Prayers of the People

Sunday, May 25, 2014
Offered by Victoria G. Curtiss, Associate Pastor

Glorious God, we thank you that through the power of your Holy Spirit, you have claimed us as your people and changed our lives. In our personal lives, hearts have been reconciled, forgiveness has opened the way for newness and grace, the blind see as prejudices and barriers melt away, memories and ailments have been healed, hope has broken through, and love has embraced those who previously felt alone. In our society, you have lifted up the downtrodden and strengthened the weak, binding us together as one human family. In our world, you have wrought peace among nations and power to the powerless. We thank you for your mighty acts in the present and throughout history.

On this Memorial Sunday we call to mind those who will not grow old as we who are left grow old, those whose lives were cut short because they died serving their country through the military. Forgive us that they died so young because we were unimaginative, too imperious, too indifferent, or just too late to think of better ways than warfare to conduct the business of the world.  We remember with gratitude all who sacrificed their lives to preserve cherished liberties and protect the lives of others.  We thank you for the generosity that prompted them to share the last of their rations, the last pair of dry socks, to share in the course of one hour in a foxhole more than most of care to share with another in a lifetime. We recall the courage that made more than one of them fall on the grenade there was no time to throw back, or to boldly disassemble a field mine to spare others from being wounded or killed.

Grant, O God, that they may not have died or been hurt in vain. May we draw new vigor and wisdom from past tragedy.  Buttress our will for peace. Save us from justifications invented to make our country look noble, grand, and righteous.  Guide us away from blanket solutions to complex problems. Give us the vision to see that the world is too dangerous for anything but truth, too small for anything but justice and love. All this we pray in the Name of the Prince of Peace, who taught us to pray together: Our Father . . .

(Portions of this prayer were based on a prayer by William Sloan Coffin.)

Prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church


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