Prayers of the People

Sunday, March 18, 2012
Offered by Judith L. Watt, Associate Pastor

Almighty and tender God, you are immortal and invisible and yet, in Jesus, you are friend, and as Holy Spirit you hover over us just as you hovered over the waters at the beginning of creation. We need you in all of these ways—to be the God who takes our breath away when we see beauty or miracle or mystery, to be the needed friend who always has time for us and our questions and tears, our joys and celebrations, and to be Spirit, always empowering us even when we don’t feel empowered, brooding over us, lifting us up.

Thank you for drawing us here and giving us time to be here. Thank you for the tradition of song sung and word proclaimed and preached. Thank you for the gift of prayer. Thank you for the people in our lives who are in some way responsible for our being part of this faith.

We come before you knowing that your world needs you. We cry out at the continuation of violence in so many places: Syria, Sudan, Afghanistan, faraway places and places just blocks away—Little Village, Englewood, even places steps from this church. We pray for victims of violence, but we also pray for perpetrators of violence too. Draw them to you. Heal the wounds of the victims and heal the woundedness of those who oppress and threaten and bully.

We lift up our loved ones to you, children, young children, and grown children. We pray for them to have faith in you, for a strength that comes from knowing you. And for those of us without our own children, we pray for the children of this church, for they belong to all of us. Lead their teachers. Be with their youth leaders.

We pray for our parents, some with needs of healing, others with financial needs, some in the throes of grief. And we thank you for parents we have lost or those we’ve never known. We pray to lean on the promises of faith for them.

Tender God, we lift up our church to you and ask that you hold us close, that you lead us in courage, that you give space for our gifts to be used, that you surround our leaders in making decisions that are sometimes easy and sometimes very hard. The changing nature of our worlds and the changing nature of our lives unsettle us. In our unsettled lives, remind us that you are our true refuge and strength, that you are Perfect Love, that you so loved the world with such magnitude we can scarcely take it in. And please, O God, give us the gift of grateful hearts. We offer these prayers to you in the name of your Son and our Savior, saying together, Our Father . . .

Prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church


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