Prayers of the People

Sunday, June 23, 2013
Offered by Joyce Shin, Associate Pastor

Everywhere we look, O Lord, we see a world in need of you. We feel its imbalance and its pressure. There are peoples rising up for freedoms and fairness, and there are peoples lying low in fear and powerlessness. Whether they are loud or silent, you hear the beating of their hearts; you know the causes for which they care; and you can name the people they love. Everywhere and to everyone, let your prophetic word be known. Let it rise above the discontent in Turkey, the riots in Brazil, and the violations of life and dignity in Syria. Let your law be felt in the conscience of every person. Let your law be read in nature, on stone tablets, and on the tablet of every heart.

For we are not only hard-headed, but also hardened of heart. Pride has puffed us up. Defensiveness makes us either close up or strike out. We think the world is against us or that it should be for us. We live as though your law never existed, as though we are left to our own best devices.

How much more you want for us than that which we can achieve on our own. You have spoken words of life; your law drips of wine and honey; you want us to taste and savor it. Your path is straight, and you want us to walk along it. Help us to learn how you want us to live, not only in the form of commandments, but also in the form of Jesus Christ, so that we might know your will not only in dos and don’ts, but wherever your holy love is manifest. Wherever burdens are borne for others, wherever people labor for one another and walk an extra mile for another, wherever enemies are forgiven and loved, wherever generosity goes beyond equity and grace overwhelms even justice, there we find the law of your love.

May all in this world have certainty in your love. More than the laws of physics, your love is what makes the world go around. It is what we can count on; it is more real and powerful than the chaos in our lives, community, and world. It is worthy of our hope in the midst of disappointments and despair.

We are, all of us, reliant on you, almighty God. Until that day when earth is as heaven, we pray to you as your Son taught us, saying, Our Father . . .

Prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church


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