Dear God, we came to this place today looking for you, for some hint or glimmer that you are here, that you care about us, that you have a word for us. Some of us came hoping against hope, to be honest about it, because we’ve felt a distance from you. We live so much of our lives not thinking about you, not aware of your presence. But in this place, surrounded as we are by people like us, hungry and searching, we remember the sound of your voice. We remember that you are close at hand, that you are as near to us as our own breath. And for that reminder, we thank you. For that comfort, we are grateful. Help us, we pray, to remember throughout the week, not just in quiet moments here, but in every waking moment – to be conscious and mindful that you are there, that our lives are in your hands, that we are never far from your gracious care.
We pray today – not only for ourselves, not only for the sick in our families and in this congregation – but also for our world, especially for those places where there is war and violence. We think of Nairobi and the people there who lost loved ones simply because they went to a shopping mall. We think of Syria. We think of an entire region of the world in turmoil.
We pray for this country and our leadership, especially for our Congress. We pray for wisdom and understanding.
We pray for this community and this church, for its leaders, for its people.
And we pray knowing that you hear all of our prayers – this one spoken aloud, but also all those spoken quietly in personal worship. Now hear us as we say with one voice the words your Son taught us to pray…
(That’s an ink and watercolor drawing by my daughter, Sarah.)