Bidding Prayer for Love

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Come, let us unite in prayer for the church throughout the world.

(a time for quietly voiced or silent prayer)

Eternal God, you have remained steadfast for generations. Your people fill the world. Let us be faithful in our witness that you may continue to a rock of refuge and a strong fortress for those who will come after us.

O give thanks to God.

For God’s steadfast love endures forever.

Let us pray for the United Church of Christ here and everywhere congregations gather.

(a time for quietly voiced or silent prayer)

God of us all, we ask you to set your Spirit free within the United Church of Christ. May we set aside our differences in order to build up your body. We are stronger when your love unites us than when our opinions and beliefs divide us. Now is the time to build and plant. May the times of destruction and division be in our past. We give you thanks for all those whom you have called to lead the UCC, especially Geoffrey Black our minister and president. Grant us the courage to live in your love and to embrace the wonders and mysteries of our time while honoring our history and identity.

O give thanks to God.

For God’s steadfast love endures forever.

Let us prayer for all the peoples of the world.

(a time for quietly voiced or silent prayer)

Holy God in whose image we are made, we give you thanks for the amazing diversity of humanity. You claim all peoples as your children. We pray that you would be with all those whose lives are disrupted by war, violence, poverty, or disaster – especially those who live in Syria, Mali, and Afghanistan. Remind us that you call us to see you in our selves, in one another, and in all whom we meet. We are to embody your love with patience, kindness, and compassion. Teach us to rejoice when even one hungry child is fed or one person is made well. Let us stand against any who are unjust or cruel until the day comes when all your children live in freedom and peace.

O give thanks to God.

For God’s steadfast love endures forever.

 Let us pray for this great nation.

(a time for quietly voiced or silent prayer)

God of steadfast love, we are a nation fractured by hatred and fear. We cannot seem to find a way of hope and healing for all those who live in this country. Let us not insist on our own way or seek our own glory, but let us strive toward a more excellent way. We give thanks for President Obama and all others who seek to lead this nation. Grant them courage and wisdom. May we all live in hope and rejoice in truth.

O give thanks to God.

For God’s steadfast love endures forever.

Let us pray for all those in need of healing.

(a time for quietly voiced or silent prayer)

Merciful God, there are countless people who walk this world feeling unloved, forgotten, and unseen. Our churches are called to embody your love. Let us welcome with extravagance and grace all those who are hurting. Be with all those who suffer. Bring healing where there is brokenness. Guide us in the ways of compassion and understanding so that we may be instruments of your peace. May all who are sick in body, mind, or spirit find a place at your table.

O give thanks to God.

For God’s steadfast love endures forever.

Let us pray for those who grieve.

(a time for quietly voiced or silent prayer)

God who can turn mourning into dancing, sorrow into joy, we lift up to you all those who are grieving the loss of a loved one. Again and again you tell us to care for the widows and the widowers, the orphans, and those whose children have died. Teach us your tenderness. Let us believe all things and endure all things that we may accompany the heartbroken through the darkness of grief. May none of your children bear the burden of loss alone.

O give thanks to God.

For God’s steadfast love endures forever.

Let us give thanks to God for all that we have received.

(a time for quietly voiced or silent prayer)

Glorious God, you have blessed us beyond our understanding. You offer us forgiveness. Claim us as your beloved. Call us to be your hands, your voice, and your heart in the world. May gratitude focus our desires and our energy on all that we have and all that we can accomplish in you. You incline your ear to us and you save us. We have hope, faith, and love because you have given them to us. May we have the courage to live in your love and sing your praises right out loud.

O give thanks to God.

For God’s steadfast love endures forever.

RCL – Year C – Fourth Sunday – February 3, 2013

Jeremiah 1:4-10
Psalm 71:1-6
1 Corinthians 13:1-13
Luke 4:21-30

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