Prayers of the People | October 9

Let us pray to God, responding to the words “The banquet is ready” with “we come to the table.” God visits the earth, waters it, and greatly enriches it. The river of God is full of water; God provides the people with grain, for so God has prepared it” (Psalm 65:9). We celebrate God’s provision today, not only of the grains and fruit we harvest from the land, but also what has grown out of the efforts of our lives. We have had a fruitful harvest of our plans and hopes, even though some are not yet ripe and others have failed to grow. We celebrate the abundant harvest, thanking God.

The banquet is ready…we come to the table.

Bountiful God, we are grateful for your church, the universal body of which we are a part. The faith we share is expressed in many ways, in many cultures. Keep us thankful for all who work for peace, love, and justice—regardless of what they call themselves. We will one day all feast together and see you face to face.

The banquet is ready…we come to the table.

While we are in the midst of a joyful celebration of the autumn harvest, we remember that much of our world is shaped by division, war, inequality, and frustration. Help us to find ways to share the unity, equality, peace and reconciliation Jesus offers. Remind us that the full benefit of the harvest is expressed in leaving grain for others to glean. Teach us to be generous, God of the feast.

The banquet is ready…we come to the table.

Here, at our own table, we thank you for the bread and wine we are about to share—a symbolic feast that sustains our souls. As we share in it together, remind us that it is in giving that we receive, it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. We thank you for our leaders: for Jaylene, for Helen, for Jamie, for Larry, for Audrey, and for the members of the Kitchen Table. Please bless our offerings of food for Agape Table, and the financial offerings that we dedicate to your work. May we grow strong as a community of generosity: abundant in love, abundant in hope, abundant in faith.

The banquet is ready…we come to the table.

Loving God, you provide for us from the riches of your grace. You fill your people with good things. We are thankful for the food we eat, the homes we have, the families we belong to, and the communities we live in. We take time now to offer thanks for those close to us, and to think of ways we can share our feast with them. We speak aloud the names of those we love…

The banquet is ready…we come to the table.

God, we remember those who have died. We thank you for every memory of love and joy, every sorrow shared. Thank you for their lives and thank you for their deaths. We grieve, we remember, and we await the banquet we will one day share together. Amen.

Written by Mari Raynard, and offered in Worship on October 9, 2011

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