Prayers of the People

Each week in our contemporary (Ancient/Modern) service we say the Prayers of the People.  One person writes the prayers, then the sections are read by different people.  In between each section, we sing “You hear us calling, Abba Father” by the Brilliance (officially named “Prayers of the People”. Here is the video: Prayers of the People.)

Screen Shot 2017-04-02 at 7.56.57 PM
A person in prayer: Fresco from the Catacomb via Anopo on the via Salaria 3rd Centrury Rome

Prayers of the People, Pentecost A, June 4, 2017 by SK and as noted

O God who is Spirit, invisible to the eye, silent to the ear, unable to be touched with hands,  we see your work in everything, we hear your voice in every language, we feel your presence everywhere. Holy Spirit, helper, comforter, teacher and guide, you brought order out of chaos and formed our world, you are the wisdom that called forth the stars, you are the power of God, luring us, coaxing us,  persuading us, into action, into vulnerability, and into love. Open our hearts to your presence, and our souls to your transforming grace, through Jesus Christ. Lord, hear our prayer.

“Creator God, we know that there is no pain in our hearts or in our planet that you do not know, for you have touched the lowest places on earth.  Teach us to grieve with you, O God, the loss of all the beauty that is being killed.  We know that there is no place in the heavens that cannot be touched by you Spirit’s presence, for you are there in everything.  Give us strength not to despair at what people are willing to risk for the sake of short term gain.  May we be people of the Spirit of hope, who work with the energy of the Spirit.   Teach us to know our interconnectedness with all things, and to protect what is precious.”   Lord, hear our prayer.  [  –  This section was adapted from An Iona Community Prayer on p. 84 of Earth Gospel: A Guide to Prayer for Creation.]

Spirit of Truth, Spirit of Justice, Spirit of Goodness and reconciliation, we cry out to you in a world of falsehood, injustice, human evil and division, saying Lord have mercy!  We pray for an end to the insanity and brutality of violence, even as the bombs go off among children at a concert in Manchester, at an ice cream parlor Baghdad, in a funeral for victims of violence in Kabul, cars plow into people on a London bridge:  how long, O Lord?  As the nationalists push their dangerous and divisive agendas in the Balkans, as if the earth had not swallowed enough blood, we pray for  different vision of shared life on this earth.  O God, we ask your Spirit to intercede for our weak, human prayers, because we do not know how to pray for those in authority over us.  So, we pray for president Trump and all whose voices he listens to.  We pray for all our elected officials: the Congress, Governor Ivey, Mayor Craft.  They all need the Spirit of wisdom and the courage to do the right thing for the sake of the common good.  Lord, hear our prayer.

O God, your Spirit makes us one body.  May we be one in our common commitment to the kingdom of God, spreading out like yeast in dough from a centered place of embryonic generativity, bringing into existence things we could never have imagined before, things of such complexity, depth and unity that would be awesome in every sense, and produce healing for the nations.    May the church, inhabited by your Spirit, empowered by your Spirit, and lured by your  Spirit to inclusiveness, to compassion, and to love be a light, a refuge, and a home to all your children.   Lord, hear our prayer.

Prayers of the People for May 28, 2017 by S.K. & as noted

“Loving God, as your people we bring before you our broken world with all its violence, injustice, and suffering. May you comfort and heal all those who have lost friends and loved ones in war. May those who serve be safe and return home quickly. May we seek peace. We seek your healing and transforming grace in every corner of our world. Send your Holy Spirit and renew the face of the earth. Teach us compassion and mercy for one another, and for all of creation. Encourage and strengthen all who work for peace and justice. Open our eyes to see ways in which we can be your agents of reconciliation so that all of your creation may know justice and wholeness, and may live in peace. Through our lives and by our prayers, may your kingdom come, and your will be done, on earth, as it is in heaven.” Lord, hear our prayer.

source: http://resources.mennonitechurch.ca/FileDownload/9603/Peace_Packet_08_high_res.pdf
O God of peace, we cry out on behalf of the people of Manchester, for the victims of senseless, cruel violence and their families, we pray. For the Coptic Christians of Egypt who are being attacked and killed, O God, have mercy! For the people of the Philippines who have also come under terrorist attack, we pray. We pray for our enemies; may they come to reject violence. We pray for our country, for everyone in positions of power and authority. May the institutions that we rely on to uphold standards of honesty, integrity, justice and transparency be blessed. May president Trump, Governor Ivey, Mayor Craft, and all who serve in government seek the common good, work for peace and justice, and conduct themselves with honesty and integrity. We pray that the poor will not be forgotten. We pray that the sick and the elderly would be cared for, and that children would be protected. We pray for a new sense of responsibility to be born in the hearts of those who have been blessed with resources; may the wealthy of our country have a heart for those who struggle to survive every month. May our budgets reflect our best values. May we be a nation of compassion. Lord, hear our prayer.
O God who called us together into the body of Christ, we lift up the church here in America and around the world. May we celebrate our unity in Christ that extends to Christians in every nation. May we be the welcoming, inclusive community of the beloved, and be a place of refuge and healing. May we find joy and strength in our common life together. May we have energy and creativity to engage our community and our country where we can make a difference. May we be agents of God’s love, God’s mercy, God’s forgiveness, and reconciliation. Lord, hear our prayer. Lord, hear our prayer.

