Prayer of the people | March 29

W

e call the community into a time of prayer.

Almighty God, you alone can bring into order the unruly wills and affections of sinners: grant your people grace to love what you command and desire what you promise; that, among the swift and varied changes of the world, our hearts may surely there be fixed where true joys are to be found.
Lord in your mercy…

Help us see signs like those you saw, Lord, signs so small they may be missed. Signs are there in our lives and especially as we struggle. Sometimes it’s an outsider, whom we never expected to help us at all. Sometimes it’s something unexpected that we never thought about before. Sometimes it’s as small as bread.  You are the God who works great wonders,  but mostly you send us simple signs, words, things that seem like nothing.
Lord in your mercy…

We pray for our own journey with you Lord; may we begin to realize anew that these are the days of salvation.  We know that we have all fallen short and missed the mark, and that in many ways we have all fallen short of your expectations of us.  We know that sin destroys your life in us as a drought withers the leaves and chokes the life from the land, leaving an arid, dusty desert.  Help us now Lord, in our meager attempts to make up for past sins and bless our efforts with the rich understanding of your grace.  Make us realize ever more our need of confession and forgiveness that we may once again know your favour.
Lord in your mercy…

We ask your gentle care in those war-torn areas of our world. We pray for the uprooted, the refugees, the hungry, the children and all those innocents who find themselves in the wrong place at this very wrong time. Be with our armed forces as they daily are in danger. Be with our world leaders and cause them to become true men and women of state. Bend low your presence to all of the suffering and provide them with courage and a renewed hope for a better life.
Lord in your mercy…

For this community saint benedict’s table, may we be an encouragement and a support to one another as together we are all at this moment being shaped by you to be better children of your kingdom. Remind us who we are and who we belong to and that we are in your hands. Remind us that we bear the label “child of God” and may this label be that which shapes our life.  Remind us that today, yesterday and tomorrow and whatever age the future brings in this world or the next there is nothing that can sever that relationship you have established with us through your son.
Lord in your mercy…

We pray for the needs of Christ’s church, in all of its forms throughout the world.  We pray for this community, saint benedict’s table,  for the churches from which we are drawn and for the many ways it finds expression; through art, and music, community service and dialogue and the ongoing study of your word. At this time we also pray especially for Agape Table, please bless their efforts as they serve the many who are hungry, every day.
Lord in your mercy…

We pray for the needs of those known to us; for those who are sick or suffering, alone or isolated or who have other needs and challenges. We offer those names aloud to you now Lord…
For these named aloud, and those spoken in the silence of our hearts, and even for those for whom we have forgotten to pray.
Lord in your mercy…

Lord have we flunked Lent? Have we mistaken Lent for some kind of self improvement program meant to only make us better? Have we shifted our gaze from you and our neighbour to just ourselves and our preoccupations?   If so, then in not making the grade we are now free to see our failure for what it is; the freedom to give up the illusion that we are in control; to make visible our vulnerability as pilgrims on the Lenten journey toward a deeper relationship with you.  Let us therefore re-assume the posture of the penitent, and once again submit to the transformation work of your power.  By your spirit may we learn what it means to live and love intuitively, without striving and with effortless joy.

Amen.

Written by Lorne Penner for offering in worship, the fifth Sunday in Lent, March 29, 2009.

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