Prayers of the People
—August 21

Prayers of the People, bearing the mark of Mayra Rivera’s essay “Glory: the first passion of theology?”


In lightning and thunder, in rain cloud and rainbow, in summer swelter and brisk morning walk, we delight in your splendor, O God. We long to dwell in your dignity and grace, in your brightness exalted, in your enduring revelation. Make us patient enough to encounter you in the flesh. Make us humble enough to express with words our human perception of your hidden, inexpressible incarnation. Make us bold enough to behold your transfiguration of the ordinary into a boundless possibility.


In our ordinary lives, let us flourish, O God. In family and friendship, and even in the weighty task of really knowing ourselves, weave among us a trace of your grace. Across the complexity of our lives, heighten our capacity to wonder. Allow us to delight in the growth and renewal that unfolds around us—in our children and in our parents, in our friendships and in our gardens. Let us see anew the fresh display of life overflowing with life. Let us, in every creative persistent pursuit, see that unity is possible, that love is possible, that even you redeeming us is possible.


As we seek you in all your glory, do not let us become complacent to the suffering in this world. Give us outrage at the horrors of human injustice. Give us eyes to see the realities of discrimination and oppression. Give us strength to react with compassion to the vulnerabilities of the human body. Offer to us hope made known in inexplicable resilience and uncommon insight. Give us a vision that gives way to the very possibilities of justice in action.


For the citizens of Syria, in the midst of a much too long civil war: send peace. For the people of Louisiana, in the midst of severe flooding: send endurance. For the young women competing in the Olympic Games, who serve as a role model for girls around the globe: send courage. For the places of unrest in our own lives, our own families, our own systems of government, our own city: send new unity and love.


Let us lift up our hearts with our own bold prayers to God, in faith and in silence… For all this and more, O God, send us your peace that passes understanding, do not let our hearts be troubled, do not let us be afraid. And let us gather our voices in the strength of community, praying the prayer that Jesus teaches us, saying…