Sunday, February 26, 2012
Offered by Calum I. MacLeod, Executive Associate Pastor
We come before you, O Lord, at the beginning of this holy season,
knowing that you have called your disciples to go forward with you
on the way to the cross.
We come before you as receivers of the mark of baptism,
pilgrims on the journey, redeemed by your saving love.
So hear our thanksgiving for your Son, whose journey to the cross reflects the love
of One who would lay down his life for his friends and who would call us friends.
And hear our thanksgiving for the faithful who
throughout the ages have sought to follow that road
since you first took the journey those many years ago.
Hear our prayer of thanks
that we are to be counted in the line of the saints.
Grant that we would be given ears to hear your gospel
and strength to stay true on the road until we come to our Calvary.
Save us, O Lord, in all that we do as your disciples.
Save us from false familiarity with your journey.
May we never presume to step into your shoes,
but make us small enough to fit our own
and to walk in love and wonder behind you.
Come close, gracious God,
and hear our prayers for the world,
the church, and your people.
You walked into a place of temptation, Lord.
We pray for a world tempted by power and popularity;
for politicians tempted to compromise the well-being of the largest number
for the comfort of the few;
for industrial leaders tempted to sacrifice the self-replenishing earth
for short-term increases in profitability.
Strengthen them with your hand to love your people and your creation.
You walked in hunger, Lord.
We pray for the people of our world whose bellies are not filled this day;
for communities struggling to dig for clean, fresh water;
we pray for those who hunger for an end to bombs and conflict and hate.
Bring near the day when the hungry will be satisfied.
You walked in the presence of idolatry, Lord.
We pray for your church in all its places, styles, and traditions.
Keep her free from idolizing the world’s ways
and set her heart on your self-giving love.
We pray for your people gathered here.
Inspire our mission life, strengthen our relationships,
and make us all ready to forgive and be forgiven.
You walked alone, Lord.
Be close to all who today live primarily in the context of loneliness,
the loneliness of illness and fear, of suffering and rejection.
Stay beside all who near death.
Let us hear again the promise that
nothing in all creation can separate us from your love in Christ.
And in his name and with his words we pray together, saying, Our Father . . .
(Portions of this prayer are from Lent and Easter Readings from Iona, Wild Goose Publications)
Prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church