December 9, 2007

Prayers of the People

Adam H. Fronczek, Associate Pastor

Lord, your scriptures tell us that
a shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse,
and a branch from his roots;
the spirit of the Lord shall rest on him,
the spirit of wisdom and understanding.

Lord, there is much for which we long to have understanding and wisdom.
Why do hungry and cold people starve and freeze
on the doorsteps of people who have more than they will ever need?
Why do we not provide health care to all who need it?
Why do we not teach all of those who want to learn
and provide jobs for all of those who want to work?
We pray today for all people who are in need in our city
and for people who look for ways to provide for them.
We pray for policy makers who provide for the masses,
for service providers who give hope to the hopeless,
and for faithful souls who ring bells and serve meals
and give of themselves so that others might survive;
for all of these your servants, O Lord, we give thanks.

Lord, there is much that we long to understand.
Why do nations and peoples make wars on one another,
wars that we seem unable to stop?
Why do young people carry guns and kill the innocent?
Why do we turn everything into a war zone, from mountain passes to shopping malls?

Help us to be voices of peace in a world of war.
We pray, O Lord, for families and friends of those who died in the midst of violence this week, in Iraq and in Chicago and in Omaha. We pray for the families of soldiers and civilians. We pray for the families and friends of those who were innocently gunned down in a shopping mall; we pray for the family and friends of Robert Hawkins. We pray for troubled young people throughout this land; we pray that caring and hopeful people would continue to reach out to them and help them find their way. We pray for a spirit of wisdom and understanding. Just like your people Israel, we long for peace.

We give thanks to you, O Lord, for you tell us a different story of how it is to be.
You are sending one who with righteousness shall judge the poor
and will decide with equity for the meek of the earth.

You show us a vision of people who live together without raising arms against one another and where everyone has enough.

The wolf shall lie down with the lamb and the leopard with the kid.
The cow and the bear shall graze.
They will not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain;
for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord
as the waters cover the sea.

A fresh, green shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse,
and a branch from his roots.
The spirit of the Lord shall rest on him,
The spirit of wisdom and understanding.

Our Father . . .