April 26, 2009

Prayers of the People

John Boyle, Parish Associate

God of all creation and of each one of us, we thank you for the beauty of the earth and the glory of the skies, even as we fuss and complain about the weather when it is not to our liking. Help us to respect and care for the earth and the environment, that we might not mar, deface, or destroy any part of your creation by our carelessness and thoughtlessness. Keep us from drifting into contempt for your creation and thereby pouring contempt upon humanity as well.

God of all grace, we acknowledge how easy it is for us to deceive ourselves into thinking that confessing wrongdoing necessarily leads to behavioral change. Help us to see that such confession may be motivated by the need to be spared consequences and may thereby become a substitute for repentance and change.

Lift from our eyes the cataracts of confusion that cloud our vision regarding the right ethical path to set foot on when our way is shrouded in the fog of ambiguity and ambivalence. And when we are faced with choices that are not clear-cut but laced with uncertainty, remind us that though you are perfect, you are not a perfectionist, and that your forgiving mercy is ours to receive when we make decisions that turn out to be riven with more sin than sanity.

God of all mercy, touch with your healing power and comforting grace the sick and the impoverished, the suffering and the incapacitated, those who are drowning in tears of sorrow and those sinking in a sea of despair. Grant that the leaders in the government of our nation as well as those who are trying to help our nation and the world find a way out of the economic morass that threatens to undo us be reminded of the disastrous consequences of imperial hubris. Teach us, O God, to appreciate the difference between affluence that is employed in the service of human need and the affluence that is used in the service of human greed, and lead us to commit our resources to the former and not the latter.

And, Lord, when we find ourselves in bondage to an overscrupulous conscience that causes us to feel guilty about the least little thing, turn our eyes upon Jesus and remind us that the risen Christ once died that we might be forgiven and released from that bondage.

We pray in his name and with the words he used in teaching us how to pray, saying,

Our Father . . .