Prayers of the People—March 20

God, whose Word silences the shouts of the mighty, quiet within us any voice but your own.  Quiet us to be at one with you and one another in our prayers.  We have joys and say “thank you, God.”  We have sorrows and want to say “hold me.”  We have fears and whisper “be with me.”  With all these, God we pray.

God, you are the giver of life, creator of all that is seen and unseen.  By filling the night sky with stars that shine and sun for our days, we live in your light and can know your care is constant.  On you alone we can depend to be with us each and every day, giving us our daily bread and being with us beyond our days.

We give you thanks for placing in each of us your divine image, allowing each of us to shine with a light unknown before.  Give us confidence to be all you intended us to be and shine brightly.  Give us humility to seek the divine in others, those who differ from us, those who challenge us, and those who are like us, but most of all, all those who show us what you are like.

God, in our humanity, you allow us freedom, to wander and to remain faithful.  We try.  We try to follow your commands and to love only you.  You know this is difficult and we get distracted by others who claim our loyalty, who promise security through human power.  You chased after us through the ages and ask you to chase after each of us and welcome us home when we have strayed.

You gave us your Son to be our guide.  In Jesus we saw the divine and human, never before and never since, but always remembered and worshipped.  God, help us to learn from his humility.  Let us try with our hands and feet and heart and mind to heal others, to feed others, and to allow them to love us.  Give us courage to be fully alive as he was and to be reconciled to others.

On this Palm Sunday, Jesus made his journey to the cross.  Help us to comprehend the way taken by our Savior: the false charges against him, the fear and flight of the disciples, the kiss of betrayal, the crown of thorns, the purple robe—and in such understanding, give us courage to face those times in our own lives.

When we are weak, make us strong; when hurt and resentful, make us forgiving; when defeated and discouraged, make us hopeful. Keep us from asking for mercy without giving it ourselves, from praying for your kingdom but never working for it.

In this Holy Week, deepen our faith by your matchless grace. Deepen the measure of our gratitude and Christian obedience. Move us, who have so much, to share with others who have so little. Uphold us when we summon our courage to speak out for the alien and stranger, remembering we too were once without home.

God, we leave this place for a week in which busy activities will distract and blur our purpose to live as Christ’s disciples.  Teach us, even now, how to make every day a day of prayer, so that each day of our lives is filled with hope.  We pray all this and the prayer your son taught us saying together, Our Father, who art…