Sunday, April 19, 2015
Offered by Judith L. Watt, Associate Pastor
God, you are the source of all life, the creator of all possibility, the holder of all of our pain and grief, the breath that sustains us. Give us the gift of trust in this moment; trust that you hear our prayers; trust that you care for us; trust in the future you have laid out before us. Thank you for the promise that you see us through the lens of Christ, as people forgiven and freed and as people filled with potential for good.
We thank you for the world around us, for this earth, which provides nurture and beauty and teaches us about the rhythms of life and death. Restore in us a love of the earth you created for our home. Help your people to stop ravishing this planet and its resources but instead to live in harmony with everything you have made. And to be grateful.
We pray for those who have been devastated in recent weeks by tornadoes. And we thank you for agencies like Presbyterian Disaster Assistance and so many others who can deploy helping hands to those sites. Let hope be stronger than despair, we pray.
O God, we also pray for those for whom it seems the tornadoes of life never end, for those with chronic and debilitating illnesses, or for those with pain that never lessens, or for those haunted by the cloud of depression. We pray for people who have lost loved ones and bear a grief that sometimes seems to be too much, too empty, and too never-ending. Hear their prayers especially, dear Lord. And help them to feel lifted up by the prayers of others.
We pray for refugees everywhere, for innocent victims of war and violence, and we pray for the tide to turn regarding the use of guns. We know the earth is groaning in travail, that people are scared and frustrated, and that others are so filled with hopelessness or hate that they are blinded to the power of loving-kindness. And, dear Lord, we admit that somehow we know that we are all a part of the groaning, all at fault in some way, and all suffering from our own forms of blindness and our own desire to clutch our particular worldviews. So we really do pray for a miracle, that your kingdom really would be realized, that swords really could become plowshares, that the lion really could lie down with the lamb. Take whatever resistances we have to being bearers of peace, and break them down. We thank you for Jesus, who lived, who died and suffered, who was resurrected and is risen, and who roams this earth with us and also lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit. We pray his prayer together, saying Our Father . . .
Prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church