11.18.16

First Presbyterian Church of Yorktown - building

The following prayer was offered on Sunday, November 13 by Rev. Chip Low. Many in our church have requested a copy of the prayer for their own reflection.

Gracious God, we give you thanks today for the breath of life, your Spirit, that sustains us. We thank you for the gift of breath that calms our anxieties and renews life within us. We give thanks also for Jesus Christ, who came to be among us, to be one of us, to know our joys and sorrows, our successes and failures, our faith and doubt. It is by faith today that we come before you in prayer, knowing that you hear us when we pray.

We thank you for the ministry of Bryce Wiebe and his work for the special offerings of the Presbyterian Church. We pray your blessing on his work as you use him to call your people to partnership and generosity for the sake of your purposes here on earth. We also pray for those who receive the offerings. We pray for those who thirst for clean drinking water, for children at risk, for people seeking to develop their own lives, for the ministry of racial/ethnic colleges around the country and for those whose service to your church needs our continued support. We pray that our offerings promote your peace and justice around the world until all may live as you intend.

This day, God of our lives, we pray for peace and justice in our own country in the aftermath of the recent election. Among us today are people elated by the outcome of the election this last week, others ambivalent by the results, and still others surprised and discouraged. All in all, we are a divided country, and calls for unity seem hollow and untrustworthy. As Isaiah writes, we have seen finger pointing and heard evil spoken, the hungry have gone unfed and the afflicted are still in need. Meanwhile, we, your people, have loved our candidate and our side more than we have loved our neighbor as ourselves. We have voted for our positions more than the value of people. As a result, people feel insecure, lost, unsure, broken and hurt. And so, we pray this day for the future of our country. We pray for your healing of broken spirits and wounded souls. We pray for people who once again feel marginalized for who they are. We pray that we would learn to value people over positions and to value love and grace, peace and justice, over competition, self-importance, and winners and losers. Restore in us faith and trust, hope and healing, justice and peace.

We pray today that you would remind us again who we are as followers of Jesus Christ during this time. We are one in Jesus Christ, we are the body of Christ, and we are his ambassadors of reconciliation. As such, remind us today and every day that our duty is to live out the vision you spoke through the prophet Micah: To do justice, love kindness, and to walk humbly with God. Make us steadfast in our work for the call you spoke through Isaiah: to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke; to share our bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into our house; to cover the naked, and to love our family with your love and grace. Give us courage to live our call to stand by those suffering from poverty and homelessness, the marginalized, the left out and the left behind. Renew in us our commitment to stand by our LGBTQ friends, to judge people by the content of their character instead of the color of their skin, to be global partners with all who work for peace and justice and through it all to live your Gospel which values all people as made in your image.

We commit ourselves anew this day to pray, God of our lives. We pray for the joys we have shared. We pray for the concerns on our hearts. We pray that our lives and our life together would reflect our trust in you above all else, our identity as followers of Jesus Christ and that we are people sustained by your Spirit. Guide us to lead lives “worthy of the calling to which [we] have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”

Here us now as we pray together as Jesus taught us, praying

Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name.
Thy Kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven
Give us this day our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins,
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever.

Amen.

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