Sunday, June 20, 2021

Prayer for 4th Sunday After Pentecost- Father's Day June 20, 2021

 

Gracious God: we sometimes call you Father, for when we are in need of a safe place, a secure place, you are there. As a small child might ask their father to lift them up to feel secure and protected, you hold us close and tight in your love.

You create such an expanse of ways for one to be a father and raise a child that it is impossible to celebrate and pray for each in one prayer. And while it is easy to celebrate fathers who raised their children well and are still with us, this day can be challenging for those with different experiences, where parent and child’s relations is complicated.  So we lift up our prayers of gratitude alongside those for grace and healing in all relationships between a father and child.

We rejoice for Fathers who could their child upon their shoulders so that they see over fences or others at parades when they were young, then share wisdom to help clear their adult child’s vision when challenges block their way. 

Thank you for fathers who will fight for the good of their children, for the right to food, for equality, for life, for housing, for education, for acceptance and for love.  We ask your grace upon the times and those who have been unable to do so.

We give thanks for close parent child relationships, where the memories and times together are good, and life-giving. Yet no relationship is perfect. Fill any mistakes, failures, or unmet expectations with grace for all.

 Days such as this can be harder for those living within strained or broken relationships, or where harm done to one or the other. The celebrations can make the difference between what is and what is hoped for starker, more isolating, or deepen resentments or grief. In those times and spaces, work through your grace and healing. Bring comfort that they are still held in your love. Where it is healthy and possible, may your Spirit weave together these relationships.

Dull the pain this day can bring for those who wanted children but could not have them, and reassure them of their wholeness, their value, and your love.

We think of those who have faced the heartbreak of losing a child at any stage in life.  Bring them a sense of solace and peace as they mourn.

Reassure those whose fathers have died that even though they grieve, they cannot be orphaned from the love of their parent or from your love. 

We give thanks for those who are not our father, but stepped in for a moment, for a season, for a lifetime as if a father to us. 

We give thanks for families where the bond is one of love and not also by DNA, where there are two father, or where mothers take on both roles.

Thank you for being Our Father, and Mother. We pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen. 

 

Sunday, May 30, 2021

 Prayer for Baccalaureate Sunday and Memorial Day Weekend

Holy One, this morning in worship we celebrate our high school graduates, remember this Memorial day weekend those who died in service of their country, and are amazed by your Glory expressed through the Trinity.  How wonderful that the diversity of these expression fills our worship, reflecting the diversity of your Creations and of your love.

And so our prayers this morning reflect this range through variety of our concerns and celebrations.

We rejoice with Jessica, Caitlin, Jackson and McKenna upon their graduation from high school, sharing their hopes for what comes next.  Fill them with your abundant, joyful life no matter what they may do or where their next steps bring them.  Remind them it is not only your love which provides a home for them in both times of joy and sorrow, but this community of faith offers them the same.

For your glory does fill this world O God, filling each and every person no matter who they are, what they do, where in life they are.  Your glory calls us into relationship with each other. Fill us now with your love, that we may live in ways that reflect your glory and love to all whom we encounter.

Your glory is witnessed in the grandeur of your justice which seeks reconciliation and dignity for all rather than punishment, retribution or vengeance.  We are grappling with the results of centuries of racism, misogynism, anti-Semitism, and other forces of division and caste on our common life. Remind us to seek your ways, living out justice as a interwoven community of abundance and care.  Lead us at the same time to  share your perseverance and the call to right wrongs that reduce people to “less than” or “those people” so we can deny their dignity and status as one of your beloved children.

For if we would only live in your ways of justice, we would know peace. Then there would no longer be a need to add to the list of those we remember this weekend who died in service of their country. Help us to honor them by following the ways of Christ so that their deaths not be in vain, living our lives as peace makers willing to lose what is necessary along the way.

Your glory does fill all O God, but sometimes we experience it best in little ways and not in experiences of grandeur. Help us to see it and live it out

in acts of compassion and care towards those hurting in body, mind, and spirit;

 through sitting silently with one who is grieving;

 in offering a cup of coffee or sandwich to someone hungry for both food and dignity;

 in all the ways Jesus does and call us to emulate in each day.

We lift up all these prayers, as well as the unspoken ones of our hearts and spirits in the name of Jesus.  Amen.

 


Sunday, May 23, 2021

Prayer for Pentecost Sunday, May 23, 2021

 How amazing O God, your Spirit filled the first disciples until they were transformed. These frightened and unsure followers of Jesus suddenly had the courage to share the good news of your ever expansive love.

They were filled with uncontainable exuberance, drawing others into new ways of community and life- all shaped by your love and justice, overflowing with joy and compassion even in times of trouble and challenges

 Oh how we need that Spirit to fill us now O God! We need your Spirit that moves us to act secure in your love and with joy. With confidence that even as we await the fulfillment of your promises, we can still experience them now.

 We long for your Spirit to push us out into the wider world as it did the first disciples, so we too may follow the ways of Jesus: proclaiming Good News to the poor, healing to broken and hurting, and justice to the oppressed.

Push us out to live as the disciples lived, not only speaking these words with our mouths, but also embodying them no matter the push back or cost.

 

Enable us to be become your peace bearers, whether it be in the long running Israel Palestine violence and wars, on the streets where guns and weapons are too often used to settle disputes or gain notoriety, or wherever you would need us.

Open our eyes to ways that even the smallest action by us may become a conduit of peace for others.

As we start to come out the other side of this pandemic, fill us not only with compassion but a desire to be of service to our siblings in other places where CoVID is still raging.

Pervade our interactions and reactions with compassion and patience as so many take timid steps back into the so-called normal life.

Our politicians could use your Spirit filling them with love and wisdom. Lead them to  emulate the disciples in their willingness to work through disagreements in ways that built up community as they address challenges, instead of seeking personal gain or political points.

For that divisiveness and anger spills over into the lives of the people of this nation and even in our personal relationships. As your Spirit did bringing together over 3,000 thousand diverse people to form a new Community of faith who join in a way of life, let it weave us together so we too may rejoice with each other rather than fight even when we disagree- no matter who we are, no matter our differences or our commonalities.

Wherever there is pain, wherever there is despair, wherever there is hate and oppression, blow the new life of your Spirit through so that the unexpected and wonders of your love and justice become as evident as twelve disciples speaking in different languages at once of your ways.

Come Holy Spirit, Come, Fill our lives, our communities, and our world with your power, your joy , and your love.  

We lift all these prayers, as well as the unspoken ones of our hearts and spirits, in the name of Jesus. Amen.