Prayers of the people
Before we start – let’s settle ourselves in our chairs, close our eyes or focus on our candle, plant our feet carefully and deliberately on the floor to sense to earth below us. Take a few slow breaths to connect ourselves with the God within. Sense the air settle around our heart-space with each breath.
First some words from the Poet Mary Oliver:
Wherever I am, the world comes after me. It offers me its busyness. It does not believe that I do not want it.
Now I understand why the old poets of China went so far and high into the mountains, then crept into the pale mist.
Let us pray.
Loving God, we are weary.
We are weary of this virus that has turned our lives upside down.
For those of us who are working, while grateful for work, we are sometimes weary of working so hard, weary of online meetings, of disconnected conversations, of too many demands that leach into our personal lives as we work from home.
And for those of us who can go out to work, we are weary of the extra procedures we need to put in place to do simple tasks while staying safe and protecting the lives of those we work with.
For those of us who do not have work – we are sometimes weary of the time we have to fill and nowhere to go nor people to share it with. And weary of the anxiety of not knowing if we can pay that next bill.
We are weary of worrying about the health and wellbeing of our families, friends, the wider community. Of holding back from that much needed hug and loving touch.
We are weary of watching poor leadership compound the problems of this virus in other parts of the world and for the scary increase in numbers of people getting so very sick. And for families losing so many loved ones. Weary of the real, huge growing numbers of cases and deaths. Numbers that each represent a real person loved and now grieved for. And for those whose recovery lingers with illness and exhaustion.
We are weary of racism that ‘others’, and rejects and divides us. We are weary of wars that fight endlessly to fill the pockets of a few. We are weary for the people who simply seek refuge and remain locked up, just for asking for help – for seven or more long weary years.
We are weary of a system that so often blames the victim rather than recognising the powers that benefit from keeping people excluded and vulnerable.
We are weary for the earth that cries out for protection for all its beauty and diversity. The very earth that sustains us. We are weary for all the battles we need to fight to protect our oceans, our reefs, our forests, grasslands, our climate.
So, dear God, we do need to come to you for rest. It is hard, in these times to believe that your yoke is light but we know that when we come to you seeking rest, creeping into the mist of your presence, we can find a place of stillness and peace – we find healing and grace. And yes, we find love.
We know that when we settle into still quiet places with you, we can draw on your love, your healing and your energy to pick up that yoke again, and climb those mountains, no longer weary but ready to carry your light of love into the world around us again.
Loving God, we also know that this time will pass. We pray that your light will shine from within each of us and help us to be part of a community, joined with many other communities, that can transform our world into a place of justice and peace. Little by little.
Give us hope that our efforts can make a difference and that we will find a new way of being as we gradually recover from these weary times.
Thank you for your love, grace and healing presence in our lives.
Meredith Budge, offered for worship 5/7/2020, Pentecost 5A