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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.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Scripture Reading: Luke 18:1–8
Then Jesus told them a parable about their need to pray always and not to lose heart. He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor had respect for people. In that city there was a widow who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Grant me justice against my opponent.’ For a while he refused; but later he said to himself, ‘Though I have no fear of God and no respect for anyone, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will grant her justice, so that she may not wear me out by continually coming.’ ”  

And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God grant justice to his chosen ones who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long in helping them? I tell you, he will quickly grant justice to them. And yet, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” (NRSV)

God of all miracles and God of all mysteries, how is it that you are the creator of the universe and also the creator of each one of us? How is it that you know the rhythms of the sun and the moon and the stars and also the rhythms of our lives, the joys and the sorrows, the challenges and the gifts, the places of pride and the places of shame? How do you know all of this? How do we believe that you know all of this?

O God, when we wonder about our worth, help us to trust. Help us to trust when we wonder about our significance or our ability or if we are loved. Help us to trust when the way before us is unclear or when we are afraid of the future. Help us to trust, dear God, and then to stand in awe that you are mindful of even us, that you, who created the world, created us too.

We come again to this day with collective worries and discouragements. We grieve over places far away. We worry about the human ability and endurance to care for refugees all over the world. We grieve over violence and bloodshed, both far away and close to home.

Sovereign God, those of us who have much struggle with priorities, know we rely on acquisition of things, talk about clutter and overeating, wonder what ticket to buy next, feel cheated when we can’t see some event or another. Give us wisdom about the resources we tend—our money, our time. Help us put our treasure into things of your kingdom. Help us know how to make sacrifices for the sake of others.

We pray for those who face serious illness. We give thanks for people who work in places of healing. We ask that you sustain those burdened with daily care of another. And we ask that you wrap your tender arms around those who grieve—who experience what seems like a long loneliness. Bind our community of faith more closely together, so that in even greater measure we would be Christ’s hands and heart to the world around us.

We thank you, for all of your blessings and for the gift of Jesus, who came to us to proclaim your love, love given not because of our ability or intelligence or wealth, but given instead out of sheer and passionate love, love even for us. We pray all of this in the name of Christ, saying together the prayer Jesus taught to those closest to him, Our Father . . .

Offered as the Prayers of the People by Judith L. Watt,
Associate Pastor for Pastoral Care,
on Sunday, October 20, 2013

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