Sunday, February 17, 2013
Offered by Adam H. Fronczek, Associate Pastor
Gracious and holy God, we often live as if you are far away, beyond the reach of our hearts and our voices, and we do not try, do not bother to cry out to you. We allow our prayer life to wither. But we believe that you are here, your promise is that you are near us, and so we take this time to bring our prayers to you, to lay our burdens at your feet. Hear us, great God.
We pray for needs that are near to us and ones that are far away. We pray for the deep struggles of those whom most of us only read about: the people of Syria, North Korea, and Mali. We pray for those whose homes are much closer to ours but who may seem as far away to us as in distant lands: immigrants struggling to make a start, impoverished parents and children in dangerous parts of our city, women and men who will spend today in our city but locked up in jails and prisons. May we never forget, Lord, that these are the brothers and sisters of our human family. Be present with them today.
We pray also for those who appear to be close to us but may be far away today. We pray for places in ourselves and our closest relationships where there is malice, envy, suffering, or anger, where depression or anxiety, violence or addiction separates us from those we should love most. We pray that you would grant us the courage, the forgiveness, the grace we need to heal the brokenness that so often surrounds us.
And Lord, in this Lenten season, we pray for our relationship with you. We pray that, here at the start of our journey through Lent, every one of us would know that wherever we are on our journey today, you will find us. Whether we feel near to you today or quite far away, we are confident that for this day, you have placed us where we need to be, doing what we need to be doing, and we ask that you would make us more aware of your presence within us, alongside us, filling us when we are empty, carrying our burdens and celebrating our joys, so that we would confidently remember that we are not alone.
And because we are not alone, we join our voices together, and pray to you the prayer taught to us by your Son, Jesus Christ: Our Father . . .
Prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church