Sunday, December 10, 2017
Offered by Judith L. Watt, Associate Pastor
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Source of all life, in this season of waiting—waiting for peace, waiting for love, waiting for reconciliation, waiting for rest—we find ourselves tired of waiting. Instead we yearn for the world to be made right. We yearn for the discord to stop. We yearn for reasoned minds and words that make us whole rather than words that split us apart. We yearn for women and men to be valued and respected in equal measure.
Because we are impatient people who are not very good at waiting, we begin to rush—with errands and mindless busyness and words said too quickly and judgments formed in an instant. So we need you, O God, to give us patience to seek the meaning of these days. We need you to give us the courage to wait in times of pain and trouble. We need you to give us the compassion to wait for one another, and we need you to give us the faith to wait for the Messiah, to wait for the Messiah when we are threatened by the Herods of this world. We need you to give us the conviction to know when we’ve waited long enough, when it’s time for us to act out of the justice-seeking love you have taught us.
We pray for this earth you created for our home. Help us to work toward putting an end to destruction of its land, air, and waters. Thank you for its beauty and abundance, the constant provision of all of our sustenance, of all of our nutrition.
We pray for the people of California fleeing homes because of devastating fires, and we pray for people everywhere who have suffered natural disasters and the loss of life and home. Sustain the first responders and the agencies that provide aid.
Gracious God, full of grace and truth, we worry about the Middle East, because there is such deep, longstanding, and complicated pain in that region. We pray for the Palestinian people, who yearn for their own nation and sovereignty and a return of land that was once theirs. We pray for Jewish people, who have felt persecution and threat since the beginning of time. We pray for a miracle of peace in that land, for a miracle of compassion and justice. We remember Mary, pregnant, and Joseph and their forced journey away from home because a government said they must.
O God, we really are tired of waiting for your peace to come into this world. Give us hope and light and the ability to wait some more and to work some more and to love some more—to be Christ-bearers in this world, day by day, even when our hope wanes. In the name of Jesus the Christ, we pray to you as he did, asking once again for your kingdom to come fully into our world. Our Father . . .
Prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church