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But now thus says the Lord,
he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel:
Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.
-Isaiah 43:1b (NRSV)
Parent of us all,
You have created us.
You are with us, Lord, even in some of the most distressing and humiliating moments of our lives. We pray for all of those around the world who are not being treated as they should be. Be with your people in Hong Kong who are being terribly hurt as they are trying to voice what they feel. Comfort and strengthen the people of Iraq, where well over 100 protesters have been killed, and where services were cancelled last Sunday at St George’s in Baghdad because of the violence. We pray for those who have experienced power outages in California, USA, leaving many without lights and in fear of more fires. We ask that you be with those at the Turkey and Syrian border who are being hurt by airstrikes and artillery fire as your children try to seek safety. May you be with all of your dear people whom you created in your image.
You have formed us.
We celebrate the minds of your people who are doing incredible things to transform your world and make it a place worth living. We give thanks for the Nobel Prize winners, for their insights, discoveries, and innovations, and for the upcoming generations whom they inspire. We yearn for a better existence.
You have redeemed us.
We ask that you be with those who celebrated Yom Kippur this past week. As your children fast and study your Word, may you remind all people to repent of the things we have done badly or inadequately, which should be done better in this next year. We are so grateful that you forgive us even though we do not deserve it.
You have called us.
You have called us and yet we so often fall short of what you want us to do. Help us to heed your call and to act as you choose for each of us to act. While we try our best, so often we fall short. Please help our world to learn how we might better follow you and act according to your will. Stop those who are engaging in horrendous acts toward others – lead them to act as you call us. May you teach us how to stand against hate, violence, and any action which does not reveal your love. Help us to take stands against gun violence, such as the most recent shooting in Kansas, USA. We remember the 6000 people in Venezuela who have died since January 2018, most of them probably as a result of extrajudicial executions. We ask for mercy, forgiveness and compassion to be shown by those in power throughout the world.
We are yours.
Most of all, Lord, help us to remember that we are yours. No matter where we go or what we do, remind us that we belong. Even when others hate us, or do not share the love of our neighbor that we do, may you remind us that we belong to you. Even when it seems that there is no place for us and no place for those we love, we will always belong to you. Continually remind us, God, that there is nothing and no person in this world who can separate us from your love, for we are infinitely yours and in that alone, we can find our rest.