Prayers of the People: Waterlogged Hearts

God of all people, 
our hearts are heavy today, 
waterlogged,
as we try to lift them to you. 

We pray for your creation,
which we call good,
and yet can inflict so much harm.
We pray for the victims of Hurricane Matthew,
for the almost 900 lives lost in south Haiti,
and the near total destruction there,
for the loss of hopes and security,
homes and livelihoods,
and for the devastation in other places,
the Bahamas and Cuba,
Florida,
and all along our eastern coast. 

Lord, in your love,
hear our prayer.

We pray for those who now return to pick up the pieces.
We pray for your presence among them,
as a sense of calm and comfort,
as the professionals and volunteers who will serve alongside them.
Set your people to work, O God,
to seek the welfare of our cities,
our people who hurt. 

Lord, in your love,
hear our prayer.

We pray also this day for the nations,
for disasters that have nothing natural about them,
for war and violence in all its forms,
for mourners killed by air strikes,
and children carried from burning hospitals,
and partners trapped in situations of abuse. 
We pray that your peace may be known,
peace born of justice and respect,
peace that is welcomed, not just enforced. 

Lord, in your love,
hear our prayer.

We pray for relationships between people,
different races, genders, religions, generations.
Shatter stereotypes and prejudice.
Remind us that we are each of us made in your image,
created and loved by you. 
Teach us to love each other
more than we love power over each other. 

Lord, in your love,
hear our prayer.

We pray today for your church, 
that we might be a light to the world 
and salt to the earth,
a beacon of hope, and a safe place to belong.
Strengthen and nourish us,
not to succumb to the fears of the world,
but to follow your call fearlessly,
and to be Christ’s hands and feet in the world.

Lord, in your love,
hear our prayer.

We lift today the prayers of this community:

[prayers of the congregation may be spoken here]

Lord, in your love,
hear our prayer.

Living God, we bring each of these prayers to you,
knowing that you hear each one, 
cry when we cry,
laugh when we laugh,
and set a path for us when we feel lost. 

Lord, in your love,
hear our prayer.

Hear our prayers, our praise, our gratitude. 
Thank you for seeing us, claiming us, healing us, 
making your home in us, 
so that no matter where we are, 
we are never alone. 

Thank you for the people on this journey with us, 
the ones who’ve opened their homes to us, 
those who have called us family,
friends who have loved us, 
strangers who have cared for us. 

Thank you for those who right this very moment 
are feeding the hungry, 
healing the sick, 
tending the dying, 
restoring power in cities that are not their own, 
staffing shelters, 
making ready to repair the damage inflicted by the storm, 
and in countless ways serving for the sake of others.

In thanksgiving, may we all leave this sanctuary

to be the Body of Christ in the world.

Lord, in your love,
hear our prayer.

And now we pray as Jesus taught us, 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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