Pastoral Prayer

Pastoral Prayer

June 25, 2017

O God of the universe, a universe whose arc, we pray, bends toward justice,

Our expressions of praise and thanksgiving, our confessions of sin and failure, our desire for restoration and forgiveness, our concerns for those we love and for the world in which we live, and all the other thoughts, feelings and prayers that stir within us in this time set aside for focused reflection and honest thought.

We are amazed and thankful at the wonder of creation, the abundance of blessings we experience, and all the ways in which our lives are filled with open possibility. We confess too, that we most likely take all too much of this for granted and that we are likely very selfish in our expectation of blessing and our use of resources. We pray that if we are currently being blinded by either our own greed or our naivete or even ignorance, that you would provide to us a path of new awareness; that your Spirit would slip past our defenses to reveal to us the ways in which we are stuck or self-absorbed.

Your creation, O God, is wondrous. The earth and the sky and all that lives in between – there is more than we can understand and more than we need. But we are not always the best stewards of all that has been given. So, help us to respond to your generosity with generosity and gratitude of our own.

There is much in this world that frightens us, O God. Some of it is global in nature, and some is personal; some has to do with the behavior of others and some has to do with our own vulnerabilities. Hear our prayers, then, for courage and strength. Hear our prayers for goodness and kindness that might come to us and from us. We desire to be your people; we desire your help in becoming more fully and more truly your people.

There are many things that we have named this morning for prayer. There are persons who are trying to find their way through difficult times. There are those who need to be remembered and supported. There are places and events that are shifting the world away from what it might or should be. There are very personal things happening to our bodies, our hearts, our minds, our relationships, and the course of our present and future lives. Hear our prayers for all these things; encourage our efforts to keep a conversation with you that draws us more in line with your will and your way, that undergirds those in need, that strengthens our bond and deepens our understanding.

The call toward faithfulness and away from fearfulness is extended to us all, dear God. Help us to make that pivot – to turn from fear to faith. Help us so that we might be your helpers in this world; persons who seek to bring forth a kingdom of justice and peace, of healing and wholeness.

 

We ask it all in Jesus’ name. Amen.