Day and night, we long for you, our Light of Lights, Source of All. Summer and winter, we seek you. When we find ourselves toe to toe with Lake Michigan, or standing on the bank of a river, deep and wide, we long for you.

As the air warms, the sun shines, the spring flowers push up from the ground, reminding us that more life will come, we turn toward you. And we ask: hear our prayer. For the joy of spring, the return to community, the pervasive hope that emerges, we give you thanks.

For graduations, baptisms, weddings, rituals, milestones, birthdays, celebrations, we give you thanks. For community, friendship, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, children, a church to call home, we give you thanks.

For that hug last week that meant the world, for that unexpected phone call that brightened my day, for her renewed spirit, for his relief, for their deep sigh after many moons of worry, we give you thanks O Lord.

Some days, we or those we love carry unspeakable anger and devastating pain. We plead for a different way. We are exasperated, scoffing, feeling the chaotic forces of the world churning around and within us. It is a surging torrent in our own lives, a personal flooding of trouble, and it is the collective absurdity and sorrow that surrounds us.

For those with sharp, cramping discomfort that comes in waves, Lord hear our prayer. For those who were simply feeling “off” whose doctors revealed a devastating diagnosis, Lord hear our prayer. For those living with crippling fear, Lord hear our prayer. For those enduring the intensity of chemotherapy and radiation, Lord hear our prayer. For those standing face to face with the unknown, Lord hear our prayer. For those in hospice, Lord hear our prayer.

We lift up all things to you: joy and sorrow, sickness and health, trouble and contentment. All things. To you we can confess all, share all, admit all. To you, O God, we commit our very lives.

So hold us, carry us, enliven us, give us your true tender peace. And hear us as we pray the prayer Jesus teaches us saying: Our Father, who art in heaven….Amen.

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