This morning’s pastoral prayer.
Graciously you call us to life in you:
To abandon fear and to embrace love, to plant seeds of peace in a world overrun by forests of violence.
To make dents and cracks in dividing walls with the words that we speak and the things that we do.
To rejoice, compassionately, as the walls come crashing down; wounding tradition while shattering injustice.
Let our words be filled with love and spoken in peace. Let our hands be guided by compassion.
Let our feet walk in paths of mercy, leading us to encounters with people who need to experience your grace in their lives.
Make us generous with grace, abundant in patience; willing to love, eager to forgive.
As we lift our prayers to you today, we know that you are our compassionate God; whose heart breaks for the wickedness abounding in the world, taking its death toll left and right as your children cry out in anguish, “how long, O Lord, how long?”
Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.
Hear us in our anger, our sadness, our helplessness as we pray for families: wives, mothers, fathers, children who lost people they deeply loved this week. Bind up their wounds with your healing grace and your deep mercy.
Gracious God, when things like this happen, we don’t understand it, and we are at a loss for what to do.
Help us to know how to respond as your beloved children to the injustices around us, to senseless deaths and violence.
Let our lives be a reflection of you; a light shining in darkest places, a voice calling out in the desert wilderness, “here is your God.”
Let us be light that drives out darkness; let us be love that drives out hate. Help us daily to choose love, and to lay down the burden of hate. Teach us to be loving, compassionate, image-bearers of your love.
We are members of a world torn by violence, and of a community whose much loved members face trials of many kinds: illness, pain, loneliness, fear.
Hear our prayers on their behalf. For those who struggle with illness, we pray for healing.
For those who are grieving, we pray for comfort.
For those who are lonely, we pray for daily reminders of your presence in their lives.
For those who are afraid, we pray for your strength to surround and lift them up.
Bless each member of our community. We give thanks for this community of faith, for this family you have created through your grace and the love of Christ.
Help us to be good representatives of your message to the world: that things are not as they should be; but that a time is coming when all will be made right, when all shall be well and all manner of things shall be well.
Until then, we lift our hearts and prayers to you today, offering the best of what we have to give; in the name of your son, the ultimate representation of your love, Jesus Christ, who taught us to pray for peace and justice, saying
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, they will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.