5 May 2019 pastoral prayer by Marilyn Judd Smith
Loving God -
The rush of Easter is over, the excitement which carried us to Easter and to the room where Jesus appeared to the disciples is wearing off. We just aren’t sure what to do now that the journey to the Cross is completed. Help us to understand that the Cross is not our ending point, but rather the pivotal point. Help us to be people of astounding faith, who have seen the light of Resurrection, who know that you have conquered death. Fear cannot claim and bind us. You have released us to serve others and witness to the glorious good news.
Guide us, Father, through the elections. Give us wisdom in our choices and help our elected officials lead us with tolerance, compassion and respect.
There are people we are concerned about who are travelling, who are confused and concerned, people who are mourning, people who are not well and people we want you to especially watch over for us. We bring them to you now, in the silence: (pause)
As we bring the names of those near and dear to us to you in prayer, help us to feel the rejuvenating power of your love in our lives.
Father God, we are an odd mob. We thank You for the widely different types of people, and expressions of faith, which constitute the membership of your Church.
We give thanks for members whose faith appears to be a profound, childlike simplicity, unhurried and unworried.
We give thanks for those who seem unable to find one satisfying word with which to describe You, yet whose faith is constantly renewed by a wordless awe in the presence of Unnameable Love.
Lover of diversity, God of all souls, continue to give us the grace to treasure each other with all our oddness and to use these differences as we minister to the diversity of people who share this twenty first century with us.
Give your church in these changing times the liberty
to treasure its heritage without sentimentalising it,
to seize contemporary opportunity without idolising it;
to plan for the future without glamorising it.
Let your word be the treasure of our hearts, that we may delight in your truth.
By your Christ free us, with your Spirit lead us, in your eternal love keep us, until the church becomes more yours than ours, a body fit to declare your glory.
We choose this day to be a people of blessing as we pray the prayer your Son taught us . . .
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be Your name,
Your kingdom come,
Your will be done on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread,
forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us in the time of trial,
and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours,
now and forever. Amen