Prayers of the People

Sunday, August 25, 2013
Offered by Adam H. Fronczek, Associate Pastor

Lord, you are our refuge and strength, the one we lean on in times of trouble. Our worries and fears in these days are not only too many, but last too long. As we hear of a new day of violence in Colombia, we remember that this is but one chapter of violence in a story that has been too long. And we have the same feeling when we are confronted each day by ongoing violence in Syria, in Egypt, and here in Chicago. How long, O Lord?

Sometimes we fear that you have forgotten us. And we wonder how it makes sense that some live in the midst of violence while others lie on the beach, that some feast at costly tables while others go hungry, that some hearts are broken even as others fall in love, and that some people cry out of fear or pain, even as the cry of newborn children means life, vitality, and hope.

We ask these troubling and difficult questions, O Lord, questions that have no easy answers but that have the miracle of bringing us close to one another and to you. For it is often when we no longer know which way to go that we have come to our real journey. So strengthen us, Lord, on our way, and give us the faith and hope and love to pray for things that are not easy:

We pray for the end of violence and war, for peace and justice where people mean well on both sides of the fight . . .

For your strength in the midst of chronic illness faced by many: paralysis, chronic pain, and depression . . .

For your presence in the moral quandaries in our lives, at home, at work, in our relationships . . .

For the ability to put our trust in you, even when we cannot see with certainty that you are there.

We pray in thanksgiving for the journey of life, the one that we share with each other in all places and times. We thank you for stirring us up and drawing us out of our selfish concerns, for reminding us that we are not alone, and for placing within us an ability to understand each other when we try. And we thank you for the gift of grace and the miracle of forgiveness, for we are never as far gone as we think, always closer to you than we suspect, and so we pray on this baffling journey of life, when we ourselves do not know the way, Lord, bring us ever closer to home.

Our Father . . .

Prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church


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