God of Peace,
We come before you this morning with gratitude, knowing that you promise to hear our prayers at all times, so we offer up the things on our hearts and in our minds to you this morning.
We give you thanks this weekend for the many individuals who came before us, sacrificing so much for service to our country. We are thankful for the freedoms we share and hold dear because of them and for the freedom to worship you and preach the gospel even in this very hour. As we listen to the cries of our babies, the giggles of our children, the prayers of our youth, and the wisdom of our adults, we are grateful they can do all of those things without fear of being silenced. We pray for the families of our veterans, knowing that they too lived through war and a disrupted life, and continue to experiences the consequences of living with someone who has seen the front lines of wars and unrest. We are grateful for the strength you gave them to carry on and that they are still with us to tell us the stories of their lives and service.
We pray you will give us all the boldness to step forward and work toward justice and peace in our world. Help us, the church, to follow in the ways of Jesus and to preach and show love to a world that is dying and hurting and in desperate need of hope. Just as we give thanks for those who fought for our freedom, we are keenly aware of those who are still in bondage, either in their own country or another country. Those things remind us also of how there are people who are trapped in other ways. For those battling bondage of their own minds…for those with mental illnesses, those crippled with anxiety, depression, grief and so much more, we pray for peace and rest and for continued healing and peace of the mind and body.
We pray for those this morning who are dealing with conflict in relationships. With those in their own families, with their friends, with their co-workers, with neighbors, or even with someone in this very faith community, we pray for reconciliation, for understanding, for compassion, and for forgiveness. Allow grace to overcome the hurt. Open our eyes to see others the way you see them and to love them the way you love them.
For those this morning in our own faith community who are dealing with sickness, with scary diagnoses, unexpected surgeries, and with the uncertainty of what lies ahead, we pray for comfort and peace. Be with the caregivers and family members of those folks and give them rest and assurance of your presence with them at all times and remind them they are loved.
Speaking of love, O God, we, as a faith community, come to you as people who are grieving the loss of so many we loved. Our hearts are tender and our minds filled with beautiful love-filled moments of those who we have lost just this past week. As we grieve together this day, we say thank you for the gift of their lives, for the ways they helped us see you better, for the ways they made us laugh, pushed us to be better in this faith community, and helped us navigate so much with their wisdom, love, patience, and strength.
In a world that is always changing, This much does not change: You are our God; we are your people, bound to you by the love of Jesus Christ and by the call of your Holy Spirit.
As we all lean into the lives you are calling us to live, give us the faith and courage to follow you with all of who we are and with all that we have. With all of who we are, we give you thanks for Jesus, the one who came so that we may all have life and have it abundantly and the one who taught us to pray saying….”Our father…”