Prayers of the People | April 3

These prayers were written by Mari Raynard, based on the story of the healing of the blind man as told in John 9:1-41. Though these prayers were offered well over a month ago during the season of Lent, somehow we managed to miss posting them… and they really are a wonderful starting point for prayer!

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s we pray together tonight, we take our response from the testimony of the man born blind. Please respond to the words “He put mud on my eyes” by saying “and now I see.”

We are all born blind. Our eyes open slowly, painfully, to the light of the world. The first few rays that pierce the darkness of our safe, dark existence set us bawling, screaming for the security we have lost, terrified that we will never find it again. But we come to enjoy our sight, to trust it, to rely on it even more than our other senses. It can be easy to forget that we were ever blind, that our eyes ever had to be opened. We may even look down on those who can’t see what we see, who describe visions that seem all darkness to us. We may call them sinners. We may scoff when they claim mud as an agent of clarity. We forget our past. We forget that still we only see “through a glass, darkly.” We forget:

How then were your eyes opened? We testify together: He put mud on my eyes, and now I see.

It is the season of mud. We squish and slosh through it daily. We complain. We wear our rubber boots. We wait a little longer to wash the car. The world is warmer, the sky is brighter – but oh the mud.

How then were your eyes opened? We testify together: He put mud on my eyes, and now I see.

It is the season of mud. In our country and around the world, there political instability, environmental catastrophe, human misery and strife. Very few things seem clear. It is hard to see answers. We walk into the future blindly. And so we pray:

For the global church.

For the needs of the world, especially remembering

Japan, Libya, Afghanistan, and the Ivory Coast.

For our country and its leaders.

For the Canadian people as we prepare for an election.

For our community of saint benedict’s table and the ministries we support.

For those known to us who have needs: we speak their names aloud.

For those who have died and for those mourning the loss of loved ones, especially

remembering George and Jodi as they mourn the death of George’s mother.

How then were your eyes opened? We testify together: He put mud on my eyes, and now I see.

Dear God, we struggle, we grow weary, we grow tired. We are exhausted, we are distressed, we despair. We give up, we fall down, we let go. We cry. We are empty, we grow calm, we are ready. We wait quietly. A small, shy truth arrives. Arrives from without and within. Arrives and is born. Simple, steady, clear. Like a bell, like a flame, like a shoot in spring, pushing through the mud. A precious truth arrives and is born within us, within our emptiness. We accept it, we observe it, we absorb it. We are nourished, we are changed. We rise up. For this we give thanks.

When we walk through the mud of this world tonight, tomorrow, and throughout our lives, may we remember that it is through mud You work, it is in mud You clarify, it is with mud You open our eyes. Amen.

(Words in italics adapted from Michael Leunig’s A Common Prayer).

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