prayers of the people – 15 july 2018

I have never been a great prayer. I feel like I’m always forgetting something. Let’s face it: there is so much to pray for right now. From our personal lives, to our local communities, to our own government and democracy, our planet and the creatures and plants on it… I could go on and on but I’m preaching to the choir here. But I want to be better about praying, especially when it comes to the prayers I share with our church. I want to be better about calling out injustices and being intentional that we don’t just pray for God to fix things, but that we should be praying that WE fix things in the name of God; that WE get our act together as a people and do the right thing. God doesn’t just magically make things the way they should be, that’s our job. We are the hands and feet of God in the world, so let’s start acting like it.

So, I won’t be praying for God to fix the world, but for us to listen to God and act, even when it feels like the hardest thing we’ve ever done.  Feel free to use these prayers or parts of them, just give credit where it’s due.

God of all creation, of earth, sea, sky, the planets, stars, and all that is in the universe, we humbly present ourselves before you. We thank you for the cool breezes at night and the bright sunshine in the day. We thank you for the opportunities we have had to be in fellowship with those that we love and to enjoy your earth and all her wonderful gifts. We thank you for the comfort of our homes, and for the safety we feel. We know that not everyone on your earth feels these things, and we ask that you help us to find ways to make sure that others have the opportunity to enjoy the breezes in the evening and the sunshine, to have time for fellowship with friends and loved ones without fear of violence, or sometimes even the ability to walk in our own neighborhoods without being seen as suspicious. For those that live these realities and other insecurities and threats to their own lives, we pray and we ask that you intercede on their behalf. We ask that you move us to intercede on their behalves alongside you.  We ask that you, God of mercy,

Hear our prayers.

God of love and light and goodness, we know there are so many who yearn to feel your love, us included. Hear the cry of those who yearn for love, whether it be yours or the love of a friend, a family member, a parent, or simply the love of a neighbor; those who come from or live within fractured families and broken homes; for those who are neglected, made to feel unwanted and alone. God of mercy,

Hear our prayers.

God of justice and action, we live in a broken world where only a small percentage feel justice. We know that you created us as your people, a diverse but equal people, and so justice that is denied to one is denied to all of us. Hear the cry of those who yearn for justice when it has been refused, or denied, or never given a chance; for those who are persecuted and oppressed; for those who are exploited, ill-treated by neighbors, broken by systems of oppression. Help us to hear those cries and to feel those cries so that we would be moved to take action.
God of mercy,

Hear our prayers.

God of peace and kindness and equality, hear the cry of those who yearn for peace in battle zones and broken states, who live frightened, fearful, anxious; who live with the reality of war and uncertainty; who live with the reality that they might become just another causality of something that is against your nature. Move us to speak up and out and to resist violence and aggression towards each other.
God of mercy,

Hear our prayers.

God of healing and wholeness and redemption and reconciliation, hear the cry of those who yearn for physical, spiritual, mental and emotional healing; for those who are hurting, weakened, depressed. Open our ears and eyes and hearts so that we will respond to those who are hurting in love and compassion and empathy. Put us to work helping to heal the whole world.
God of mercy,

Hear our prayers.

(Adapted with inspiration from prayer of supplication from Faith and Worship.)

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