Prayers of the People
—August 28

Dear God, our lives are so full, blessed with joys, bruised with mishaps and tragedies, our lives are so full with more calendar events and tasks.

But, now, we ask that you stop us from doing.  Stop us from all that distracts us from holding still in your presence.  Stop our anxious minds and our hearts from desiring anything but feeling your presence.

Remind us this Sabbath is a time to rest in your love, the refrain from all the busyness of life and all the demands to do and to be and to produce.  God, help us heed your call and command to center ourselves on your care for us and our praise for you.  You alone are the author and source of life.

We pray with gratitude for the summer sun and cool nights.  The richness of gardens and August harvest reminds us of the growth that is always possible with patience, with the rhythm of seasons, and by a power far beyond us.

God, we pray for wisdom and thoughtful actions to subdue those who threaten and inflict violence in our city, our country, and in the world.  For those in Chicago and other cities who turn to weapons and not to words, just stop them and inspire us to be agents of peace, one hour and one day at a time.  We pray for the courage to enact and uphold regulations to keep weapons from those who seek murder and revenge.

We pray for the civil war in Syria to come to an end.  End the killing.  End the flight of exiles by creating a peace in beloved homelands.  We pray for those in Italy, Louisiana, and California who endured sudden and tragic loss of homes and livelihoods.  Bless those who work in rescue.  Bless those who bring relief and all those who help rebuild.  God, you promise resurrection from what was once dead.

We stand at thresholds of new classrooms, new homes, and new futures.  Give us confidence to let your divine image, unique to each of us, shine through as we step into new endeavors.  Give us confidence in your grace and the forgiveness of others to try, even if we fail, and know we are always loved and treasured for our willingness to swing out wide.

God, our hearts break for those we love who have received diagnosis we struggle to comprehend.  We pray for healing.  We pray pain will be covered over.  We pray for anxieties to be calmed.  And, out of our love for others, we pray for miracles.

Finally God, we bring our personal hopes and fears.

And if someone needs to say, help me.

and if someone needs to say, save me,

and if someone needs to say, hold me,

and if someone needs to say, forgive me,

then let these things be said now

In confidence by us of your intimate care.

 

The Lord’s Prayer.