Prayers of the People for January 29, 2017 (Epiphany 4)

We are invited to bring our world and our lives to God in prayer, believing that we will not only be heard, but strengthened for ministry.  Trusting this promise, let us pray.

[Short pause]

God of the poor in spirit, God of all who mourn, remind us of your presence in the empty times of life.  Fill us with love, and inspire us to hope.  God who shines in darkness,
Fill us with your light.

God of the meek, God of those who crave righteousness, teach us to let go of all that gets in the way of our following you, and teach us to hold on to everything that points to your love.  God who shines in darkness,
Fill us with your light.

God of the merciful, God of the pure in heart, encourage a spirit of compassion within us, that we may faithfully continue the journey you began in our baptism.  God who shines in darkness,
Fill us with your light.

God of peacemakers, God of the persecuted, we fear the risk of following Jesus, yet you have made us your people precisely for this purpose.  Set us free from hesitation and rationalization.  Move us to carry today’s cross.  God who shines in darkness,
Fill us with your light.

God of the reviled, the spat upon, the disparaged, the excluded; strengthen our resolve to be welcoming, our commitment to share, our desire to embrace.  Show us where we need to go together, and motivate us to take the necessary steps.  God who shines in darkness,
Fill us with your light.

God of the sick and the hurting, the isolated and the scared, send us as carriers of your promise to all those who need healing: family, friends, acquaintances and strangers, as well as those whom we name before you.
[Long pause]
God who shines in darkness,
Fill us with your light.

God of the Beatitudes, we give you thanks for the privilege of being your blessed ones.  As we wrestle with what it means to be church in our day, help us wrestle together, help us wrestle honestly, and help us wrestle toward that day when the whole world will be aware of your blessing.  God who shines in darkness,
Fill us with your light.

We offer all these prayers, as well as the unspoken longings of our hearts, to you, liberating God, in the name of Jesus, who taught us to pray, Our Father….

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