Prayers of the People
—February 12

Holy God, as we gather we are grateful for this fine day, where blue sky peeks out beyond the gray, urging us to walk in our neighborhoods and pulling us out to greet our neighbors. Your light shines among us as birdsong echoes from branches overhead and friends congregate to sit side-by-side in this holy sanctuary. We cannot help but be changed by the very act of arriving here, we cannot help but be formed by the work of worship, and the grace of gathering. Mold us, O God. Melt our hearts, mend our brokenness, hold our grief, cover our worry, and make holy our path. For you are our refuge and strength, a very present help in times of trouble.

We pray today for the people in our midst: for those engaged to be married and those who have just made their vows of love: may they build homes where there is love and welcome.

We pray for families in the midst of everyday life; fill them with the gift of your spirit—the peace and patience, kindness and goodness, faithfulness and self-control to which you call each of us.

We pray for those who struggle in their relationships, where argument goes beyond bickering. Break our stubborn pride, O God, free our fixed minds, and let forgiveness reign.

When the burdens we carry are heavy on our shoulders and weigh us down, when the road seems dreary and endless, the skies gray and threatening, when our lives have no music in them and our hearts are lonely—flood the path with light, O God; turn our eyes to where the skies are full of promise; tune our hearts to brave music and give us courage as we remember the saints of every age who, too, wore burdens like ours.

Today, O Lord, we bring before you the disunity of the world: the absurd violence, the many wars, which are breaking the courage of the people of the world; militarism and arms races, which threaten life on this planet; human greed and injustice, which breed hatred and conflict. Send your Spirit and renew the face of the earth; teach us to be compassionate to the whole human family, even when that means loving those who do not love us; strengthen the will of all those who fight for justice and for peace; and lead all nations on the path of peace. Give us, O God, that peace which the world cannot give, your peace that passes all understanding.

And now, still our hearts, O Lord, as we welcome the gift of your presence, in faith and in silence.

As we gather our voices, let us lift up the prayer that Jesus teaches us, saying… Our Father.