Executive Pastor Charlene Han Powell offered these Prayers of the People on Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017.
You, O Lord, are our almighty Creator. You created the heavens and the earth, the land and the sea, and every living creature that inhabits those spaces. Then in your image, you created us to live with and love one another, to consider and care for your creation, and to worship and commune with you. And we have gathered this morning to do just that.
We have shared the peace of Christ with our neighbor, we have asked ourselves how we can better our communities in your name, and now we turn our most intimate and holy gaze toward you.
Lord, you know our hearts. You know the joys that fill them and the sorrows that plague them. Yet you still call us to lift up our voices in prayer, not with the unsure expectation that we might change your heart, but with the certain hope that you might shape ours. So hear now our humble prayers.
We offer you our prayers of petition.
For all those affected by the continued earthquakes in Mexico, for those who are grieving the loss of loved ones, for those who are still looking for loved ones, we ask for your comfort. For those affected by Hurricane Maria, especially our brothers and sisters in Puerto Rico, for those who lost homes and loved ones, we ask for your compassion. For all of the conversations had and promises made this past week at the UN General Assembly, for the threat of nuclear warfare, the threat of war in general, we ask for your wisdom. For those closer to home, those in our communities, in our family, and in our church who are struggling to face the day, who don’t know how they are going to make ends meet, who are grieving their own losses and devastation, Lord, we ask for your mercy.
Lord, in the midst of our grief and confusion about the divisions plaguing our world and the natural disasters that threaten your creation, we also see evidence of your goodness all around us. So accept now our humble gratitude.
We offer you our prayers of thanksgiving.
For first responders, for all the brave men, women, and youth who ran into the wreckage, swam through flood waters, risked their own lives and safety for the sake of the lives and safety of others, we thank you. For the leaders who have dedicated their lives to public service, for those who constantly and fervently seek to make society a better and more just place, we thank you.For those in our communities, in our families and in our homes, who care for us, help us face the trials of the day, carry us when we are tired and broken, and rejoice with us when we are strong and whole, we thank you.
But most of all, we thank you for your son, Jesus Christ, who showed us beyond the shadow of a doubt that you not only created us, you care for us, you fight for us, you died for us. So it is in his name that we offer you all of our prayers, spoken and unspoken, even the words that he taught his own disciples to pray when he said…
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be 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.