O Lord our God, who has known the clamor of a thousand Palm Sundays and the disappointment of a million crucifixions, we come into your presence with the heartfelt request that you accept us as we are. We come to you knowing that we have both affirmed and denied you, and we ask your forgiveness. Give us your grace, that we may learn to live in affirmation and not in denial. Let the spirit that was in Christ Jesus be in us. Disturb us until we are willing to rest in you. Convict us until your peace reigns in our hearts, our thoughts, our conversations, our living together, and in our private moments. O God, without you we can do nothing. But with you and in your service we can do all things.
This morning we pray that you will be present and active in all parts of our church. We ask that you be present throughout our city, among all who live here, whether they be affluent or poor, educated or ignorant, hope filled or hopeless. Be present with all our world leaders, who make and mold public opinion, and who hold in their hands the means of power in our country as well as all other nations. We want to touch the world with goodness, live with integrity, and stand for truth. We want to warm the lives of others with love and go about our daily tasks with confidence.
Guard us this week from betraying you as Judas betrayed you. Guard us from betraying you for personal promotion, a quick thrill for attention, or a cheap victory over an enemy. Lead us daily to the garden of prayer, that we may empty ourselves, know your will, and have the courage to live it. Strengthen us for the betrayals and crucifixions we face, that we may triumph through faith and love, and that we may know within ourselves, our hearts and minds, the power of your resurrection.
As we offer ourselves to you for this time of worship, we hold in your healing presence those who suffer pain and ill health, those who suffer in mind and spirit, and those who suffer in places of hurt and division. Please give us your healing salve which brings peace and joy. We hold in your healing presence all those experiencing grief and loss today. We hold before you those who need wisdom for decisions to be made, those who are in situations that seem broken beyond repair, and those whose needs are not known to us, but are known to you. We are grateful for the assurance of your presence today.
Because you know better than we what is best for us and the world, we place ourselves into your hands so that each of us, in this place, and on the path of life, can and will calmly, truly, and confidently hope in you.
We give glory to you God, from whom all love flows. We give glory to Jesus, who showed his love through suffering. We give glory to the Holy Spirit, who brings light to the darkest places. As we pray in the Jesus the Christ, who taught us to pray saying…Our Father, who art in heaven…Amen.