July 1, 2007

Prayers of the People

Martha Langford, Pastoral Resident

Most Gracious God, we thank you today for the land in which we live. We thank you for the freedoms that are ours, for the multitudes of opportunities present to each of us, for life lived in a land of abundance. Grant us the creativity and drive to share this nation’s bounty equitably. Give us the humility and strength to set aside self-indulgence and through love become slaves to one another.

Merciful God, whose own Son demonstrates the height and depth and breadth of your love, we pray for the church throughout the world and for the church gathered in this place. Grant us the courage and openness to obey Christ’s command that we “love our neighbor” as we love ourselves. Give us the strength of your Spirit so that our witness to your word be embodied in acts of care and compassion and joyful praise.

Sovereign God, ruler of all things, we pray for the leaders of this world and of this nation. Grant them wisdom and faith to rule fairly and to seek the good of all peoples. Give them hearts for peace and justice so that oppression might end and all your children might live lives of freedom and promise.

Loving God, we pray today for those in harm’s way, for the men and women of our armed forces and the men and women in law enforcement who serve this country and seek to protect us and our way of life. Shelter them from danger. Grant them strength of character to carry out their duties ethically with honor and grace.

Compassionate God, we pray this day for those who are ill, for the families that surround them, for the medical communities that care for them. Grant them wholeness of spirit that transcends illness and restore them health as it is your will. Give us the empathy and generosity to come alongside them and lift them up.

Eternal God, we pray this day for those who are dying and for those who mourn. Grant them peace and the certain knowledge that not even death can separate us from your love in Jesus Christ. Give us the presence to speak words of care and to demonstrate your love to those who suffer.

Blessed God, for freedom Christ has set us freeā€”set us free and given us an eternal calling to serve one another, loving all whom you give us as neighbors. In those places where we might succumb to the yoke of enslaving ideology or fear-filled oppression, stir the spark of freedom anew. Grant us generosity of spirit and gentleness of strength as we take our place in this, your world. Give us the vision and insight to see in all the peoples of the earth, your people.

A portion of this prayer is adapted from Prayers of the People by Richard J. Einerson.