Tag Archives: prayers of the people

Transfiguration: Prayers of the People

These Prayers of the People were written for Transfiguration Sunday and are framed by the New Testament lectionary reading from Matthew 17. Throughout the prayer, a second voice reads excerpts from the text.

May these words bring you a glimpse of the light of God’s glory.

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“Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became dazzling white.”

As we hear your story of transformation, O God,

we pray for your Spirit to transform us.

Transform our eyes to see the light of your glory.

Transform our hearts to feel the goodness of your presence.

Transform our minds to understand a fraction of your will.

Transform our world to recognize the ties that bind us to one another.

“Suddenly there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. Then Peter said to Jesus, ‘Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will make three dwellings here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.’”

We give thanks, O Holy One,

for the goodness of your words, the goodness of your world,

and the goodness of your Spirit who beckons us to follow.

Give us the mind of Peter, to recognize that we stand on holy ground.

Give us the humility to proclaim, “Lord, it is good for us to be here.”

Like Peter, we want to built a tent on the mountain top,

away from the problems and distractions of the world.

Just as you did for Peter, O God,

let us sit in your glory just long enough to recharge for the journey,

and then send us out for your service in your world.

“While he was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud a voice said, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved;  with him I am well pleased; listen to him!’”

Holy one, you sent Christ, your son, your beloved,

to show us that we, too, are your children.

Make us know, O God, that our worth does not come from our work.

Our performance on tests or tasks or job interviews does not determine our value.

Our worth, our identity, our very being, comes from you, O God of grace.

In your image, we are created.

In your grace, we are redeemed.

In your community, we are loved.

In your spirit, we are called.

“When the disciples heard this, they fell to the ground and were overcome by fear. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, ‘Get up and do not be afraid.’”

As the disciples were, O God, we are overcome by fear, anxiety, grief, or sadness.

Pour your healing into our wounds.

Breathe your goodness into our doubts.

Touch us, heal us, and bring us peace.

We lift before you the people in our church and in our world

who are hurting:

[Name the prayer concerns of your community, and allow room for silence.]

 

“And when the disciples looked up, they saw no one except Jesus himself alone.”

Give us the hope and faith, O holy one,

to look and up and see your presence around around us.

Give us the strength to know that we are not alone.

We join our voices with your disciples across all times and places as we pray, “Our father…” 

Amen.

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In Step With The Spirit: A Prayer After the March

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Atlanta Women’s March, January 21, 2017

This prayer was written for worship at Central Presbyterian Church the day after the international marches for women and social justice, inspired by the gospel lectionary for the day: Matthew 4:17-23.

Holy one and holy three,

We give you thanks for your presence in this place,

For your call in our lives,

For your gifts in this world.

 

We pray, O God,

That we may hear and follow your voice.

Guide us as we seek to walk toward love and away from hate;

Toward freedom and away from oppression;

Toward justice and away from mere comfort;

Toward community and away from isolation.

Move us, O God, to walk in step with your spirit.

 

Keep us humble, O Christ.

Remind us not to walk alone,

For you never called the disciples to walk alone.

Lead us to walk together, hand in hand,

Supporting one another and reminding one another

To walk in step with your spirit.

 

We pray for our nation’s leaders,

And all who have great power in this world.

Move them, O God, to walk in step with your spirit.

 

We pray for all who feel the tug of your calling

After the weekend’s marches.

Challenge us, O God, to continue to march for a new way,

Not only in organized crowds,

But in our daily walks in and out of the workplace,

The bank,

The voting booth,

And the school.

Move us, O God, to walk in step with your spirit.

 

In the name of one who called us to follow in his steps,

Amen.

 

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Write Songs and Help Us Sing Them: A Prayer for Election Season

 

This prayer was written for worship at Central Presbyterian on October 23. The prayer is inspired and shaped by Luke 18:9-14–an exaggerated parable about the exalted and the humble–and by our current election season–a lived experience that feels like an exaggerated parable.

As you read the prayer, I pray that you feel the words in the core your being, and know that the words as true for you as they were for the tax collector in Luke 18. God is love, and you are beloved.

O God of justice and mercy,

We give you thanks:

For your spirit breathing life into the world,

For your Word bringing hope into our hearts.

