Prayers of the People: Anniversary of 9/11

Lord, we lift our memories of the past to you this day. We know that the tragedies of history are too many to count, and too many for us to remember; yet we know that you hold it all in your heart, that no name is lost from your lips, no life slips from your hands. On this day when we remember the attacks of September 11, we lift to you all who were wounded by that day, physically, mentally, and spiritually. 

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayers. 

We lift to you the victims of the attacks and their loved ones; the first responders who rushed to help; the chaplains, counselors, and therapists who have helped those who saw too much carry the burden for fifteen years; the artists and architects and musicians and poets and storytellers who have sought to make something meaningful out of the rubble. 

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayers. 

We lift the wars that have raged since that day, the losses that have piled on losses, the soldiers who will never come home and the soldiers who come home broken and lost. We lift those in other countries affected by our wars, those who feel every day the fear and vulnerability we felt fifteen years ago. 

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayers. 

Lord, you told us to pray for our enemies, and so we lift to you this day the terrorists of 9/11; we place them in your hands, those who were so, so, so lost. 

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayers. 

Lord, take our memories from the past and mold them into wisdom for the future. Heal our wounds and through our scars remind us to be more compassionate, more loving, more peaceful, more just. Help us write new endings to our stories, endings that proclaim your goodness and love. 

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayers. 

Lord, even while we hold onto our memories of the past, we face boldly the concerns of the present. We pray this day for those who suffer from addictions, who cannot see a way out, and for all who love them. We pray that they may be guided towards health, wholeness, and freedom. 

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayers. 

We pray for those who struggle with mental illness, and for those who care for them. We pray that stigma and shame might be lifted, and every person embraced. We pray that we might have compassion for invisible wounds as much as visible ones.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayers. 

We pray for all those who seek to make a home in this community: for new college students and for professional transplants, for refugees and retirees, for those bringing their families and those striking out on their own; may they find welcome here. 

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayers. 

We pray for parts of the world affected by violence, instability, and natural disaster. Especially this day we pray for people in Italy and Louisiana, who cope with the aftermath of earthquake and flood. Send courage to the displaced and stamina to those who go to help. 

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayers. 

Lord, we lift now the special prayers of this congregation…

[prayers of the congregation may be spoken here]

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayers. 

Lord of the future, we lift also our hopes to you this day: hopes for our children, that they may grow in peace and wisdom; hopes for our country, that it may walk in paths of liberty and justice; hope for our world, that it might once again reflect your good creation. Lead us into the future, loving God, and shape us for your service. 

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayers. 

Lord of the past, present, and future, we place our lives in your hands, and pray as you taught 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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