Prayers of the People
—April 16

As your people have through the ages, we gather in your sanctuary to offer our prayers of praise, thanking you for the gifts of life….and we lay before you our prayers of petition, boldly asking for more.  God, we are here.  We ask you to, hear our prayers.

After the Romans executed your son for loving kindness, doing justice, and walking humbly on this earth, his rag tag group of followers, some who had denied him, and many who doubted him thought love had died. Death was more than a shadow; it locked their loved one in the darkest of tombs.

We praise you, O God, on that first Easter, by a divine power, you rolled away the stone and raised our Messiah.  From those with the courage to believe more than doubt, they told others of what they saw and of their encounter with the risen Christ.  Beyond the horizon of death is new life.

The religious elite ignored them.  The Romans tried to silence them.  The resurrection did not make headline news but was and is so precious it has been handed down throughout the ages from those eyewitnesses.  From them we have inherited a story to stake our lives on. From those with nothing, we have inherited everything.

On this Easter day, we remember those from whom we inherited this story, grandmas and uncles, preachers and neighbors, those saints before us who lived to tell of your strength of a love poured out.  We give thanks for their witness to your truth.

On this Easter day, and every day, help us commit ourselves to live, not divided along party line or ideology, but as Christians with a fierce determination to bring about a world of justice, equality, and peace.

Give us strength and courage to hold on to this faith until we have taught others of the gift of grace to heal, the power of love to unite, and the inspiration of the spirit to live into the future with courage.

We pray for leaders in countries, states and cities to govern with courage and wisdom for the common wealth of all people.  We pray for an end to terrorism and violence.   We pray for an end to the killing of innocents.  In a world of such abundance, help us learn to share with those who live in want.

God, on this Easter day, we pray for families and loved ones, those whose bodies, dreams or spirits are broken.  Bring your healing touch.  We lay all this before you and the prayers held silently in our hearts….

God, hear us as we pray together…..