We invite you to pray with us this week.
we pray for ourselves.
We pray for our friends and families;
we pray for our communities;
we pray for our country.
We pray that the rhetoric of division
that surrounds us—that beckons to us—
that would ensnare heads and hearts in its vicious tendrils
will not claim us.
But, we feel it God. We really feel it.
This political season threatens
to gash the connective tissue
that binds us together.
We are angry with (and suspicious of) each other.
Deep down, we are afraid.
In the face of all the yelling and sniping and sneering,
We appeal to you,
God who can calm the storm,
asking for strength and grace and courage.
Call to our hearts. Beckon to our better angels.
Hold healthy alternatives before us.
Send your spirit of love and justice and peace to us.
We pray for those who are sick.
We pray for those who are worried and tired.
We pray that your healing powers
would descend on those who struggle like cool rain.
We pray that your strength would fill people’s wounded spirts
and lift them like eagles on the wing.
Please, Holy One,
stand alongside those who grieve the loss of a loved one.
Surround them with friendship and deep compassion.
Be as real to us as a big old oak tree—
a tree that holds a body easily when you lean against it.
We pray for our schools,
for teachers, principals, school nurses, students and parents.
These people are working tirelessly/frenetically
figuring out how to make school happen
in safe, supportive and creative ways.
Guide and sustain those planning for school.
Give us patience.
Pinch out the fuse on our tempers.
Do not let our rage get the better of us.
This is an imperfect time, God.
It is a messy time. It is a chaotic time.
Help us to see beyond our long list of frustrations to…
Give us comfort in the beauty of the world.
Give us perspective in the grace of the arts.
Give us joy in the gift of dear friends.
Give us glimpses of YOU…
And in spotting you…
Help us to find clear wisdom and hope for the living of these days.
All this we pray,
mingling our voices with the voice of Jesus,
who prayed with steady trust,
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.
The Rev. Dr. Scott Black Johnston offered these Prayers of the People on August 9, 2020.