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Prayers of the People: March, 2021


We pause here to engage in the Prayers of the People. With these fourfold prayers, we as a community seek God’s redemptive presence in the global church, the world, our community, and individual lives. Likewise, we offer our own lives to God’s mission of healing and reconciliation in the world.


For the church, then, let us pray. O, gracious God, we thank you for your church, who has been a beacon throughout the ages and remains so throughout the world. We thank you for the Church of the Nazarene and, today, for this church, The Bridge Church of the Nazarene. We are grateful for the allegiance and vision of the men, women, and children who have served and continue to do so. We pray, dear God, for this district, our sister churches, the global church, and this congregation in the days ahead. Renew our strength. Renew our commitment. Renew us. And now, O God, we lift up to you either aloud, or in the silence of our hearts, the names of your servants and congregations and matters across the globe.


Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayers.

And now, for the world, let us also pray. Triune God, help us cultivate and nurture your world that it might look more like your future perfect kingdom. A world without war, poverty, trafficking, suffering and pain. A world where we uphold the value of the unborn, a world where our most vulnerable populations are cared for, and a world where Scripture is not just a church thing, but is proclaimed and embodied and lived through our collective lives. Father, the work is tiresome. It feels daunting. Much stands in our way; much strives to stand against us. But, O Lord, we bring the cross of Christ between us and it all. We bring the cross of Christ between and wayward political leaders, wayward social and political movements, wayward government policies, and all things that seek to silence and harm. We bring the cross of Christ between us and Planned Parenthood, us and the Equality Act, us and anything that stands contrary to your truth. So, God, strengthen us for all you ask us to do. Give us the courage and hope and peace of your Son. And, Father, we lift up to you either aloud, or in the silence of our hearts, the names of people and places and matters across this world.


Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayers.


So, too, O God, we pray for the local community. We pray for our schools, for teachers, principals, students and parents, especially as everyone strives and works to create and learn new ways of teaching and supporting our young people. Soothe the nerves of parents, Lord, calm those who remain frustrated by all that we have lost. Give an extra measure of patience and perseverance to those who are overwhelmed, yet are, nevertheless, trying to do the best they can with new challenges. O God, be with the first responders and essential workers, caregivers, doctors, surgeons, nurses, chaplains, counselors, civil servants, and all serving faithfully in our healthcare facilities. We pray for the custodians and administrators who are working to keep our health care systems and all systems working and safe. Keep them safe as well. At this time, our Father, we lift up to you either aloud, or in the silence of our hearts, the names of people and places and matters in our community here, requiring your special attention and care.


Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayers.


For those in need of prayer whom we know, let us pray. For those who are facing illness today, we ask, Holy Spirit, that you would comfort and heal. Hold those who are afraid; accompany those who care for their loved ones, especially those in difficult circumstances. Help those in broken places sing a new song, O God. Steady their hearts so that the beauty of your peace would wash over them, reminding them that they are neither alone nor forgotten. We mourn with those who mourn and rejoice with those rejoicing. We celebrate new life and remember, with sorrow, those who’ve departed. So finally, O Lord, we lift up to you either aloud, or in the silence of our hearts, the names of people and places in our hearts requiring your touch.


Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayers.


It is only by your power, O Holy Spirit, that we can pray these things. And, so, now, as we pray also the way Jesus taught us, help us to speak faithfully his words:


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 tresspasses,

As we forgive those who have trespassed against us.

And lead us not into temptation,

But deliver us from The Evil One.

For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever.

Amen.

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