Prayers of the People December 4, 2022

The Reverend Dr. Katie Snipes Lancaster

We open our eyes to this day
and come face to face
with the dizzying possibility of your presence,
Our Prince of Peace.

Our hearts are open as we long for you.
Our minds awake as we search our day,
our week, our very lives for
the texture of your spirit in our midst.

Our bodies know hunger and satisfaction
in equal measure,
our fast-beating heart furthering
the feeling of being alive in your divine love.

And so in silence and song,
in word and worship,
we search for you,
a perpetual presence ever-known, even now.

In the deepest worries of our week,
give us wisdom.

In the decisions we face,
fill us with your spirit of discernment.

As we face new roads untrod
and new grief unwelcome,
give us courage to take the first step,
with you by our side.

On even our hardest journey of the year,
allow us to arrive refreshed,
filled with the mystery of inner peace
as we welcome your invitation
to transformation.

May today’s stranger-in-our-midst
become tomorrow’s greatest friend.

And in this Advent Season
of expectation and waiting,
may we never be held back,
never put off,
never deferring or postponing our faith:
we watch,
we prepare,
we hold expectation and hope,
and we watch for your everlasting arrival,
your uninterruptible spirit
that was and is and will be born among us.

We wait for you with purpose,
for it remains true that your vision of justice,
mercy and peace are unfulfilled.

With every act of violence
and threat of force
in our community, nation, and globe,
we are reminded that we need you,
and that your deep longing for another way
is imperative.

Let your spirit of peace rise up
in the hearts of those
who are set to do violence to self and other.

Let there be another way.

Let your spirit of justice
rise up in the systems of government
that make do with injustice and inequity,
corruption and brutality.

Let there be another way.

Be on the battlefields
and wintering villages in Ukraine.
Be present amid
the international spotlight on Qatar.

Be too, in our own schools,
our own homes,
our own hearts,
our own burdened places
where your hope has yet to come to fruition,
the places in our lives
where we need to open ourselves
to the possibility of your vision in our lives.

Transform us.
Change us.
Rebuild us.
Rework us.
Renew us.

Stir up your hope in our midst.

And hear us as we lift our voices in the prayer of longing that Jesus teaches us, saying: Our Father…Amen.

December 4, 2022

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