Sunday, June 15, 2014
Offered by Victoria G. Curtiss, Associate Pastor
We bow before you, gracious God, with joyful and grateful hearts. We adore you, not primarily for what you have done for us, but for who you are: Creator of all the world and Source of abundant life; Redeemer of all peoples and Word made flesh; Sustainer for all time and fountain of eternal love. We thank you that you have come among us as our Advocate and Companion and that you remain with us.
We thank you, also, our Guide and Nurturer, for the love expressed to us from our fathers, and for the fatherly figures in our lives. We praise you for the privilege some of us have of being fathers, and ask that you continue to open our hearts in compassion for the generations that follow.
We also bow before you, merciful God, with heavy hearts. With violence escalating in Iraq and talk of the United States engaging in warfare once again, we urgently turn to you with deep desires for peace. We pray that with the far-too-long problem of ethnic hatred, you send solutions to people in power, the leaders of our nations and peoples. We pray they set aside distrust and partisan distraction in order to work together. We pray for our president and members of Congress, the United Nations, world leaders, and Shiites, Sunnis, and Kurds. Grant them your wisdom and a love for peace. Provide them with alternatives to military conflict. Hold back impulsiveness. Help adversaries to stand down. Protect those in harm’s way.
We confess, God, that we pray to you to protect us from our enemies but do not find ways to love and pray for our enemies. Teach all people to respect everyone as your child, to honor the dignity of all peoples, to work out differences, to pursue the paths to reconciliation, forgiveness, and the rebuilding of communities with hope.
We mourn this tragic situation, O God, and feel helpless to do much about it. But we ask that you answer our prayer for peace and use us as your instruments. Protect the lives of refugees fleeing for their safety. Lead our nation to be in solidarity with all the immigrants in our own land, including those without papers. Shine your light to all who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.
All this we pray in the name of the Prince of Peace, who taught us to pray: Our Father . . .
Prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church