Prayers of the People | February 21

O God, we are in our 5th day of Lent – the days are getting longer while winter is getting shorter and our attentions are diverted in many directions.  The world grieves for Haiti while our corner of the world is donned in red and white as host of the Winter Games.  As we are called to consider ‘wilderness’ amidst the busyness of our lives, may we heed the words from tonight’s gospel to “Worship the Lord our God and Only Him”.

The sacrifice of God is a troubled spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God.

Lord in Your Mercy, hear our prayer.

Thank you for the healthy global community of athletes at the Vancouver Winter Olympics – for their tenacity in training; their joy and humility in success; stoicism in defeat; and tolerance and celebration of all cultures, countries and abilities.  Likewise, may we walk, run, cycle, skate, and ski our personal challenges – may we be motivated in our vocations and causes for equity and peace; and disciplined in our faith journey with contemplation, reflection and stewardship.

The sacrifice of God is a troubled spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God.

Lord in Your Mercy, hear our prayer.

For another year, this community has pledged its ongoing offering of accountability to vision, to each other and to God.  For the deliberations of this afternoon’s meeting, we commit to you all the tables which we surround – those that teach us, those that feed others, and those that symbolize the faith we live by.  Locally we pray for issues faced by civic and provincial governments surrounding waste management, policing and safety, and the health care system.   We continue to ask for protection from flues and viruses.  Please protect those living in unsettled regions caused by weather patterns, natural disasters, war, and economic strife; Afghanistan, Portugal, Haiti and Darfur.  We hold up our troops and their steadfast commitment to the mission.  In our safe cocoons of prosperity and privilege, may we find purpose in facilitating awareness and alternative solutions for what plagues our world, country, region and neighbourhood.  Heal us so we can heal; save us so we can save.

The sacrifice of God is a troubled spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God.

Lord In Your Mercy, hear our prayer.

At this time, we are called to pray for those in need.  We remember the Sisters of the Church in Burlington, Lola and Roger and Home Uganda, St. John’s Baptist Church and Rout Bah in Durham, and for people choosing baptism, renewal of baptismal vows, and discernment of vocation.  We pray for recipients of Agape Table and other soup kitchens and shelters.  We ask for ongoing ability to meet this social need and thank you for visionaries like Harry Lehotsky who made a difference to that end.  We remember the life of Peter Berard, father of John.  Please take a moment to mention aloud or in your hearts any names of people needing prayers…….….Lord, what we have not, give us; what we know not, teach us; what we see not, show us; and what we are not, make us.

The sacrifice of God is a troubled spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God.

Lord in Your Mercy, hear our prayer.

We are approaching the time in our service where we will surround your Table.  This feast shows us how to remember what has been dis-membered by human attempts to separate and divide; judge and cast out; select and punish.  May our table continue to be one of sharing food where we are brought into the ongoing work of making creation whole.  We are reminded that you cast no one out, you turn no one away, your welcome is inclusive, embracing and consoling.

The sacrifice of God is a troubled spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God.

Lord in Your Mercy, hear our prayer.

Father, we thank you for this community’s celebration in Beautiful Mercy – A Book of Hours and its launch on March 2nd.  As Anglicans, we honor the monastic tradition of our faith and observances.  This week marked the beginning of Lent and as we received  the sign of the cross on our foreheads, that mark posed as an inward validation of covenant, a call to faithfulness, and a comfort of your embrace.  As this 40-day journey continues, may we each take time in the days and weeks ahead to quiet ourselves; to be open to that time apart, that desert, that wilderness; to invite literature, music, nature or conversation as mediums to you.  Be Still and know that I am God; Be Still and know that I am; Be Still and know; Be Still.

AMEN

Written by Nancy Constantine , to be offered in worship on the 1st Sunday in Lent, February 21, 2010.

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