Prayers of the People

Katie Lancaster standing in the Cloisters

The Reverend Dr. Katie Snipes Lancaster
Senior Associate Minister

O Good Shepherd and guide,
O Brother Jesus, friend to all,
O Adonai, El Shaddai, Yahweh,
You are everlasting, beginning and end, first and last, alpha and omega.

Here amid the snow, the cold, the warmth, the sun, the sudden changes in weather turning us inward and outward, longing for connection and long walks on earthen path, longing for cozy fireplace days snowed in, back and forth, leaning into the joy and mystery of each day unfolding. 

Let us mark the way with joy, God. Let us find joy rushing in, small miracles, possibilities, unearthed, small burdens melted away, small gestures of love held and treasured. Give us the gift of this day, O God. Give us the gift of this day.

To you we surrender, you who ushers in peace so that I might lay down, you who sets me down safely after untold days of worry, you who is restless until we rest in you. 

To you we surrender. To you we hand over all that we carry, every uneasiness, every bother, every tension and stress and strain, every wobble and need, we hand over to you. 

We give ourselves over to your subtle, complex, elusive spirit, knowing that you are here, with us, in our midst, and yet trusting that in finding you, your mystery is still yet never diminished, you are always deeper than deep, wider than wide. 

We pray for our own trouble, hardship, embarrassment, pain, and struggle. Let us lean on those who have gone before us, let us lean on our web of ancestors, let us lean, trusting that there is and must be a way through. Let us carry on. Let there be a way forward with your strength at our side, the possibility of blessing just there on the road ahead, while you forge a path onward. Your spirit, protective and warm, encircling, circled, enclosing all. 

We pray for justice, God. For your kingdom come. For your people to walk your way. For the burdens of carelessness and the horrors of violence to decrease. For wars to cease. For orphans to find a home. For the wounded to find care. For governments to weave a web of peace. For leaders to lit up their voices toward your vision of love. We give ourselves over to your love that bears all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 

We give our eternal “yes” to your spirit within the ordinariness of our day. 

A day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere, so let your spirit rise up to meet us 

while we are here, nestled in worship, here, rooted, here, open. Rise up, O God. 

And hear us as we pray the prayer Jesus teaches us: Our Father…. Amen.

*You may use these prayers for non-commercial purposes in any medium, provided you include a brief credit line with the author’s name (if applicable) and a link to the original post.

February 25, 2024

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