Prayers of the People—May 1

We begin with a prayer attributed to Ludwig van Beethoven:

O God give me strength to be
victorious over myself,
for nothing may chain me to this life.
O guide my spirit,
O raise me from these dark depths,
that my soul,
transported through Your wisdom,
may fearlessly struggle upward in fiery flight.
For you alone understand and can inspire me.

Dear God, we join our voices in thanksgiving for such gifts in composition and imagination, gifts from you, and freely given in your name to inspire generations.  Thank you for the gift of music through the ages that stirs our souls in ways words alone fail.  Thank you for the gifts of so many this day who envelope us in singing to your glory.

God, we are grateful you lavish talents and creativity to each and every human.  We pray for the willingness to look upon all that we might see your divine image, cherish  their uniqueness and to encourage them for your gifts to shine through.  As others flourish may all flourish in the diversity and brilliance.

With this spirit of love for humanity, we bring our petitions for this time and place.  We pray for the city of Chicago and that the senseless violence that terrorizes our streets and claims innocent lives will cease.  Give us courage to stand up and use our unique gifts and privileges to bring about the jobs and livelihoods so needed to stop bullets.  Demand from us what we are equipped to do for the sake of others.

We also pray for the people of Syria and Afghanistan and all places in your world plagued by violence.  Shelter the innocent from war.  Hasten conversations to a cease fire, then to reconciliation, and day, by day, to a lasting peace.

As so many in our lives face illness, endured accidents, live in failing health, or wrestle with addictions, be the calm amidst fear.  Bring patience and compassion and confidence new life will emerge from brokenness.  Just as you brought hope to those surrounding the tomb who ran to tell the world, Jesus promises of your eternal love are true, restore this hope today.  Nothing will separate us from your love and no human hurt is beyond your ability to overcome.  With confidence in Jesus’ promises, we pray now as he taught.  Our Father…