Prayers of the People | November 14

We have celebrated the warmth and light of summer, given thanks for the abundance of harvest time. Now we face the long cold, the long dark. Our thoughts turn to survival. Winter reminds us that we are not gods. We have very simple – but very profound – needs: fire, food, shelter, companionship, hope. Winter forces us to slow down, to rest, to depend on each other, to exercise our faith. We know you as the God of light, and so you are. But you are with us in the darkness too: the God of unfathomable mystery, the God of rest and renewal, the God who meets our needs. This winter, we will shelter in your darkness even as we trust your guiding light. Hear the prayers we breathe into the cold, and, in your mercy, thaw our hearts.

God, we have solemnly remembered this week the sacrifices that have been made for our freedom. We also remember the wars that continue around the world today, and pray for peace. May we never grow complacent, lest in forgetting history we repeat it.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We pray for the needs of the world. We think particularly of Afghanistan, Iraq, Haiti, Pakistan, Indonesia, and Myanmar. Please heal these nations of war, natural disaster, disease, and political unrest.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We pray for the needs of your global church. May those in leadership have wisdom and courage to guide their people well and speak the truth in love. May those who suffer for your name be comforted. Bind us into one body to do your work of peace and justice in the world.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We pray the needs of this community. We remember those at st. benedict’s table and in our broader community of Winnipeg who are struggling with the change of season, who are working day by day to survive. Help us to pay attention and to share our support as we are able. Thank you for organizations like Agape Table and Silome Mission that exist to serve the people who might otherwise be ignored and forgotten. We pray for our leaders and we pray for each other, that we will be your hands and feet both in this place and in our broader contexts. Give us new energy when we grow weary in doing what is right.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

There are many on our minds and in our hearts who have needs. We offer their names to you now aloud….These precious ones we hold up to you in trembling, open palms, asking that you would be careful as you mend them, for when they break, we break too.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

God of the dark, we remember the dead. There are many who have walked that shadowed valley, and we know our own feet will find the path one day, too. Grief is cold and heavy. Fear rushes in. All that we know about the life to come you have told us in mysterious language, full of strange images and dreadful portents. And yet. And yet we have faith that spring follows winter, day follows night, and that you have walked beside those we love as you will walk with us through the valley of shadows. You are our hope in the long cold, the long dark.


Written by Mari Raynard, to be offered in worship on the 2nd Sunday before Advent, November 14, 2010.

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