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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.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Scripture Reading: Luke 11:1–4
He was praying in a certain place, and after he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, "Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.” He said to them, “When you pray, say:

Father, hallowed be your name.
   Your kingdom come.
Give us each day our daily bread.
And forgive us our sins,
   for we ourselves forgive everyone indebted to us.
 And do not bring us to the time of trial.” (NRSV)

Prayer
You bless us abundantly, gracious God, with the gifts of loved ones, of our health, of meaningful ways to serve others, and of opportunities to learn and grow. You surround us with both the beauty and bounty of creation to feed our spirits and our bodies. You amaze us with the wondrous fragility and resilience of nature. You have bestowed upon us the important responsibility of being good stewards of your creation.

Forgive us when we take for granted all the gifts of life, including your presence with us always. Forgive us for being short-sighted and opportunistic in the ways we relate to other species on earth, destroying their habitats and disregarding what is needed to address climate change. Move nations to work together for the preservation of life in its many forms.

We thank you for granting us the gift of forgiveness, for a fresh chapter in life, allowing us to let go of regrets, resentments, and the desire for fairness and to embrace ourselves and others with newness and a commitment to reconciliation. You know where in our lives we need to offer forgiveness to ourselves and to one another, and we ask you to help us let go of past wrongs, so that our wounds not eat us up.

We pray for all who live in discord with others: the youth of our city caught up in gang warfare; sects and ethnic groups competing with or dismissing one another; nations torn apart by war and unrest. Grant us your peace and restore our unity; lead us to seek your vision of harmony and justice among all people. We especially pray for the youth in our city. Protect them from violence, teach them the way of forgiveness to break the cycles of retaliation and revenge, and open opportunities for growth and work that allow young people to confidently embrace a more hopeful future.

We lift up to you all who are bowed down with grief, who are challenged by illness or recovery, who are constrained by depression or confusion. Grant your comfort, your healing, your light and joy. All this we pray in the name of Jesus Christ, who taught us to pray: Our Father . . .


Offered as the Prayers of the People by Victoria G. Curtiss,
Associate Pastor for Mission,
on Sunday, July 28, 2013


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