Prayers

We offer you these prayers to revisit from Sunday morning services.

Lord God, You led your chosen people from slavery in Egypt to the freedom of the Promised Land.

We ask you to lead us from hatred, ignorance, fear, racism, injustice or anything else that prevents us from being the community of love and respect that you want us to be.

We remember with gratitude today the witness of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and we ask that we have the courage and determination to follow his example in battling injustice and living the Gospel of love.

Help us, Lord, to make ever more the community you want us to be.

Grant all this through Christ our Lord,
Amen

(Source: Based on MLK Day prayer, Notre Dame News, 2016)

Holy and Everlasting God, today we remember our baptism as we celebrate the baptism of Christ.

We promise, again, by the grace of God, to follow in the way of our Savior,

To resist oppression and evil,

To show love and justice, and to witness the work and word of Jesus Christ.

And we promise to grow in our faith as members of this church and the Church universal. 

Amen.

Holy One, we welcome this new year.

We have endured a painful season and we look forward with great anticipation to what you have in store for us. 

Guide and direct us.

Give us dreams and visions for the future. 

May we trust you and follow you in faith and joy.

Amen.

Holy One, you have come.

You put skin on and joined us in our humanity,

How can we begin to fathom this?

How can we being to thank you?

Today we try. We gather in worship and we bring our hearts. 

Transform us into your image, we pray.

Amen.

Dear Lord,
Like Mary, may our souls magnify You.
Let our spirits rejoice in You, our Savior.
You have done great things for us and Holy is Your name.
You have scattered the proud and brought down the powerful,
You have lifted up the lowly
And You have filled the hungry with good things.
To You will give all glory, honor and praise.
Amen.

Lord, let us hear what You will speak,

For You will speak peace to Your people,

To those of us who are faithful, to those of us turn to you in our hearts.

Surely Your salvation is at hand for all who fear You,

May your glory dwell in our land. 

We pray for your steadfast love and faithfulness to meet;

For Your righteousness and peace to kiss each other.

Amen. 

Holy One, enthroned in glory over all creation, you are a shepherd to the lost and the least. Teach us to see your face among the poor— feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, welcoming the stranger, clothing the naked, and visiting those who are sick or in prison— so that we may share in your eternal realm prepared from the foundation of the world; through Jesus Christ, who is coming indeed, to reign with justice, compassion, and love. Amen.

Holy Lord, we adore you.

We seek to be joyful; we seek to spread joy. But we come before you admitting that these are hard days.

The confusion and division has us tired. We are living through an unprecedented pandemic. As we enter the season of gratitude.

Our hearts heavy, yet we acknowledge your provision.
Thank you for caring for us, for loving us, for assuring us that you are God and we are not.

All praise, glory and honor is yours.
Amen.

Holy God, may we hear your voice
In the stillness of night, in clatter of day
You call us, and we respond, 
Here I am!
May we follow you and 
May we love as you love.

Holy One, through trials and turbulence 
Make us steady, your hands
Holding strong the fragile and weak
May we love as you love.

Gracious God, may the fruits of our lives
be food for the hungry, bread
clothing, shelter, fire, water, Word
May we love as you love.

God of justice, remove the barriers
Of our lives that keep us from
One another, barriers we construct
Based on political opinions, nationality, skin color, religion, gender, or sexual orientation.
May we hear, and follow, graciously.
May we love as you love.

Loving God, take this day our fears our
Worries, distractions, and all
Turn them into grace and mercy,
And, following the example of Martin Luther King, Jr. and all your Saints,
May we love as you love.

(Source: RevGalBlog)

We thank you, God, for the gift of creation called forth by your saving Word. Before the world had shape and form, your Spirit moved over the waters. Out of the waters of the deep, you formed the earth and brought forth life. 

In the time of Noah, you washed the earth with the waters of the flood, and your ark of salvation bore a new beginning. 

In the time of Moses, the Israelites passed through the Red Sea waters from slavery to freedom and crossed the flowing Jordan to enter the promised land.

In the fullness of time, you sent Jesus Christ, who was nurtured in the water of Mary’s womb.

Jesus was baptized by John in the water of the Jordan, became living water to the woman at the well, washed the feet of the disciples, and sent them forth to baptize all the nations by water and the Holy Spirit. 

Help us –who have confessed your name—remember our own baptism and may we continue to rise in Christ. 

Holy God, these are such difficult days and we recognize that there is illness and death all around us. 

We pray for health, healing and peace. We seek your comfort and reassurance that you are with us, we have been baptized into the community of Christ and we are not alone. Grant us your perspective that we may have your vision and not our limited human one. As we pray, remind us of the words you taught your disciples:

Our Father, who art in heave, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread, and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For yours is the kingdom, the power and the glory forever. Amen. 

God of darkness and light, in dreams and visions, in words and stories ancient and new, you speak to us your promise of a love that knows no bounds. We give thanks to you for your son Jesus Christ…your love incarnate in the world. He is the light that shines in our darkness. This child of Mary and Joseph reveled your glory, brining hope to our despair and joy to our sorrow.

Send, we pray, your Holy Spirit on us and on this bread and this cup. Pour out your Spirit on our community of faith to open our eyes to your presence, to open our hearts to your peace, to open our spirits to your world. As we come together to this table-gathering, we offer ourselves to you in praise and thanksgiving for your extraordinary presence in all creation. Amen.

