Sunday, September 2, 2012
Offered by Judith L. Watt, Associate Pastor
Gentle, humble, Savior Jesus, we are a strong people, gifted in many ways. Each one of us, by your grace, has enjoyed the joys and endured sorrows of this life. We are survivors. And being survivors, we resist—so often we resist—admitting that we are also weary. Thank you for the invitation to turn to you, not only in our strength but also with our weariness, with our burdens. In this week to come, may we be reminded every day, to accept your invitation to kneel at your feet, to lift up our burdens, to realize you carry them with us.
Hear our prayers for the world. Again we pray for what seems impossible: peace in places where war reigns. We pray for an end to strife over boundaries. We pray for understanding of differences between peoples. We pray for healing of age-old ethnic and racial hatreds, passed down generation to generation.
We pray for our own nation. Help us to make good choices in our voting. Lead us in wading through campaign rhetoric and vitriol so that we might hear vision and policy that would be based on principles of justice. We pray for courage for both presidential campaign organizations—courage to speak with authenticity, courage to take a stand against empty spin and proliferation of sound bites. Give us courage to resist adding to the hostility. Replace our fear over shrinking resources with knowledge of the abundance offered in a life of obedience to you.
Gracious God, there are people in this sanctuary who have suffered great loss. For those who have suffered loss of relationship, wrap your arms around them and give them a sign of your care. For those who have lost jobs, we pray for provision and hope. For those who wonder about their health and worry about the future, lead them to sound medical advice and remind us all that you hold our lives, that you know our futures. For those who have experienced loss beyond what they ever dreamed could be possible, we pray for trust and the miracle of assurance that can only come from you.
Be with our school teachers and children, our school boards and administration, and bring resolution to negotiations between teachers and administration. Be with children starting a new school year. No matter what their age, give them confidence and new friends and remind them to ask you for help. For the neighborhoods in Chicago torn apart by increasing violence, please, O God, bring peace and people who care and let love reign over hate.
For our many blessings, poured out each day, we give you all praise and thanksgiving. Hear us now, as we pray the prayer Jesus taught, the prayer that asks for your ways to prevail on this earth, Our Father . . .
Prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church