Our Sense of Woe (1 Kings 21:1-21, 27)

As we look back at our week, gracious God,
there were probably times
when we did not behave in a charitable manner
toward our brothers and sisters.
We didn’t kill anyone to get what we wanted, but
we may have focused more on hearing our voice
than in understanding someone else,
we may have focused more on getting our share
than in helping someone else get theirs,
we may have focused more on our wants
than in seeing someone else’s needs.
We are your children, God,
and sometimes we act like children.

We come here today to this sacred space.
We hear your teachings and
interpret them to fit our world today.
We are not ruled by kings today.
We don’t hold our land and property for tens of generations.
But we know the difference between right and wrong,
then and now.
Even knowing that difference, we can still make bad choices.
We don’t always make the right decision,
even when we think we are.
Our choices can hurt us and can hurt others.

As we look back at our week, All Knowing God,
open our eyes to where we strayed away from your teachings.
As we move forward, remind us to do better,
remind us to make better choices.
Remind us that we are forgiven and that you are always with us.
We are your children, uniquely cherished and deeply loved,
despite our failings.
Help us to see more clearly where we can fulfill your teachings
here on earth.
Help us to put our wants aside and help us to focus instead on the needs of others.
We ask that you be with __ as they
especially need your strength and healing grace.

We come here today to this sacred space.
As we look around at those among us, help us to see your image in their faces.
As we move through our world in the coming week,
help us to see your image more clearly in the faces of those we encounter.
Remind us that it is up to us to make this world into your world,
a place where your will is done, not ours.
To that end, we use the words your Son taught us, “Our Father..”

Our Sense of Compassion (1 Kings 17:8-16)

God of human relationships, you created us as your people,
a people who come together in community.
Our choices and our actions inter-twine in the lives of those around us.
As water ripples in a pond, we touch others
even when we are unaware of their very existence.
Our lives are shaped every day by the people we meet
in the most mundane of encounters.

God of Love, you have provided for us,
giving us a world that contains everything we need.
We may not have a jar of flour that never empties,
but our God has given us all the resources that we need
and charged us to care for them wisely.
Remind us to be grateful for what we have and
to spend our time and treasures in ways that reflect our beliefs.
Remind us that the idols in our world may distract us
but they are not where our attention should be.
Remind us to live as your Son showed us,
seeking peace and justice for all.
Remind us to trust in your love and your guidance,
just as the widow placed her trust in you.

God of Compassion, allow us to feel empathy for those we meet.
We may not agree with each other, nor may we share the same beliefs,
but we are each your children.
Help us to treat each other with dignity and respect.
Help us to disagree in ways that do not demonize the other,
but rather help us to see your image in the face of others.
Help us to remember that we are each a child of God,
and remind us of your teachings and how we should practice those teachings.
You told us you would be with us always.
We ask that you be with those among us
who need your extra strength and healing grace.

God of Justice and Peace,
remind us of our duty to care for the powerless and
to speak out for those without a voice.
As your Son taught us, it is our job to make this world like your heaven.
We use the words he taught us, saying,
“Our Father…”

The Sense of Mystery (1 Kings 19:1-15a)

Gracious and all protecting God,
Elijah, like each of us, found himself alone and afraid.

And, like each of us, he realized that he needed to get up,
to shake off his fear, to get up and just get it done.
There is no one else to do your work, to share your news.
We cannot pull the covers over our heads
and hope the world will be a better place when we wake up.
We cannot hide our faces and pretend that we don’t see what is going on.
It is up to us to make this world, your world.

But it can be easy to be fearful in this world.
We see terror on the news everyday.
We see happiness and laughter obliterated in an instant.
We see hate appearing to triumph over justice and
appearing to divide our nation and our communities.
Sometimes our fears are based on reality, but more often,
our fears are based on whispers, rumors, and half-truths.
Give us the strength to stand up to those fears,
to not give into a feeling of helplessness and hopelessness.

Open our eyes to the mysteries and the joys of this world.
A world where first responders run bravely into burning buildings,
a world where strangers give shelter to the injured and to those in danger,
a world where search parties give of their time and energy
to look for those who are lost
and a world where death is met by new life and new hopes for the future.
You gave us a world with everything we need.
You gave us your Son, who came to us and shared his life with us, as a man,
teaching us how to make this world your world,
showing us by his actions, not just in words.
Give us the strength to do the same for those around us.
Give us the strength to get up, to get up and just get it done.

We ask that you be with those among us who need your extra strength today.
We name ___

Open our eyes to the mysteries of this world and
help us to stand up to our fears to do what is right and just.
We use the words that your Son gave us,
“Our Father….”