Monthly Archives: September 2013

Prayers of the People for Pentecost 19 / Ordinary 26

Trusting the promise that God will hear our prayers, we offer our concern for the world God loves, the Church God calls, and all people according to their needs, saying, “Hear us, O God,” and responding, “Your mercy is great.”

[Brief pause]

Loving God, you meet us where we are.  Open us to your presence in all our interactions.  Hear us, O God,
Your mercy is great.

Loving God, you call us to meet others where they are.  Take away our fear of the weird, so we may welcome all those you put in our lives.  Hear us, O God,
Your mercy is great.

Loving God, you call us to a different set of priorities.  Free us to be weird, so we may embrace new ways of being your people.  Hear us, O God,
Your mercy is great.

Loving God, you call us to go where we haven’t gone before.  Give us faith to admit our anxiety, trust to hold on to your promise, and courage to take the next step, whatever that may be.  Hear us, O God,
Your mercy is great.

Loving God, nothing separates us from your love.  We pray for those who have fallen through the cracks – the sick, the unemployed, refugees and those who don’t live up to our expectations.  Use us to touch them with your care.  Hear us, O God,
Your mercy is great.

Loving God, God of the weird, free us from our doubt.  Help us comprehend the vastness of your love, and live with joyful abandon.  Hear us, O God,
Your mercy is great.

We offer these spoken prayers, as well as those offered in the silence of our hearts, to you, loving God, in the name of Jesus, the Christ.
Amen.

Prayers of the People for Pentecost 18 / Ordinary 25

Trusting the promise that God will hear our prayers, we offer our concern for the world God loves, the Church God calls, and all people according to their needs, saying, “Hear us, O God,” and responding, “Your mercy is great.”

[Brief pause]

Generous God, you have given us all we have. May we remember this fundamental reality, and respond with lives that point to you. Hear us, O God,
Your mercy is great.

Confusing God, your priorities baffle us; your methods mystify us; your expectations bewilder our sensibilities. May we embrace ambiguity, and be open to the new. Hear us, O God,
Your mercy is great.

Challenging God, you do not promise perpetual comfort; you do not guarantee uninterrupted peace and tranquility. Open our ears to the uncomfortable, the tough, the real things that surround us; and may our responses be just as real. Hear us, O God,
Your mercy is great.

Calling God, you reach out to us through neighbours, friends and family. You reach out to our neighbours, friends and family through us. May we become more welcoming, more inviting, and more intentional about reaching out. Hear us, O God,
Your mercy is great.

Difficult God, you come most profoundly in the hard times – when people are lonely, depressed, poor, sick, unemployed and unappreciated. May we not be afraid of walking with people who are experiencing these trying
Your mercy is great.

Generous God, you have given us all we have. Free us to use your gifts creatively, extravagantly, and perhaps even wastefully, so that we, too, may become generous. Hear us, O God,
Your mercy is great.

We offer these spoken prayers, as well as those offered in the silence of our hearts, to you, O God, in the name of Jesus, the Christ.
Amen.

Prayers of the People for Pentecost 17 / Ordinary 24

God has promised to hear our prayers.  Therefore we offer our concern for the world God loves, the Church God calls, and all people according to their needs, saying, “Hear us, O God,” and responding, “Your mercy is great.”

[Brief pause]

Inviting, searching, welcoming God, we are your people; we are your church.  Strengthen our faith to trust your promise, and hold tight to who you say we are.  Hear us, O God,
Your mercy is great.

Inviting, searching, welcoming God, we have known fear; we have known doubt.  We know what it feels like to lost.  As we acknowledge who we have been, enable us to reach out to our fearful, doubting neighbours, with love that is both gentle and authentic.  Hear us, O God,
Your mercy is great.

Inviting, searching, welcoming God, you give gifts beyond our comprehension.  Increase our desire and willingness to share what you provide, so that our generosity will point to yours.  Hear us, O God,
Your mercy is great.

Inviting, searching, welcoming God, nothing in life keeps you away from us.  Use us to touch the sick, the hungry, the lonely, the angry, the depressed, and even those who might be our enemies, with the healing love and acceptance you have given us.  Hear us, O God,
Your mercy is great.

Inviting, searching, welcoming God, you have made us your individuals, your family, your people, your church.  Hold this promise before us, that, no matter what others may say, we may never forget that we belong to you.  Hear us, O God,
Your mercy is great.

We offer these spoken prayers, as well as those offered in the silence of our hearts, to you, O God, in the name of Jesus, the Christ.
Amen.

Remembering 9-11

What does it mean to “Remember”?

Does it mean to feel the feelings again?
The shock, the horror, the anger, the disbelief?
Does it mean to be overcome by the helplessness again?
To scrape the nerves raw again?
To open old wounds again?
To look for simple answers again?
To let our leaders make unquestioned (and unquestionable) decisions for us again?
To lash out again?
To make somebody pay again?

What does it mean to “Remember”?

Does it mean reading names of victims every year?
And shining lights into the night sky every year?
And watching video clips every year?
And listening to the recorded screams of jets and people every year?
And calling radio shows to tell “where I was” every year?
And refuting conspiracy theories every year?
And raising new conspiracy theories every year?

What does it mean to “Remember”?

Does it mean letting past evils set our current agenda?
Does it mean motivation to fight the same fight over and over again?
Does it mean responding to violence with violence (since that is the only thing “they” understand)?
Does it mean holding the inhuman actions of a few against the humanity of the many?

Is this what it means to “Remember”?

Or does it mean,
can it mean,
might it mean,
something else?

Something different?

Something that has the potential of giving life,
instead of only commemorating, and perpetuating, death?

It seems to me that this is what Remembering is supposed to do.
Has to do.
Needs to do.

Must do!

For if our remembering does not at least begin the process of motivating change in us,
and bringing healing through us,
and calling for forgiveness from us,
and enabling us to humanize “the Other”,

then we are turning our back on hope.

The kind of hope that is contained in the words,

“Do this to remember me….”

Prayers of the People for Pentecost 16 / Ordinary 23

God has promised to hear our prayers.  Therefore we offer our concern for the world God loves, the Church God calls, and all people according to their needs, saying, “Hear us, O God,” and responding, “Your mercy is great.”

[Brief pause]

God of hard words, sometimes your truth is uncomfortable.  Sometimes you do not offer comfort, but instead confront us.  At those times, help us listen.  Hear us, O God,
Your mercy is great.

God of hard words, you challenge us to let go of old priorities, old ways of doing things, old expectations.  At those times, help us respond.  Hear us, O God,
Your mercy is great.

God of hard words, you love us as we are, but you do not leave us as we are.  As life calls for new actions and outlooks, help us move.  Hear us, O God,
Your mercy is great.

God of hard words, in a world which glorifies war, you call us to take the risk of speaking peace.  In such times as these, give us the courage to raise our voices.  Hear us, O God,
Your mercy is great.

God of hard words, you send us to the sick, the smelly, the rude, the dirty and the dying.  As we pray for those who need out prayers, give us words of life.  Hear us, O God,
Your mercy is great.

God of hard words, when life feels like too much, when the needs are overwhelming, when your call is too scary, give us the audacity to trust, and the faith to take the next step.  Hear us, O God,
Your mercy is great.

We offer these spoken prayers, as well as those offered in the silence of our hearts, to you, O God, in the name of Jesus, the Christ.
Amen.