Prayers of the People | April 11

W e give you thanks, O God—Father, Son, and Spirit—for you are the life. Lord, our God, here we are gathered before you and with one another, to celebrate the 2nd Sunday of Easter. We are indeed an Easter people, “for we celebrate the day on which you revealed your dear Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, as the living Savior who took upon himself all of our sins and, with them, all of our human poverty and even death itself, paid the penance and suffered in our place, and once for all and forevermore conquered them all and set them all aside.

We know well how it is with us, and you know it better still. But we come, and we thank you for the freedom that we have to turn our eyes away from ourselves and toward you, who have done such a thing for the world and for us all.

Let us now speak and hear in an upright fashion, that it may be your true Word that reigns, moves, and fills us this evening; that it may comfort, encourage, and admonish all of us; that even our poor praise may please you!

Let this come to pass among us, as well as everywhere else in the city and in the nation, both near and far, wherever people gather today to hear and grasp the promise of the resurrection and the life. Look on your people with grace!” (Karl Barth, Prayers)

Lord in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

We pray, oh Lord, for this world. In particular, we remember the victims of the recent subway bombing in Moscow; we pray for the basic needs of so many in Haiti, for an infrastructure to arise which would bring clean water, food, healthcare, and also for a viable and sustainable economy. We pray, moreover, for persecuted Christians around the world, remembering especially the church in Nigeria and in Pakistan. We pray that in parts of the world where violence, systemic poverty, and racism reign, your people would be present and participants in your promise, oh God, to make all things new in Jesus Christ. (Rev. 21:5)

Lord in your mercy, Hear our Prayer.

We pray for the church around the world, in Canada, and here in Winnipeg. We pray in particular for the upcoming General Synod of the ACC in June in Halifax. We pray that this would be a time in which the church is renewed by the Gospel, and becomes further mindful of the need to make disciples of all peoples in the name of the risen Christ. We pray for the Diocese of Rupert’s Land, remembering our Bishop Donald, all clergy and lay leaders, remembering tonight those who serve and exercise their calling in Winnipeg’s inner city.

Lord in your mercy, Hear our Prayer.

We pray for those among us who are sick and have died. We pray in particular for Karalee. We take a moment of silence to remember and to name out loud or silently those who are sick in mind and body, those who are need hope. Silence. We give you thanks that there is indeed hope in the risen Jesus Christ. For he in his resurrection has destroyed death. And in his ascended state Jesus Christ reigns over the nations, granting repentance and forgiveness of sin, as Peter proclaimed, to all those who through the Holy Spirit believe and obey him.

Lord in your mercy, Hear our Prayer.

Do not let us stumble through this Easter Season as if nothing has changed. Let us, rather, be filled with your holy Spirit. As we contemplate Thomas’s famous words—“My Lord and my God!”— let us believe that your Son, oh God, is King of the nations. May we resist the temptation to think that all would be well with us and our world if we could only see. Instead, might we be obedient to Jesus’ life-giving words, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.” (Jn 20:29b) Do let all of us here at saint benedict’s “believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name.” (20:31b)

Lord in your mercy, Hear our Prayer.

Written by Chris Holmes, to be offered in worship on the 2nd Sunday in Eastertide, April 11, 2010.

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