Prayers of the People

October 25, 2020
Reformation Sunday
Offered by Lucy Forster-Smith, Senior Associate Pastor

God of history and God of the future, we come to you this morning with gratitude for your grand design for your holy commonwealth. On this day, we give thanks for the grounding of our Presbyterian tradition in the larger family of Reformed faith. For those in our history book who stepped forward to revive faltering faith; for women and men whose passion was and continues to be for theological quest for truth, your truth, O God; for the astonishing vision you have planted in the eyes and the hearts of the young and the ancient to live lives of courage and conviction we pause to give you thanks.

We are a priesthood of all believers, O Christ. As we stand in the gap between our earthly existence and our upward call to be heavenly minded, may we be especially attuned to the specific vocation you have given to us as individuals and the collective vocation you are calling us toward as we venture into the future. Give us hearts of courage; give us minds with searing clarity; give us spirits with such love that it makes swords into pruning hooks; bring a mighty harvest of hope.

On this day, we hold so much as we cast our gaze on our neighborhoods, our cities, our nation, and this globe. We pray for children, O God, who are held close these days by parents who would give their very lives for them. We pray for children who are separated from parents due to political situations or social uncertainty. We pray for students in schools, colleges, universities, medical and law schools, and vocational training programs and in our own Chicago Lights Tutoring program. Give them and all who teach, train, and tutor perseverance as they chart a course toward contribution and using their knowledge and skill toward the common good.

We pray for our nation as we find ourselves in unsettled times of racial and cultural tearing; of disrespect and disregard for the most vulnerable among us; of mistrust and misunderstanding. Mend the soul of this nation that we would anchor our trust in that which renders each and every person the capacity to live fully into your call to be citizens of the commonwealth of your love.

We pray for those who are facing illness this day. Comfort those who are afraid; accompany those who care for them and love them; sing a new song, O God, in their hearts that the beauty of your peace would wash over them and let them know they are not alone or forgotten. We pray for those who rejoice at new life in their families and for those who are sorrowful in the loss of those we love.

Make us strangely light of heart, O Spirit of heavenly hope, even in these dim days, because you are the one who sees light beyond the shadows, harvest after scarcity, resurrections dawn after the cold tomb’s darkness. Meet us this day, O Christ, because you are the one who promised never to leave us and to give us astonishing joy, yes, joy.

And now hear us as we pray the prayer you taught us, O Christ: Our Father...

Prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church


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