As we look at the world around us,
we see much disparity.
Why do some have so much and others so little?
Why are some who practice bad habits, healthy and strong,
while innocent children face illness and pain?
Why does the drunk driver kill someone else other than himself?
Remind us that you are always with us,
but also remind us that our reality is not a litmus test of our faith.
A strong faith does not guarantee us a world full of riches and rainbows,
but our faith will help us get through those dark and lonely nights.
Our faith will help us get through the news that a loved one has cancer,
that a job has been lost, or that our child has made a bad choice.
It is our faith that has brought us to this place, to this community,
to this sacred place.
Our community of believers stand with each other,
supporting one another in times of need,
celebrating our special occasions and individual achievements,
lifting up those who need support,
healing those who are in pain,
and grieving with those who mourn.
That is what you have taught us,
that we are your children,
that we are to be your church.
We follow you, Father, and try to walk in the way of your Son.
He shared your love with us and
we know that we need to share our love with others.
Part of that love is to care for those among us
who have less than they need, for whatever reason.
Open our eyes to the need around us.
Open our ears to the call of those like Bartimaeus who
cry out for assistance.
Open our hearts to your plan, to your desires.
We ask that you use us, that you help us experience your call.
Help us to stand up, to throw off our cloak, and to follow you.
We follow you, Father, and we know that you are with us always.
Your Spirit moves among us, silently urging us in ways we don’t understand
and may never realize.
You are with us, and we ask that you especially be with ___.
Help us to realize that our only privilege in this world is that we are your people.
We are loved by you; we are your children.
While we will always face challenges in our lives, we know that you are always with us.
As Bartimaeus cried out to you, we also cry out to you and we know that we are loved
and that you hear our cries.
As your children, we raise our voices using the words your Son taught us,