The Great Prayer October 3, 2021

The Reverend Dr. William A. Evertsberg

We come before you Triune God, in gratitude to glorify you and in humility to plead for your help in our trials.

Creator God, we thank you for the brisk breezes of autumn and the hints of gold and amber and rust creeping into the canopy above the village lanes, for sun above a crystal lake, for prairie and marsh, farm and forest, marigold and maple. The extravagance of your creation dwarfs our reasonable need or expectation.

Son of God, rabbi, teacher, friend, exemplar of mortal behavior, and victor over death—we have been taught your lessons. We can recite them. We take delight in them. Yet when the workweek arrives, we fail to ask ourselves, “What would Jesus do?” and then act accordingly. We pray for new focus in applying those old, old lessons.

Holy Spirit, comforter, advocate—you applaud us in our success and soothe us in our sadness. The affirming nod, the uplifting smile, the gentle pat on the back is evidence of your continuing presence in our lives.

Kind and Generous God, so many of our neighbors around the world are in need and danger. We pray for those who are rent- or food-insecure, for the homeless and the hungry.

We pray for those who struggle for breath because of this virus, for those stricken with grief after losing long loves to illness.

Loving God, gather Ned’s family and friends into your safekeeping at this time of loss and sorrow—his spectacular children, his caring parents and siblings, Erin’s family, his loyal, loving almost lifelong partner. We thank you for the gift of his life—for his scholarship, his intellect, his gifts for pedagogy, kindness, friendship, and those sprawling networks of colleagues, co-conspirators, students, and clients.  Receive him into the arms of your mercy, in the blessed rest of everlasting peace, and reunion, one day, with all those he left behind.

Gracious God, pour out your Holy Spirit upon us and upon these your gifts of bread and wine, that the bread we break and the cup we bless may be the communion of the body and blood of Christ.

Through Christ, with Christ, in Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor are yours, eternal God, now and forever. Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer
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.
Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever, Amen.

October 3, 2021

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