Prayers of the People for May 21, 2017 by A. B.

Dear Creator of the cosmos, with deep gratitude and humility we give thanks for this beautiful, life-giving planet.  Open our eyes every day to your magnificence.  May we see you in every creature great and small, in every tree and trail.  May we delight in the birds, the waves, the wind.    With holy respect, we hope to protect and honor your creation, knowing it is a gift from you and of you, knowing it connects us to that which is sacred. May we cherish it, care for the creatures that reside with us, and use it to bless each other. Lord, hear our prayer.

Dear Holy of holies, for the people of the world bring peace and liberty.  FREE those enslaved and give them comfort.   Open doors for refugees so that they may find safety and acceptance.  Change the hearts of terrorists so that plans for death or destruction are disrupted forever.  Protect the vulnerable, especially children, from harm.  Use your love within humanity to end the struggles of social, political, and economic injustice.  Grant relief to those in dire circumstances and fortification to those who put themselves in harm’s way to save others.   Help us to serve, protect, and forgive just as you have.  Remind us of the power of redemption and the gift of rising again and again.  Lord, hear our prayer.

Dear Peacemaker, Guide the leaders of our nation—make them shepherds that they may tend and care for all people and work for compassion, justice, and righteousness.  We pray that Mayor Craft, Governor Ivey, and President Trump would have humility, the desire to serve others, and the courage to listen to wise counsel.   May they uphold a vision of greatness and strength thru service to others.  Grow in them good character, integrity, and a profound love of humanity.  May they seek the truth and be true to those they serve.  Help us to be examples of the fairness and kindness that we wish to see in all leadership.  Lord, hear our prayer.

Mother and Father of all creation, bless the church.  May church be a sanctuary, a place of peace and mystery; a place to pursue answers, create bonds, and experience happiness.  May church also be a place to inspire us to new levels of goodness and greatness toward others.  May the Presbyterian Church around the world and this church in Gulf Shores, to be a light and a refuge for all who are seeking.  May we be the body that does your heart’s work.   Lord, hear our prayer.

For Easter 4A, May 7, 2017 by S.K. and as noted

With the ancient church we pray, O God, “You alone are unutterable, from the time you created all things that can be spoken of.  You alone are unknowable, from the time you created all things that can be known.  All things cry out about you: those which speak, and those which cannot speak.  All things honor you: those which think, and those which cannot think. For there is one longing, one groaning, that all things have for you. All things pray to you… and offer you a silent hymn. In you, the One, all things abide and all things endlessly run to you who are the end of all.”    by Gregory Nazianzen (c. 330-389) from Earth Gospel: A Guide to Pryer for God’s Creation, p. 64

O God, who is present in every moment as the lure of love, the persuasive urge to peace and goodness, we live in a world torn by evil, by violence, by cruelty and selfishness.  We grieve with the family of Jordan Edwards.  We cry out for a better world.  We pray for peace, we cry out for refugees and all victims of violence.  We pray for sanity and skillful diplomacy to avoid new wars.  We pray for victims of the flooding in the Midwest.  We pray for our planet, now under threat in new ways as protections are removed and economic interests prevail.  We join our hearts with all those who face uncertainty about their health care.  O God, give us politicians who care about people.   We pray for wisdom for all of those in positions of responsibility, for president Trump, Governor Ivey, Mayor Craft.  May they and all their advisors and subordinates use their positions to do justice, to promote fairness and equality for all of our people, both citizens and guests, and may they have the humility to listen to wise counsel, for the sake of the common good. 

For the church around the world; we pray for unity.  May we be a sign of an alternative way of living, a witness to the possibility of compassion, a community that demonstrates a self-consciousness of  being love and accepted, of being upheld by a depth we struggle to speak of, and a place of welcome, of refuge, of inclusive love.  May we have the energy and generosity love requires, to reach out with justice and mercy to our community.  May we make a difference as we stand with those who are on their knees, and as we advocate for those with no voice.

