Prayers of the People

Sunday, November 22, 2015
Offered by Layton Williams, Pastoral Resident

God of grace and mercy, we give you thanks for this day, for our lives, and for one another. We give you thanks for the rich music that fills our sanctuary and our hearts. We give you thanks for the first fresh fall of snow and the way it renders our old familiar world new for discovering. As the days grow dark and cold, keep us held in your warm embrace. Kindle our hearts to radiate your love to a world that shivers in want of it.

Loving God, so many in this world are hurting. So many are grieving. Struggling against this global tide of pain and tragedy, we know that you are present, but we wonder how we might offer your hope and comfort to a broken world. Help us to take our cues from the strong hearts in the very center of these tragedies who defiantly celebrate your gifts of beauty, love, and life.

O God, as our nation wrestles with how to respond to our siblings around the world, help us find the courage to be ambassadors of your peace. Challenge us each to offer open hearts and open arms to all those seeking solace.

Merciful God, we know too that there are many who suffer in our own city and neighborhoods and community. Through the cacophony of violence, poverty, and injustice, help us to sing your song of love and solidarity. Show us how to sing with voices calling for justice for all your beloved, with feet that boldly march through barriers that would divide us, and with hands that are never too full to take hold of a neighbor’s trembling fingers.

We pray, too, O God, for those in our very midst this day. For those who are lonely, give company. For those who are mourning, give comfort. For those who are sick in body or soul, give strength and swift healing.

And finally, gracious God, we pray for ourselves. In the silence of this moment, we lift up the deepest yearnings of our hearts, trusting you to draw near to them and to us.

God, in this time of restless uncertainty, help us to remember that no brokenness is more powerful than the gentle, steadfast promise of your grace. In defiant, hopeful faith, we are bold to pray as your Son taught us, saying, Our Father . . .

Prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church


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