Prayers Of The People
—October 8

O God, sometimes our newspapers and televisions and screens convince us that the human heart and the natural world are filled with unrest and disorder.

The winds rage and the waves roar and the storm breaks and the lightning flashes and the earth trembles. A mind snaps, a trigger finger tightens, and many die.

Our hope crumbles just a little bit. We wonder if our world is in soft hands.

And yet with its unfaltering constancy, the sun rose to give life and light this morning. All around the world mothers dry their babies’ tears; a father coached his son’s soccer team yesterday, the writers at Saturday Night Life wrote a skit, and Colbert told a joke, and we couldn’t stop laughing. This morning in Iowa a farmer is reaping mountains of wheat with a machine as big as a castle so that we’ll have bread through the long winter. Nature is more mother than monster and people of good intent outnumber those with dark hearts.

We’ll make a covenant with you God. We’ll work really hard to fortify our faith and sharpen our perception to notice the reliability of your goodness to us and the extravagance of your grace.

In turn, we’ll ask you to be near to us as breath through your Holy Spirit. Make our sick friends strong and keep our children safe.

We ask you to heal broken hearts in the Esler family after the death of Michael’s mother, Cynthia.

We are thankful for the gift of new life: for Charles Scott Dunigan and for Charles Baldwin Phillips, a plethora of Charles’s, more Charles’s than we deserve, a doubling of joy in the Dunigan, Schneiders, Solberg, and Phillips families.


Almighty God,
You are the restful night,
You are the count to ten,
You are the angry email we draft and do not send,
You are the nameless, tireless diplomat,
You are the safety on,
We pray for peace—
For our city, our country, and our world,
Within our families, within our bodies,
And within our hearts.
We pray for peace
Until only jokes bomb,
And only batters strike,
And only cameras shoot,
Until the only child we bury is the setting sun.

We pray to you for peace.
—by Benno Wilson, a young adult at the Lakeview Presbyterian Church of Chicago

Bells will toll in honor of those who died in Las Vegas a week ago