Prayers of the People

Sunday, August 22, 2010
Offered by John W. Vest, Associate Pastor

God of the world and all that is in it,
we give you thanks this morning for your love and care,
for your patience with us as we navigate this life,
for your forgiveness and grace,
for your restraint and understanding,
for your instruction and revelation.

God, we are grateful that we do not encounter life on our own.
We are thankful for your abiding presence
in the beauty of creation,
in ancient words and traditions,
in new movements of the Spirit,
in the community of faith,
in those that love us and those we love,
in our friends, and even in our enemies.

God, ever since the children of Israel cried out to you from under the yoke of slavery,
you have never left us alone.
You send prophets and priests and pastors and teachers and friends to show us your way.
And, God, you call us—as a church and as individuals—
to assume the prophetic mantle ourselves
as we engage the world around us.
From time to time, as we allow our hearts and minds to be open to your Spirit,
you show us the world through the eyes of faith.
You help us to see your creation and your children as you see them,
not as anonymous others, not as foreigners and strangers, not as enemies or opponents,
but as sisters and brothers.

God, our hearts break for those suffering from floods in Pakistan,
for those still suffering from the earthquake in Haiti,
for those still trying to recover and rebuild five years after Hurricane Katrina.
And as we remember the Gulf of Mexico,
we remember that some disasters are our own doing
and we ask for forgiveness for our complicity
and wisdom as we envision a new world where such things do not happen.

God, each of us here in this place knows someone who is sick,
someone who is injured,
someone who is dying,
someone who has died,
someone who suffers from mental illness,
someone who suffers from self-destruction,
someone who needs healing and wholeness.
God, may these precious ones feel your presence in new ways;
may they experience healing and comfort and deep, deep love.

God, in a world consumed by hatred and mistrust and prejudice and ignorance,
a world torn apart by violence and terror and war,
help us to live together in peace.
In a world of poverty and hunger and homelessness,
help us to care for each other out of the abundance you provide.
In a world of oppression and inequality,
help us to seek justice and reconciliation and freedom for all.

Thank you, God, for the eyes of faith,
eyes that see not only pain and suffering,
but opportunities for love and healing and redemption.
As we find ourselves somewhere between hope and despair,
remind us always that we are a resurrection people.
Help us to keep in our hearts and minds the promise
that no situation is beyond the reach of your redeeming love.

As we join our voices together in the prayer that Jesus taught us,
may our prayer for the transformation of the world
be more than words alone;
may our prayer continue in our actions
as we live our lives in the way of Christ.

Hear us now: Our Father . . .

Prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church


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