Prayers of the People | March 7

Lord, God, our Father, we thank you that here with each other we can call on you and listen to you. Before you, we are all equal. You know the life, thoughts, path, and heart of each of us, down to the smallest and most hidden detail, and before your eyes none is righteous, no, not one. But you have not forgotten, rejected, or condemned a single one of us. Quite the opposite: you love each one of us; you know what we need, will grant it to us, will look at nothing but the empty hands that we stretch out to you, in order that they might be filled—not sparingly, but richly. (Karl Barth, Fifty Prayers)

Lord in Your Mercy, hear our prayer.

We pray this evening for the world that you so deeply love in Jesus Christ our Lord. We pray especially for the many troubled parts of the world, remembering the victims of the earthquake in Chile and reconstruction efforts in Haiti. We pray for the work of those in our church family who are deeply involved in medical aid to Haiti. Sustain, we pray, Dr. Pierre Plourde and Krista Waring in their efforts, and continue to provide above and beyond for the ministry of the Emmanuel Medical Aid Society. May the trip planned for May by EMAS bear much fruit.

Lord in Your Mercy, hear our prayer.

We pray for the Anglican Church in Canada and abroad, remembering tonight our Bishop Don and Nancy Phillips. We pray for the upcoming General Synod of the ACC in June. We ask that it would be a time that bears much fruit, a time in which the church lives into the invitation to abundant life that Isaiah describes so vividly for us in tonight’s OT reading. We pray, moreover, for the Anglican Diocese of Rupert’s Land. We pray that all peoples of the Diocese, lay and ordained, would “seek the Lord while me may be found, call upon him while he is near.” Grant us as a national church and as a diocese the faith to believe Isaiah’s stern but life-giving words. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Is 55:8-9)

Lord in Your Mercy, hear our prayer.

We pray for our congregation, the mission of St. Benedict’s Table. We give you thanks for the many good things that have happened lately, especially last Wednesday’s launch of Beautiful Mercy. That two hundred or so people came to McNally Robinson to celebrate its launch is astonishing. But more than that, that so many from within the congregation gave of their artistic, editorial, musical, and production talents is quite simply remarkable. We do give you thanks, heavenly Father, for the spirit of generosity and kindness and excellence that pervaded the preparation and publication of Beautiful Mercy. We pray that this book and its music would be a blessing to many here and beyond. And we give you thanks for Bram as really the one whose work made it happen.

Lord in Your Mercy, hear our prayer.

Jesus’ words to us from Lk’s Gospel are tough words. That he tells his hearers and we in them to repent is not easy to hear. Ditto for the parable of the barren fig tree. Deliver us, oh Lord, from assuming too much this Lent. Give us the grace to begin anew with our baptism, and to know that we are marked with the sign of the cross. When we are tempted to think that we write our own story, tenderly remind us that we don’t. And when we think that you deal with us according to our standards, nudge us toward your Son’s passion and cross. There we are taught that your faithfulness overcomes our infidelity, and that our wickedness and unrighteousness never does triumph. Grant us, we pray, a holy Lent, a lent of repentance, a Lent full of fruits bearing a repentant spirit.

Lord in Your Mercy, hear our prayer.

We pray for those among us who have lost loved ones and those among us who are sick in mind and body—in particular, Karalee. Do not leave them in lovelessness and in the cold. Comfort them, we pray, with the comfort of the helper, our advocate and help, the Holy Spirit. Furthermore, we pray for your blessing upon the mission to the urban poor, Agape Table, and give you thanks for those among us who care for the oppressed and suffering through the presence and light of your Spirit.

Lord in Your Mercy, hear our prayer.

Last, we pray for the launch of the second service on Sunday March 14th. May this service be a blessing to many, especially to those who because of childcare restrictions find themselves unable to participate in the Sunday evening service.

Lord in Your Mercy, hear our prayer.

Written by Christopher Holmes, to be offered in worship on the Third Sunday in Lent, March 14, 2010.

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