For Easter 3A, April 30, 2017  by B.P

O God whose presence flows like a river through this Universe. Who bestows acceptance, grace, love and compassion upon all life. Help us so that we may feel your presence in ourselves, our neighbors, and our adversaries. Uncover our eyes so that we may see and celebrate, your brilliant light in all beings and all things. Lead us to love, guide us in goodness, and counsel us in compassion so that we may work towards a new community of hope and rejoice in your unconditional love and presence in our lives. O Lord, hear our prayer.
O God of All, be with us in our hurt, be with us in our fear, and be with us in our anxiety. Be with your people everywhere who suffer from the atrocities created by people. We pray for the Rohingyas people of Myanmar who are fleeing persecution and those who remain behind. We pray for Syria, the Middle East, Africa, and all those who live in constant fear for their families and themselves. We pray for those who serve our country. May they remain safe and return home quickly. We pray for this amazing world and all the energy and life that flows through it. Open our eyes to the human abuse of our life sustaining, yet finite resources. So that we may we become the good stewards of this magnificent and blessed creation we call earth.
O God we pray for this county. We pray that we will be a country of grace, justice, and tolerance. Where we are able to see the blessed and sacred holiness in those we choose to call “Others”. Let us see the common light that connects us all, so we can work towards consensus and not condemnation. We pray that the leaders of this Nation, their advisors, and their subordinates; practice grace, possess wisdom, promote fairness, and emanate compassion in every action they take. We especially pray this for President Trump, Governor Ivey, and Mayor Craft. My they listen to wise counsel in humility for the sake of the common good.
God we pray for the church around the world. We pray for unity, grace, humility, tolerance, and compassion. We pray for the Presbyterian Church, let it be lionhearted in its actions to stand on the side of those who are sick, vulnerable, the poor, the refugee, the “Other”, and this planet. We pray for the congregation in Gulf Shores, may it be a place of welcome, respite, and healing for the people of the Gulf Coast. Bless our newly elected elders we pray, with wisdom, creativity, unity, and love. Give your people generosity and faith, give our children encouragement, and give our elders vision, that we may be a community of the beloved.

For Easter 2A, April 23, 2017  by S.K. and as noted

Praise to you, our God and Creator! Your creativity is matched by your compassion! Today is a new day in the life of creation. Let us see and hear, taste, touch, and smell the thrill of your grace, and the pulse of your spirit in and through all creation. Oh God, who dances in creation, who embraces us with human love, who shakes our lives like thunder, You bless us and send us out with power To fill the world with your justice.   Lord, hear our prayer.  – (Based on Earth Gospel: a guide to prayer for God’s creation, Page 50)

O God, we long for you will to be done on earth as it is in heaven.  We long for peace on earth.  We cry out against violence.  We see what is happening in Syria, in Iraq, and in Afghanistan.  We join our hearts with all the suffering people of the Middle East.  We hear ominous forecasts of massive famine in Africa; Lord, have mercy!.   We long for stability on the Korean peninsula where the danger of nuclear weapons is unimaginable!  O God, give leaders China and the rest of the world wisdom to work for peace and for justice.   Lord, hear our prayer.

We pray for our country O God.  May honesty and integrity be present in every meeting, in every speech and in every intention of our government. May we be a country of welcome to the stranger.  May we be a people of compassion and understanding for those different from ourselves.  May we use our great wealth and resources to bless refugees and homeless people.  We pray for wisdom for all of those in positions of responsibility, for president Trump, Governor Ivey, Mayor Craft.  May they and all their advisors and subordinates use their positions to do justice, to promote fairness and equality for all of our people, both citizens and guests, and may they have the humility to listen to wise counsel, for the sake of the common good.  O Lord, hear our prayer.

For the church around the world; we pray for unity.  May we be a blessing to our world.  May we be blessed on our mission to bring the good news of the kingdom of God to everyone.  Bless we pray our work for justice and our ministries of compassion.  Bless us as we advocate for the marginalized and discriminated against.  Bless our people with big hearts and open hands.  Bless our leaders with creativity and insight.  Bless our children with courage and love.  Bless the ones who cannot gather with us with the knowledge that we have not forgotten them.  Give us all generosity and hope for our community.   Lord, hear our prayer.

For April 16, 2017 Easter Sunday  by S.K.

O God, source of all being, source of life, source of new life, source of new days dawning, of resurrections from the dead, we lift up our hearts in awe, in wonder, and in gratitude.  We name you, but know you are un-namable.  You are invisible, but we see you in every act of compassion, every striving for justice, every humble forgiveness.  You are the love that draws us to love, the lure towards goodness, the possibility of newness, even of resurrection.  You are the song of the universe, and the very ground of being, the goodness that gives us joy, the hope that inspires us to work for  a better world.  Lord, hear our prayer.

