Father, we come to you in prayer this mid summer evening hearing the lessons that speak to the power and loving kindness of God. In a world of competition, drive and materialism, may we set our sights on being rich towards God rather than accumulating earthly wealth. Likewise in this culture of instability in politics, in the economy and individual ideologies, we continue to witness unspeakable acts of violence, rage, and disregard for life – almost on a weekly basis. May we embody unwavering stillness and rootedness in you, O God, in the face of everything selfish, evil and unjust. For us to make sense out of the senselessness beyond these walls and our borders, tonight is our weekly returning from the journey of our daily lives to this place where we encounter you in word, worship and sacrament. We are reminded of the power and loving kindness of God, in your mercy Lord, hear our prayer.
As the Americans prepare to go to the polls in the fall, we ask that a leader considering inclusiveness, equitable and fair values be priority to voters. In the myriad of political commentaries, election forecasts, and show business type campaigning, we ask that they cast their votes from a sense of being informed and not out of fear. We pray for an end to the racial divide in the U.S. – for ongoing efforts to move forward in a climate of mutual respect and regard for all people. In the context of challenges in Canada, may we see a long awaited enquiry into the MMAW and in our province and church, may we see marriage and partnership inclusiveness for the LGBTQ community. We are aware of the power and loving kindness of God, in your mercy Lord, hear our prayer.
Tonight, we pray for the National and Diocesan church and leaders and here at home, we continue to uphold Jamie and Catherine in love and support as they face challenging and new realities. We ask your blessing on Larry, Carolyn, Jaylene and the kitchen table as we continue to live out our mission and ministry at Saint Benedict’s Table guided by an ancient future. For those whom we support, El Shadai in Haiti, Agape Table next door, other local programs we well as the Campership Ministry, thank you that these are our efforts to be rich towards God. As athletes prepare to travel and compete in Rio for the Summer Games, we ask for safe travel, accommodations, and that no threat of lives take place where the world will be watching. We applaud the dedication, commitment and personal narratives of each athlete. We are changed by the power and loving kindness of God, in your mercy Lord, hear our prayer.
O God, besides this sanctuary, there are many places where we encounter you. As the summer continues, may we slow the pace, shelf the ‘to do’ list, and find meaningful ways to connect with nature and others. Give us new eyes to see your beauty in urban and rural settings, give us new ears to filter sounds that influence a calmer state of being, give us voice for expression, comfort and kindness, and give us arms that lovingly embrace those in our circles whose lives are marked with pain, loss and estrangement from you. At this moment, please name aloud or in your hearts those for whom we pray tonight.pause. We are healed by the power and loving kindness of God, in your mercy Lord, hear our prayer.
As we surround your table of the sacraments, thank you that again and again, you invite us to eat and drink at no cost. All we have to do is show up. Transform us with your abiding presence tonight to prepare us for the week ahead. For the lush wooded forests, crystal clear island waters, the vastness of mountaintops, the salt of the sea, warmth of the sunshine, dew from the rain, sand at our feet, twinkling stars, high tides, summer moon, campfires and s’mores, hammocks and hats, bikes and hikes – for wherever our summer experiences and adventures take us, thank you for that refreshment, reprieve and renewal that brings us back to this circle of community and faith,
Composed and read by Nancy Constantine