Sunday, January 8, 2012
Offered by Judith L. Watt, Associate Pastor
Great God, lover of our whole being, in this season, when we remember and celebrate the journey of the wise astrologers who brought gifts to you at your birth, we ask, “What gift can we bring?” We ask, “What words can we say that could possibly express the joy of finding you?”
What we know we can bring is our hope for a better world, our renewed commitment to walk the future with you, and our dim understanding that you are found not just in the comfortable places of our lives but in the dark and smelly places of this world, too.
O God, we also bring to you our tragedies and our shortcomings and our guilt, and our frustration and our desperation and our grief and our worries. Worries about ourselves and worries about our loved ones and worries about this world. And so we ask, for this moment at least, that you would help us to put those worries at your feet, on your shoulders. We remember your invitation: “Come to me, all ye who are weary and carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”
We pray for nations in turmoil. We think of the nations represented by the cabdriver we may have met last week or the checkout person at the grocery store or the physician we recently visited or the person who often sits next to us in the pew. It is a gift to cross paths with so many people from so many places, but help us to recognize how little we know of those other places and how little we know of one another’s lives and how little we know of one another’s burdens. Replace our lack of knowledge and our nearsighted vision with increased compassion and curiosity. Remind us every day that we are related because we are human. And God, we pray for peace—again. Bring peace to the nations, peace to the halls of congress, peace that comes because justice is our common goal.
We give thanks for each of the babies who were baptized this morning and ask that in your good time, each one of them would come to know you as Savior and Lord. We give thanks for this church community and the privileges of ministry you have bestowed on us. Keep us faithful to your calling for our church and keep us centered on the One recognized by the wise men, and when recognizing you causes us to have to turn another way, give us the courage to do so. We pray in the name of the Christ, who taught his disciples how to pray, saying, Our Father . . .
Prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church