Praying is a mysterious human activity. It can be experienced in many ways.
Sometimes more happens than listening to words whether said aloud or thought silently. There can occur moments of new awareness.
My internal concerns are intwined with a greater reality. In that larger space beyond our ego’s view, we find meaning. Perhaps purpose. Maybe a feeling referred to as Thou.
Last Sunday listening to a broadcast service and the morning prayer, I was moved.
The minister lifted the daily events we all share into greater hope.
Reading words apart from their live context may not be as poignant. I believe these below are worth a moment of your attention.
Prayers of the People
God in our future, we come before you each week reminded that we are not as we wish to be, reminded that we do not yet live in the world you desire. We pray each week, “Thy kingdom come.”
Free us from our illusions that we are separate from other people, from the earth, and from you. Teach us a new way. Let us hear the old lessons one more time. Call us into your work, together.
God in our past, we bring with us today all the hurts we carry and all the hurts we caused. Help us, in our own time, to put them down. Show us what we need to heal. Give us the courage to mend what we have broken.
Remind us that we have more to give the world than the worst things we have ever done. Let us be humble enough to think ourselves worthy of your presence. Deliver us from our false notion that anything we could do could make us any less deserving of grace, of care, of forgiveness, of redemption.
God in the news cycle, God in the aftermath, be with all those in crisis this morning. Keep watch over hospital rooms and under bridges. Bear divine witness on borders and in prison cells. Carry your people into another day when their burdens are not so heavy and their hope does not seem so far.
God in history repeating itself, God in unprecedented times, strengthen all those who try to help; who work in sixteen hour shifts to turn the power back on, who hold the hands of those who suffer, who cry out for accountability and against injustice. Let all of us who are inspired by and indebted to their courage also find it within ourselves to do what is right, to help where we can.
God in our midst, you see your church and you know who is missing. You search our hearts and you know whom we are missing. This morning, we lift up the blessed memories of those this community has lost. We lift up Sally Hansen. We lift up Howard Kay. We lift up Vincent Lee. We lift up Jim Roche. We lift the names of all who dwell in our hearts. Strengthen their memories in each of us. Let all who were touched by their lives carry their legacies always. Grant all of us – those who are grieving and those who are gone – peace.
Thank you, God.
Harvard Memorial Church – Sunday, February 6, 2022 by Cheyenne Boon, MDiv II