Prayers of the People

We invite you to pray with us this week.

God, who knows the troubles in every human heart; God, who calms storms (without and within); God, who gazes on this blue-green planet with boundless compassion, we pray to you.

Holy One, we are all a bit brittle right now. You know this, of course. You watch as we ping-pong between anxiety and frustration. You see exhausted nurses and doctors and the never-ending stream of patients. You see those who are sick. You see those who worry over their work and their finances.

In all this, you don’t see numbers. Do you, God? I can’t imagine you staring at a statistical chart. You see us as you have always seen. You see faces, and stories, and the little dramas that are not so little to us. Redeem us, fierce mother hen of a God. Save us in this perilous moment.

Every week, your faithful people say: “God has grafted us into a sacred and hopeful story.” Every week, we say: “God calls us all beloved children.” Make our words true! Be in the midst of our stories right now, steadfast God. Spread your wings over us all, healer God. Show us your face. Show us your face in every act of human goodness. Lift the hairs on our neck and show us your face.

We are bold to ask this, because seeing you will help us. It will help us not swirl around the drain of fear. It will help us step back from patterns of self-pity or blame. It will help us all step up. Grace us with your face, God who persists. Grant us the tools we need in this hour.

Give us wisdom when we need to make smart choices. Give us stamina when we grow tired and edgy. Give us consolation when sadness and fear grip us. Give us healing when we are sick. Give us uncommon courage and deep reserves of grace for the living of these days.

All this we pray, trusting in the One who came offering wisdom, bestowing calm, healing the sick, lifting up the broken-hearted; the One who replaced fear and fear and more fear with love and love and more love; Jesus the Christ, our Rock and Redeemer, who taught us to pray saying…

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.

Senior Pastor Scott Black Johnston offered these Prayers of the People on March 29, 2020, the Fifth Sunday in Lent.