Prayers of the People

Sunday, November 17, 2019
Offered by Judith L. Watt, Associate Pastor

Great and gentle God, Refuge and Strength, Light of the World, as the days march toward ever-increasing darkness and cold, make us ever more mindful of your light and warmth. Help us to see signs of your presence—a child’s hand held, a gift offered, a meal delivered, a timely phone call, a truthful but needed word, the quiet loyalty of a spouse or a tutor or a good friend or a family member. Help us to read those signs of your presence that are harder to detect—our own inner turmoil that leads to greater trust in you, disturbances that keep nudging us to move on, relationships that are puzzling, glimpses of good judgment in the life of a struggling teen or young adult, a wise word from an aging adult.

Merciful God, the world around us groans with disruption and need. We pray again for lives lost to senseless, rage-filled gun violence. For victims in California and in cities that don’t even make the news. Yes, we pray for lawmakers, that sensible and life-saving laws would be their passion. We pray for our schoolchildren and their parents and teachers, who struggle to teach safety and protection without letting anxiety take over.

Again we pray for your justice to come in every place so that a lasting peace can be born, so that every person feels valued without regard to position or power or education or color of skin or anything except the fact that we are human and you have called us and have called everyone by name. For the people in the halls of Congress and in the offices of the White House, may your justice and the knowledge of your redeeming love show up in those places, too. For those who don’t know you, for those who don’t know your love or your presence, break in, O God, break in. Break in anew to our lives, too.

You know our hearts, dear Lord, the painful memories, the harsh word said yesterday, the joyful thanksgivings, the people for whom we worry. So in this next moment of silence, hear us as we lift those particular concerns in our lives to you . . . .

We pray all of this, holding fast to the hope that you are our Sovereign God, Creator of the Universe, Redeemer of all sin, Sustainer of our lives when we don’t know what or if we believe. In the name of your Son, our Lord, we offer now the prayer he taught to his disciples, saying together, Our Father . . .

Prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church


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