July 22, 2007

Prayers of the People

Elizabeth B. Andrews, Parish Associate

Almighty and tender God,
We gather once more in your presence
another week flown by in summer’s swift passage,
another week opening out, inviting,
as you continue to invite us into fullness of life.
For all the ways you have blessed us, we are grateful:
for your gracious presence in the midst
of our joyous celebrations  and
in our times of struggle and sorrow;
for your nearness in the ordinary, the everyday:
for the gift of quiet moments with a dear one,
the bright face of a well-loved child,
the precious interlude in conversation with one full of years,
the comforting hand of a friend,
the word that surprises and opens out a new possibility—
for all such moments that, looking back,           
we recognize as holy  because they were good
and you were there, we praise you.
So, dear Lord, open our ears, brighten our eyes,
sharpen our senses, soften our edges,
alter our path, our pace
that we may be open to your presence
in all our encounters:
open to the opportunity, the word, the welcome,
the healing
to be offered or received,
open to change, open to commitment, open to challenge  and to love.

Our generous companion and creator,
we remember before you this morning
those of this fellowship
and those in the wider circles of your family
for whom the day holds hardship:
Those shocked by sharp, sudden pain or loss,
those worn in long, slow struggles.
Grant strength and courage to those who are faltering,
patience and good humor to those grown sour,
solace to those who grieve,
respite and peace to those worn by conflict.
Respite and peace and a way into a new order
we ask for nations and people whose lives are  in turmoil,
all persons  who live in fear, in danger
at home or far from home.
Move us towards justice and peace
in this world of yours,
wholeness for your good creation
and all that you love.
Now in silence we name before you those
whose particular needs are known to us,
and we hold them out into your stream
of light and healing.
We pray in the name of the one who lived
in vivid awareness of your nearness
and continues to invite us into communion
with you and one another,

and as Jesus taught us, we pray,

Our Father . . .