Prayers of the People

Sunday, July 19, 2015
Offered by Shannon J. Kershner, Pastor

Gracious one,
we are so grateful that you have made us your people,
that by your grace, you have knitted us together as your body—
with all of our quirkiness and difference,
all of our beauty and compassion,
all of our messiness and complications.
You take all of it, all of us, and have made us one.
Thank you.

But, O God, if we are being honest,
then probably most of us, if not all of us,
also sometimes wonder if we do have a place—not just here,
but perhaps some of us, as we grow older,
start to wonder about our place in your world,
and those of us who are younger
wonder about our place amongst our friends;
perhaps there are those of us who wonder,
because of who we are,
if we have a place even in our own family.
Some of us might even wonder sometimes
if we have a place in you.

When these doubts and questions arise,
reach out to us in mercy.
Surprise us by your presence.
Give us the firm, calm assurance
that in you, we are home.
You are our place. No ifs, ands, or buts.
No votes taken. That is who you are.

And your promise of being our Home
is why we also lift up to you, O God,
those who might feel more divine absence today than presence:
we pray for those who now occupy a hospital bed
and those who sit beside it;
we pray for those who are preparing for memorial services
on this day, especially the families and loved ones
of those military and police officers injured or killed in Chattanooga.
Words fail us, O God, so we ask that you not.

We pray for those who are lonely,
even when they are surrounded by people;
for those who now sit in the loud quiet that follows a death;
for those who are digging out from storms or from bombs,
all over your world.
O God, break through somehow.
Let all of them, let us, know you are there
and that you have already begun your work of healing,
even though we may not see it just yet.

Lord, we know that all you have to do is say the word
and all shall be well.
So we fervently pray for you to do so
as you did in the beginning
and promise to do at the end.
Make us, make your church, make your creation, well.

We pray all of this in the name of our Savior and our brother,
who taught us to pray, saying, Our Father . . .

Prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church


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