A Bidding Prayer for Neighbors

Come, let us pray for all God’s children.
(silence or a time for people to quietly give voice to their concerns)

God of wisdom and mystery, you populated the earth with the diversity of humanity. You delight in our differences and rejoice when we shine with the light of your love. Yet, we struggle to love our neighbors and to show mercy to those in need. Every time we turn away with eyes averted, you long for us to open our hearts. You created us all in your image. Teach us to embrace one another with your mercy.
Trusting in God’s steadfast love we pray,
Come, Holy Spirit, come.

Come let us pray for our neighbors who make up the body of Christ.
(silence or a time for people to quietly give voice to their concerns)

God of love and justice, you would have us be one body. Instead we have become masters of division. Too often we focus on our rules instead of embodying your commandment to love one another as you love us. You call us to glorify you with our worship and with our lives. Show us how to open our doors, step out of our pews, and welcome all our neighbors – without conditions and without judgment.
Trusting in God’s steadfast love we pray,
Come, Holy Spirit, come.

Come let us pray for our neighbors whom we call friends and those who are strangers.
(silence or a time for people to quietly give voice to their concerns)

God of many faces and many names, you take delight in all of your creation. Where any are gathered in your name, you are there. Your love knows no bounds or conditions. Your creation contained no border markers or country distinctions until we drew them on a map. Your intention was that we share the earth’s resources with one another. Instead we fight for power and control of resources even when it means there are those who go without. Soften our hearts that we may see that the time for mercy is now. We have enough, more than enough to share with our neighbors who may have need.
Trusting in God’s steadfast love we pray,
Come, Holy Spirit, come.

Come, let us pray for our neighbors in this country.
(silence or a time for people to quietly give voice to their concerns)

God of all nations, we pray for our country and those who lead it. You are reflected in the great variety of all the peoples who live here. You are worshipped in many ways in many languages and none are better than others. We are all neighbors here – women and men, children and elders, foreign born and born here, English speakers and broken English speakers, able bodied and disabled, educated and uneducated, healthy and sick, rich and poor, employed and unemployed, straight and gay, single and married, religious and not religious – all are equal in your sight. May the day soon arrive when we and the leaders of this country recognize you in all whom we meet.
Trusting in God’s steadfast love we pray,
Come, Holy Spirit, come.

Come, let us pray for our neighbors in need of healing.
(silence or a time for people to quietly give voice to their concerns)

God of power and promise, you call us to care for those who cannot care for themselves. We want to respond to this call, yet we often find ourselves turning away from the weakest among us. We don’t want to be neighbors with the Russian prisoners suffering from tuberculosis or the African men, women, and children who live with AIDS, or the Americans who are tormented with mental illness. We want those who are sick to keep their germs away from us. Grant us compassion enough to offer earnest prayers for healing and courage enough to reach out in genuine kindness.
Trusting in God’s steadfast love we pray,
Come, Holy Spirit, come.

Come, let us pray for our neighbors who are grieving.
(silence or a time for people to quietly give voice to their concerns)

God of life and hope, we know that many people in this community and in the world around us are grieving the loss of a loved one. Bring comfort to those who believe they will never feel peace again. Bring hope to those who are lost in the empty darkness of new grief. Ease the anger of those who have lived through a sudden loss, the survivors of suicide or homicide. Let us be true neighbors for any and all who are grieving today.
Trusting in God’s steadfast love we pray,
Come, Holy Spirit, come.

Come, let us give thanks to God for all our neighbors.
(silence or a time for people to quietly give voice to their concerns)

God of all neighbors, we give you thanks for all the people in our lives – those we love and those who challenge us to love more fully. We thank you for our neighbors who have shown us mercy and taught us to be more merciful. Thank you for our neighbors who share our lives and give us comfort. Thank you also for those who make us uncomfortable and stretch us beyond our imaginings. We are blessed to live in a world with such startling and amazing diversity. May our lives be filled with gratitude for your abundant grace and mercy revealed to us in all our neighbors.
Trusting in God’s steadfast love we pray,
Come, Holy Spirit, come. Amen.

2012-09-22 12.48.15RCL – Year C – Eighth Sunday after Pentecost – July 14, 2013
Amos 7:7-17 with Psalm 82 or
Deuteronomy 30:9-14 with Psalm 25:1-10
Colossians 1:1-14
Luke 10:25-37

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