Prayers of the people
Let us start with silence and allow ourselves to deepen our sense of the presence of God.
Loving God, we come to you today, just as the crowds came out to the Jordan River for baptism. We come as a people, a group, a community with an awareness of common issues and needs, but also as individuals, seeking to meet you in this time.
We come seeking repentance, for a turning around, not just for ourselves but for our leaders and our country. We have lost our way, we have let ourselves be fooled by false idols, by the love of money, material possessions and power. We have vainly trusted in man-made weapons and notions of national arrogance, and pride and we have refused to listen to the voices of prophets and those who urge real change, because they are too young, or female or just because what they say makes us uncomfortable.
Help us, help our nation, help our leaders to repent. Give us all courage to acknowledge that we are on the wrong path, that we need to find a better way to live, one that embraces creation, that embraces strangers, that embraces difference. May we, your people in this church, live our lives as a light on the hill, living with joy, humility and passion.
We pray for the people, creatures, and ecosystems ravaged by fire. May they know your presence, may they know our solidarity and compassion. May they be able to take heart by seeing a changing mood in the wider community and by recognising that finally, we are waking up to how we need to live in this land and in this time. We pray that out of this tragedy, out of suffering, there might emerge hope and real difference. We pray that even in the aftermath of the bushfires, your kingdom may come.
We come, as people to the River Jordan, seeking to be with you. We stand with you and with all who suffer. We seek to learn your way of peace, to bask in and to share your love and compassion for all creation. In the silence now, we think of people and situations we know that require your peace and compassion and we bring them to you…
Dear God, be with them.
As in the ritual of baptism, lead us on, we pray. Change our lives. May we be renewed, caught up, embraced, and challenged by our experience of your grace. As we think about the week ahead, the year in front of us, this new decade, how would you have us live out your freedom? Where are you calling us to commit, to give, to let go, to forgive and to be forgiven, to be open, to let love change us and those around us? We pray for each of us in this vocation, but also for this congregation, the wider church and for all people open to your spirit of grace and forgiveness. We continue to pray for your presence and guidance in our lives and in our world, for we ask in Jesus name. `Amen.
Tim Hoffmann, offered for worship 12/1/2020, Baptism of Jesus A