O God of all people, we cry out for the suffering of people created in your image.  We dare to hope and pray for new life where there is only the stink of death. We lift up our hearts for the massive suffering in Africa.  We pray for the people of Syria, those still there, and the thousands of refugees who have fled for their lives.  We pray for those who serve our country, for their safety and swift return. We pray for our planet, the creation that you have made.  We pray about the danger to our air, our water, our oceans and to agriculture that we humans are responsible for.  We pray for courage and dedication for all who are working to bring awareness of what is happening to our climate.   Lord, hear our prayer.

We pray for our country O God.  We pray that we would be a nation of justice and of tolerance.  We pray that we would be a place of welcome to the stranger and the refugee, and a place of compassion for the weak and the vulnerable.  We pray that we would be a nation of grace and wisdom towards other nations.  We pray that we would show calm leadership and reasoned restraint when the potential for conflict is present.  We know that we are called to pray for those in authority over us, so we pray for wisdom for all of those in positions of responsibility, for president Trump, Governor Ivey, Mayor Craft.  May they and all their advisors and subordinates use their positions to do justice, to promote fairness and equality for all of our citizens, and may they listen to wise counsel in humility, for the sake of the common good.  O Lord, hear our prayer.

For the church around the world; we pray for unity.  For the Presbyterian church, we pray for boldness as we try to take stands on the side of the sick, the vulnerable, the poor, and the planet.  We pray for the Presbytery of South Alabama and for Rachel, our new Executive Pastor.  We pray for this congregation in Gulf Shores.  May we become known as a place of healing, of welcome and of refuge to the people of the Gulf coast.  Bless our newly elected elders we pray, with wisdom and creativity, with unity and with love.  Give your people generosity and faith, give our children encouragement, give our leaders vision, that we may be the community of the beloved.     Lord, hear our prayer.

 

For April 9, 2017,  by W. and Youth
For the Body of Christ throughout our world, that we would grow to understand what it means to truly be one. For the church in Gulf Shores, that we might be united in sharing the good news of your love, grace, and forgiveness. That this congregation would be a beacon of hope in times of despair. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer

For our aching, divided nation, that we may humble ourselves and learn to sincerely listen to one another. That we would have the grace and courage to acknowledge our self-serving agendas. That we would tirelessly pursue reconciliation with one another and our world. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer

For President Trump, Governor Bentley, Mayor Craft, and everyone in positions of power, that we may be led by people of integrity and justice who seek effective yet compassionate solutions for the problems that plague our community, nation, and world. Lead us to find paths of peace. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer

For all of our students as they enter final weeks of the current school year. For those who teach, tutor, and invest themselves in the future of our children. May the halls and classrooms be places for your people to shine the light of your love to a world in need.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer

April 2, 2017  by A. B.

Dear Creator of the cosmos, with deep gratitude and humility we give thanks for this beautiful, life-giving planet.  Open our eyes every day to her magnificence.  May we see you in every creature great and small, in every tree and trail.  May we delight in the birds, the sea, the stars.    With holy respect, we hope to protect and honor your creation, knowing it is a gift from you and of you, knowing it connects us to that which is sacred. May we cherish it, care for the creatures that reside with us, and use it to bless each other. Lord, hear our prayer.

Dear Holy of holies, for the people of the world bring peace and liberty.  FREE those enslaved and give them comfort.   Open doors for refugees so that they may find safety and acceptance.  Change the hearts of terrorists so that plans for death or destruction are disrupted forever.  Protect the vulnerable, especially children, from physical and emotional harm.  Use your love within humanity to end the struggles of social, political, and economic injustice.  Grant relief to those in dire circumstances and fortification to those who put themselves in harm’s way to save others.   Help us to serve, protect, and forgive just as you have.   Lord, hear our prayer.

Dear Peacemaker, you are the beacon we are seeking.  Help us to look toward you and away from screens, which often create anxiety and fear.  Give the leaders of this world, this country, and our community the ability to hear clearly the people they represent.  We lift up President Trump, Governor Bentley, and Mayor Craft.  Bless them with a vision of greatness and strength thru service to others.  Grow in them character, integrity, compassion, and a profound love of humanity.  May they seek the truth and be true to those they serve.  Help us to be examples of the fairness and kindness that we wish to see in all leadership.  Lord, hear our prayer.

Mother and Father of all creation, bless the church.  May church be a sanctuary, a place of peace and mystery; a place to pursue answers, create bonds, and experience happiness.  May church also be a place to inspire us to new levels of goodness and greatness toward others.  Bless the Presbyterian Church around the world and this church in Gulf Shores, to be a light and a refuge for all who are seeking.  May we be the body that does your heart’s work.   Lord, hear our prayer.

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