We had such a wonderful couple days at the camper. No bizarre twists of fate interferred with our plans for once - hallelujah and thanks be to God!! :) I'll post a few photos soon, and look forward to catching up on everyone else's blog...but wanted to share the prayer I wrote for this morning's worship service. (I was again asked to do Prayers of the People...I guess once on the Prayer Coordinator's list, always on the list! I was not quite as inspired as I was the last time I wrote a prayer to be read aloud, but perhaps my words will touch at least one person in the pews this morning.)
Have a joyful Sunday everyone!!
We give thanks for the beauty of your creation as we joyfully welcome the arrival of spring. We hear with gladness the babbling of brooks freed from winter’s ice. We see with delight the shoots of new growth pushing out of the dark soil. We feel with joy the breeze beginning to hold the promise of warmth.
We raise faces and hearts to the warmth of your sunshine, and feel the pulse of rebirth beating in the ground beneath our feet. Spirits soar and souls are renewed again and always by the presence of your holy spirit around and within us.
We give thanks for the blessing of family and friends, and all around us who share in the wonders of life on this earth.
But, as we dance in the light, we are also mindful that others among us are still journeying in shadow.
We lift in prayer those suffering from illness, both physical and mental…and we hold in our hearts the caregivers, medical personnel, and all who bring hope and healing.
We lift in prayer all who have lost loved ones…and hold in our hearts those who bring comfort and compassion in times of grief.
We lift in prayer those living under the shadow of poverty, of conflict, of oppression…and hold in our hearts those who seek ways to bring about peace, justice, abundance.
We pray for our brothers and sisters in Haiti…a country far from full recovery. Too many people are still living in appalling conditions, without adequate shelter or food. Without the protection of homes and male family members, Haitian women and children are increasingly becoming victims of rape. We offer prayers of hope for a better future. As the world’s attention turns away to the next headline, let us continue to offer support toward rebuilding, to enable Haiti to rise from the ashes of that devastating earthquake. May we as a nation continue to share our wealth and our gifts, even as we are tempted to think we have no more to give.
We pray for our world and local leaders as they are faced with difficult choices…may they have the wisdom to base their decisions on careful consideration of the impact on the environment, on the global community and on future generations.
We pray for ourselves as we open our hearts to you, O God. We seek understanding and insight as we move out of our comfort zones and stretch our boundaries in our struggle to discern who we are…as a family of faith…and as individual disciples of Christ. O God, we ask for your grace and divine inspiration…we open ourselves to your guidance as we step out in new directions.
Holy Spirit, as we take those steps, help us shed old mindsets that hinder our growth. As we do with our gardens, we sometimes over cultivate our lives, and become so attached to neatly manicured designs, that we leave no room for the growth of the unexpected. Help us have the wisdom to let unbidden, often disquieting, stray thoughts linger in our minds for reflection and consideration, instead of tearing them out as weeds when they don’t fit our preconceived, comfortable, scheme of life.
Only you, Gracious and Eternal God, know what seeds you have planted in our hearts …grant us the wisdom and patience to let your seeds take root in our lives, and hear your voice in our stray thoughts and know your will amid the unexpected twists and turns in our path…
Sustaining God, source of our strength, fill and renew us with your power and presence, so we may continue to answer your call, and follow wherever it leads.
Let us join our hearts and voices as we pray together...