Sunday, December 19, 2010

December 19, 2010 - Prayers of the People

Eternal God, thank you.

Thank you for our LORD Jesus Christ and for the church, and for the millions of people who have walked the pathways of faith, who have held high the light of hope for a sin-darkened world, and endured suffering for the sake of the gospel.
We’re encouraged in the light of their witness, O God.
Encouraged to be steadfast in the things of faith.
To do the best we can.
To love deeply, to forgive quickly, and to be with one another in the fellowship of the church.
To make the church good … to make it pure in its vision and purpose … 
And courageous in its witness …
Holding before the world the rich alternative of your kingdom.
A kingdom of light and peace.

Father in heaven, we thank you for our jobs.
We thank you for those who work for us, and we thank you for those under whom we work.
Help us to be faithful in our work …
To bring high value to our tasks …
To labor with Christ in our hands and in our feet.
That we might be swift to the demands of our work.
And kindly in our dealings with all.
Applying ourselves with creativity and energy.
Conducting ourselves in a manner worthy of Christ himself.

We pray, O God, for friends and family.
Some who grieve the loss of loved ones.
Others who battle illness.
Some are out of work and looking.
Some work in hard places.

We pray for the spiritually confused.
Folks who wander from one truth to another, forever looking and never finding.
Be merciful to them, we pray, and when the time is right, reveal to them the glory of Christ and bring them to yourself.

We pray for the hard-of-heart.
Those who have steeled their souls to your tender mercies and the power of the gospel.
Those who are lost within degraded values and mindless self-interest.
Be merciful to them in their rebellion, we pray, and as the years wear on, wear them down, until they come to their senses and lay down their arms and surrender to you, dear God … returning home to where we all belong … your love, O God, and the kingdom of heaven.

Bless us, we pray, in the remains of the day.
Bless our worship and imprint upon us the glory of Christ.
Plant deep within our minds his life-giving word.
And put us to sleep tonight with a sense that we have touched the hem of his robe and heard choirs of angels singing your glory.

All of this, 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, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven …

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Advent Prayer - Centering Ourselves in Christ

Advent Prayer – Centering Ourselves in Christ

Teach us, we pray, to walk with Christ more intently and more easily.
To walk with him in the ways of our lives.
In the best of times and in the worst.
When laughter comes quickly and when tears flow deeply.

Teach us, we pray, to hear the words of Christ.
To abide in them and ponder their meaning.
Making his words our words.
Learning from them how to live and how to love.

Teach us, we pray, to share Christ.
By the words of faith we share with others.
By the justice we pursue.
By the grace of open arms and the power of an open mind.

Teach us, we pray, to love Christ all the more.
To seek our salvation in his glory.
In the wonder of his cross and the mystery of the empty tomb.
For in him, dear God, you have given us life, here and now and forever.

Teach us, we pray, that Christ would be our all-in-all.
In his name, and for his sake. Amen!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

December 12, 2010 - Prayers of the People

In your presence, O God, we find ourselves.
We find the where and the what and the why of our lives.
Heaven knows we’ve tried a concoction of other gods and goods.
Only to find ourselves all the more intent on knowing and loving you.

With unabated hope, dear God, we pray for our world.
For you are at work in all things …
Your love, O LORD, has a far reach, and your love continues to bend the course of history toward justice.
Your judgments, always merciful, bring down the high and the mighty, and lift up the poor and the downtrodden.
For us, O LORD, your timeline seems too slow … but in Christ, we see the final outcome and hear the promise that all shall be made new … we trust in your wisdom and in your mercy to get us there, at the right time.

We pray for the Holy Spirit in our lives.
To heal our wounds and restore our dignity.
That we might be a part of Christ, effectively.
And work beside him.

In Christ, O LORD, keep our eyes clean and clear.
That we might not be seduced by the glitter of power and the lust for national glory.
Keep our eyes open, we pray, to the needs of others.
To be kindly in our thoughts and compassionate in our actions.
To seek only the best.
Judging not, and welcoming all.
Giving everyone a break, doing unto others as we would have them do unto us.

Help your people around the world to bear witness to the faith, hope and love we find in Jesus Christ.
And for people of good faith everywhere … our sisters and brothers who are Muslim and Buddhist and Hindu and Jewish, and so many other stripes and flavors, help us all to link arms against violence, to stand with one another for peace, to resist the allurement of easy answers and military options … to be people of prayer and people of good service – to ease the burdens of the poor, to feed the hungry and cloth the naked … and speak out and speak up against unfairness and prejudice and bigotry and half-truths and mindless religion and religion without a heart.

We give thanks for humanitarian organizations around the world, making a difference, calling us to responsibility and helping us focus our power for good and for peace.
We give thanks for The Hunger Project.
The Peace Corps.
And Doctors Without Borders.

LORD, we pray for Covenant on the Corner this morning.
Our friends and neighbors, and those with whom we work.
For all who sorrow … may they be comforted by your Holy Spirit.
For the lonely … may they be consoled by good and loving friends.
For those who are confused and frightened … may they see the love of Christ today and find new direction for their life and a greater confidence to face the challenges of the day.
And for the proud, we pray … may the fear that drives pride be cast out … that a new and easy love might emerge.
For the angry, we pray … may they find peace in their time.
And for the bitter, we pray … may they find joy in Christ … may they find the power to forgive, and the grace to forget.

Bless us, we pray, that we might be a blessing to others.
Guide us, we pray, that we might lead others to Christ.
Fill us with your goodness that we might be good for one another.

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, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

December 5, 2010, Prayers of the People

Eternal God, we lift up our thoughts to you in prayer and praise, grateful for this time and place, to be here in worship with one another, under the tutelage of your Holy Spirit, guided by the words of Scripture, to learn more of Christ and be further formed in his image.

That we might be your people here and now.
Bearing witness on behalf of Christ.
To a world of need … a world of many hurts and much sorrow, dear God …
A world often lost amid its own fears and greed … a world severely injured by the arrogance of its own power, driven by economic devices riddled with injustice, and political aspirations distorted by a callous disregard for the truth.
O LORD, we do not pretend about the world in which we live.
But it’s the world you love.
The world for which Christ was born.
The world to which you call us, to make known to the world your great love.

We give thanks for Jesus Christ, O God.
Because he is the way, the truth and the life.
His way makes sense, though it often seems strange to us.
His truth is clear, though we doubt it more than we care to admit.
His life is good, dear God, though we turn to our own versions of goodness with a bizarre willfulness that never gives us what we want, and takes away what we love.
O LORD, have mercy, we pray.

In the light of Christ, O God, we see light.
Light, pure and good.
And by that light, we know our sin, dear God.
It pains us greatly, and we are not proud
So with much relief, we confess our sins to you:
We have not loved as we could.
We have been selfish far too often.
We have been enamored of ourselves.
We have spoken when we should have listened.
We’ve given into fear when we could have been faithful.
We’re turned inward when we should have turned outward.
We have prayed without commitment.
We have worshiped with our lips and not our hearts.
These are the sins of our life, O God.

And we lay them at the foot of the cross.
For sin is a burden we cannot carry.
The weight of sin is greater than our strength, we humbly confess.
To Christ we flee, O God.
To the cross we hurriedly go.
To give unto Christ the burdens we cannot carry.
The sins of our life and the sins of the world, for Christ takes them all into his great heart.
And gives us all a second chance.

O LORD our God, thank you for Christ.
For the grace that heals.
For the mercy that transforms.
For the peace that gives us strength to march onward.
To stay the course and keep on keepin’ on, because of Jesus Christ our LORD and our Savior.

Who taught us to pray, saying, Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven …