Dear Father God,
We have come before you in worship today. We seek your presence through our acts of worship: the moments of song; the act of listening; the practice of giving; the small pauses of silence; may all of these bring conviction and strength to our faith. We have gathered here today in a way that is not seen as normal by many of our peers. Our motivations can be as simple as routine and doing what is right, or as complex as a grasp for hope and a plea for belonging.
You have created all of us with unique talents, thoughts, opinions, passions and personalities, and then called us to be one body. Faced with that reality Lord, what were you thinking? And there Lord lies our problem. We are too quick to place limits on ourselves that you have already removed. You have promised, in your word and by example throughout history, you will do more than we can imagine if we can let go of our own insecurities, prejudices and judgement. If we can but trust in you to guide us.
For you are an awesome God. We’ve seen your power this weekend through the rains, the evidence in the thundering rolling clouds and then to the raindrop balanced on the tip of a leaf holding a reflection of the beauty of this world.
That is the God we come to worship. That is the God who cares. This is our God and we put our trust in you. You are so big, so strong and so mighty, and the whole world is in your hands. The big worries and doubts and every day and mundane. You care about our cancer, our job loss, our depression, our anxiety, our heart ache, and you care about our food, our clothes, and our sleep. All that is good comes from you and we ask that you place this awareness deep in our heart.
Because we live in a broken world. A world in which the wages of sin are seen and felt and experienced. Where not one of us has escaped pain. And so, as a body of Christ, we come before you and lift one another up to you, seeking your healing and seeking your wisdom as we minister to one-another. May we share in each others pains and sorrows. May we experience laughter and community as we walk together. In particular today we remember:
[insert specific requests here]
For we were all created in your image and we are all loved by you.
Lord, there is an awareness that we are living at a time in your plan for this world in which there is a lot of change. As a body we are being placed under increased scrutiny. Many beliefs we hold to as facts and hold to dearly are being questioned, from as big as the definition of marriage, the way we seek to manage the resource of this building, to the way we worship you through sacrament, and many more examples I cannot mention here.
All of this change brings out our individuality and tears at the body of Christ. All of us have understanding and conviction and all of us have a heart to speak from the right perspective, your perspective.
This week, with the ruling from the US Supreme court, what we have seen is that many have spoken on your behalf. Many have been quick to speak, to anger, and slow to listen. Many judgements have been made, presumptions have been taken as factual and mercy has been almost forgotten.
Lord, how are we shining a light to our neighbours in this time? Lord, we do need your wisdom. We do need your guidance as we negotiate these tough, tough, questions, for we are at risk of tearing this church family apart. As mentioned earlier, what were you thinking when you called us to be one body? How can we do this? Where can we find unity? Lord, we are seeking this from you and we are asking that you move through this body in ways that we will be that light to our community, and not be at risk for putting our light out, forget just hiding it under a bushel!
Lord, this prayer has been long, perhaps longer than some bodies can take. There is much to pray about and the perspective of this prayer has been focused upon this congregation. Very briefly then, may we remember our perspective. We think about our calling to be light in this world. You have called us to minister to our neighbour – across the street, at work, and while we travel during this season of vacation. You have called us to intercede and pray for our leaders, in this church, in our city, our province, at a national level, and around the world. We are called to remember your larger body of believers around the world. Many are faced with persecution at levels that cannot be mentioned here out of respect for the vulnerable sitting on our pews. These prayers are too large to do justice to in the time left right now. Lord I ask that we all be moved to prayer many times this week. May we pray as a community in our individual places and spaces for these needs and many more.
For God, you are good and you are great. You hear are every need and see each raindrop fall. By a finger you can cause the clouds, in a great thunder storm, to tear the atmosphere apart with the brilliance of lightening and the deafening of thunder. Let us remember to dwell in this awesomeness, and know you as Father, letting you show us the true meaning of that word.
We hold strongly to your grace, mercy and by the gifts bought by your Son.