Almighty and Eternal God, we marvel that you choose to be involved in our lives; that you are not far-removed at a high and holy distance from where you can look down on us and occasionally send messengers and prophets to carry your instructions our way. No, you have chosen over and over again to come among us, especially in the life and ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus, but also in the lives and hearts, compassion and courage, witness and service of countless others. You enter our lives and come close: close enough to see the pain etched in faces, to catch the tears cried alone in the dark, hear the rumbles of empty stomachs, feel the fear that keeps people locked behind closed doors, cradle the lonely and isolated, and hold the grief that accompanies thousands upon thousands of deaths. You know intimately the needs of the sick, the weariness of caregivers, the vulnerability of first responders, the anxiety of parents who don’t know how to keep their children safe, the pain and anger of racism, the selfishness and greed, apathy and despair that run rampant in far too many places.
Holy One, you envision a better world for us, but rather than fixing this one on our behalf, you call us to bring what we have to you, to offer it for your blessing and transformation, and to join with you in the healing and restoring of hearts and bodies, states and nations, our small corner of the world and even all creation. You see wisdom and truth, justice and mercy, community and cooperation, peace and love in ways we can only glimpse. Show us the way ahead. Lead us, Holy God, that we too might catch your vision for our lives. Plant your compassion deep in our souls that we might take in the suffering of others in order to claim our role in building and planting, healing and holding, restoring and making new. By your grace, may we journey together toward your promised new day, a day of beauty and joy, wholeness and love.
Hear our prayers, spoken and unspoken. And hear us as we pray together the prayer that Jesus taught, saying: Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed by thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.