Help Us to Follow You (Ephesians 5:1-10)

Heavenly Father, you sent your Son to us as our Teacher.
As children copy their parents, help us to copy the actions of your Son.
Open our hearts so that we can love you fully.
Open our minds so that we can be receptive to your teachings.
Most importantly, give us the strength to follow you
and to love others as you did.

Our world is not a just world.
There are many who do not act in love,
but instead act in greed or evil.
Help us to be the example of a life lived in love.
Help us to live as the good, the just and the righteous.

We mourn those who have been killed, injured or impacted
by the violence in our world.
We grieve that our children and teachers have learned the lesson of fear
instead of the lesson of education.
We find wisdom in the voices of the teenagers and young adults
who raise their voices today to say, “No More.”
They are following your teachings.

We are saddened by stories of famine, of refugees, and war.
And we admit that we turn away and
say we cannot do anything to save them.
We are sickened when we hear how pollution or chemical spills
poison our water and our land.
And yet, we choose financial gain rather than
acting as the guardians of our world.
We see courage in the voices of those who speak up in protest
of policy and legislation that harms rather than protects.
They are following your teachings.

Lord, there is so much pain and suffering in our world.
And yet, we do not give up. We are your children, your followers.
Be with us in our struggle even as we support those among us who are ill or in pain.
We ask that you be with ___ and surround them with your healing grace and peace.
Open our hearts so that we can love you fully.
Open our minds so that we can be receptive to your teachings.
Open our ears so we can hear the needs of those around us.
Most importantly, give us the strength to follow you and to love others
as you did.

And, as we follow you in love, we use the words you taught us so long ago.
“Our Father…”

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