We invite you to pray with us this week.
Gracious and loving God, our shelter from the stormy blast and our eternal home, we turn to you with heavy and fearful hearts seeking wisdom and courage for the living of these days.
God, our hearts grieve today with our Muslim siblings around the world, still reeling from the massacre at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, this past Friday. We grieve for 50 precious lives lost, and for all those living whose lives will never be the same. We decry the sin of white supremacy and the vicious targeting of Muslim immigrants and refugees seeking refuge and peace and a safe place to pray and worship you.
In the face of this terrorism, in which forces of evil desire to make people all over the world live in fear, we remember your words, repeated throughout the Scriptures, to love you and love our neighbor and not to be afraid. We acknowledge, God, that repeated acts of violence targeting faith communities during worship do make us afraid. We ask for courage to continue to gather together in community, to praise you and to pray to you and to stand in bold solidarity with all your beloved children who choose love over fear.
We lift up to you all the hurting people and places of the world, and praise you for the certain knowledge that there is no place of suffering in which you are not present, working to heal and redeem and sustain all those in need.
For you are the God of the lonely, the stranger, the grieving, the raging, the hungry, the homeless, the ill and destitute, the addicted and despairing. You are the God of all those whose lives are disrupted by war, violence, corruption, environmental catastrophes, brutal injustices. You are the God of those who suffer in plain sight, and you are the God of those whose inner pain is completely hidden from world. You are the God who never turns away from the anguished suffering of your children.
God, we hear stories of your miraculous gifts to your followers, and we hope for miracles of abundance and grace in our own lives. Perhaps it is miracle enough that though we sin and fall short of your glory, you never stop knocking at the doors of our hearts, never see us as hopeless cases, never stop loving us and longing to redeem us, never stop climbing into our boats with us, offering guidance and telling us not to be afraid, calling us to follow you.
Holy God, grant us the grace to be kind, that we may treat each other tenderly, carefully, seeing your face in every person we meet. Help us so closely to follow you, our Savior, that our love, like yours, may have no limits, no boundaries, no places where it cannot go. We pray this boldly knowing that with you, God, all things are possible, and we pray now as you taught us…
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.
Associate Pastor Kate Dunn offered these Prayers of the People during worship on March 17, 2019, the Second Sunday in Lent.