Pastoral Prayer

O creator God, who hung the stars in space, knitted each of us together, and set before us a plan and purpose for your world, we are grateful for this time of worship.

We have gathered here to proclaim and to hear your word, to call on you, to praise you, and to ask from you what is good and wholesome for each of us and for the world. Yet, as we gather, you know what kind of people we are. We even know it ourselves. We cannot hide from you. We cannot hide our hardened hearts, our impure thoughts, our selfish desires.

Nor can we deny the trouble we have caused and will cause. You know our sins and wrongdoing, the many words and deeds that are unpleasing to you and that only disturb and destroy the peace on earth. Who are we to assume that we can serve you and help one another on our own? Our work is in in vain if you do not speak and act in our midst.

We utterly rely on your promise of mercy and compassion that Jesus Christ came into the world to bring good news to us, the poor; to proclaim deliverance to us, the captives; and recovering of sight to us, the blind; and to save us. To this promise we cling today. You can do what we cannot do.  You will do it. And we believe and we trust that you will do it, not because we are good but because you are good.

Today, we offer our congregation to you. You, alone, know our deep desires as well as our deep pain. You, alone, know our giftedness and our fear to step out in faith. You know where we need healing and hope. So we offer ourselves to you for wholeness and health.

We hold before you those who have experienced death this week. Remind them and us of the assurance that death does not have the final say, but that you have the final say in life and in death. Remind us again that nothing, absolutely nothing can separate us from you in Christ Jesus.

We hold before you those who have faced and our facing illness, disease, and distress. We place them into your hands, praying that you work through the doctors, nurses, technology, and in ways we do not understand to bring about their healing.

Today, we offer our city and our nation to you. We pray for our city remembering your promise that as the city prospers we will prosper. We hold before you those who are seeking public office asking that you surround them with integrity and compassion so that all that is said and done will bring you glory and work for the good all people on earth.

We are grateful, O God, that you have called us together and loved us so much that we can love one another.  We offer ourselves to you for that purpose in the name of Jesus the Christ.  Amen.