Prayers of the People | July 18

Icall the community into a time of prayer. Teacher, we are often worried and upset about many things when only one thing is needed. Show us how to choose what is better, even if that means that dinner will be a little late. Sometimes, it is better to sit and listen to a story than to keep to a schedule. Today, as we sit in freedom and safety, we remember the stories of those around the world who are oppressed, in danger, and without the means to meet their basic needs. We have heard and recall the stories of people displaced from their homes in China due to flooding, and those who have lost loved ones in the typhoon that hit the Philippines earlier this week. We recall the three-month-long story of oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico, and feel both relief that the leak has been stopped and grief for the damage that has been irrevocably done: to people’s livelihoods, to plants and animals, and to the ocean itself. We pray for justice and peace around the world. We pray that the hungry would be fed. We ask for freedom for all who are oppressed. We request healing and rebirth for this groaning planet. As we remember the stories, we also ask to have the courage to contribute well to the ongoing plotline, writing what good we can manage among the fragmented sentences.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Tonight we have listened to stories of your people, and we are honoured to have such a history. We are connected to those characters of the past, and we are connected to your people around the world today. Remembering them, praying for them, we ask that the whole church would be strengthened to embody your peace that passes understanding, that we would live out your law of love, that we would give grace as we have received grace.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We pray for this community of st. benedict’s table, that we would be faithful to each other and to our calling in this city. We pray for those who lead us and serve us. We pray for the ministry of Agape Table, being mindful that you are present when “the least of these” sit down to eat a good meal. We pray for Lola and Roger in Uganda. We pray for the boys who are under their care. We continue to pray for the Falk family, giving thanks for those who have stepped in to help them and for the many needs that have already been met. Guide us as we continue to live out our story.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We pause now to remind you of the stories most dear to us, the people in our lives who are in need. We speak aloud their names, trusting that you will provide…

For those names spoken, unspoken, and for those we have forgotten, we pray.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

In your eternal story, this life on earth is only the opening chapter. We believe that death is not the ending, but another beginning. However, it remains difficult beyond belief to see our loved ones turn that page and begin something new without us. We pray for grace as we grieve. We pray for the strength to remember them and to let go. Help us to trust that they are still part of your story, the one the master storyteller has been telling since the light first scattered the darkness.

Amen.

Written by Mari Raynard, to be offered in worship on the 8th Sunday after Pentecost, July 18, 2010.

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