Prayers of the People | March 1

W

e call the community into a time of prayer.

Lord Jesus, you were tried and tempted by the forces of evil. May we never be ashamed of temptation, but save us from the weakness of giving way to it. Help us choose the way of faithfulness rather than popularity, service rather than fame, sacrifice rather than power.  In time of need reassure us that your support is close at hand.  Lord in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

Lord during this season of lent may we seek out  gentleness and patience, and lay down anger and resentment; may we find humility and avoid pride and arrogance. May we find purpose in abstinence seeking to serve you rather than our appetites. Lord make us pure, remove all lust from our heart and give us a clear and focused mind; May we avoid all covetousness for earthly goods and help us seek out those things that matter to you; Lord  keep us from all envy and ill-will and let the grace of your love dwell in us so that we may rejoice in the happiness of others and lament their adversities. And keep us from all forms of sloth be it mind or body and inspire us with the zeal to do all the things you have in mind for us to do.  Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

Lord God remind us again that in our journey with you that when darkness overwhelms us your dawn will beckon us; When fear paralyses us, your touch will release us; When grief torments us, your peace will enfold us; When memories haunt us, your presence will heal us; When apathy stagnates us, your challenge will renew us; and when death threatens us,  your resurrection light will lead us.  Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

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 and for the churches from which we are drawn and for the many ways it finds expression; through art, & music, community service & 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,

Hear our prayer.

Be also with those whose hope has been diminished. Be with the homeless, the weary, the over-worked, the unemployed, the hungry, the refugees, and those who are grieving. Be with those who live in lands where there is war and strife and who suffer innocently. Be with those who serve our country. And Lord bring us peace, and to this world of yours your special love.  Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

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,

Hear our prayer. 

Lord, let all we do today and in this season of Lent come from you, and be inspired by you.  It is our desire to be closer to you.  Help us to remember that nothing in our life is important unless it glorifies you in some way.  It is so easy to get caught up in the day to day stuff of life and keep saying “tomorrow I will be more aware of God in my life,” but now selfishness gives way to your love and we desire to seek you out now.  Help us to rely on you for all our needs.  Your call for us is to be perfect, but please Lord. Remind us that perfection is not the same as being “successful,”  but is a perfection of our most authentic, real self.  Perfection for us might be holding our many flaws in open hands, asking  you to help us accept them. Heal us Lord and help us to reach out in this darkness and feel your hand and love there to guide us.  Amen.

Written by Lorne Penner, for offering in worship on the First Sunday of Lent, March 1, 2009.

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