Sunday, September 9, 2012
Offered by Adam H. Fronczek, Associate Pastor
Lord, we come to you this morning from so many different places. Some of us carry anxiety or loss or depression and have come seeking comfort; others arrived this morning waking to the glory of this bright morning, seeking words of challenge for the week ahead. We often do not fully comprehend our very own hearts and minds, our very own needs, and we can only hope to understand something of the needs carried by the person sitting to our right or to our left. And this is not even to mention your children who do not sit right by our side. The stranger in the hospital bed. The hungry man on the sidewalk. The frightened widow living in the path of war. They are all our brothers and sisters in this vast human family, and you, O Lord, know them all by their names and their faces. You know all of our hearts. We cannot pray for all that we should, but we lift up a few needs to you, and we ask you to make your presence known in every place where it is needed.
We ask for your presence this week among children who are returning to school, the teachers who nurture them, and the parents who send them off to school and welcome them home. Bless all those who teach and all those who learn, for our future is held in their hands.
We pray this week for the leaders and future leaders of our nation. We pray that you would restore civility to our political dialogue. We pray that you would guide our elected officials to dedicate themselves to leadership more than to elections. And we ask that in times of frustration you would restore our hope in the process.
We pray for those who are overcome this day by heartbreak, anxiety, addiction, physical ailments that won’t go away. Stretch out your healing hands, great God. Create for us divinely shaped spots of time. Hold back the rushing river long enough for us to feel your Spirit flowing through us once again.
Help us to feel your healing protest, O Lord, against all in this world that is weakened or broken, all that is lost, all that seems hopeless, and generate in us a feeling of hope, for in you we have already found salvation. We are gathered here, flawed people that we are, because you sent your Son, Jesus Christ, not to congratulate the perfect, but to seek and save the lost. You find in us so much to love; help us to find much to love in one another. Help us to feel your presence guiding us through times of hardship, redeeming us in the face of past mistakes, inspiring us to work for a better future for ourselves and for all the children of your world, wherever our hearts may be this day. We pray in the name of Jesus Christ our Savior, who taught us to pray: Our Father . . .
Prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church