Prayers of the People

Sunday, August 18, 2013
Offered by John W. Vest, Associate Pastor

Gracious God,
we do pray that you will guide our feet
as we run the race you have set before us.

What an awesome calling it is
to know that you invite us to participate
in the transformation of the world as it is
into the world as you want it to be.

Yet it is also humbling,
because the needs of this world
and the needs of our lives
are great indeed.

This week we have watched as unrest and violence
continue to unfold in Egypt.
At the same time, thousands of refugees
are fleeing from war-torn Syria.
And somehow, in the midst of all this,
Israel and Palestine are once again striving for peace.
God, these situations perplex and confound us;
solutions and ways forward elude us.
Yet we know that your love extends
to all of your children in these places
and throughout the world,
and we trust that peace and reconciliation
are indeed possible.

Here in Chicago
we continue to pray for an end to the violence
that ravages our own city streets.
For all of the beauty and wonder of this great city,
the plague of violence is staggering.
Fueled by poverty, desperation, and division,
there must be a way to change the course we are on;
there must be a way to bring about justice and peace and safety for all.
Guide us, O God, to be a community united in a vision
of the common good.

God of all mysteries,
our own lives have their share of struggle and pain as well:
we’ve lost jobs and our sense of purpose;
money is tight and the bills keep coming;
friendships and relationships end and we feel alone;
we’ve lost loved ones,
both those who lived long lives and those who died far too young;
we have families and friends
who have been diagnosed with incurable diseases;
we’ve known parents who grieve when their children suffer;
our own bodies are fragile and frail, broken and scarred.
Guide us, O God, toward healing and wholeness;
comfort those who mourn;
be present with those who suffer.

The needs of this world,
and the needs of our lives,
are great indeed.

Yet we know that we are not alone.
You are always with us,
and you surround us with a cloud of witnesses
to care for us and support us and journey with us.
In the love we share and the love we receive,
we recognize your abiding presence.

O God, fix our eyes upon Christ,
who came into this world of brokenness
and proclaimed the dawn of your kingdom;
who came as one of us,
knowing all that we endure,
and ran the race with us.
He runs with us still,
encouraging us when we despair,
catching us when we fall,
sustaining us with grace, hope, and love.

Where Christ goes,
we will follow.
As Christ prays for your kingdom,
so we now pray.

Our Father . . .

Prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church


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