Prayers of the People

Sunday, February 12, 2017
Offered by Judith L. Watt, Associate Pastor

Have mercy on us, O God. Have mercy on us according to your steadfast love. Have mercy on us because we are a people on the run. We run toward everything we think we need. And we run away from our deepest hurts and our darkest places of need, even though they wreak havoc on those around us. We run to the news every morning or every evening, and we quickly run to our opinions. We run to our addictions or we run to our hiding places, as though our running will bring us to a place of stability and peace. So slow us down, Lord. Slow us down, and help us plant our feet in front of you. Help us plant our feet in front of you, trusting that you are really there. Help us stay a spell, so that whatever running we choose to do would be for your purposes and for the sake of healing and justice and love.

We are about to celebrate another day focused on love and the heart, and yet there are some here who are brokenhearted, perhaps because of a great loss. Speak tender words to those broken hearts of grief or strained relationships. Speak words of assurance to the heartsick over children’s struggles. Speak words of strength to those overcome by anxiety. Remind every single one of us that you keep inviting us with the words “Be mine.”

We pray for our nation and its leaders. Give them and us a vision of the kind of world you envision, the one announced by Jesus. Guide lawmakers to make laws that are just. Guide leaders throughout the world when hard decisions are at hand and people’s lives are at stake.

We pray for the poor, no matter where they live, that they may find jobs and food and education and health. We pray for those who need to rebuild their lives because of natural disasters. We pray for far-off places—Syria, Somalia, South Sudan—and, O God, as hard as it is, we pray for those who wish terror on others, that you would bring a miraculous change of heart, that love would overwhelm hearts full of hate and hopelessness.

We love you, O God. We love you and we need you. And we thank you. We thank you for the gift of life and breath, for the gift of beauty and friends, for shelter and food, for music and literature, for this church and for one another. We thank you for your gift to us in Jesus, who teaches us what faithfulness looks like. We pray all of this in his name, saying together, Our Father . . .

Prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church


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