Prayers of the People
—March 5

By Marion Hanold

Lord Jesus, we thank you for becoming one with us and sharing our joys and sorrows.  We praise you for your steadfast love and constant example of how we are to live through life’s temptations, vexations, and conflagrations.  How we are to love one another as you have loved us.

On this first Sunday in Lent, we give special thanks to all the caregivers who serve the needs of this congregation and your broader Church.  We ask you to inspire us, to nudge each of us towards exercising our gifts of compassion.  We don’t want to forget those who are hurting, fearful, hungry or questioning, but too often we get caught up in our busyness and our personal concerns.   Dear Lord, grant us the grace to recognize, to reach out and just be with the people who need us.  To listen without judgement, to forgive, to comfort, and to love.  And when we are besieged by our own anxieties, please give us the strength to turn to another trusted friend, family member, church member or clergyperson and ask for help.  That is what brave looks like.

Today we pray for all who are involved in giving us information through the daily news, newspapers, and all other media—for all who communicate with us through the written or spoken word.  Grant us the discernment to seek out your truth far above the dizzying array of opinion and vitriol and tweet.  Help us to breathe deeply, to not engage in a mean-spirited way, but to live into your peace which passes all understanding.

We pray for the world around us.  The daily dose of division, conflict, disease, poverty, and deliberate acts of violence can make us feel numb.  And then you read or hear about a selfless act of love or compassion which a person no greater than ourselves has done, and we know your good work is abundantly present in our world as well as in our lives.

Lord Jesus, we remember how you unceasingly sought to serve the least, the lost, and the lonely and we ask you to direct our footsteps as you taught us to pray…Our Father…