Holy and wondrous God, as the birds sing and cherries ripen, as summer temperatures arrive and trees bow to you in praise, we come before you again with grateful hearts. Day after day, you richly bless us with beauty and bounty that fill our spirits to overflowing: for moments of awe that take our breath away, whether the sight of a once-in-a-lifetime comet or a toddler’s tentative first steps; for the joy of family, welcoming a daughter home, celebrating a graduation, a few days together even in the midst of separation and caution; for peace in the midst of a pandemic: a beautiful sunset, gentle breezes at day’s end, an hour spent with a bike or kayak, music that soothes our weary souls and sets our toes to tapping. For the endless string of mercies and miracles with which you bless and renew, strengthen and surprise us, we bring our thanks and praise.
We also bring before you the needs of our wounded, bleeding world. Tired of carrying the weight of that world on our shoulders or in a knot in the pit of our stomachs, we lay it before you and seek your healing and holding, your wisdom and compassion, your mercy and strength. As coronavirus numbers soar yet again and move ever closer to us and our lives, we pray for the sick and vulnerable, the isolated and despairing, the exhausted and unemployed, the abused and grieving. As the summer marches on and questions swirl about schools and the fall, keep us mindful of the needs of children for learning and the psychological and social trauma they’ve already experienced, for the health and safety of teachers, and the well-being of families. In this time of racial unrest, we ask you to open our ears and our hearts to the anger and impatience with which many people of color cry out. Help us to not wait for it to die down so we can move on, but to listen deeply that we might learn and grow, heal and change. Lead us, great God, as a world, a country, a community and solitary individuals, that our decisions and actions might be wise and loving, mindful of the needs of others and the ways in which what we choose impacts our neighbors. Help us, especially in a time of campaigning, to set politics aside in order to build up and protect, serve and lead.
Hear our prayers, spoken and unspoken. 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.