Neither End Times nor the New Jerusalem: A Bidding Prayer

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Come, let us pray for the people of God scattered throughout the earth.
(people may silently or quietly voice their prayers)
God of Love and Grace, we offer our prayers and praises to you for faithful people everywhere. We trust that you hear the prayers of your people of all times, places, and religious traditions. Open all of us to your vision of a new heaven and a new earth, a vision of peace for the whole of creation. Grant us the courage to set aside all the division we have constructed between and among those who call your name. May your patience continue as we endeavor to turn from our human ways.
God in your mercy,
Hear our prayers.

Come, let us pray for those gathered here and elsewhere.
(people may silently or quietly voice their prayers)
Visionary God, you spoke your Word of love right out loud. Over and over again you have painted a picture of peace and justice and have asked us to help make it real. Somehow it has always been easier for us to shelter ourselves from our neighbors and hide behind walls of fear than it has to courageously embody Christ in the world. Renew your vision within us. Strengthen us with your grace and mercy for the time has come for us to be the Body of Christ in new and surprising ways that we have yet to imagine. Let us remember that we are yours and you ask us to love one another.
God in your mercy,
Hear our prayers.

Come, let us pray for all people and nations.
(people may silently or quietly voice their prayers)
God of justice and compassion, you created human beings in your image and filled us with the breath of your Spirit. We have yet to figure out that our enemies are your Beloved and that the gifts of creation all belong to you. We can turn our eyes from the horrors in Allepo or the injustice in Standing Rock or the violence in our streets. We can claim one nation over another but we cannot change the fact that your creation has no boundaries or borders. Teach us to view the world with your eyes. Fill us with passion and compassion so that we may be peacemakers and justice-seekers until your New Jerusalem is made manifest. May we be Christ to one another and to all our neighbors.
God in your mercy,
Hear our prayers.

Come, let us pray for this country and all those who live here.
(people may silently or quietly voice their prayers)
Loving God, you see us for what we are. You know the depths of our division and the fragility of our hope. As with all nations, you envision a future of unity and peace where we live side by side and recognize you in one another. We lift up to you all those who lead this nation and those who have been elected to lead in the days to come. May your vision become their vision that we may heal all the broken places. May we claim your vision as our own and have the courage to become a nation that proudly celebrates diversity and welcomes those who seek sanctuary and home.
God in your mercy,
Hear our prayers.

Come, let us pray for all those who suffer in body, mind, or spirit.
(people may silently or quietly voice their prayers)
God of healing and transformation, your loving kindness never wavers. You are the hope amid our despair and the peace in the chaos. We so easily lose ourselves in the storms of physical sickness, mental illness, or spiritual despair, yet you remain constant. You see those we do not wish to see and desire for us to care for those who are in need. Until the day when we can love with your love, we pray especially for those who lose themselves in pain, those who struggle with addictions, those who suffer symptoms of mental illness, those who are suicidal, and those whose bodies have betrayed them. May we agents of your compassion and healing so no one suffers alone.

God in your mercy,
Hear our prayers.

Come, let us pray for all those who are mourning.
(people may silently or quietly voice their prayers)
Ever-present God, you claim us as your beloved children. You gift us with blessings and strength beyond measure. And you know the very moment our hearts break and grief floods in. We grieve for lost dreams, lost hope, lost loves, things that have ended, things that will never be, and things we have lost. There is no limit to the ways in which our hearts can break or the depth of pain that floods in. Yet, it is often in the very depths of our lives that we encounter you and the possibility of new life takes hold. As you are patient with us, so may we be with each other offering gentleness and mercy to those who weep.
God in your mercy,
Hear our prayers.

Come, let us give God our thanks and praise.
(people may silently or quietly voice their prayers)
God of generosity and blessing, you yearn for us to see all that you have given to us so that we might rejoice in your presence. You give us all that we need and have shown us the way of love. As we seek to follow you and help bring about your vision of a new earth, may our fears be overcome with gratitude and our anxiety transformed to generosity. When we quiet ourselves enough, we know that you are the way to life and we are filled with gratitude. May we discover anew our capacity for love and justice as we offer praise to you.
God in your mercy,
Hear our prayers.

RCL – Year C – Twenty-sixth Sunday after Pentecost – November 13, 2016
Isaiah 65:17-25 with Isaiah 12 or
Malachi 4:1-2a with Psalm 98
2 Thessalonians 3:6-13
Luke 21:5-19

Photo: CC0 image by Bess Hamiti

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3 Responses to Neither End Times nor the New Jerusalem: A Bidding Prayer

  1. Jane Grady says:

    Rachel, I’d like to use/adapt your beautiful prayer for my pastoral prayer this week. Would that be acceptable to you?

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