Dearly Beloved God, we come before you in wonder and awe, in confession and concern, in humility and need. You hear the names and needs that we carry with us, the ones we speak aloud as well as the ones we whisper only to you. You also hear the sighs of our hearts, and know and tend the worries and weariness, anxieties and embarrassments, attachments and distractions we try to tune out and seal away. You receive it all, the good, the bad and the ugly and for that, we give you our deepest thanks. We ask you to nurture within us all that is loving and life-giving that it might grow and deepen, bear fruit and expand; set us free from all that hinders our faithfulness, the burdens we don’t need to carry any longer, the griefs and grievances that trip us up and weigh us down. Help us to grow in trust, to move in faith, to live by love and to reflect your light in all that we do.
Holy God, we pray this day for our community, our country and our world. We pray for all who battle disease and whose lives are filled with pain, and for those who continue to suffer the ravages of COVID-19, the sick, medical personnel and first responders, those without work and without resources to meet their basic needs, those constrained by fear and anxiety and those who appear to be fear-less and care-less. Keep us attentive to the needs of others, and the ways our actions impact them. We give thanks for all who reach out and give of themselves in an effort to soften the suffering around them, and especially ask you to pour out your wisdom and courage, humility and compassion on leaders and decision makers, researchers and scientists. We pray for the protests and protesters that fill our nation’s streets and parks. Help us to listen with hearts wide open, that we might grow in understanding of the wounds of racism, the fear that cripples too many, the brutality that fuels the rage. We pray for peace, and ask that it be more than a reduction of noise; help us to find a peace of justice and compassion, of understanding and equality. You know the wounds of our world better than we do, and so we ask your leading and your wisdom, your healing and your holding, your mercy and your love, that we might care for and support one another, that we might nurture the bonds that tie us together and encourage the community that holds us as one.
Our prayers are many, only a few of them spoken, others offered to you in the silence of our hearts. Receive our prayers. And hear us as we join together in 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.