(Thanks to the Evangelical Lutheran Church for some of these prayer petitions.)
Out of the darkness we cry to you, O God. Enable us to find in Christ the faith to trust in your care even in the midst of pain. Assure us that we do not walk alone through the valley of the shadow, but that your light is leading us into life. Together, we share the pain of remembering
- The destruction by ISIS of the 2000-year-old temple in Palmyra, Syria.
- The chemical attack in Syria affecting dozens of civilians, all being treated by MSF (Doctors Without Borders).
- The wildfires burning across five western U.S. states, being fought by firefighters from as far away as Australia and New Zealand.
- The suicide bombers which killed 15 in Lahore, Pakistan, outside two Christian churches.
- That rape continues to be used as a weapon of war in many places throughout the world, where women are devalued and seen only as property.
God of mercy,
hear our prayer.
O God, where hearts are fearful and constricted, grant courage and hope. Where anxiety is infectious and widening, grant peace and reassurance. Where impossibilities seem to close every door and window, grant imagination and resistance. Where distrust twists our thinking, grant healing and illumination. Where spirits are daunted and weakened, grant soaring wings and strengthened dreams. Together, we share fears and hopes as we remember
- The one surviving panda cub born at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., USA
- The extreme volatility of stock markets worldwide.
- The diplomatic agreement between North and South Korea, which will result in the reunions of families separated by the Korean War.
- Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter dealing with his diagnosis of advanced cancer with courage and faith.
- Ten years after Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans, USA is slowly recovering, showing the resilience and courage of its residents.
- The continuing flood of refugees flocking largely from Afghanistan, Nigeria, Eritrea and Syria to seek a new life in Western European countries which are already struggling on so many fronts. We give thanks for those who are able to see beyond the title ‘migrant’ and recognise the human beings who are our brothers and sisters in desperate need. Would we be any different if we walked in their refugee shoes?
God of hope,
grant us peace.
O God, help us to see with new eyes the injustices within church and society. Call us to have loving hearts that respect and uplift the humanity and dignity of every person; open our ears to listen and our hearts to learn from the experiences of people of whose skin color is different from our own. Open our mouths to speak up and about injustice.
God of justice,
grant us courage.
O God, full of compassion, we commit and commend ourselves to you, in whom we live and move and have our being. Be the goal of our pilgrimage, and our rest by the way. Give us refuge from the turmoil of worldly distractions beneath the shadow of your wings. Let our hearts, so often a sea of restless confusion, find peace in you; through Jesus the Christ, who shows us your way and your will for our lives and our world. Amen