Pastoral Prayers for Justice, Healing, Compassion, Food, Peace, and Joy: Advent III, 2014
Jesus Christ, Son of God, Light of the world, hear us as we begin our pastoral prayers this day singing together: ‘May we but wait upon Love’s word, knowing our prayer is heard’ (sung twice)
Dear God, in this season of festive busy-ness, we give you thanks for the chance to worship and to pray together gathered as the body of Christ in this time and in this place.
God, this morning we begin with prayers, first for ourselves, knowing that, for some among, us life is abundant and blessed while, for others, life is harder to manage and is sometimes filled with fear, loneliness, and isolation. Give us ears to hear, eyes to see, and hearts to feel, dear God as we sing together: ‘May we but wait upon Love’s word, knowing our prayer is heard’.
Holy God, for some, this time of year calls to mind of memories of happier times and of changing circumstances. With that there can be a deep sense of being disorientated, feeling lost, and living with the consequences of unresolved grief. God, we remember, too, that for still others, the loneliness of the long dark nights of December brings with it the malaise of unquenchable despair.
This morning we particularly remember our friends (named silently or aloud at this time). Give us ears to hear, eyes to see, and minds to seek understanding, dear God as we sing together:
‘ May we but wait upon Love’s word, knowing our prayer is heard’.
Jesus, Radiant Star, Eternal Sun, Guiding Light, Lighthouse of our souls, we pray specifically this day for all those ministries extend far beyond the bounds of our doors: May the soothing balm of your steadfast presence bring healing and hope even into the darkest of circumstances. May we come to know you and love you more deeply as we learn together how to see one another as you might, to ground our actions in the following of your footsteps, and to learn to testify to the Light of your gracious love.
Through our efforts joined with those of Christians everywhere we pray together in joy-filled hope that all those who live with hunger will be fed; all those who live with war and destruction will know peace, and all those who live with poverty and violence, will discover your steadfast presence in all times and in all circumstances.
And we sing; ‘May we but wait upon Love’s word, knowing our prayer is heard’.
And together, we conclude our pastoral prayers this morning with the paraphrase of the Prayer of Jesus found at VU p. 916: ‘Eternal Spirit, Earth-Maker, Pain-Bearer, Life-giver,
Source of all that is and that shall be. Father and Mother of us all, Loving God, in whom is heaven; the hallowing of your name echo through the universe!
The way of justice be followed by peoples of the world! Your heavenly will be done by all created beings! Your commonwealth of peace and freedom sustain our hope and come on earth.
With the bread we need for today, feed us. In the hurts we absorb from one another, forgive us. In times of temptation and test, strengthen us. From trials too great to endure, spare us.
From the grip of all that is evil, free us. For your reign in the glory of the power that is love, now and forever. Amen.