Aug 15, 2017

Opening Prayer: With Open Arms

Here’s a suggested opening prayer inspired by three of the suggested scripture readings for Proper 15, Year A: Matthew 15:21-28, Romans 11:1-2, 29-32, and Isaiah 56:1, 6-8 – all of which speak about how the mercy of God extends to all who trust in Him.

With Open Arms

With open arms You welcome all who call on Your name—
who acknowledge You as Lord, and look to You in faith.
No one stands outside the circle of Your mercy and love.
And so we come to offer You our worship—
to declare that You are our God,
and that we are Your people,
called and chosen by You from the very beginning.
Through the presence of Your Holy Spirit
open our eyes to see You here;
open our minds to receive Your truth,
and our mouths to speak and sing Your praise.
For You alone are God—
worthy of all praise and worship,
now and to the end of time.
Amen.

Prayers of the People: Proper 15A

Here is a prayer of intercession based on three of the scripture readings for Proper 15, Year A: Genesis 45:1-15 (where Joseph reveals his true identity to his brothers), Matthew 15:21-28 (where the Gentile woman pleads with Jesus to heal her daughter), and Romans 11:1-2, 29-32 (where Paul reassures believers that God’s call is irrevocable, even to those who have turned their back on Him).

Feel free to adapt the prayer to suit your needs.

Prayer of Intercession: Proper 15A
(Gen. 45:1-15; Matt. 15:21-28; Rom. 11:1-2, 29-32)

Merciful God,
In love You created us,
and in love You sustain us, day after day.
So it is with confidence that we bring our prayers to You,
knowing that You will hear and respond.
                    
We pray for those who are estranged from spouse or family,
friends or neighbours;
who find it difficult to forgive past wrongs done to them;

Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.

We pray for those who for years have carrried feelings of guilt or regret
for something they did or something they neglected to do;
who find it difficult to ask for forgiveness or forgive themselves;

Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.

For those who find themselves far away from You,
struggling to overcome their doubts or disillusionment,
and who wonder how to find their way back;

Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.

For those watching someone they love try to cope
with serious illness or injury,
and who long for Your miraculous intervention;

Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.

For the many others in our world who are suffering this day—
from grief, or loneliness, hunger, poverty, violence or illness;

Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.

Sustain all those who look to You in hope.
And strengthen us—Your people—
so that we may be a light to all those who find themselves in darkness.

In the name of Jesus Christ, the light of the world.
Amen.

Prayer for Others: Matthew 15

Here’s a prayer of intercession inspired by Matthew 15:21-28, where Jesus heals the Canaanite woman’s daughter. It was posted on the Christian Aid website.

Prayer of Intercession
(inspired by Matthew 15:21-28)

O Christ our Lord,
as the Canaanite woman brought her daughter’s need to you,
overcoming stigma and rejection to do so,
confident of your healing in her life,
we bring the needs of others in prayer:

Those for whom pain is a constant companion
Those who daily live with chronic illness or ill-health
Those who struggle with the confusion and distress
    of mental illness
Those who care for and treat people who are ill
   and sometimes have agonizing decisions to face
Those for whom treatment is not available or affordable
And for ourselves in our own weakness
To all your children everywhere,
Lord Jesus Christ,
bring healing,
bring peace. Amen. 

~ posted on the Monthly Prayers page of the Christian Aid website. http://www.christianaid.org.uk/


Call to Worship: Psalm 67: 1-3


God, show your faithfulness to us,
bless us, and make your face smile upon us!
For then the whole earth will acknowledge your ways,
and all the nations of earth will know of your power to save.
May all the nations praise you, O God;
may all the nations praise you!

Jul 30, 2017

Prayers of the People: Open Your Hand

Here’s a prayer of intercession which draws on Psalm 145 and Matthew 14:13-21 (the feeding of the 5000).  Feel free to revise it to suit your context.


Prayer of Intercession
(based on Matthew 14:13-21 and Psalm 145:15-16)

Loving God,
You are our Creator and Sustainer.
When You open Your hand,
You satisfy the hunger and thirst of every living thing.
And so we look to You whenever we are in need,
trusting in Your love and Your abundant goodness.

As You once fed the hungry crowds with five loaves and two small fish,
we ask that You would again fill those who are empty this day.
Pour out Your Spirit on all who hunger and thirst.

We pray for those who are physically hungry—whose stomachs are empty.
We think especially of the people in Somalia and Eastern Africa
who are facing critical food shortages;
    who are suffering the effects of malnutrition and starvation;
        and watching helplessly as loved ones die.

Lord, in Your mercy, open Your hand.
Pour out Your Spirit, so that they may be filled. 

We pray for those who are empty emotionally—
who are lonely and long for companionship and love,
        who are caught in the grip of depression,
            or overwhelmed with grief.

Lord, in Your mercy, open Your hand.
Pour out Your Spirit, so that they may be filled. 

We pray for those who are spiritually empty—
who are troubled, but don’t know where to turn;
    who long for purpose and meaning, but don’t know where to look;
        who need You, but do not yet know You.

Lord, in Your mercy, open Your hand.
Pour out Your Spirit, so that they may be filled. 

God, we praise You for Your abundant gifts in our lives.
Pour out Your Spirit on us as well.
Fill us with Your compassion and love,
so that we would willingly share some of our abundance
with those who have need.

Lord, in Your mercy, open Your hand.
Pour out Your Spirit, so that we may be filled.

We pray in the name of Jesus Christ,
who came so that all of humanity might come to know
the abundant life that comes from You.

Amen.