Prayers of the People—July 3

As the great theologian Karl Barth once wrote: “To clasp our hands in prayer is the beginning of an uprising against the disorder of the world.” In confidence of God’s empathy for our lives and willingness to respond to our earnest petitions, please join me in prayer.

Gracious God, you have blessed us with freedom.  On this weekend, celebrating the birth of our country, we give thanks for the men and women who risked everything; wealth, security, children, honor, and their very lives.  May their courage and vision inspire in us such commitments to our common good that we too will give what we have to make this country more just, a home for all to flourish, and a nation that respects and protects the lives of all who dwell.

God, you have blessed us with freedom; freedom to follow or to turn away from you.  Grant us clear vision to see through the facades of those promises of quick reward or that feed our egos’, paths.  Teach us to hear Jesus’ call, who bids us to follow him, and to live in a community of abounding grace.

God, you have blessed us with freedom.  Each day, we are offered the freedom to love, to heal, and to forgive.  Give us courage to choose such life-giving acts over indifference that we find and give greater life than we could ever imagine.

God, you have blessed us with freedom.  You ask only that we follow your ways, loving our neighbors as ourselves.  In these past weeks, we pray for forgiveness as lives continue to be carelessly spent in violence in Istanbul, Bangladesh, Baghdad, and day-by-day in Chicago.  Comfort those who are ripped apart with grief.  Heal those wounded in body, mind, and spirit.  Give us courage and pragmatism to find a way to halt this hatred and the seemingly never-ending violence.  In the midst of our turbulent lives, help us find the courage to live faithful lives.

God, you have blessed us with freedom and we pray we will turn our lives into a thanksgiving.  In these summer days, we rejoice you are able to create and recreate such lush life in the world around and within our very selves.  You are beyond our words and imaginations yet reside in each breath.  Recreate us to become light and life and love.  Now we join together, praying as Jesus taught… Amen.