For Community

community-group
Congregational Prayer written for March 30, 2014

Lord,

As we gather here in prayer, help us quiet our minds and calm our hearts so that we may speak to you openly and honestly.  Thank you for the promise that you are always with us, even when we seemingly can’t find your peace that passes understanding.

Lord we bring before you members of our congregation, some by name and also those who are not named.  There is pain, sickness and suffering.  There is mourning, sadness, hurt and fear.   Many of us have daily struggles that we don’t name here.  I think of many who don’t say much about their situations because it has become a part of their daily routines.

As we sit here as one body, we ask that you send healing, hope, help, strength, peace and your presence.  We all need you.  We all need to feel your presence in our lives and I ask that our awareness be opened so that we may see you.

In specific we bring before you:

[insert specific prayer requests here]

Lord, I also think of those who are caregivers. Where the hurt and the pain they see may not be specifically theirs, and yet they share the burden.  Be with them.  Pour out an extra measure of grace, understanding, patience and wisdom.

I think of many who are shut-in.  For whom it would be a joy to have the ability to leave their homes at will and to do what many of us find mundane daily chores.  Give them peace.  Give them a strong sense of your presence so that they are not pulled down into loneliness.  Help us to remember them, pray for them, support them as best fits their needs.

Help us be a community.  Help us support each other.  May we build trust with each other so that even when we can’t share the unnamed burdens, we can support each other.

And in doing so, may we become a strong body of believers who present a living example of your Redemption, of how you work through the broken and the weak, to make something strong and beautiful.

Lord be with the members of our Congregation who come together today and [specific meeting referenced here] to talk about our children, their faith lives and growth.  Grant a spirit of community, fellowship and communication as they talk about ways that we can, as a church, teach our children about life in fellowship and obedience to you.

As this is a topic that is approached by many with a sense of urgency, an awareness of its importance, and a weighting of seriousness, I ask that you equally grant open hearts, minds and wisdom to this discussion.

Lord, I would also like to bring before you the families and people working to find the wreckage of the Malaysian airlines.  Lord, please grant that some certainty can be given to these people.  May they find some peace and some closure.

I pray for the Ukraine.  There the turmoil in their lives is not just from their daily routines and personal problems.  No the country is turned upside down.  Lord, it is hard, from a distance, not to speculate and make theories.  I ask that our leaders heed your direction.  May you speak to the leaders and people of Ukraine.  We know that you will work through all things for your good.  It is difficult to see the possibility of violence and war and understand how that works into your plan.  And so we trust and believe that you are working here.  We just pray your direction will be followed and that major loss and suffering will be avoided.

Lord, there are many countries in which daily violence is a reality.  There are many Christians who live in fear.  There are many who worship knowing that their words of praise could lead to shunning, pain, suffering, and even death.  I can’t begin to understand what it would be like to have that as my daily reality.  I can’t imagine what they are asking of you when they pray.  Lord, be with them.  Grant them what they need.  Send them strength.  Provide them with answers.  And show us how to support them.  Let them know that they are not alone in their faith.

And so Lord, we draw back to ourselves.  We can see that you have blessed us.  That we have so much more than many.  Thank you for this country in which we live.  Please bless our leaders, our government.  Even those leaders with whom we disagree.  Let them hear the Holy Spirit work in their roles as leaders.

Thank you for our homes.  For the blessings of shelter, food, comfort and indoor heat.  Thank you for the signs of spring.  The hope and joy that it brings to so many of us.  Thank you for the health that we have.

Be with us as we leave this place today.  Help us to take our knowledge of these blessings, the teaching from your word, and the community that we share here into our routines.  Let us be the light and grace in this world.

In your name we pray,

Amen.

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