Prayers of the people | March 21

F ather, as our Lenten journey continues, we remain in a stance of reflection, discernment, dark days and quiet nights as our steps take us closer to the cross.  In the bleakness of the season, tonight’s lesson reminds us of needs being met; water for the wilderness, rivers in the dessert, drink to the people, the anointing of Jesus’ feet.   Similarly, we anticipate transformation of our landscapes – from darkness to light; from contemplation to action; from dark, bleak earth to green and full with life.  As we face challenges, as we question our faith, as we move with the ebb and flow of work, family and parish life, keep us safe in our stories; in the midst of pain and brokenness,  in joy and celebration.

May we observe silence in these things.

Lord, In Your Mercy, Hear Our Prayer.

As we are enjoying unusual springtime weather, our senses are filled and attentions pulled in many directions.  May we leave outside this place our plans for tomorrow and our memories of yesterday as we live fully and completely in the wonder of the present moment.  May we fast from guilt, discontent, anger, bitterness, self-concern, discouragement, laziness, and suspicion.  May we feast on gratitude, patience, forgiveness, compassion, hope, commitment, trust and the mercy of God.  We remember the Sisters of the Church in Burlington; who pray for us, Agape Table; whom we pledge to support; and for reciprocity that signifies balance in the giving and taking; the empty and full; the solitary and collective.  May we consider the philosophy of voluntary simplicity where investment in relationships trumps attachment to things.

May we observe silence in these things.

Lord In Your Mercy, Hear Our Prayer.

O God, we acknowledge you for being present in, participating in, and attentive to the darkness and displacement in our lives.  Globally we continue to pray for Haiti and Chile as they try to rise up amidst the rubble in their lives both literally and psychologically.  As the earth warms with longer days and stronger sunlight, we ask for safety from flood waters both here and our U.S. neighbours.  We thank you that supplies will get to Northern Manitoba communities cut off by the early closure of winter roads.  In unsettled political regions, we ask that your holy peace transform egos and personalities in positions of power that would invite dialogue, mediation and understanding.  May arms be outstretched to embrace rather than lifted up in war.  May we become partners in the global community in the advancement of peace as well as sustaining and preserving the Earth.

May we observe silence in these things.

Lord In Your Mercy, Hear Our Prayer.

We pray at this time for any in our midst or known to us needing prayers.  Please take these few moments to give voice to names of those known to us in need. We hold up those experiencing loss – loss of loved ones through death or distance, loss of relationship, loss of employment and dignity, loss of hope.  We pray for those with any dis-ease of body, mind or spirit.  O Father, as you have tasted all matters of grief and loss, we acknowledge your power to heal, comfort and restore.

May we observe silence in these things.

Lord In Your Mercy, Hear Our Prayer.

As we move into the time of our service when the table is set, thank you for our circle of sacrament – for the endless, inclusive capacity of your body and blood to fill and fulfill us, to enable us to do more than we can ask or imagine, to be what you want us to be in the world.

Amen

Written by Nancy Constantine, to be offered in worship on the 5th Sunday of Lent, March 21, 2010.

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