Prayers of the people
‘Instructions for living a life: Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it’
Mary Oliver, poet
God of all.
God of this space.
God of our quiet corners and the hidden thoughts that sit with us this day.
God of love who lights our days,
hear us, we pray.
We pray for our world,
for this planet we call home.
We give thanks for watercolour rainbows and the gift of colour;
for morning’s golden kiss and warm, welcoming eyes;
for the joys and sorrows of our football tribe;
for toast when we wake
and the satisfying sigh at the closing of a good book.
For the rich gift of these good things and the blessings of our days,
we give you thanks.
But we lift our eyes, also,
to the brokenness that surrounds us:
shorelines struggling to breathe, choking with debris;
melting ice; cities mad with movement and struggling to provide;
the homeless and the drifters on our streets,
the lost and the lonely in hard, unforgiving places;
those adrift on open seas or hidden in frightened hollows,
desperate for freedom and release.
Hear their prayers too, we ask – and teach us to pay attention.
We are your church, joined with all humanity, enjoined in love,
and so their prayers become our prayers;
their cries, our invitation;
their need, our gifts of money and time and hope.
For where they are, you are;
where we meet them, we meet you.
Fill us with your Spirit, with the open heart of Jesus
and guide our days, shape our words,
and prompt our hands to make a difference where we can.
For we are astonished by your love.
We welcome the calling of your Spirit that beckons us into the embrace of our community,
to tell about your love by who we are and how we live;
To those living day-to-day:
strangers we smile to on the street;
neighbours and friends;
a child with a yellow balloon;
lovers of beer in corner bars and bearded,
beaded lovers entwined in dreams of forever;
And to those living loss:
who mourn the passing of a parent, a mentor, or a friend;
who are devastated by lives swept away in tsunami waves or crushed by earthquakes;
who are struck numb with grief from savage, mindless chance
that strikes down a young mother as she seeks to help another by a roadside.
Comfort deep, deep within, those who remain and mourn.
Death, that dark stranger we keep to the other side of the street,
our shadow companion unwanted by all but the wretchedly desperate
or the resigned and content;
Death, as natural as the closing of a day,
yet shady imposter, surely, in the transforming light of your risen Son
and the sweet hint of eternity alive in our oh so mortal days …
So we dwell in your mystery, our God,
and hold fast – at attention, astonished by those unexpected moments of joy where you show your face, and ready to tell.
And we hold each other…
We hold each other…
Peter McKinnonn, offered for worship 7/10/18, Pentecost 20B