Sunday, September 26, 2010
Offered by Thomas C. Rook, Parish Associate
Lord of all life, as we come before you, quiet our noisy thoughts, calm our anxious hearts. Within our regrets about the past and uncertainty in the present and what lies ahead, may we experience your sheltering love and grace.
Through your prophets and through our own life experiences, O God, we know you as a moral force who, in care of your children, calls for justice and fairness in human relations. And so we remember those who struggle with daily insecurities—in the Middle East, in Africa, here in Chicago—as they hunger for fairness and justice. We pray for national and local leaders who need wisdom and courage and competence to make hard decisions in management of our common resources for the common good. And within our own lives, we pray that each of us find ways of expressing concern and kindness, seeing within others, no matter how outwardly different, our shared needs and hopes.
We are grateful this morning, O Lord, for all those in our lives for whom we care and who care for us. And thank you for this community of Christ, for the members and friends of Fourth Presbyterian Church, for their faithfulness and generosity and goodwill, for their voice of advocacy for the voiceless—the stranger and alien, the homeless, the addicted. Trusting, O Lord that none of these is lost to your love and mercy, we pray today . . .
for all those who feel alone and close to despair
for ones whose spirits are clouded with concerns about their health
for those who are in need of work and cannot find it
for ones who have suffered loss in their lives, loss that cannot be restored
While we may not know everything, gracious Lord, we can know you and your love. And so we give you thanks that you are our merciful Lord of the second chance, of new beginnings, and “though afflicted, we are not crushed; perplexed, we are not driven to despair; struck down but not destroyed.” Reassure us that within the economy of your grace it is possible to fail and yet not be a failure and that our falling does not prevent you from loving us. Renew our trust in the One in whom our highest good is found, our deepest strength grounded, even in our faithful Savior Jesus Christ, who brings triumph out of tragedy and life out of death and who urges us yet to pray in these words our Lord’s Prayer, Our Father . . .
Prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church