Sunday, April 21, 2013
Offered by Adam H. Fronczek, Associate Pastor
God, grant this world your peace. Grant us your peace, because there are many among us who do not know what to do or where to turn. Stretch out your healing hand over a world in need. We pray for the people of West, Texas, and the people of Boston; for people far away from us in Korea and Japan living in fear, and our close neighbors in and around Chicago overcome by flood waters, heartbroken by the loss of hard-earned property, dismayed at the sight of memories soaked and washing away. Our first and greatest prayer this day, O God, is that you would be present with those who have suffered this week. As we hold silence remembering them, Lord, hear our prayer.
As we pray for others, God, we also humbly pray for ourselves. Grant us your comfort today, because this week has overwhelmed us. We are fearful. Fearful of where the next act of violence may take place, fearful that our loved ones may be taken from us, fearful that we have lost control—that our preparations and precautions may not be enough.
So, help us, this day, O God, to remember that your refrain is “do not fear.” Do not fear but believe; do not fear, for I am with you, I will not fail or abandon you; do not fear, for I have overcome the world. God, you have said to us that you will never leave or forsake us, so we can say, I will not fear. I will not be dismayed; I will remember that you, O Lord, are my light and my salvation, who or what shall I ever fear?
So even in the midst of our creeping fears, we give thanks: Thanks for the hope shown this week by citizens of Boston. Thanks for the resilience of West, Texas. Thanks for mercy shown to a troubled young man who committed a fatal crime. Thanks for hearts and hands that gather around those who have experienced loss and who seek to help, to hold the hurting, to love the vulnerable, to show the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, because that grace has been so abundantly shown to us.
Our Father . . .
Prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church