Three Challenging Prayers; how they look when people pray them

Pastoral prayer                                        May 15, 2022

Loving God, sometimes you will invite us to pray in ways which, even more than usual, recall an unseen world; an eternal order.  Sometimes you may ask us to stretch our imagination beyond logic, or far beyond our everyday world view.  May I have the courage to pray for my enemies, lifting up the person or institution into the light of God’s providence.    I can pray for one’s enemies because Jesus teaches us to do so.

Give us the courage to praise you at times even when we do not understand.  Give us the trust in you that leads to rejoicing in prayer.

Fill us with strength to ask blessings upon those who have done harm, or are in the thrall of evil.

We pray for those who are hungry and those who are without homes.  We ask your compassion upon all refugees, fleeing violence or famine or unjust rule.  Help us to know where we belong in their story.  We remember especially these days the victims of the invasion of Ukraine.  We ask for your peace, to bring to a close this time of killing and destroying. We also ask of you comfort for those who have lost loved ones in the pandemic.  We lift up all who are grieving or mourning, all those who feel lost or who live in anxiety, fear or depression.  Watch over those with substance dependency and lead them out of hopeless or helpless feelings.

Help us to follow the teachings of Jesus and to seek his guidance and instruction, through things we may read, and people whom we may know and by the inner light of your Spirit.  Give us the grace of obedience.  Makes us friends of the lonely one, and a support to the discouraged…make us restful to the weary and to walk as peacemakers in times of trouble.  We ask all these things as we seek to follow in the footsteps of the good shepherd, in whose name we pray.  Amen

Independent and United Church of Christ