by Rev. Sharon Copeman
Unless otherwise noted, each prayer in this resource is the original work of the Rev. Sharon R. Copeman.
These prayers were written in response to a request by the pastoral visitors of five congregations of the United Church of Canada ministering on the west side of Vancouver, BC: Knox UC, Dunbar Heights UC, West Point Grey UC, Trinity UC and University Hill UC.
This section of the website is designed for those offering pastoral support to others and for those whose life circumstances awaken in them a need for prayer. Individual prayers may be copied and shared, giving credit to the author.
As you read and share these prayers it might be helpful for you to know my basic premise...
In Romans 8: 38 - 39, Paul is writing to the Christians in Rome, in the midst of terrible stress, fearful turmoil, great danger, telling them what he knows for sure... and he says,
"I am convinced that neither death, nor life,
nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present,
nor things to come, nor powers, nor height,
nor depth, nor anything else in all creation,
will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord."
This letter of Paul is among the earliest Christian writings after the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, written about 56-57 CE. Although at the time of Paul’s writing of this letter, the Roman authorities had not yet targeted Christians unless they were involved in public disturbances, within a decade the persecution and killing of followers of the Way of Jesus had begun.
In the face of such dangers, these words of Paul must have whispered amazing encouragement to them of the good news of God’s unstoppable love! There was absolutely nothing in all the world that could stop God's love for them. It is still true! I share Paul’s confidence.
God is not a great puppeteer pulling strings and making things happen. God is first of all Love, unconditional Love, unstoppable Love. Nothing we do or say or think can ever stop God from loving us, not because of who we are but because of who God is. Even when Jesus was hanging on the cross, having been betrayed by his friends, whipped, tormented and crucified, in his last words Jesus asked God to forgive those who had done these terrible things, and in Christ’s resurrection, we see God's assurance... violence, abuse, hatred, death do not get the last word - Love wins!
Hang on to that truth, dear friends. God loves you!