The Great Prayer
—October 1

We are blanketed by a new day,
O God, by the dawn that stirs us awake,
and offers us a chance to start anew.

We have seen in a mirror dimly
a glimpse of your goodness
—the sweet smell of fall
resting on the cool morning air,
the dew just barely hanging on as the sun rises.

We have seen your love echoed
off the still green grass and the still chittering birds,
and we have felt the rhythm of your presence
with us as the days shorten and the nights grow long.

Today, we turn to your table.
We seek the unity to which you call us.
We remember our Christian brothers and sisters
around the globe who also sing to the glory of your name.

We got out of bed this morning
with our hearts turned toward Jesus,
and in the same way, friends
all over the world are doing just that
—waking and walking,
traveling toward this same table
—your table—
the table that you set
before us time and again across every nation on earth.

Unite us here, O God.
Help us to remember that it is not just here
in our sacred place that you meet us, but that your presence bounds across every corner of the globe.

We are sorry for the ways that we have spread conflict,
have broken the peace,
have stirred discord,
have destroyed unity
—whether in our individual lives,
or as a community,
as a nation,
as a people.

Forgive us for what we have done wrong
and for what we have left undone.
Let your spirit of unity bring healing and wholeness,
in our own lives,
in our families,
in our communities,
across our country,
and around the world.

We thank you that you have sent Jesus Christ to us,
not just in the centuries long past, but here today,
to dwell among us, full of grace and truth.

For it is Christ who breaks down the walls of hostility,
and Christ who reveals your all-encompassing love.

We hold many on our hearts today:
we pray your peace for those who have passed
beyond this life into your eternal light,
for those who grieve,
for those who are sick or in the hospital,
for those experiencing anxiety or worry or fear,
and for those who face an unknown future.

We pray for the hard places of the world,
for the continued recovery after a hard hurricane season,
for the work that must be done,
for the resources to be made available.

We pray for the places of war,
that weapons might be laid down.
We pray for political unrest,
and places where elections make a true difference
in what might unfold in our world.
Be our God of peace and presence,
not just for us, but for the whole world.

Now, by your presence, make sacred this feast.
Let these ordinary elements of bread and cup,
wheat and grape, be blessed.
Let your will be done among us and by us,
on earth as it is in heaven.

Pour out your spirit upon us,
and upon these gifts of bread and cup,
and in response let our lives be poured out in compassion.

Let us pray together the prayer Jesus teaches us, saying…