Sunday, June 28, 2009

June 28, 2009 - Prayers of the People

Eternal God, we lift our thoughts toward you, so that we might turn our attention to our world … to see the world as you do … with compassion and mercy … hope and love … and holy sadness.

Sadness for the sin of the world …
Our ceaseless greed and our endless wars …
Religious pride and spiritual pomp …
So many misplaced priorities and skewed values …
We flinch, O LORD, at such things …
We’d like to believe that it’s the other person who sins,
But it’s us, too, O LORD.
We are sinners as well.

We need your Word, though it sometimes hurts.
We will listen to you Word, as it calls us,
Convict us, we pray, to seek the truth, to seek Christ, to seek justice and peace.
Challenge us, and
Encourage us to live out of the love of Christ, to live for the love of Christ, and to share the love of Christ … that his glory might be our glory, his truth our truth, and his ways, our ways.

We pray for the Holy Spirit.
Your indwelling mercy …
To transform us according to your Word … that more of Christ might live within us, through us, and to the world …

Help us connect what we do here, LORD.
With Monday and Tuesday.
Help us link our faith to our work, and our work to your faith.

Help us, we pray, to love our faith,
To live our faith,
And to share our faith.

Help us, we pray, to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world …
To make a difference in the ways of the world …
That folks could look at us and see an alternative.
Something better and brighter …
That the world could see in us the very light of Christ!

Bless the ministries of Covenant, O God …
May we be an instrument of your peace …
And may your love reach out to many through our work and our worship.
Use us, we pray.
Save us, we pray.
So that we can glorify you, make disciples, and meet the needs of our community in an ever-changing world.

In the name of our LORD Jesus Christ, who taught us to pray, saying, Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed by thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done …

Sunday, June 21, 2009

June 21, 2009 - Prayers of the People

Our thoughts, O LORD, are somewhere between what’s happening in Iran and the delight of Father’s Day … we give thanks for Father’s Day, a time when we can remember, celebrate and enjoy the simple blessings of family.
But our hearts are distressed by the news coming to us from a part of the world that seems so far away. I don’t know what to think, O God, but I know that folks are suffering and dying right now, and fathers are running to protect their children.

We pray for father’s everywhere.
We thank you for the fathers in our lives.
For the memories they give us.
The love and guidance they offer.
The bad jokes and silly cards … and who knows what else makes up a father’s heart.

Bless our fathers, O God, and grant your grace to fathers everywhere, for the demands of the day are huge, and the burdens we carry are heavy.

I pray as a father, O God.
Watch over my children and keep them safe … help them find their way in a world full of danger and opportunity … and thank you, O God, for being our Father – the Father God in whom we find a most perfect grace.

And with that grace, O God, bless our families.
Give us this day our daily bread.
We ask for nothing more, and in your promise, we expect nothing less.
Your goodness is our anchor.
Your love is our hope.
Your faithfulness is the strength of our journey.

Watch over us, we pray now, in the remains of the day.
For those whose fathers are with you in glory, we celebrate their memory and send them our love.
For those who travel today, to see their fathers, grant traveling mercies.
For those who live too far away to make a trip, remind them to make the phone call soon.

Help us all, O God, to remember those who give us life.
To pay attention.
To be mindful.
To be a little more loving.

In the name of our LORD Jesus Christ who taught us to pray, saying, Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come …

Sunday, June 14, 2009

June 14, 2009 - Prayers of the People

What would you have us do, O God?
How shall we live our lives?
What does it mean, O God, to follow Jesus the Messiah?
We have these questions, O God.
We’re not always sure how to live in Jesus’ name.

But we’re here today, O God,
In Jesus’ name.
We believe in spite of our unbelief.
We trust, though we cannot see.
We do our best, O God, we do our best.

But save us, we pray, from sloth …
From a lazy spirit …
An indolent mind …

Fire us with your Holy Spirit.
Let our hearts burn with desire for the pearl of great price – for Jesus the Messiah – our LORD and our Savior.
Give us a raging thirst for righteousness in our world.
Give us a hunger for justice …
That we can say with integrity: thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven …

O LORD our God, save us from cheap religion – there’s plenty of it in this world of ours.
Save us from shallow convictions and easy slogans.
Save us from a Sunday-only kind of faith …
Save us from such things …
That we might be the salt of the earth and the light of the world.

We come to you this morning with humility and hope.
We are humble and without pretense.
We bring so little to the Table.
But what we bring is precious in your sight:
We bring our hearts, empty and ready.
Our hands, open to receive your assignment.

We are filled with hope, because of your love.
You are at work in all things for good.
For our good, and for the good of the world.

LORD, help us to be on your side of things.
To see with your eyes the least of these,
Whom the world is likely to overlook and even shun.

Fill our lives with the words and wonder of Scripture …
The stories of Abraham and Sarah, Moses and Miriam, Samuel and David …
Fill our lives with the conscience of the prophets … and the courage of Paul and Peter, Mary and Elizabeth …
Fill our souls with Christ.
More of him and less of ourselves …
So that we can be more in faith, hope and love.
More in compassion and more in goodness.

Serving him who alone is worthy of our devotion, even Jesus Christ our LORD, who taught us to pray, saying, Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done …

Monday, June 8, 2009

June 7, 2009 - Prayers of the People

We thank you, dear God, for the many and various ways in which you guide us through life, taking us by the hand, as a parent would a child, in a difficult and dangerous places … to help us endure the fiery darts of the evil one … to come through such times with faith, hope and love intact.

And we readily admit, O God, that our hearts are resistant to you … that we are insufferably proud in our sin … that we pride ourselves endlessly … that while everyone else surely has issues, and everyone else is at fault, we are likely to absolve ourselves of all wrong and declare ourselves innocent.

In our sin, O LORD, in our pride and our relentless self-interest, we destroy love … we build barriers against one another, we dig chasms that separate … and though our misery be great, we’re likely to blame others and rage against them.

We are not an easy case, O God … the hardness of our heart is stunning; the resistance of our spirit to the things of Christ is amazing … that we should trapped within ourselves, prisoners of pride and prejudice …

Deal with us, LORD, that we might be your people, faithful and true to the things of Christ … conquer our hearts, O God, for we do not willingly surrender to you … overwhelm our sensibilities, until we have the sense of faithfulness … ravish our souls with the harsh winds of your Holy Spirit, dismantle the little castles we’ve built, bring down our foolish fortifications … that we might receive the King of kings and the LORD of lords … and be made anew in the image of Jesus the Christ.

Create within us, O God, a sensitive heart … a heart ready to learn and eager to grow … a heart pliable in your hands …

We are yours, O God, by virtue of our baptism, and we thank you for that … but we would be more, O God … we would be yours with a surrendered heart, a life given in faith, for the work of Christ our LORD …

Deliver us, we pray, from the false gospels of power and wealth … the misleading philosophies and psychologies of the day, anything that drives us deeper into ourselves, and further from your grace.

Help us, LORD, to take up our cross and learn from Jesus – to bear the burdens of life with dignity and love, knowing full-well that you are at work in all things for good, conforming us to the image of your son Jesus, that when we leave this life and stand before you, we will bring our good works formed in Christ – a harvest of righteousness, the fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

Deal with us, O LORD, as you must – bring us into conformity with Christ … melt our hearts and restore our souls … that we might love you all the more – and love our neighbor as ourselves … for to you we belong in the days of our lives, and when life here is no more, we will gladly go to you, our Creator and our King.

In the name of our LORD Jesus Christ, who taught us to pray, saying, Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name …