The Great Prayer
—September 10

Holy God, you hover over the chaos of our lives.
You stand with us
as the rhythms of school and work unfurl
in the splendor of fall.

You linger near when new life and old friend death melt
our hearts in joy and sorrow.

You are made known as we wonder what the future will bring,
with uncertainty and expectation on our hearts.

We pray for our church.
For the newness unfurling here.
For the ways that you might meet us this year.
For the friendships that gift us with your Spirit.
For the strangers who become friends,
and the friends who become like family.

For the meals, conversations,
tears and laughter shared in this place.
For this table of joy and promise.
For all this and more, we give you thanks O God.

We pray for the world:
For those without access to medicine or clean water or food
in Yemen or the Congo or Somalia.

For the Latino communities across our country,
where the threat of deportation now looms large
for families impacted by the suspension of DACA.

For the places where ecological disaster
has hit the poorest of communities:
in the Caribbean and India and
Sri Lanka and the United States,
especially for those who have no way out,
no escape from the storm.

It has only been a few short days
since blue skies returned to Houston
and all those in Hurricane Harvey’s wake,
and now, the storm of storms hovers over Florida
with the Caribbean in it’s rearview mirror.

We trust, O God, that blue skies will return there, too.
We trust that the rain will cease
and the rainbow will answer in reply.

But now, O Lord, we ask for safety.
Now, O Lord, we ask for peace.
Now, O Lord we ask for perseverance.
Now, O Lord, we ask for whatever good you might provide.
As we come to the table today, to meet you,
to thank you, to taste and see your goodness,
we think of all the meals shared
across this country and world…

meals like this, of simple bread and cup,
of holy meals and of ordinary meals,
dinners shared in hotels or hurricane shelters,
supper shared with strangers or friends,
lunch shared amid water or wind or ruined houses,
bread broken and passed around even with fear looming too near and hope on a distant horizon.

Be with us, O God, at this table.
Let us meet Christ, the one who was and is and will be.
Let us meet Christ, the one with us.
Let us meet Christ, the risen one.
Let us meet Christ, O Lord.

And now, hear our prayer,
the one chanted across every age and place…
Our Father,