Sunday, April 7, 2013
Offered by Adam H. Fronczek, Associate Pastor
Gracious God, prayer is our sacred conversation with you—centuries old, yet new every time we bow our heads; sacred because of your holiness; sacred because you have created us to be in relationship with you; sacred because you welcome our innermost thoughts, our most intense desires, our heaviest worries, and you invite us to lay them at your feet. Hear our prayers, O God.
On this day, God, we ask that you would hear our prayers for the youth of our congregation and throughout our city. We know that you are present in the midst of the struggles and triumphs of their lives. We thank you for their gifts, whether they are in music or scholarship or athletics or something quite different. We ask that you would stand by them in the midst of bullying or the pressures of substance abuse. We ask that you would bless them as they grow in faith, as they discover who they are and who you are calling them to be, and as they express doubt and ask questions. We pray, O God that you would open our hearts to them, wherever they may be on their journey of faith. And as they are confirmed this morning, we ask that you would help all of us to take seriously in our own lives the questions they are asked and the commitments they make. May we never stop asking what it means that we are baptized, that we are called to be your servants, that we have committed to be your representatives out in the world. May we never stop expressing our own doubts: Why, O Lord, if you are there, is there so much violence on our streets, so much disaster in the natural world, so much war and hunger that never seems to end? Why are there so many broken marriages, abusive homes, so much depression and anxiety around and among us?
We pray for all of those situations, O God. Show yourself, in real ways, reveal your presence, in hospital rooms and around dinner tables, on street corners and in schoolyards; show us how you are working to redeem the world. And help us to know what part we must play. Help us to never stop asking the difficult questions. Help us not to be satisfied with easy answers.
We know, O God, that you are Lord, and you alone. Help us to resist the temptation to put other things in the place that belongs to you, to know the fleeting nature of jobs or money or the gathering of all our material stuff, stuff that brings no comfort, no peace. You alone, Lord, are the source of life. May we seek your will; may it be written upon our hearts and reflected in the lives we live. May we hear the wisdom gained by those who have gone before us and pass on what we can to those among us who are the future of your church.
Our Father . . .
Prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church