Prayers of the People | January 31

G athered in Faith, uplifted in Hope, united in Love, let us pray to the Living God.

You are the God of Agape-Love. We confess that we still have much to learn on that subject. We tend to be self-serving. We tend to gluttony. We tend to judge based on appearances (isn’t that the carpenter’s son?) We are slow learners, so please show us again: your patient, kind, humble, respectful, tolerant, forgiving, honest, trusting, persevering love. Remind us again of your far-reaching, far-ranging love that invites us all to climb over the fence and step into the wide-open fields of your grace. You accept outcasts and fools—you have accepted us!—show us how to pay it forward, opening our arms and lives to those we encounter on the road. When love gets messy, sticky, and irritating, take us back to that dim mirror: I, too, am broken. I, too, am awkward. I, too, am messy. But that is only part of the story. Tonight, we submit ourselves to your love lessons once again. Please forgive us when we respond to your curriculum by trying to push you off a cliff. O God of love, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

We thank you for the universal church. Thank you for the beauty of diversity. Help us to remember that our differences make us strong. Keep us from petty fights that dishonour each other and your message of love. O God of love, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

We remember the needs of the world. Please guide our Prime Minister and other world leaders. Bring peace to Iraq, Afghanistan, and Darfur. We continue to remember the nation of Haiti. May relief efforts be quick and effective. Protect those who are vulnerable, especially children who have lost parents and guardians. May we not forget these people when the media hype subsides. May your love be evident throughout our wounded world. O God of love, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

We think of those in our country who live without adequate food or shelter. Please continue to protect and provide for them as the cold winter drags on. Give us the means and the will to effectively care for the people in our own city who lack heat, clothing, food, and access to medical care. May ministries like Agape Table always have enough to meet their daily needs. O God of love, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

We pray for this community of saint benedict’s table. Thank you for Don, our Bishop, Jamie, our priest, and all those who serve us. Thank you for the upcoming retreats. May they be a time for us to deepen our bonds of love as well as to find refreshment. As we attempt to be a loving community, help us to forgive ourselves and each other when we fail. Help us to support and honour each other in difficulties and sorrow. Help us to rejoice with each other in success and celebration. We know that the majority of the love lessons you plan to teach us will be with each other. Help us to be happy, even if a little irritated, about that. God of love, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

We take this time to remember those known to us who are in need. We think especially of those who are grieving the loss of loved ones. We remember the dead together, trusting that those who have gone before us rest in the endless love that is our God. We speak aloud the names we hold dear… For those spoken, unspoken, and for those we may have forgotten, God of love, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

Amen

Written by Mari Raynard, to be offered in worship on the 5th Sunday in Epiphanytide, January 31, 2010.

One Response to Prayers of the People | January 31

  1. byron says:

    Jamie…that’s exactly how I feel these days..an outcast and a fool. This prayer reminds me that I can consider myself a favourite in the eyes of the Lord. I have read so much in the old testament that is so critical of fools like me, without any real explanation as to why. Which of us isn’t one at some time? I see them everywhere I go…not just in the mirror. No point to this, just a thank you for the reminder.

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