Prayers of the People
—October 23

Oh, Jesus our savior and friend, there are no thoughts too strange or hurtful or sources of delight too farfetched for you, for you know us, you walked our human path, and you love us beyond the horizon of our sight.

Jesus, coax us to open our hearts and confide our deepest desires, confess our shortcomings, and turn to you again as the grace to make us new.  Sweet Jesus, stir our memories to know, life is always better when we walk in your ways with you as our guide.

Thank you for this fall day, rich with harvest and blessings. There are barns full to feed us.  There are colors bursting to startle us with your creativity.  There are dwindling hours of sunlight, yet you remain our light in the dark.  As seasons turn, may we see the same rhythms in our lives of planting and harvest, growth and hibernation, life and new life, and your abiding presence.

In the fervor of things to do, places to go, and all people we are expected to be, be our guide, inspire us to look beyond what is expected.  Fill us with a spirit of calm.  Fill us with a spirit of adventure.  Fill us with a spirit of knowing we are loved for who you created us to be.

Each fall, in the series of challenges, we are grateful for this competition.  Help us give our best, shatter worn-out doubts, and restore our confidence. We give you great thanks for the joys of athletic talents, teams to play together, and unity in such pleasures.

As we look beyond ourselves, to the world and people you created, our hearts grieve for the violence in Mosul and all cities torn in two, particularly for the children and those who are caught in the middle.  Protect them and comfort them.  We pray for a way, a way out, a way forward, a way to stop the terror.

Within our own country, we pray for leaders who will govern with justice and mercy, kindness and fairness.  We pray for these same virtues in ourselves. Guide us to make wise choices in voting and in the ways we live.

God, there are those in our lives we lift up to you who are dear to us.  We give thanks for the family and friends who fill our lives with your love.  We pray for those who are near death and those that care for them.  Let your peace settle in hearts and minds.  We are bold to pray for the healing of those suffering in body, mind or spirit.

Now we join our voices….