Prayers of the People
—September 24

Dear God,

We have gathered like this many times. We have centered ourselves to pray to you like this so many times. We have probably offered the same words at times.

We may think our prayer is the same as yesterday’s prayer and tomorrow may become the same as yesterday, but today is different, in you, all things can be made new, even us and our world.

We pray with gratitude for the blessings received in this life. You alone are the breath in our lungs, able to bring soft rains to the fields, flowers to stems and produce to our tables. You enliven our minds, are able to guide our hands and are present in our board meetings, sales calls, classrooms, examining rooms, stores, and all the places where we work. Apart from you we are and have nothing. We are grateful for the ways you have showered us with comfort, shelter, and food.

Stir within us as we consider our resources and our responsibilities as members of your son’s church. Where there is need for volunteers and leaders, inspire us to say “yes, I am willing.” From the talents you gifted each one of us in unique ways, give us courage to offer “may I serve” to the delight of all. Raise within us generous visions to share the monies needed to turn on lights, pay for supplies, and all the mundane but vital ways your church continues to serve on this corner. Speak to us of the myriad possibilities….

God, people in your world are facing bombs and guns, caught in fighting over food and water, and oil and power. Where terror reigns, bring about a stop. Where hatred inflames hearts, bring a gentle rain of grace for it to cease. Where greed drives few to gain much and others to starve, send your spirit of justice. We pray particularly for refugees who flee hatred of their heritage and faith. Give them safe passage and warm welcomes to begin again.

God, people in our lives are hurting, from physical hardship. We pray particularly for the people of Puerto Rico and all those who stood in the path of hurricanes. We lift up those in Mexico who suffered the very earth quake, shattering homes and families. Let each hour of each day bring healing, as you will, so in your time, lives will be restored to wholeness.

God, we pray for those who suffer from broken relationships, cynicism, loss of memory, or sorrow from loved ones lost.

Grant to us, O God, a love of life to bravely become more than what we imagined and all of what you ordained.

We pray this as and the prayer your son taught us saying…