Prayers of the People
—September 18

Lead us God to open our hearts to you in this sanctuary as we bring our prayers of gratitude, prayers of hope, and prayers for healing.

Heaven and earth are here now, and the space between them is thin.  We may feel distances divide, but Christ’s promise unites us with those bounded by time and those blessed in eternity.

God we gather in your sanctuary to praise you for this congregation that has served so many for decades as the body of Christ. We thank you for all those who teach our children, who offer gifts of music, cook meals, and those who pray for others.  We give you thanks this church has been a light on this corner of your world for 124 years and we pray that we will be inspired to nurture it into the future for others.  As we return from vacations and respite, as we renew classrooms and programs and launch new ideas, help us commit to be present, to invite others, and to be courageous witnesses to our faith.

God, let your healing mercy be on all those who struggle with ailing health, especially those whose conditions will deteriorate and limit life.  We ask you to comfort those whose hearts are heavy with sorrow that they may feel your presence and be assured there is no pain, no distance, no place in which you are not always with them, holding them, strengthening them.

As our country considers choices among leaders in our city, state and country, give us discerning minds, and give us clear voices as we speak for needed change and act in ways that bring us together.  We pray for all leaders and those who aspire to leadership that they will do so with justice and mercy and care for all people.  Let us never forget it is the humble yet eternal Christ who is our leader and savior.

We join our voices with people around the world to pray for cities and countries torn by violence that they may find peace and protection from weapons and terror.  God, guide us to be your instruments of peace for an hour, a day and in enduring ways.  And should we walk in separate ways, then remind us of our common goal of you, and you alone, towards whom we all must travel as we live our lives.

God, we have private hopes and fears, those in our hearts which you know but we name now silently, asking for your help.

God, bring new life where we are worn and tired.
New love where we have turned hard-hearted.
Healing forgiveness where we feel hurt and where we have wounded.
Freedom and release where we are bound to old ways.
Saving grace where our confidence wanes in you and ourselves.

The Lord’s Prayer….