have become friends, a clearer way forward, a sense of peace when the way is not yet clear, an unexpected grace.

We also ask that you hover close in those places that are in particular need of your presence and renewal: for friends and loved ones tested by unexpected illness, for those who await news amidst the uncertainly of test results, those who await healing amidst upcoming surgery. We pray this morning for those whose hearts grieve the loss of a loved one, needing comfort and reassurance in the face of death; we also pray for all those whose loneliness, depression, and anxiety threaten to overwhelm them and who are in need courage in the face of life.

We pray for all those who know the pains of our current world most deeply: for the poorest and, the marginalized in our world, the exploited, the cold, the homeless, and the hungry; for all those who face uncertain futures and daily struggles for daily needs. Keep alive in us the longing to work for a world where the inequalities of the human condition no longer exist; keep alive in us the hope that groans for your better, fairer world.

We pray for our nation and for the nations around the world, that they might, through the power of your Holy Spirit, act with justice, mercy, and humility. As our nation struggles with immigration laws, may we remember that in the goodness of your creation, O God, there is no such thing as an illegal person. May we remember the words you spoke to your people Israel: “The immigrant who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you; you shall love the immigrant as yourself for you were immigrants in the land of Egypt” (Leviticus 19:33–34). As we struggle to live faithfully according to your will and your Word, may we continue to long for that day when you will wipe away every tear, making all things new.

We pray all these things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, the God of all beginnings and endings, the one who came to make all things new, now joining voices in words that he taught us, saying together, Our Father . . .

Prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church


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