Sunday, August 12, 2018

Prayers from First Presbyterian Santa Monica

Prayer of Dedication before Offering
Our offering, O LORD, is given in thanksgiving.

For the life we have in Christ.
And the world you’ve created for us.
For the love of family and friends.
For the joy of this place, wherein the stories of faith are celebrated, and we’re challenged to be more than we are, and reminded that what we are is glorious and good in your sight.

Be pleased, O LORD, to grant your blessing to these, our tithes and offerings … to be used for the honor and glory of Christ, the wellbeing of this church, and the welfare of our world. Through Christ our LORD we pray. Amen.

Pastoral Prayer

We bow our hearts, O LORD, before the glory of your love.

Mindful of your Word of Life, given to us in the pages of our Bible, in the stories of our time, in the lives of those who’ve trod the pathways of faith and service long before our advent … the saints and sinners who’ve loved you, and often put their lives on the line for the sake of Christ … 

With them, O God, and for them, we do no less … so we pray for the fullness of your Holy Spirit, and the transforming of our hearts and minds according to the word of Christ, that in our time, we would be brave to speak words of kindness to those who are bullied and shamed, that we would challenge those impressed with their own achievements of wealth and success, that we would speak truth to power, and in all ways, dear God, embody the humble gratitude befitting those who follow the Christ. 

We give thanks for the mighty and wondrous ways in which you have been at work, to sustain your creation against the predations of those who bear your very own image … forgive us, we pray, for the wrong we have done to your earth, to your air and water, and the suffering we’ve caused for all your creatures, great and small.

On this day, Eternal God, we run not from the sorrows of our world … we do not seek shelter from the storms … but in you, O God, we find our courage, our voice, our purpose, our character, flowing from your eternal vision for our world, given to us in our baptism, sustained for us in the bread and drink of the LORD’s Table, and the daily provisions of life you so generously grant. 

We pray, O God, for our nation and its wellbeing … and for all the nations of the world … giving thanks that every day, and everywhere, there are women and men who bravely hold high the torch of truth, lighting the way for peace and justice. 

Those who would mock such things O God, as weak and worthless, those who know only the power and might of money and armaments, those who use religion to feather their own nests, to mask their cruelty toward the poor and the weak, LORD have mercy. Deliver them from the idols they’ve created, and deliver us all from such influence and infidelity.

We pray for loved ones, heavenly Father, for friends and family … some of whom are in distress, in danger, assailed in storms of doubt, and bereft of hope … we pray, O God, for your gentle hand upon them, to see them through the days of trial, and to use us, as instruments of your peace.

And so we pray for ourselves, too, O LORD, … because sin weighs heavily upon us, that which we have done heedlessly and cravenly, and the good we’ve often forgotten to do … our physical ailments, and the burdens of our soul … our fears for tomorrow and too many sleepless nights … O LORD, be merciful, and lead us with your kindly light.

In the name of our LORD Jesus Christ, ever-present and always faithful, 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.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, and the power and the glory forever.


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