Prayers of the people
God of surprises, open our ears, eyes and hearts
to your unusual and unpredictable ways in the world.
We ask you to surprise those who suffer – with healing:
especially those experience the suffering of mental illness
for whom life has lost its meaning and who live in darkness.
We ask you to surprise those who are tired – with energy:
especially those tired of war, conflict, and division
and those who have been worn down by hate and prejudice
We ask you to surprise the powerful – with humility and justice:
especially those who play with their power over others
and who deny that your love is the true measure of power.
We ask you to surprise the hungry – with food:
especially those whose hunger is the result of our abundance and indulgence.
We ask you to surprise the church – with your renewing and refreshing spirit
so that we might become part of your work of shining light into darkness,
of proclaiming peace in the midst of conflict, of speaking truth to power,
and of surrendering and sharing our abundance.
And today we especially pray for the Uniting Church
as it continues to live into the decisions of the Assembly:
Renew and strengthen us, the people of the Uniting Church,
as your Church – Where there is hurt and pain, bring your comfort and healing.
Where we have caused hurt to one another, bring forgiveness and reconciliation.
Where our community and unity are strained, give us patience to listen to one another,
to see your presence in one another, and to love our sisters and brothers in Christ,
as you have first loved us. Where there is uncertainty and confusion,
bring your guidance and light.
Lead us forward in ways that are faithful to your mission in the world.
These things we pray in the name of your Son, Jesus Christ.
by Geoff Thompson, offered for worship, 13/1