Prayers of the People: Touches of Grace

We come to God in prayer
believing that prayer is not futile
or without results
but that in opening our hearts to God
we find the courage and strength to keep working
that we are restored
re-filled with God’s love and peace,
so that we can share it with others.
Prayer transforms us,
and through us,
the whole world.

After each petition, we will use the refrain printed in your bulletin:
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayers.

Living God,
our faith is full of questions,
and sometimes those questions become laments,
How long, O Lord?
and
Why her? Why him? Why me?
and
How could you let this happen?
We pray in confusion sometimes,
but we pray nonetheless,
knowing that prayer is an open door to you
and as we lift up our questions,
you send down new strength
fresh hope
extra doses of peace and love
that we might face life’s brokenness
with you by our side.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayers.

We pray today for creation,
desert and mountain and tundra,
ocean and river and icecap.
We pray for the wise and careful use of your gifts of creation,
and for all those whose daily work
relies on the health of the environment.
Remind us that we are made of earth too,
and that our well-being is connected
to the well-being of every other organism.
Touch the earth with healing and abundance, Creator God.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayers.

We pray for the nations,
the ones splashed across the news,
and the ones we slept through in geography class,
for peoples in every place and condition.
We beg for an end to war and exploitation,
corruption and slavery.
Raise up leaders in every place
who choose mercy and your justice
over power and self-aggrandizement.
Remind us of our unity in you,
unity that erases borders and allegiances.
Touch the nations with peace and goodwill, Ruler of All.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayers.

We offer extra prayers for our own nation,
state, and communities
for the situations we know best,
for the dynamic back and forth
of politics and protest
on which our nation was founded.
We pray for leaders of every kind
that their words and actions
would lead us to greater love for each other
and push ever closer to your kingdom
where the last and lowliest are lifted up
and the overlooked are given the best seats
and the vulnerable need never fear.
Touch our communities with your wisdom, God-with-us.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayers.

We pray for our church
Crescent Springs Presbyterian,
one light in the great constellation of the Church universal.
Strengthen our ministries
lead us in your paths,
make us a beacon of hope on Western Reserve.
Keep us from complacency
and easy half-truths.
Bind us always closer in your love.
Touch this church with your presence, Holy One.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayers.

We pray for the hurting, Lord God
for all the ways the human body can break
and the human mind can fracture
and the human soul can weary.
Have mercy on your fragile children
and teach us treat each other with compassion
remembering that each of us is struggling to shine
even when the world feels dark.
Touch the hurting with your healing hand, Great Physician.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayers.

We pray for our families, friends, and neighbors,
the people who make up our day to day lives,
the ones who rejoice when we rejoice
and weep when we weep.
We pray that they may be strong and healthy and whole,
and that we may support them
as they support us.
That we may see in our relationships with our loved ones,
a fraction of the loving relationship you want with us.
Touch our loved ones with peace, brother Christ.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayers.

We pray for ourselves,
remembering that we are precious to God,
and that God is active in our lives,
not just “out there.”
We pray that we may have enough to live,
but not so much it consumes us;
that we may be compassionate, faithful, and courageous;
that we may be ready to follow Jesus wherever he takes us.
Take away any meanness in us,
and heal the raw places,
and fill our lungs with fresh spirit.
Touch our lives with your call, Savior.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayers.

We pray for those on our hearts this morning,
those we name aloud and those we do not:

[prayers of the congregation may be spoken here]

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayers.

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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