Prayers of the People

We invite you to pray with us this week.

Two Sundays ago, we asked the youth group to write to God about how they are feeling. Our prayers of the people today incorporate some of their prayers and other petitions for our community. I ask that as we pray together, whenever I say Lord in your mercy, you respond with “Hear our Prayers.” In fact, the very first line will start in this way. Thank you for praying alongside our youth.
“Lord in your mercy, hear our prayers:
Yes, Lord, hear our prayers, for we need you. One of our students in exhaustion prays to you, “Oh my Lord, I’m tired.” We are tired. We are tired of this pandemic. We are tired of pivoting our plans. We are tired of the cold. We are tired of the hustle of work and schoolwork, and we can barely catch our breath. Yet, you have reassured us that when we are weary and burdened to come to you, and that you will give us rest. And that is precisely why we come to you. Give us rest and strength. Rejuvenate us in a way that turns our gaze and hope to your love. Lord in your mercy, hear our prayers
Another student says to you. “Lord, I worry for my loved ones; how can I protect them?” God of refuge, this is our prayer too. We worry for loved ones during this season of Covid. We fear for our loved ones as we see violence in our cities. We pray for officer Jason Rivera who was killed in the line of duty this past Friday night. Comfort his family and friends as they mourn your beloved child. We ask for peace in our community and this nation as gun violence continues to spread. May we turn our swords in plowshares, spears into pruning hooks, and guns into gardening tools. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayers.
A passionate eighth grader hoping for change laments, “I want things to change, but I am only one person, and I can’t change the world by myself. There are many issues, and I can’t control them all,” Holy One, at times we feel powerless, and we want to give up when we see so many injustices in the world. So we come to you, God because we know that you have the power, the love, the strength, the grace, everything we need to persevere to see a change in the world. You have our backs. We know we can’t change the world on our own, but we have glimpses of change when you use us collectively to move towards goals of justice and truth. Restore to us the faith that you have not given up on your people. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayers. 
A young middle schooler simply says to you, God of mercy, “Help us.” Yes, Lord, help us. Help the grieving. Help the lonely and broken. Help those recovering from treatments. Help the caregivers and those who need care. Help the students starting new semesters. Help our nation’s leaders. Help the single parent. Help us all. You know our needs, the ones spoken, the ones left unsaid, and the ones we are too afraid to admit. We say this in full confidence, knowing that you love and care for your children. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayers.
We pray all of this in Jesus’ name, 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.

Rev. Werner Ramirez offers these Prayers of the People on January 23, 2022.