Most good and gracious God,

Advent signals your coming. We anticipated the arrival of the Christ child for many weeks. We lit candles, we sang, we read devotionals, and we waited. We longed for you to show up in the midst of these strange days of pandemic and struggle. And, you came. We celebrated your arrival. The world has never been the same. 

Advent is also a marking of the coming of Christ into each of our hearts. You came as a tiny baby and now you come in to our lives, you break through our selfishness and our distraction, and you dwell in our flesh. This is a holy mystery. May we wake up and be fully present to this embodied mystery. Help us not to miss it. Help us to be the kind of hosts of your Spirit that glow with the light of Christ. 

Cast out our sin and enter in. Be continually born in us today and every day.

We welcome you. Amen.

Creator of all humanity, we call you Holy and seek to worship you all the days of our lives. We pray that the ways of your heavenly kingdom may be made real in the world that surrounds us. May the bread we need today be available for us and all who are hungry, and may you forgive us, just as we can forgive those who have sinned against us. In the time of moral testing, may we listen first for your voice calling to us, instead of the call of the world; take from us the self-centeredness of our society. This world, and all that is in it, always has been and always will be yours.

(Source, The Moravian Church, 3rd Sunday of Advent)

God of hope,  you call us home from the exile of selfish oppression to the freedom of justice, the balm of healing, 
and the joy of sharing.  Make us strong to join you in your holy work, as friends of strangers and victims, companions of those whom others shun,  and as the happiness of those whose hearts are broken. 

O Wisdom, O holy word of God, you govern all creation with your strong yet tender care: Come and show your people the way to salvation.

O Sacred Lord of ancient Israel, who showed yourself to Moses in the burning bush, who gave him the holy law on Sinai mountain: Come, stretch out your mighty hand to set us free.

O Flower of Jesse’s stem, you have been raised up as a sign for all peoples; rulers stand silent in your presence; the nations bow down in worship before you. Come, let nothing keep you from coming to our aid.

O Radiant Dawn, splendor of eternal light, sun of justice: Come, shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death.

O Ruler of all the nations, the only joy of every human heart, O keystone of the mighty arch of humankind: Come and save the creature you fashioned from the dust.

O Emmanuel, ruler and lawgiver, desire of the nations, savior of all people: Come and set us free, Lord our God.
(from Bobby Gross)

Holy Creator, Bread of Life, Everlasting Salvation,
A light shines in the night and the night will not over come it.
In this meal we have been replenished and strengthened, 
the light of your love rekindled within. 
We will be bold to carry this light into the world.

Thank you for recharging our batteries 
and reviving your ambient glow within us.
You are the power source that never gives out
– eternally renewable and sustainable.

May we be instruments of your peace during Advent and always. Amen.

Lord God Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, we your people acclaim you, we praise you, we exalt you, we bless your holy name. 

It is your love that is revealed in the life and death of Jesus, it is your power that is seen in his resurrection, and it is your majesty that is made known by his ascension into heaven to be at your side.  

Help us, O God, to always keep your power and your authority and your love and your majesty in our minds and to never neglect the doing of your will. Help us to be obedient to the word you place in our hearts and our minds.

Father and Mother of us all, we believe that Christ Jesus should rule within our worship and our life together as your people. We believe too that he should rule over our work in the world and within our family life. Indeed we profess that he wants to be Lord of our lives, the one who is supreme in deciding how we should relate to our friends and our neighbors.  

Help us make this manifest in what we do each and every day—in how we make decisions about how we spend our time and our money, in how we employ our hands and in how we direct our feet, in how we speak and in how we think, in how we rest and in how we work.

And in this time of COVID we lift up our church and all those streaming or watching a rebroadcast of this service, and all people who seek you in their myriad traditions. We remember the victims of COVID, especially Fred Kistler, Mary Ann and George Coroneous, and those we name silently in our hearts. Amen.

As we prepare for our time of congregational prayer, let us quiet our spirits to receive what God has for us.

God, be in our thinking, always as a guide; God be in our yearning, high and deep and wide; God be in our caring, with us intertwined, as we grow to love you, heart and soul and mind.

Holy God,

We gather far and near and seek you together this morning. Be with us, lead us, direct us to our true selves.

Help us grow to love you, heart soul and mind. As Jonathan taught this morning, there is a Divine banquet that we are all invited to; we have such a tremendous opportunity to be born again every minute and every hour—to see you more clearly and love you more dearly. We are constantly being prompted to step away from the false gods the world has to offer and to cling to You—the one true and loving God. In you, we find our true and best selves. In you, we find wholeness.

Today we live in what feels like chaos—surrounded by pandemic, political strife, confusion, division, false narratives and uncertainty. Remind us Lord that our hope rests in you. You are not wobbly or uncertain. You are the same yesterday, today and forever. Let your peace that passes understanding reside in us today like never before.

We pray for those suffering from COVID and the destructive path it is traveling.

We pray for those in our congregation who have lost loved ones and those facing struggles of all kinds.

Lord, we pray over every name and every story listed on our prayer chain.

We seek your comfort, your peace and your clarity.

And, as we journey forward in faith, we seek your transformation.

Amen.