Sunday, September 06, 2009

My first prayers at St. John's

With the whole people of God in Christ Jesus, let us pray for the Church, those in need, and all of God’s creation.
Gracious Father, we pray for the Church universal. Fill it with all truth and peace. Where it is corrupt, purify it; where it is in error, direct it; where in anything it is amiss, reform it; where it is right, strengthen it; where it is in need, provide for it; where it is divided, reunite it.
We pray especially for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America as we struggle to remain faithful to you and to one another despite our clashes of conscience regarding the ordination of homosexuals in chaste and publically accountable relationships. Speak to us Lord your words Ephetha, that our ears may hear where those we disagree with are coming from and open our mouths that we may speak gracious and meaningful words to one another.
Lord in your mercy—Hear our prayer
Caster of creation, sculptor of worlds, we thank you for this planet and all living things on it, fish and fauna, creeping things and all kinds of creatures. For forests and plains, cities and barren places. We pray that we might be better stewards of our home here.
Lord in your mercy—Hear our prayer
King of Kings, we thank you for our elected leaders and we pray for them as they discuss sickness and health. May they act wisely and justly.
Lord in your mercy—Hear our prayer
Healer of our every ill we hear the magnificent images of wholeness in Isaiah’s description of his people’s return to the Promised Land. Yet so many in this city, this country, and this world can only say to you, “Even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.” And so we lift up their cries to you.
The cries of those victims of violence, of shootings and arsons. The cries of the unemployed, the homeless, the imprisoned, the sick, depressed, lonely, shut in, addicted, and mentally ill. The cries of those trapped by social and economic forces—the cries of folk whose countries are war zones and their governments repress and even kill them. Lord we lift to you all those in need.
Lord in your mercy—Hear our prayer
And Lord, at this time I ask this assembly to raise any concerns to you either aloud or in silence.
Into your hands, gracious God, we commend all for whom we pray, trusting in your mercy; through Jesus Christ, our Savior.

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