Prayers of the People
—August 7

By Bill Steinmetz

We take time now for reflection and prayer. Please pray with me. Gracious God, we thank you for the opportunity to gather together today whether in person, through the wonder of technology or in spirit. We are reflective in the warmth of the August sun which for many of us holds the thought or perhaps the memory of leisure time and diversion with family and friends. We are thankful for that and the countless gifts you have given us.

 

Yet, with all our blessings at this restorative time of the year, there is the reality of disturbing things that assault our consciousness. A sudden trip to the emergency room, a sponsored refugee family not being able to make it to America, continuing violence in the news and outbursts of anger and aggression in public forums are just some of the things we have heard about or experienced this week.

 

Dear Lord, as we get to this quiet part of summer and take time to refresh and reflect, we ask that you help us and the world to shed our grief and despair over the negativity we experience and open our eyes to the vision of hope and joy for our time. Help us to see anew your love and grace at work that we may live as you want us and work your ways to improve the world through us. As we refresh and reflect, let us feel your presence and a strengthening of our faith in something beyond ourselves to guide us in our lives especially through difficult times.

 

Help us sense that you are near to us and invoke the spirit of the Serenity Prayer to do the things we can and accept and leave in your hands with peace in our hearts those things where we have done all we can. Help us to love when we don’t feel loved. Help us to be ministers of peace when we don’t feel at peace.

 

Compassionate God, let us experience the good and positive things in our life journey that you have provided and a sense of caring reflected in ourselves and the people around us. May we see and hear the familiar in new and positive ways and be stretched to adopt a fresh perspective that we had not considered. Set us free from whatever binds us to the past and the negativity we might be experiencing and help us by the power of your Holy Spirit to live and love in this moment. Help us to trust in your grace, in your presence and in your son Jesus who taught us to pray: