Pastoral Prayer for March 13, 2022

Please allow the words of this prayer to become your own.

Loving God,

I’m supposed to spread compassion like confetti at a parade,

because that’s what love demands,

and I want to love you with all my heart, mind, and strength.

But sometimes in my own hurry or self-absorption

I’m apt to rush by someone in difficulty,

someone who needs my help.

Help me to pause and see those who need my compassionate attention:

            –Those who require sacrifice from me,

            who could cost me time, effort, or money

            –Those to whom I don’t feel obligated

            –Those, even friends and family, who have wronged me

            –Those who ignore me, or are too busy for me,

            or who have neglected me

            –Those who struggle to be in proximity to me

            but whom I’ve learned to barely notice

            –Those you have placed in my conscience

            by the nudging of your Spirit

These are the ones you want me to call “neighbor.”

Help me to have compassion on and to take responsibility

for my neighborhood.

May your compassion grow in me as I become more and more

skilled at sharing with others your extravagant grace.

Free me from judgment, and fill me with love.  Amen.

Independent and United Church of Christ