Prayers of the People

Sunday, April 22, 2012
Offered by Joyce Shin, Associate Pastor

Almighty God, your Son has charged the church to tell the world what we have seen, what we know to be true, what we have witnessed. We do not know, O Lord, where to begin. There is too much to tell, and it is not all good news. Though we have seen things that have astonished and amazed us, that have moved our hearts to sing, we have also witnessed wreckage and waste on a scale so great that it is hard to speak. Though we can speak of joy, we can testify too to sorrow.

Almighty God, you want us to speak of it all, don’t you? Not only the good, but also the bad? You want us to speak of the resurrection and the crucifixion, of the new life your Son makes possible and the death we put him through. You want us to speak of forgiveness, but also to speak out about sin.

Do not let us then, Lord, tell only partial stories, for that is what we are tempted to do. We are tempted to speak more of one than the other, more about everything lovely, everything pleasing, everything working out or about everything falling apart, the wrongdoings, the wrong values, the wrong wars. We find faults with the way things are in the world, in others, and in ourselves. Lord, show us how to live between fault and forgiveness, between wrong and right, between our sin and your salvation.

We live in the middle of things, where there is mess and confusion that cannot just be cleaned or cleared up. Be with us here, O God, so close that we cannot miss your company. And hold everything in your hands, assuring us that nothing good goes to waste and that even every piece of wreckage may in time become a work of wonder. Keep us where we are, O God, long enough to know the things of which we should speak: that you are with us, for us, and not against us. And in time show us the height and depth, length and breadth of your everlasting grace.

We pray this in the name of your Son, who taught us to pray to you, saying, Our Father . . .

Prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church


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