prayer candles

Prayers of the Church, February 28, 2016

Hearing the call to return to the Lord, let us join the whole people of God in prayer for all who cry out in pain and in hope.

A brief silence.

1) Gracious God, so many times we turn away from you and you always welcome us back. We are thankful that even though we don't always produce the kind of fruit that you desire, you give us a second chance. Help us to allow Jesus to work in our lives so that we will produce the kind of fruit that you want from us. Thank you for the invitation to share, fast and pray so that you can form new hearts within us. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

2) God of Abundance, bless all who worked many hours last week to enable the success of our Flea Market We praise you for the funds that were raised and the blessings that our helpers experienced during the work. During this Lenten season give us all a new and expanded vision for our lives. Rather than focusing on what we might be giving up, let us focus on the one who gave it all up for us. Bless and guide our pastors as they lead us this Lenton season because they bear the struggles of so many in our midst. Help
each of us to live full of faith and to feel renewed hope in the face of our own adversity. Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

3)
God of Peace, Terrorism continues to tear at our world both globally and locally. Those who suffer need our prayers. We pray that the church in every country and people in every community would rise up an army of "prayer soldiers" who pray for the defeat of violence, and for healing for the victims. Bless and protect our military and all who put their lives in harm's way to ensure freedom for all. Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with us. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

4) God of creation, this past week our planet once again experienced severe weather and damaging storms. Heavy snow and damaging storms claimed many lives. Help us to be better stewards of our earth to protect our environment, and to help reverse global warming. Grant all who suffered any loss - from humankind to their homes - the strength to cope and rebuild. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

5) Heavenly Ruler, make all governments thirst for your justice. Bring citizens and elected officials together to create communities where all people may live in peace and
are treated fairly. Guide all who are following the political debates and news coverage to discern who best should represent each party as the election process unfolds. Then, as the winners are decided, unite us with the body and blood of your Son to act as "one nation under God". Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

6) Faithful God, fill the cups of the thirsty, and the plates of the hungry. Comfort all who mourn, and heal all who live with illness. Be with all who suffer physically and mentally from any disease or injury. May they feel your loving arms of strength holding them up. (We pray especially for all those named on our prayer lists, and all those we raise now in silent thought or spoken word). Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

7) Eternal Father, We give thanks for all the pastors and Christian education servants who mentored each of us, many who celebrate life eternal with you now. (especially). By their witness we know you more fully. Keep us steadfast in our faith until the day when we all gather at the river. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

8) Lord, from the prayers of St. Francis, make us an instrument of Your peace; Where there is hatred, let us sow charity; Where there is injury, pardon; Where there is
error, the truth; Where there is doubt, show faith; Where there is despair, offer hope; Where there is darkness, light; and Where there is sadness, bring joy. O, Divine Master, Grant that we may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console; To be understood as to understand; To be loved as to love; For it is in giving that we receive; It is in pardoning that we are pardoned; And it is in dying to ourselves that we are born to eternal life. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

To you, gracious God, we commend all for whom we pray, trusting in your boundless mercy; through Jesus Christ, our Savior. Amen.

- Kathi Neal