God, we thank you for this day, your gift to us. We thank you for the wonder and the beauty of it – and the privilege we have to live our lives surrounded by such wonder and such beauty.
We confess that we sometimes take all of that for granted, that life can seem more like a burden than a gift, that our worries can often overwhelm what is most precious about our lives. And for that, we’re truly sorry. Help us, remind us, push us, to see our lives as you do, to see them as gifts to be enjoyed, not burdens to be endured. Help us to find something new in each moment, something more surprising and good and delightful every time we look around.
It’s not surprising that our prayer begins with ourselves. It almost always does. We focus so much of our attention on how we’re feeling, and how we’re getting along, so today in this time of worship we take time to re-focus our attention on the world as you see it.
We pray for your world, especially for those places where there is war and conflict, where people are displaced from their homes and villages, where hunger and disease are closer than any of us can imagine. We feel helpless in the face of it. We hardly know what to do or how to pray. And so we pray that you will show us how to be your hands and feet in a hurting world. Show us how to love.
We pray for this church – its leadership, its staff, its members. We pray for those who are struggling with illness today, those whose lives feel out of control, and those who are just trying to get through each day. Help us as a church family to be there for them, to embrace them, to tell them how much their lives matter to us.
On this Father’s Day, we pray for fathers. We’re grateful for the fathers among us who took their calling seriously, who lived and loved and taught, who wanted us to be everything we were capable of being, who encouraged us, who believed in us when we were discouraged, and who showed us with their own lives what matters most. Help those of us who are fathers to leave a lasting impression.
For the Kirk Singers choir tour and the college mission trip people who are returning today, we give thanks. For those groups who are getting ready to go in the next couple of weeks, we pray. For all of us, show us how to live and speak the good news.
Now, hear us as we pray together the words Jesus taught us…