Sunday, January 23, 2011

January 23, 2011 - Prayers of the People

O LORD our God, great are you names: the way, the truth and the life … the shepherd of your people, the creator of the heavens and the earth, the guardian and guide of every soul, the source of life and hope and peace …
And a troubler of our conscience.
A thorn in our flesh.
A goad to our spirit.

And we thank you.
Your love that never leaves us as we are.
Your grace calls forth from us the better self that we can be.
Your word judges us honestly, and we know our sin.
Our foibles and our faults.
Painful as it is, dear God, we face these things with courage born of your unconditional love for us, your tender mercies, and your call to follow Christ, with all that are, and all that we hope to be.

Eternal God, you are forever, dwelling in eternal light.
We are but for a moment or two.
A few brief years, yet we breath your breath – something eternal within us … we are strivers and builders and creators and dreamers and burden-bearers and lovers and friends … we look up at the stars and our souls are strangely moved by the magnitude and mystery of the universe, so vast and deep and impossibly big … we watch the clouds shape-shifting and we catch glimpses of strange creatures and memories of times long ago … we watch the surf crashing at our feet … we walk toward the receding waters, and then quickly step back with the onrush of the next wave … like children we play … the spirit of inquiry and delight … humor and holiness …

We are glad to be here today, dear God.
To worship in the Spirit of Christ.
To love one another.
To learn.
To grow.
To be changed into the likeness of Christ.
To be a light to the world.
And the salt of the earth.

We are glad to be here.
Because this is a place where you find us.
And we find you.
In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit … with all that you are, you visit us.
With all that you have, you love us.
With all that you give, you restore us and make us new every day, with hope and courage … the hope for a better life, a better world, a better way of doing things … and the courage to try it … to reach out for others, to look out for others … to love and forgive and serve and honor one another … in the great fellowship of faith, the church of Jesus Christ, and a place called Covenant, Covenant on the Corner …

We thank you, O God, for this day.
A time to cast our glance toward the future.
A time to look down the road a bit.
A time to remember your faithfulness in all the years that have been, so that we can face the years ahead, knowing that you stand behind us, ahead of us, above and beneath us … and with your Holy Spirit, you are within us, shaping our souls, like a potter with clay on potter’s wheel – your hands upon us, pushing and trimming and shaping … we resist, as good clay always does … and you persist as a good potter, who sees what the lump could be.

Bless Cathy with us this day.
Bless Covenant on the Corner.

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, January 9, 2011

January 9, 2011, Prayers of the People

Eternal God, we thank you for the grace to live in the light of Christ.
For the hope that encourages us, because Christ is born within us.

For the days ahead of us, O God,
Guide us we pay.
Shape our values and give us holy purpose for our work and for our leisure.

We pray for the environment, O God.
Your creation … our Garden.
You have given us the world and all of its life-forms, to care for all of it, with our hands and toil, our minds and creativity, and most of all, our love – our love for all creatures, great and small … and our care for the air we all breath, the water we drink, the food we eat …

Today, O God, we pray for prosperity.
Not simply for our own pleasure, or to be number one, or any other such foolish notions, but that we might have more opportunity to be generous in our giving.
Bless our work, O God, and grant to us what’s needed that we might apply ourselves with diligence, creativity and imagination to make our work the best it can be.

Bless those who manage our investments …
Bless the banks and money markets of our land …
That all the tools of recovery might be used to sustain our democracy … to ease the burdens of the poor … to put people back to work … to help those who can’t work …

Bless our CEOs and boards of directors.
May they set their sights on just profits and work-place safety and good benefits.
May the greed of Wall Street be tamed.
The temptations of ostentation be avoided.
May the kindness of the human heart be celebrated.
May good jobs, fair jobs, be their goal.

We pray for our nation … and its President.
We pray for all the new legislators …
We pray for our governor, Jerry Brown …
We pray for all of our politicians … the burdens they bear … burdens of leadership, and the many temptations that come their way …

Especially, we pray Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and her family; we pray for the other families who lost loved ones … and we pray for the young man who did the shooting …

Watch over us we pray in the remains of the day.
Keep us in the good cheer of 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.