Sunday, June 23, 2019
Offered by Judith L. Watt, Associate Pastor
Steadfast God, in the midst of the turmoil of life, in the midst of angry people and angry nations, in this world that seems full of threat, you are here, O God, and ever present. And so, despite all that worries us, hear our prayers of thanksgiving and praise for the blessings of life.
God, we thank you for life and breath, for giving us the ability to see and hear beauty. We thank you for friends who have come by our side in times of both joy and sorrow. We thank you for honest testimony and courage to pursue calling for the sake of your world. For blue skies and long days, for simple engagement with strangers on the street or the bus or in grocery stores, for the ability to get ourselves here this morning, O God, we thank you. We thank you for this place and for familiar faces, for global partners in Cuba and West Africa, for the gift of being able to worship freely and to agree or disagree, knowing all the while that you have bound us together in all of our particularities and differences as your family of faith. Thank you. Give us the desire and time to relish whatever in life is joyful.
Tensions have increased between nations. We pray that those tensions would be eased between our country and Iran, that you give leaders of both countries wise counsel and restraint. O God, we yearn for a world in which everyone knows that love is the most powerful force. We yearn for a world where truth-telling is more important than posturing.
We give thanks for the celebration of Juneteenth, the anniversary of the proclamation of the abolition of slavery 154 years ago. But we pray, dear Lord, that you would release us from our slavery to discrimination and racial injustice and systems that advantage one group over another. That you help us see inside of ourselves those places that exclude because we are fearful or exclude because we feel entitled. Take our lives, dear Lord, and let them be changed for thee.
We pray for those in the last days of life, that your power in their lives would be increased. We pray for people all over the world and here in Chicago who wander the streets with no place to lay their heads. We pray for all of those who have been wounded by hatred and exclusion because they choose to live into the fullness of who God has created them to be. Lead us, gracious God, to live in the way of Jesus, engaged with this world, trusting in your abundance and salvation. We pray all of this in the name of the one who taught us to pray, Our Father . . .
Prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church