Prayers of the People—April 17

God of spring sparrow and returning robin, we give you thanks. Spring emerges and finally we can breathe deeply, the morning dew shedding winter’s frost. For us, the very rhythms of the earth echo resurrection hope. Tulips push up out of the dead of winter, offering tangible signs of hope, promises of renewal. Incarnation reverberates across the song of the universe, trees praising your name, lakes praising your name, humble gardens and deep, wide farmland praising your name, O Lord of heaven and earth.

Give us hope in this season, O God. For, even as we watch for the day when every tear will be wiped from our eyes, and death will be no more, you know, O Lord, that this earthly life is ripe with pain. Today, O Lord, be especially with those who are hospitalized. Give them courage and patience, wise healers and steady care. We pray for those who journey through medical treatments, following doctors orders. Give them strength and hope, partners on their journey and fellow travelers who compassionately listen and understand. We pray for those facing mortality, who anticipate that death is near. Walk them home, O Lord, with loving care, quiet joy, tenderness and compassion.

In all things, O God, help us to see ourselves as part of your vast and marvelous cosmic dance that goes on unceasingly at every moment in even the most minute particles of the universe. Offer space to question and grapple with what is confusing and unclear. Offer space to recognize our true inner resiliency, a faith that is sustaining, and a deep love that gives strength to enter into and endure suffering and sorrow.

Risen One, be with every nation of this world. Be especially with child soldiers, not just within the ranks of Boko Haram, where so many children are sent as suicide bombers, but also in Jordan, Iraq, Sudan, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Syria and Palestine, where child soldiers are being offered, not childhood, but life made known only through violence. Risen one, be known to us in these broken childhoods. Risen One, be with the Nigerian girls, kidnapped by Boko Haram, some of whom were shown this week to still be alive two years later. Risen one, be known to us in the beating of their hearts. And, O God, be in Ecuador, where an earthquake unraveled a city, killing 77, and in Japan, where the earth also shook, taking dozens of lives. Risen one, be known to us in the earth’s shattering news.

Holy One, Risen One, God of Gods, and Lord of Lords, be our strength, our hope, our dear companion on this journey that unfolds before us. Wrap us up in your love, so that we might trust, again and again, that we can live more fully into the calling that you place upon our hearts, to do justice and love kindness and walk humbly with you. Let us now, in faith and in silence, offer up every prayer to you, our rock and our redeemer. Amen.