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.

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