Prayers of the People | January 2

L iving God, we thank you for the gift of a new year. We move forward into 2011 with hope, seeking your aid as we lay aside the disappointments, frustrations and failures of the old year and take up the tasks, challenges and responsibilities of the new. We thank you for the joys we experienced in 2010, for the lessons you taught us. We thank you that even though the mistakes of the past tend to follow us into the new year, so does your grace. As you bless us with every spiritual blessing in Christ, we ask your guidance that we might use our gifts well, to the praise and glory of your name. We take time to consider the needs of the world, remembering from our place of global privilege your call to care for the broken, the hungry, and the oppressed. We pray for justice and peace.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We pray for your universal church. Give your people wisdom and courage as we live out your truth in the world day by day.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We remember the needs of our own community of st.benedict’s table, and of the many separate communities from which we are drawn. Help us to serve each other well. May our actions faithfully bear witness to the light that has come into the world.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

God our strength, we offer to you all those whose needs are known to us. Many enter the new year with fear and sorrow, illness and despair. As we walk beside those who suffer, grant us the privilege of bearing each other’s burdens. We speak aloud or silently the names of those we hold in our hearts.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

As the Christmas season continues, we are keenly aware of those who are not with us to celebrate. We remember those who have died. We hold them close in our thoughts, longing to be with them again. God our comforter, be near us in our grief.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

God of light, your splendour shines from a stable in Bethlehem, where the hope of the world was humbly born into the darkness of human night. May we be among those who recognize and receive him. Open our eyes to Christ’s presence in the shadows of our world, so that we, like him, may become beacons of your grace and truth, and defenders of all for whom there is no room.

Amen.

Wrttten by Mari Raynard, to be offered in worship on the Second Sunday in Christmas, January 2, 2011.

Wrttten by Mari Raynard, to be offered in worship on the Second Sunday in Christmas,  January 2, 2011.

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