Morgan King, director of engagement, offered these Prayers of the People on Sunday, Aug. 12, 2018.
God of Compassion, Lord of Mercy, hear our humble prayers this morning. We believe that our heartfelt thanks, our sincere concerns, our secret fears—we believe these move you. And so, God of Wonder, Lord of Mystery, we offer you now our prayers.
We offer you, God, prayers of mercy for the ceaseless flames in California. For those affected by the unbearable destruction of an earthquake in Indonesia, we pray for strength, we pray for peace. For the many who experience illness, who live with physical or emotional trauma, who know the bitterness of subjugation, either mental or political, for the countless tragedies and hurts of our world, known and unknown, we pray.
In a time when hate gathers openly, when a spirit of intolerance assembles on public ground, we offer our inconsolable grief to you as prayer. We offer you our tears at such injustice. We offer you our outrage. We offer you our confusion. We offer you our whole selves as prayer.
Faced with today’s concerns, how long ago, it seems, we celebrated with confidence the release of your spirit into this world. In our need for reassurance, we long for the guarantees of Pentecost. In our need for reassurance, we already look forward to the promises of Advent, of Easter. In our need for reassurance, we look, even, for the days of Lent, when we so keenly feel your presence, that we might know you are Lord, that we might know in our very souls that you are good, that we might know in our bones that you are here. In the reality of a broken and hurting world, we long for reassurance of your Gospel. We yearn to know you as fact. We need to see your Kingdom come.
Oh Lord, in these long days of summer, in the quiet of mundane weeks, we too often forget your promises. We take leave of your ways. We lose sight of your goodness. But in here in your Sanctuary we remember, o Lord, why we once believed. In those times when we feel far from you, we look to the undeniable power of those prayers, those sermons, those moments of devotion when we felt your presence with every fiber of our being. In times when our very life feels stale, we return to this sacred gathering for a new word. We listen to your Scriptures for a new sign, for renewed promises. And when we feel we have forgotten even how to pray, we speak boldly the words your son taught us, when he prayed…
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.