Sunday, June 13, 2010
Offered by Adam H. Fronczek, Associate Pastor
Gracious God, your Word reminds us that in life and in death we belong to you. Our lives are full and crowded. Full with working and saving, driving and cooking, paying and giving, our lives are crowded. And yet our lives can seem quite empty. We are overscheduled but undernourished. We struggle to find meaning; we can imagine our death. And we are faced by a precarious existence, a surrounding world that threatens to overwhelm us with its questions: What will I do? What should I be? How should I live? What will happen to me when I die? In the midst of our uncertainties, hear our prayers, O God.
Help us to doubt when we need to, and stand firm with us when we wander. When we are threatened by earthquakes and floods from beyond our control and by oil spills and financial woes of our own making, help us to trust in you.
We pray for the many places where we do not understand the suffering of your world. We pray for Israel and Palestine and Arkansas and the Gulf Coast. We pray for homes stricken with poverty and abuse, and we pray for our own homes and families. We pray for sick newborns and hospitalized adults. We pray for your presence amidst the uncertainty of infertility and the mental anguish of the depressed and the lonely. And we pray for your presence in the midst of the many pressures that we allow to crowd you out of our lives.
In the midst of these signs of fear and death, revive us, O God, and bring us back to life. As you fill the empty jars with meal, as you fill the mouth of a child with the breath of life, fill our lives with the meaning we seek. Help us to see the simplest and yet the most mysterious truth: we are alive! Bless the children among us; may they show us the promise of new life. Help us to see that you bring life even out of death. In the midst of our building and producing, our creating and procreating, may we never be discouraged. Where there is anger or sadness, fear or insecurity, depression or anxiety, poverty or violence, hear our prayers. Where there are stains of death, wipe them away.
In all of our beginnings and endings, may we begin and end in you. May we believe in your promise for our everyday living that the God of life will make all things new. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more; all that has been wrong in this world will be made right.
Shape our lives with the story of Jesus—the one who defeats death, the one who taught us to pray, saying, Our Father . . .
Prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church