Prayers for the People

Sometimes I can pray spontaneously, and sometimes I need to write something down beforehand to help me to pray. A week ago Sunday (20Mar2011) at Cornerstone I wrote down the following prayer, and for the past week have thought that I should post it… so here it is:

Loving God, we confess that our lives, our prayers, and our belief in you focus more often on ways in which we want either to be kept safe or shielded from pain. Yet Your life in Jesus demonstrates that safety and pain-free lives are not promises for those who follow You. Instead what you reveal in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus is a promise of abiding presence – to comfort, to mourn, to rejoice. We as Christians are not guaranteed to get out of this life alive, but You, Creator and Redeemer, promise resurrection.

Forgive us for the times when we look to save our own lives and preserve our own comfort at the expense of others losing their lives and comfort. Forgive us for the times when we think of You, Jesus, as merely a human with extra special abilities. You are not a super-hero. You are God who, with words and out of love, created the universe and the ground on which we walk, and You formed our bodies and breathed into us the breath of life.

You alone know why, at times, healing happens in ways we want, and, at other times, why You seem to ignore our cries for healing. Help us to know and to trust Your presence always – even when we don’t understand and cannot feel anything but pain and aloneness.

Disciple making and sending God, for those in this world who do not know Your love as revealed in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth and who are experiencing tragedy and loss – send comfort and compassion to them and may they learn to name You as the source of true love and lasting peace. For those rejoicing – may they know Your presence and open their hearts to know that all good gifts come from You. For those who are exploiting others and for those who lead using arrogance, pride, and violence – humble them and work in them that they would see that they are fleeting but You are forever, and You are God…

Lord, You know the prayers and concerns spoken aloud today and the ones we have trouble naming even in our own hearts… You know the circumstances and situations and needs of each person, family, and community affected by these requests, and we ask that Your will be done. Help us to be open to the ways in which You will answer, and help us to trust You always, that You would be glorified, honored and praised.

And now, please do a new work in us as we pray the prayer Jesus taught to the disciples trusting that You will work within us both to will and to do Your good pleasure…

Our Father…

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