Bidding Prayer for New Life

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Image from pdphoto.org

Come, let us unite in prayer for the church throughout the world.
(silence or a time for people to quietly give voice to their concerns)
God of all, you would have us all be called into new life. Remove from us the temptation to mistake our words for yours and grant us the courage to step away from death and darkness into the joys of life in your light.
We wait for God, our souls wait,
and in God’s word we hope.

Let us pray for the United Church of Christ, here and elsewhere.
(silence or a time for people to quietly give voice to their concerns)
Enduring and persisting God, remind us of the power of your breath. You have led your people through deserts and wilderness lands filled with despair and confusion; you lead us still. In these years of transition and change, make us mindful that you are a God of life, a God who reanimates dry dusty bones and calls the dead to live again. You are doing this for the church even now. Let us not be afraid of the power of your breath and the wonders that come to us on the winds of change. We thank you for all those called to lead the United Church of Christ, especially for Geoffrey Black our minister and president, Gary Schulte our conference minister, and all those gathered here. Breathe again on the New Hampshire Conference of the United Church of Christ so that all that is dry and dusty may come to life anew.
We wait for God, our souls wait,
and in God’s word we hope.

Let us pray for all the peoples of the world.
(silence or a time for people to quietly give voice to their concerns)
God whose image every person bears, show us how to share the burdens of all your people that we may also particpate in their joys. Too many people and nations know only war and the devastation left in its wake. Show us how to achieve the impossible – a world of peace and justice for all your children. Only with our hands will there be enough food, water, medicine, and safety for those whose lives are at risk. In you we know that the only power we ought to share with one another is the love and compassion that will save innocent lives. Call us out of complacency into a world of light and possibility.
We wait for God, our souls wait,
and in God’s word we hope.

Let us pray for our nation and those who lead it.
(silence or a time for people to quietly give voice to their concerns)
Patient and loving God, we know that your love is for the whole of creation and that our nation is just one of many. We are blessed with an abundance that we take for granted and don’t always understand. Because we have been gifted with much, much is asked of us in the world. Lead us to a place of balance where needs are met and strangers are welcomed without fear or resentment. Be with all those who lead this country, especially Barak Obama. Guide them and each of us in all decisions that one day all our dry valleys will rise up with new life.
We wait for God, our souls wait,
and in God’s word we hope.

Let us pray for all those who are in need of healing.
(silence or a time for people to quietly give voice to their concerns)
God who calls into life, we lift up to you all who are struggling for health of body, mind, or spirit. How often we turn away from those in need, forgetting that when we do, we turn away from you. Just as you led Ezekiel to prophesy to a valley of dry bones, so lead us to be agents of grace, healing, and new life to all who are in need.
We wait for God, our souls wait,
and in God’s word we hope.

Let us pray for all those who grieve.
(silence or a time for people to quietly give voice to their concerns)
Living, amazing God, as much as we may long for you to call our loved ones back from death as you did for Lazarus, we trust that they rest in you even while our own hearts are heavy with grief. We lift up to you all those who mourn, especially those whose loved ones were murdered or died by suicide or other sudden, unexpected deaths. Heal the brokenhearted and remind us that not even death can separate us from your love.
We wait for God, our souls wait,
and in God’s word we hope.

Let us give thanks to God for all the blessings we have received.
(silence or a time for people to quietly give voice to their concerns)
God who calls each of us to new life, we worship you and sing your praises. Remove from us all that prevents us from experiencing the fullness of life in you that we may overflow with joy and gratitude. We are the body of Christ in this place and we offer ourselves to you that your breath might fill us, and we will have the courage to leave all darkness behind. We pray in Christ’s name.
We wait for God, our souls wait,
and in God’s word we hope. Amen.

RCL – Year A – Fifth Sunday in Lent
Ezekiel 37:1-14
Psalm 130
Romans 8:6-11
John 11:1-45

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