Pastoral Prayer - March 8th, 2015

Gracious and merciful Father,

We give you thanks for this day, and for everyday, good and bad, that we have experienced in your world.  Thank you for the gifts of family and friends, thank you for the gift of Church and community, thank you for the many blessings that come every day whether we are aware of them or not.  Open our eyes, ears, minds, and hearts that we may see the gifts you pour out on us every day in every way in all of our lives.  Even though you don’t require it or want it, we can never really say thank you enough.

Merciful Jesus, while we are in a thankful mood, thank you for your forgiveness.  All to often, in joy and sorrow, we react in ways that are not your ways.  We read and hear and see injustice in the world, and we raise our voices and declare how wrong these acts are.  We experience hurt and pain here in our own lives, in our own community, so we overturn metaphorical tables so these things cannot happen to anyone else.  Somehow Jesus…when you did these things the world was cleansed and scripture tells us the people present were spellbound.  When we do them, it just seems to make this temple dirtier and drives people further away.  Forgive us for taking righteous anger and making it not-so righteous.

Show us through your Spirit how we can be righteous, not just in our anger but in all aspects of our lives.  Give us clean hands, give us pure hearts so that instead of further dividing your world, we can in fact be agents of reconciliation, agents of unification, agents of healing and change.  In some of our lives, we have people and situations where you have placed us to be the sowers and caretakers for the seeds of your Kingdom.  Give us guidance and how to nurture those seeds.  For some of us, we are in the desert with no hope or help in sight.  Let your living water fall upon our souls right now, so those seed of your Kingdom that have existed within us from the start, will begin to grow and heal the landscape of our hearts.

God of justice and balance, move through this church so that when we speak the prayer that Jesus taught us, they will not be words of passivity, but living and powerful words of current and coming activity when we speak in one voice…

Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us,
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom,
and the power, and the glory,
for ever and ever.

Amen