Prayers of the People
—November 13

God of love, peace and justice: your Word proclaims the promises of peace: that swords will be beaten into plowshares, that war shall be no more. Yet we live in a broken world, where the wounds of war seem almost inevitable. As we gather to worship, free from persecution, we give thanks for those who have served our country with courage and honor. Today, we remember all those who have served in our country’s armed forces to preserve the freedoms you have granted us.

We ask for your blessing. For Jesus tells us that there is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. Help each of us live into that sacred calling, laying down our lives for the sake of another. Let us actively love the most vulnerable, the poor and the oppressed, the outsider and the sojourner, those who fear and those whose deepest fears are realized.

Be with children who worry about their future, and parents who are at a loss as to how to move forward. Be with those who are sick, those who face their last days, and those who are in need of bold healing. Be with those who have lost their job, and those who seek meaningful work in this world.

Be with this, our country, where unity has been met with protest and fear. Bless every inhabitant of our country, O God. Let citizens of every race and creed forge a common bond in the work of peace. Safeguard the ideals and free institutions that are the pride and glory of our country and banish hatred, bigotry, and racism so that those who the world labels as “other” might truly flourish and find a way toward new life. May this land, under your providence, truly be an influence for good throughout the world.

Give us eyes to see, ears to hear, hearts to care, and the strength to work toward your beloved kingdom of grace and mercy. As the days turn cold, and the nights lengthen, remind us that Advent is coming: a time for us to remember the pangs and anticipation and boundless pause before Jesus’ birth. In that promise of awaiting God-with-us, we affirm again our own longing for a world without fear, a world without violence, a world where life prevails. May it be so, O Lord, our rock and our redeemer. Dwelling in your promises, we lift our voices in unity, praying the prayer Jesus teaches us, saying…