You alone are God, and we are not alone.

You are Love, and we are beloved.

You are Creator, and we are created.

You are our God, and we are your people.

 

Give us a glimpse of your vision for the world:

Where the humble are exalted,

The exalted are humble,

And mercy flows like water.

 

Motivate us to reflect your love to all we meet:

Even those who we are sure are wrong.

Challenge us to see the good.

Convict us to hold ourselves accountable.

Inspire us to work for your peace and justice.

As we hear the reports on battleground states,

Remind us of people for whom “battleground” means something different.

We pray for your children in Yemen, in Aleppo,

And for the ones seeking refuge around the world.

 

Where there is war, O God, plants seeds of peace,

and help us water them.

Where there is violence, O God, write songs of compassion,

and help us sing them.

Where there is suffering, O God, paint banners of hope,

and help us carry them.

We remember the people in our church family

Who are in special need this day:

(Name your own prayer concerns.)

 

 

Breathe peace, deep peace, O God,

And empower us to care for one another

With a compassion that comes from you.

We join our voices now with the faithful across time and place,

Praying the prayer that Jesus taught us, saying,

Our father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever.

Amen.

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Prayers of the People: 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10

I love the prayers of the people. Love them. To pray on behalf of a congregation–to bring the concerns of the people to God in prayer–is an honor, a privilege, and a task that I do not take lightly. Below is the prayer I shared on Sunday. May the grace and peace of Christ shine through these words and into your hearts and minds this day.


Holy one who came as a child, we pray for your children everywhere.

        For those who are hungry, we pray for nourishment.

        For those who are fleeing, we pray for safety.

        For those who are ill, we pray for your healing.

        For those who are grieving, we pray for your peace.

        For those who are suffering, we pray for your presence.

Holy three who pattern community, we pray for communities everywhere.

        For those who are divided, we pray for unity.

        For those who are isolated, we pray for connection.

        For those who are afraid, we pray for your courage.

        For those who are frustrated, we pray for new hope.

Holy one, holy three, we praise you for who you are, and we pray with all of who we are.

        Bless our work of faith, that it might be truly faithful.

        Nourish our labor of love, that it might show your love.

         Make our hope steadfast, that we might know your grace and your peace.

Amen.

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A Prayer for the Valley, Based on Psalm 121

We lift up our eyes to the hills. From where will our help come?

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Oh Lord, as your psalmist once looked at the hills we look at the world around us.

We lift up our eyes to see violence, fear, hatred.

We lift up our eyes to see apathy, rejection, fear.

We lift up our eyes to see illness, anxiety, grief.

We lift up our eyes seeking hope, assurance, peace.

We lift up our eyes to the hills. From where will our help come?

Our help comes from you, Oh Lord—you who made heaven and earth.

For you will not let your foot be moved. You keep us, and you will not slumber.

 

Though the earth should quake with tragedy and war,

though our lives should quake with loss and stress,

your love and your presence are steadfast.

 

You, Oh Lord, are our keeper. You are our shade at our right hand.

When we feel nothing but alone, you are there.

When we know nothing but joy, you are there.

When we doubt ourselves, you are there,

and when we doubt you, you are there.

Remind us that you are there, Oh God—that you keep our going out and our coming in.

Bless us with faith to recognize your presence. Bless us with courage to respond to your call.

Amen.

 

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Luke 10:38-42 Prayers of the People

Prayers of the People for Sunday, July 21, 2013 (RCL Year C)

Text

Luke 10:38-42   Now as they went on their way, he entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to what he was saying. But Martha was distracted by her many tasks; so she came to him and asked, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her.”  

Prayer

Like Martha, who welcomed Jesus into her home, we are worried and distracted by many things. Hear those worries, Oh God, and take them as our prayer.

We pray for those who are ill, healing, and grieving. Bring peace with your words; bring comfort with your presence.

We pray for those who are are longing and torn. Speak guidance through your spirit; bring patience through your peace.

We pray for those who feel powerless, and for those who hold power over others. Bring compassion through your commandments; bring justice through your love.

We praise you for the way you love us–a way that calls us to sit and to listen as well as to go and to serve. Remind us that we have not been left to do the work by ourselves, for you are with us along the way.

In your holy name, Amen.

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