Prayers of the People

Sunday, October 13, 2013
Offered by John W. Vest, Associate Pastor

God of our ancestors,
God of the prophets:
How easily indeed are we deceived
into thinking that by simply coming to this place,
to this sanctuary set apart,
to hear beautiful music,
to listen to challenging sermons,
to offer you our prayers—
how easily we are deceived
into thinking that we have fulfilled your will.

Today you have reminded us
that what we do in this place
as we demonstrate our love for you
is only the beginning of our sacred work,
that you call us to leave this place
and be your presence in the world.

You call us, O God,
to seek justice in a world of profound inequality,
to remember the poor who are so easily forgotten,
to divest some of our own wealth to support the common good,
to champion those who are abandoned,
to provide shelter for the homeless,
to share food with the hungry,
to bind up the wounds of the afflicted,
to care for the sick and the dying,
to set prisoners free,
to stand up for the marginalized and the oppressed,
to make peace instead of war,
to cooperate instead of antagonize,
to ensure education and opportunity for all of your children;
simply put: to love our neighbors as ourselves.

When we do these things, O God,
we are reminded that you indeed dwell among us,
that you have always dwelled among us,
and that you always will.

Through the words of your prophets you challenge us, God,
yet we must admit that sometimes we don’t feel up to the task.
We, too, are hurting;
we, too, sometimes feel abandoned;
we, too, suffer illness and pain;
we, too, mourn and grieve.

So meet us here in this place, God,
in this modern-day temple,
this house of God,
to heal our wounds,
to make us whole,
to set us free,
to love us so that we may love ourselves as you have made us
and love each other as sisters and brothers.

Help us, loving God,
to not believe the lies the world tells us
or the lies we tell ourselves.
Open our ears instead to the truth you speak
here in this place
and in every place.

And hear us now, O God,
as we pray for the coming of your kingdom,
As Jesus taught us to pray:
Our Father . . .

Prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church


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