Prayers of the People: Joy and Grief

Jesus Christ, Savior, Light of the world, we lift our prayers to you, confident that you hear us, weep with us, laugh with us, and stay always close by us. 

We have much to celebrate today. We lift our prayers for this community of Crescent Springs Presbyterian Church, that we might grow strong and love fiercely, shining as a light to this neighborhood. I pray for my ministry here, that I might be a compassionate, humble, and wise partner in the work of this church. We pray for new beginnings, knowing that they come with both bumps and blessings. 

We also have much to grieve today. We lift our prayers for a world torn apart by violence, hatred, suspicion, prejudice, and apathy. We lift our prayers for those whose lives splash across our news screens as their blood splashes across the ground: for those who died in Baghdad, Turkey, Orlando, Baton Rouge, Falcon Heights, Dallas, and Syria. We ask that you keep our hearts open to the pain of the world, not retreating into fear or apathy, but caring for all your children with strong and powerful mercy. As the church has cried out for millennia: Christ, have mercy!

We look with hope to all the stories of peace and joy that occupy less space on the front page: for the chaplains, therapists, organizers, mentors, parents, neighbors and strangers who come together in heavy times to bring healing and hope. We dare to celebrate even the smallest glimmers, knowing that your Love is strong enough to carry the sorrows of the world. We pray we might be servants of that love and of your just peace, the hands and feet of Christ here on earth. 

We remember also those stories of pain which do not make the news, remembering that we have committed to loving those we do not know. Open our ears and eyes, and help us to see our neighbors who suffer, in this place and across the world, with no one to notice them. We pray for those confined to their homes and those who have nowhere to call home; we pray for the sick who seek healing and those for whom healing will not come; we pray for victims of abuse in all forms, and those who seek power not in You but in violence, bigotry, or blindness to how their privileges harm others. 

We lift all these things to You, knowing that your arms are wide enough to encircle the whole world, even as we cannot comprehend it all. We also lift those concerns we know all too well; those people and situations we hold deep in our hearts…

[petitions of the congregation may be spoken here]

Secure that Christ has heard all these prayers, and those we have not formed into words, let us say together the words he himself taught his disciples to pray, saying 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, and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.

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