Prayers of the people | January 3

May we assume a stance for prayer as we open our hearts and minds to the light of the Christ Child. Father, as we embark on this New Year, this Season of Epiphany, give us a new understanding; a new light; a new way of seeing the world.  Just as the wise men followed that star to the True King, may we compass our lives by that same light, that same energy, that same optimism.

As we are grounded by your light, Lord in Your Mercy. Hear Our Prayer.

O God, as the temperatures plummet to typical January cold, we ask for protection of those who are homeless seeking warmth.  May their aimless travels take them to safe shelter, guided by the energy of your light.  We remember the unnamed person that perished in the cold in a bus shelter this week.  Thank you for the many staff and volunteers at Agape Table, Salvation Army Hostels, Siloam Mission, Union Gospel, and all agencies and missions that fill bellies and warm bodies by creating urban oases for the impoverished of our city.  Give us all a sense of how we can ‘do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God’.

As we are grounded by your light, Lord in Your Mercy.  Hear Our Prayer.

Globally we pray for people living in areas with the constant threat of war, near natural disasters, or in areas prone to seasonal weather patterns.  We remember the four Canadian Soldiers and a journalist killed in Afghanistan this past week: Corporal Zachery McCormack, Sargeant Kirk Taylor; Sargeant George Miok; Private Garrett Chidley, and Michelle Lang.

Short days ago we lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, loved and were loved and now we lie.  We remember.

We pray for the Sisters of the Church in Burlington, St. John’s Baptist Church and Rutba House in Durham, and the Home Uganda Project.  Locally, we pray for safety in travel, protection from flus and viruses, and opportunities to welcome healthy minds, active bodies, and open spirits in the days ahead.  May we skate, ski, walk or run in celebration of the light as the days become longer.  During this season of new beginnings, new narratives, intention and resolve, make us partners in the global community to participate in sustaining and preserving the Earth.

As we are grounded by your light, Lord in Your Mercy.  Hear Our Prayer.

We pray for the leaders of our country – that their extended leave from Parliament will find good use of time to fulfill promises to constituents, to explore and instill economic initiatives, and to recommit their vocations based on values of honesty, integrity, and accountability.  In our Church, we pray for the strong arm of tradition melded with the openness of creativity that defines who we are.  We pray for Jamie, Helen, Larry, John and Chris who facilitate our worship, music and community life.  At this time, we are mindful of the walking wounded among us; those that live in distress over the holidays; and lives marked by dis-ease of body, mind or spirit.  May your light enter any darkness within and transform us to live lives of serenity, solitude, stewardship, and service.

Please take this moment to give voice or hold in your heart those needing prayer at this time. In our past and present; voice and silence; endings and beginnings….

As we are grounded by your light, Lord in Your Mercy.  Hear Our Prayer.

As we approach the time in our service where we form the open, inclusive circles of the sacrament, thank you that you invite us to eat and drink at no cost.  The bread will fill us; the wine will calm us; and we will be reminded that we are not alone.  As we offer and accept the peace with our peers this evening, forgive us when we have failed you in any way, O God.  May our avarice, our neglect, our desire to covet – be transformed to make us charitable, open and giving.

As we are grounded by your light, Lord in Your Mercy.  Hear Our Prayer.

May the celebration of the Birth of Jesus encourage us to hold hands so that, united to the whole community, we may keep on committing ourselves, in favor of a world where justice, peace and compassion reign.  May we all be signs of peace, love and tenderness.

AMEN

Written by Nancy Constantine, to be offered in worship for the Feast of Epiphany, January 3, 2010.

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