Twyla Nelson

February 19th, 2023

Gracious Lord, we thank You for the privilege of prayer and that we can come to You at any time, in good times and in bad and share with You the things on our hearts.

We thank You for this day, the gift of life, home, family, this beloved community, and that we are able to be here in person today or tune in on-line to seek Your face. You promised that if we seek You with all our heart, we will find You, and we are here because we need a fresh word from You…a word of encouragement, forgiveness, wisdom, guidance for decisions we need to make. or maybe just to be assured of Your love for us.  We come today with various needs and trust that You are more than willing to hear us and answer according to Your mercy.

We come today with heavy hearts. We see pictures on our TV screens of complete devastation, environmental disasters, and hear of the loss of over 45,000 people after the earthquake and aftershocks in Turkey and Syria.  We are so thankful for the miracle stories of those who have been rescued from the rubble, but know Your heart is breaking as You witness the pain and suffering present in those countries as well as the pain in numerousplaces throughout the world experiencing conflict, war, natural disasters, homelessness, and hunger.  We pray that You would comfort those in pain, provide for their needs, whether it be medical care, a safe and warm place to live, food, or just the realization that they are not alone…that You are with them as well as with those who are responding as Your hands and feet to meet their numerous needs during this difficult time.  We pray that You would provide hope, strength, and endurance even in these dire circumstances.

We are also heartbroken over the state of our country where we hear of mass shootings and numerous incidences of gun violence, both here in Winston-Salem, throughout our state, and around the country.  Be with the families of those students killed at Michigan State University. We pray for peace, healing, and comfort for them, the students injured, and the entire student body who has been traumatized.  Be with the families of those killed in the mass shooting in Mississippi. Gracious God, we pray for Your intervention so that we would act justly, love mercy, walk humbly with You, and become children of peace so Your kingdom can come, and Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

We continue to pray for peace in war-torn Ukraine as well as other countries where there is civil war and unrest. We pray that You would provide the leadership who would be willing to work through the challenges and reach a solution that would bring peace and safety to all involved.

We come to You this morning with needs closer to home: those still struggling with Covid, those undergoing treatments, those at the bedside of dying loved ones, those serving as caregivers who are running out of energy and patience, students struggling with depression and bullying, those undergoing financial difficulties, and those recovering from recent surgeries. We pray for healing, peace, comfort, and Your intervention in ways that would draw us all closer to You. May we individually and corporately be transformed more into Your image so that we can accomplish Your will here in this place for such a time as this.

We are also thankful for this day when we look at the state of the church…the universal church and our church in particular.  Be with those who will be presenting and give us wisdom and guidance for the days ahead, just as You have led us in the past.  May we become a beacon of light, hope, and peace to a suffering world.

We lay these concerns and others at Your feet as we continue to worship, remembering the words You taught Your disciples to pray:

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.

And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.

For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.