A Pastoral Prayer

20131019_150318God of Life, hear the prayers of your people. Like those who have gone before us, we want to trust that your spirit abides among us and we have no need of fear. Yet, we often find ourselves drawn into the dark places in our lives causing us to lose sight of you. We do not want to be a people who lives in the fearful, angry shadows any longer. You are our God and your works are amazingly wonderful!

Holy God, in the stresses of our days, we forget to turn to you. You fill the skies with your majesty to remind us that we are part of your creation. Make us mindful of our resources that we may truly be good stewards of all that is. You want us to honor you and the gifts of your creation from one generation to the next. Stir us to action, even small ones, that will save ocean life and stop pollution of earth and air. It matters what we say and do when we walk in the world bearing your name.

Eternal God, you long for us to sing a new song. Surely, we can sing peace into the streets of Israel and Palestine, Damascus and Alleppo, Baghdad and Karbala, Kabul and Kunduz, New York and Los Angelos, and every other place where there is violence. Surely, we can sing hope to neighbors and strangers who suffer in silence. Remind us of all the marvelous things you have done for us that we might make joyful noises in praise of you. It is time for a new song. May we have the courage to sing.

God of steadfast love, in Christ you make us new. There is nothing that can separate us from your love. No sickness, no sin, no failure, no loss, not even death, will cause you to turn away from us. We are so easily defined by these things. Redefine us with your love for us that never wavers. May we boldly proclaim with Job that our Redeemer lives and that you are present on this earth, in our lives, in this very room. We need not bear or burdens alone. You are here.

Yearning God, hear us as we offer you praise for the abundant blessings of our lives. When2013-11-06 16.42.23 we pay attention, we can see you in the glories of the setting sun, in the kindness of stranger, in the face of another who needs compassion, in the quiet moments after a busy day, in the gentle touch of loved ones. Gratitude can change our hearts as we realize how precious we are in your sight. We are your people. We are the body of Christ. We give you thanks.

God of strength and mercy, we lift up to you all those who need to be hidden in the shadow of your wings. Offer shelter to the forgotten and protection to the lost. Heal the broken ones and comfort those who mourn. Be merciful to us when we fail to sing a new song and live as though you did not claim us as your own. Teach us all to live fully in you and invite all people to receive the radical hospitality Jesus lived.

Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and through grace gave us eternal comfort and good hope, comfort your hearts and strengthen them in every good work and word.

Amen.

RCL – Year C – Twenty-fifth Sunday after Pentecost – November 10, 2013
Haggai 1:15b-2:9 with Psalm 145:1-5, 17-21 or Psalm 98 or
Job 19:23-27a with Psalm 17:1-9
2 Thessalonians 2:1-5, 13-17
Luke 20:27-38

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