Prayers of the people | October 4

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s a community, we pause to remember and to be remembered.

Living God, you are our mother who shelters us under your wings; you are our father who gives good gifts to those who ask. We remember your shelter and your gifts of the past, to us, to those known to us, and to all of creation. Remember us in the storms to come, remember us when we are empty, remember us now.
In your mercy, hear our prayer.

We remember your people around the world. In particular, we think of the Asia-Pacific region, where so many have experienced a week of devastation. We remember the people of the Samoan Islands who are struggling to rebuild villages and lives after Tuesday’s tsunami. We remember the earthquake survivors of Indonesia, who no longer have hope of finding survivors under the rubble. We remember the people of the Philippines and Vietnam who suffer in the aftermath of Typhoon Ketsana. Remember these people, God, in their grief and loss. Remember them as subsequent typhoons, floodwaters, mudslides and disease threaten them.  Shelter them under your wings.
In your mercy, hear our prayer.

It is our desire that your will might be done on earth as it is in heaven. We remember and are grateful for the beauty and goodness of the world. We thank you for your good gifts. However, we also know that there is much darkness, pain and despair. We acknowledge with regret that we ourselves often live in ways that harm rather than help, relaxing in our affluence at the expense of our local and global neighbours.
Open our eyes that we may see the needs of others;
Open our ears that we may hear their cries;
Open our hearts that we may feel their anguish and their joy.
Let us not be afraid to defend the oppressed, the poor and the powerless because of the anger and might of the powerful.
Give us courage.
Give us determination.
Give us Sophia, divine wisdom, that we may do the work of justice, peace and love.
In your mercy, hear our prayer.

We remember your people in this city of Winnipeg. We remember your people who live without a permanent place of shelter, who are victims of violence, who experience discrimination because of their skin colour or social status. They are our brothers and sisters. We remember them. We hold in prayer those whom Amnesty International calls our Stolen Sisters, the indigenous women in Winnipeg and throughout Canada who have experienced violence, have been murdered or who are missing. As this weekend marks the fifth anniversary of the Stolen Sisters report and call to action, we mourn that two more Aboriginal women have been killed in our city this past summer. We mourn that this week an Aboriginal man has been violently killed. We add our voices to the cry of outrage and heartache. May the violence end. For everyone who lives in this city, poor and rich, elderly and young, women and men, grant your abundant life to all.
God, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Remember us, living God, as we remember each other. We thank you for the refuge and sustaining community that is saint benedict’s table. We remember our leaders: grant them outrageous dreams, persistent hope and gentle wisdom as they serve. We remember the Sisters of the Church, Home Uganda, and Agape Table. We remember and celebrate the new babies that have recently been born to us, the marriage vows that have been made. Your gifts of life and joy delight and thrill us. Thank you, thank you. We now take a moment to remember those we hold in our hearts. We speak their names aloud, or in the silence of our spirit…
For all those names spoken, unspoken and for those we may have forgotten,
God, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We remember those who have died recently, we remember past deaths of our loved ones, we remember those whose anniversaries of death occur at this time. God our mother, shelter those who mourn. God our father, grant good gifts.

Amen.

Written by Mari Raynard for offering in worship on the 18th Sunday after Pentecost, October 4, 2009

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