Prayers of the People | January 19th

I call the community into a time of prayer.
 
God,
 
It is an incredible thing to come before you, and we praise you for this opportunity 
 
to listen, and to respond. We ask that you take the words of our lips and hearts, and 
 
through your holy spirit, make them prayer.
 
Thank-you for this community which has come together to do something as radical 
 
as practice being your people. We pray for all those communities around the world 
 
gathering for the same purpose. Protect them, challenge them, encourage them, 
 
and move us closer towards unity even as we continue to go deeper in our various 
 
traditions.
 
Lord, in your mercy,
 
hear our prayer.
 
Lord, as we practice hope we are affronted daily by the presence of pain. We 
 
long to see a world freed from the suffering of hunger, oppression, displacement, 
 
environmental destruction and fear.
 
We pray especially for those affected by the recent Al-Qaeda attack in Afghanistan. 
 
Be with the families and communities of those who died or were injured in the 
 
bombing, or those living in fear because of it.
 
We bring to you the ongoing environmental devastation in Alberta’s oil sands, 
 
crying for justice on behalf of the land the indigenous peoples in the area.
 
We think of those in our own city without food or shelter on these dark winter days 
 
and nights. Bless the work of Agape Table meeting in this building through the week.
 
As we pray for the world around us, teach us the difference between lament and 
 
despair, and call us into action. 
 
Lord, in your mercy,
 
hear our prayer.
 
Even as we worship together, listening, speaking, and singing in one voice, we all 
 
have our own stories and needs. Guide us in our journey to ourselves and you, and 
 
in practicing that relationship.
 
We together lift up those dealing with physical or mental illness, those who are 
 
lonely, struggling to meet their basic needs, dealing with addiction or looking for 
 
direction. We lift up those in our lives whose needs are know to us, naming them 
 
aloud or in the silence of our hearts.
 
For each person here, for those named aloud, and especially for those whose needs 
 
are not known,
 
Lord, in your mercy,
 
hear our prayer.
 
When our eyes are opened we see the beauty of this place you have created- in 
 
sunrise and sunset, good friends and strangers, the joy of young children and the 
 
newness of each breath. Your creation is in constant change, seasons of life and of 
 
death.
 
We lift up those in season of birth- these expecting or with young kids, or entering 
 
new seasons of life. May you bless them in this new place, with energy and wisdom.
 
We also ask your special presence with those grieving, or facing death. Lord, 
 
comfort your children. Draw them closer to you, even as we do not understand.
 
Lord, in your mercy,
 
hear our prayer.
 
Amen.

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