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In the weeks ahead, we will be highlighting one of the many resources on the Fourth Church website that is available to you for your personal reflection
and prayer life: the collection of the Prayers of the People
offered during Sunday morning worship.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Scripture Reading: Matthew 3:13–17
Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan, to be baptized by him. John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now; for it is proper for us in this way to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented.

And when Jesus had been baptized, just as he came up from the water, suddenly the heavens were opened to him and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.” (NRSV)

Creator God, you grant us the breath of life and baptize us with water and the Spirit. You bestow our identity as your beloved people of faith who belong to Christ Jesus. We thank you for claiming us as your children, directing us to your task, humbling us in our strength, and consoling us in our weakness. We thank you that Jesus became one of us so that we may be one with you. We praise you for your unconditional love that frees us to honor not only ourselves but all your children as people of divine worth.

Just as you entrusted Jesus with the mission to give his life for others, so you have called us to serve, working for the welfare of our brothers and sisters. Strengthen the efforts of all who seek to aid those who face the daily challenges of homelessness due to poverty or disruptive violence. Use us, and shape our societies, to feed the hungry, secure employment, provide shelter from the cold, and offer hope for the future. Be with refugees. Comfort all who mourn the loss of loved ones, and make known your presence in the lives of those who feel alone and abandoned.

Your impartiality, God of all, transcends all our differences. We pray for your healing and reconciling love wherever alienation, hatred, war, and oppression threaten lives. Protect those who serve in the military, and also the people in the lands where they serve. Guide the political leaders of all nations toward harmony and toward shaping a world which especially cares for the most vulnerable. Bring justice wherever workers are paid poorly and their rights crushed. Free young girls and women, boys and men, who are exploited in human trafficking, right here in our own city and throughout the world. Bring peace and wholeness to those struggling with health issues. We need your healing in our broken world.

All this we lift up to you, O God, because we know that you care for us and your creation through Jesus Christ. Hear us now as pray together the prayer he taught, saying, Our Father . . .

Offered as the Prayers of the People by Victoria G. Curtiss,
Associate Pastor for Mission,
on Sunday, January 12, 2014

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