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Prayers of the Church, February 7, 2016

In our Gospel today Luke shows us a different picture of Jesus that gives us much to think about. He is not just the conciliator but also very much the challenger to human presumption. Today we see him as a man of bold courage who did not mince words or worry himself about offending others. His purpose was to fulfill the kingdom of God, not the expectations or aspirations of his neighbors. This is a bold antagonist who makes preemptive strikes against the Pharisees, the Sadducees, the Roman rulers, the priests and scribes, Democrats and Republicans, Socialists and Capitalists, and any other creature who presumes upon the Divine. What we see here is that Christ's epiphany is not two-dimensional and easy to take. His disciples are charged with preaching the full and complete word, the hard word, the saving word. Let the chips fall where they may when the words fall from our lips. If it is time for the cross, it is time. If not, the word will go on its way. We pray for wisdom to hear your words, we pray for courage to spread your words, and we pray to show your love by how we live. Lord in your mercy,


God of Creation, You have created us and all that exists in our world for a purpose. You have given us the ability to love as You love us. Help us to see and live the power of that love. Help us to see the power in one act of kindness, help us to see the power in one helping hand and help us to see the power in one smile of acceptance. Help us not to feel so overwhelmed by the massiveness of injustice, poverty and violence so as to come to believe there is nothing to be done. We know that with You we can fulfill your wish for us and the walls will fall down. Lord in your mercy,

Heavenly Father, we thank you for your mercy and forgiveness. We fail miserably on a regular basis, this we know. But we also know that you do not give up on us. You continue to love us and show us the way. Help us to forgive ourselves so that we can move forward with our lives turning to You for guidance and perseverance as we try to do better. Help us to love one another as You love us. Lord in your mercy,

Almighty God, be with us here at UDLC as we begin a new church year. Bless our Pastors and our Church Council, our Staff and our army of volunteers who will work to your glory, who will give tirelessly of their time and who will lead us in your mission here on earth. Lord in your mercy,

Lord of Compassion, we pray for all who are living in terror, we pray for all who are battling disease and we pray for all in the grips of fear because their lives are in chaos. We ask that You help them to feel your healing presence so that they do not feel alone and abandoned. We ask that you listen to our prayers for healing of all kinds offered in our hearts or from our words. Lord in your mercy,

- Dottie Long