Prayers of the People—July 10

Dear God, on such brilliant summer days with life flourishing and beauty erupting all around, we sit in contrast, in a world in which we have created dark hours and we are extinguishing life.  However distant this community may be from tragedy in our nation, we are always connected to one another through our common bonds of Christ, whose heart breaks, and we too feel the pain.

We pray for the grieving families of the Lorne Ahrens, Michael Krol, Michael Smith, Brent Thompson, and Patrick Zamarripa, men who died protecting peaceful protests in Dallas.  We pray for the healing of those wounded.  We give thanks for all those who serve and protect, risking their lives for law and order.

We pray also for the families and those who love Philando Castile and Alton Sterling.  God have mercy on us for such senseless killings of people of color, for the systems of racism that persist, and the disregard for human life.  We lament collectively the lives lost in Dallas and the blood that stains our streets from death at the hands of fear and hate.

Ultimately guns killed these men, we realize, dear God, but they were loaded with hate and fear.  This same hate and fear responsible for the bombing of mosques, burning of churches, and killings in churches.  Irrational fear and hatred have become the beast that divides us from one another.

Help us find our way back to calm and peace and love.  Gather us together through your son.  Jesus came to give us abundant life. His perfect love has the power to cast out all fear.  Help us find our way back to love.

Shine a light on the dark places in our country so that we can protect those who are vulnerable, bring healing, health and education to those who have been neglected.

God, on this day of bright beauty and sadness, we also bring you our prayers for our community.

Today we pray for those who are suffering, from broken dreams, bodies that are ill or injured, those who are aging, those whose relationships are torn.  Bring healing.  Cover them with grace.  Comfort them.

Bless all those who have worked tirelessly in sorting, hauling, and creating a Rummage Sale.  Inspire volunteers to give of their time and energy to welcome people into this church, where we can be Christ’s body, a community helping others.  We give you thanks for the talent and energy stirring in this church and are bold to ask you for more this week so that the fruits of their labor will flourish in amazing ways.

Now, as we hear the prayer your son taught, let it be our common prayer to you.


ENDNOTE


Portions inspired by “Love is Our Only Hope” by Traci Blackmon