Bidding Prayer for the People of God

Come, let us pray for the Church throughout the world.
People may quietly voice their prayers.
God of snowy days and drought ridden places, gather us in. Call us from places of abundance and places of unmet need. Reach us in the cold, frozen places and the hot, dry places. Remind us that we are your people wherever we dwell and that it is by your Spirit that you shape us into the body of Christ. In the uncertainty of these days, remind us that our wisdom is foolishness in your presence. Let no body of Christ hide in “lofty words” but be open to all who come seeking.
God of love,
Hear our prayer.

DSC00107Let us pray for the United Church of Christ gathered here and elsewhere.
People may quietly voice their prayers.
God of Cathedrals and hospital chapels, of churches with rich histories and churches newly forming, remind us all of our true identity as your beloved children. You call us to share our bread with the hungry and our homes with the homeless. Grant your wisdom to our leaders that our eyes may be opened to the kinship we share with all who call on your name. Grant your courage to all who call your name that we might shine brightly with your light, becoming beacons of hope for all to see.
God of love,
Hear our prayer.

Let us pray for all the peoples of the world.
People may quietly voice their prayers.
God of many names and tongues, you claim all the peoples of the earth as your own. War and violence are made with human hands and you would have us create justice and peace instead. Open us to the heartbreak of war-torn countries even as you stir us to action. Let us not remain complacent in the face of suffering. Move us to walk in the way of peace.
God of love,
Hear our prayer.

Let us pray for our nation and those who lead it.
People may quietly voice their prayers.
God who remembers the birth of this nation and all that has happened until now. Remind us all of the gifts we have been given and our place in the world at this moment. Be with our leaders that they may heed the call of the hungry, the homeless, and the afflicted. Let no one of us forget that human beings are more important than politics. Show us how to become a nation of justice for refugees, immigrants, new citizens, and all others who call this country their home.
God of love,
Hear our prayer.

Let us pray for those who are in need of healing.
People may quietly voice their prayers.
God of the down-trodden and the lifted up, of the broken and the whole, shine your light on us all. Be with all those who suffer in body, mind, or spirit. Remove the barriers of fear and ignorance that we may more fully care for those in need. Surround the vulnerable with generosity and compassion.
God of love,
Hear our prayer.

Let us pray for those who are grieving.
People may quietly voice their prayers.
God of the hopeful and the hopeless, the powerful and the powerless, comfort all those who grieve. The ebb and flow of grief remains a mystery to us, especially when we are in the midst of it. Sheild those who are grieving from words of judgement. Surround them with people who would share their burdens and be reminders that there is nothing that can separate us from  your love.
God of love,
Hear our prayer.

Let us give thanks for our blessings.sanfran_02_bg_090406
People may quietly voice their prayers.
God of steadfast love, we cannot begin to name the blessings we have experienced. Let us not hide our light any longer. In gratitude may we shine fully, reaching out to all those who would share in your abundance. Open our hearts that we may recognize your hand at work throughout our world and overflow with gratitude, like that spring of water that never fails.
God of love,                                                                  Photo from pdphoto.org
Hear our prayer.  Amen.

RCL – Year A – Fifth Sunday after Epiphany – February 9, 2014
Isaiah 58:1-9a, (9b-12)
Psalm 112:1-9 (10)
1 Corinthians 2:1-12, (13-16)
Matthew 5:13-20

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