Sunday, July 8, 2012
Offered by John W. Vest, Associate Pastor
God of wonder,
from subatomic particles we cannot see
to the vast expanses of the universe beyond our reach;
from the miracle of new life
to the unknown secrets of death and what lies beyond;
from unexpected friendships
to inexplicable love,
to our stubborn persistence with hatred and violence,
life is a mystery we long to understand.
God, as we seek out knowledge and wisdom,
you reveal them to us in many ways:
in symbols and signs,
metaphors and analogies,
dreams and imaginations,
and, perhaps most often, in the tangible realities of everyday life.
God, as you take ordinary elements of life—food and water—
and infuse them with your love and grace,
take us, your people—your ordinary people—
and infuse us with that same love and grace,
so that we might be peacemakers and reconcilers in a world of division and strife;
healers in a world of pain and suffering;
comforters in a world of grief and sorrow;
providers in a world of hunger and thirst;
shelter in a world of homelessness;
sanctuary in a world of danger;
liberators in a world of oppression.
On this day, as we gather together as a community of faith,
we lift before you in prayer
those who are sick, those who are dying, those who mourn;
those suffering from floods, fires, droughts, and heat waves;
victims of violence in Afghanistan and right here in Chicago,
and also those who cause violence;
unrest in Syria and throughout the Middle East;
those looking for a new home and a more promising way of life;
those seeking equality and justice in communities that ostracize them.
God, just a day after the adjournment of the General Assembly
of our Presbyterian Church (USA),
we pray for our denomination,
stuck in so many ways,
hamstrung by division, distrust, fear, and apathy,
yet hopeful that you will save us from ourselves in our wilderness,
that you will release us, as your people, to fulfill your mission in the world.
God, we are hungry;
we are thirsty;
we are tarnished by sin.
Yet you feed us;
you give us drink;
you cleanse us;
you fill us up.
Fill us now with your Holy Spirit.
Transform us into the likeness of Christ,
to be his body in the world.
Even now, we join our voices to his
as we pray for the coming of your kingdom
as he taught us to pray.
Our Father . . .
Prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church