Sunday, August 30, 2015
Offered by Judith L. Watt, Associate Pastor
Eternal Presence, Lover of our souls, open our hearts again, so that our trust in you is increased. Heal our hearts, so that gratitude and joy overflow. Soften our hearts to the truth of your love—for us, for this world, for all people.
The news of our world comes at us so fast, with such worry. We go through each day with our shields held high, trying with all of our might to deflect what we hear, to avoid being wounded. Yet there are so many who are literally wounded—fleeing war, poverty, hunger, oppression, and injustice of all kinds. How long, O God, before wars cease? How long, O God, before we all see you as one God, loving all people, wanting shalom for all of the world?
We pray for the multitudes of migrants moving everywhere, that you would give leaders of all nations compassion and wisdom so that shelter and safe passage can be realities.
We pray for our law makers, that you would move them beyond partisan differences so that gun laws would be improved and senseless killings would come to an end. We so need the promise to come true that the sword would and could be turned into the plowshare.
We give you thanks, O God, for stalwart leaders and their single-minded focus on civil rights. Heal us and this nation from the sin of racism.
We give you thanks for the resilience you have given to humanity—the ability to work for a single cause despite resistance of all sorts, the strength to rebuild after the devastation of a hurricane, the ability to heal after the loss of a loved one, the determination to get through an illness or surgery, the ever-present love of parents in the task of raising children, the resilience and resourcefulness of the disabled, the stoic and wise strength of the elderly. Despite all of the wounds we carry, we thank you for the ongoing strength and grace you give to us.
We give you thanks for one another, those we know and those we don’t, and for this community of faith and its history filled with both joys and sorrows. We thank you for people who have worshiped in these same pews long before we were here. And we thank you for the gift of Jesus, who came into this world to convince us that you truly are here, with us, because you love us. We pray all of this with the prayer that Jesus taught to his disciples, saying together, Our Father . . .
Prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church