Living in a Broken World (Romans 3:19-28)

We live in a broken world, Lord.
And we know that at times,
we are the cause of this brokenness.
There is hate and there is fear.
There is anger and there is guilt.
There is injustice and there is shame.
Each of us a sinner, and yet,
each of us a child of God, your child, made in your image.

We live in a broken world, Lord.
And we thank you for your gift of grace.
When we lose our way,
we ask that you guide us back to your teachings.
When we fall short in how we treat others,
we ask that you remind us that we are to love others
as we love ourselves.
When we take more than our fair share,
we ask that you open our hearts with compassion.
We know we struggle daily with sin, and yet,
each of us is a child of God, your child, made in your image.

Our world is broken, and yet there is still joy in the world.
We are not a hopeless people.
We thank you for your gift of grace,
for our justification by your grace through our faith in you.
Divine became human and your Son redeemed us
by sharing your love and showing us how to live.
As he did, we are to lift up the powerless,
feed the hungry, tend to the sick and comfort the grieving.
As we care for others, we ask that you
especially be with those we know are in pain or in need of healing.
We name __
We come together as your community, as your children,
knowing that we are each made in your image.

Knowing that we are imperfect people, struggling to act in more perfect ways,
we lift up our hearts to you, God.
As we lift up our hearts and hands to you, we use the words your Son taught us,
“Our Father…”

Use Us Despite Ourselves (Exodus 14:19-31)

Creator God, our story today reminds us of Creation.
There is light and there is darkness,
the water separates from the land and a path is opened.
You had the power to create us and
you used your power to lead the Israelites out of slavery.
We realize in this story that then as now,
we don’t always treat each other with love and respect.
Open our eyes, Lord, to oppression in today’s world.
Help us to work towards a peace and just world.
Remind us that each of us is a child of God and
that we are to live in community with one another.

Moses agreed to lead his people,
and we remember that he did not feel worthy at first.
Help us to hear your call and give us the strength to accept your call.
Help us to feel worthy of your call.
Help us to share your love with others.
Open our ears so that we can listen to those in need.
Open our hands so that we freely share our gifts and treasures with others.
Open our hearts so we can be kind to others.
Open our eyes so that we can see your plan here on earth.

Gracious God, just as you led the Israelites from slavery,
we know that you are with us always.
We ask that you be with those among us who need your grace and healing touch.
We name ___.
You are with us in times of trial and you are with us in times of joy.
You were with the Israelites in their time of bondage and
in their celebration of freedom.
We know that you are with us as we share your love with others.
As we gather together in this sacred place, we use the words your Son taught us,
“Our Father…”

Our Connection with Others (Exodus 12:1-14 )

Gracious God, we gather here in your name.
We are members of this church, but more importantly,
we are your children and
we are brothers and sisters with one another in faith.
As your children, we are loved and in turn,
we are to share your love with all people.
As we look around today, we see how we impact others.
We are teachers. And, we are students.
We are helpers. And we are helped by others.
We feed the hungry. And, in turn, we are fed as well.
As we touch others, we are also touched.
As we change lives, we become changed people.

We gather here in your name, with faith in your promise
that you are also here with us.
As you are connected with each of us,
we are connected with one another.
Help us to truly see one another.
Help us to see your image in their faces and
help us to follow your teachings.
Help us to share your love with others,
within our church, within our local community, and beyond.
Help us to be your people.

We gather together as your people.
We support one another in time of illness and crisis.
We ask that you be with those among us, named and unnamed,
who need your grace and strength.

As we gather together, we use the words your son taught us,
“Our Father, …”

Trust and Community (Exodus 1:8-2:10)

As we enter into a state of prayer,
we ask you to be with us, Gracious God.
As we picture ourselves by the side of a river,
we ask you to soothe our souls
just as the sound of rushing water calms our senses.

As our worries press against our minds,
and our fears multiply in the darkness,
we ask that you quiet our anxious thoughts.

As Moses’ mother trusted in you to save her newborn son,
so do we place our trust in you.

As we share our thoughts with you, Gracious God,
we ask you to open our hearts to you and to your teachings.

Help us to treat each other with justice and fairness,
to understand their story and their needs.
Help us to get out of our comfort zones and to truly see another
as they are and as we are.

As the Pharoah’s daughter defied corruption and hate,
give us the strength to follow her example.
Open our eyes, God, so that we can truly see
the obstacles before us that keep us from peace and justice.

As we lift up our prayers and concerns to you, Gracious God,
remind us of the midwives who followed your teachings.
They supported and served their community,
putting their needs and their safety last, trusting in you.
As we support those in our community,
we lift up to you those among us in need of special support and care.
We name ___.

Help us to see those among us who we have not named.
Help us to see those who are hidden from our view
because of our false assumptions and misunderstandings.
Open our hearts, our eyes and our ears to those around us, Gracious God.

As your followers, we ask that you use us to fulfill your plan here on earth.
As we wait, and as we listen, we lift up our voices to you, using the words your Son taught us,
“Our Father…”

We Are Your Children (Genesis 37:1-4, 18-28)

We forget that we are all your children, Father God.
We allow ourselves to become jealous and judgmental.
We form into groups and categorize others.
We put on our coat of many colors to show off to others
how blessed and special we are.
Remind us that we are all equal in your sight, God.
Remind us that we are your children and
each one of us is deeply loved and uniquely cherished.

Help us to act as your children, Mother God.
Open our eyes to the wonder of your world,
the miracles that surround us that we no longer see.
Remind us to see the world through the eyes of a child,
to marvel at the world around us, to see the miracles and the beauty,
to see one another with the innocence and the trust of a child.
Help us to nurture others as you have nurtured us.
Help us to love as a child loves, freely without hesitation or fear.
Help us to share as a child shares, without expectation or resentment.
Remind us that we are your children and
each one of us is deeply loved and uniquely cherished.

Help us to act as your children, Creator God.
Help us to act as one community,
to take care of each other, and
to support one another.
Help us to work towards unity and
to tear down the walls that separate us.
Help us to seek to understand another’s viewpoint,
to feel their reality.
Help us to work for the good of the community,
rather than our own self interests.
As you were with Joseph in the pit,
we know that you are with us always.
We ask that you be with those we name,
as well as with those whose names go unspoken.
We lift up ___ in our prayers.

We are your children, God, and we use the words
taught to us by your Son,
“Our Father…”

Wrestle With Us (Genesis 32:22-31)

Gracious God, we cling to you and we fight you.
We embrace your teachings,
but we also wrestle with having to follow them.
Maybe you didn’t really mean everyone
when you told us to love one another as we love ourselves.
Maybe you didn’t really mean that we have to give up the material
to find hope and grace in your spiritual salvation.
Maybe you didn’t really mean that we should turn the other cheek
and forgive each another.
Ok, maybe you really did mean it.
Give us the strength to really follow in your teachings.

Gracious God, we cling to you and we fight you.
But you don’t let go. You hold onto us tightly.
You challenge us and despite our failures,
you receive us with favor and grace.
Your embrace shelters us and protects us.
Don’t let us go. Continue to hold onto us.
Open our hearts to your teachings and guidance.
Open our eyes to see your image in the faces of those around us.
As each new dawn appears, use us that day to fulfill your plan here on earth.
Give us the strength to really follow in your teachings.

Gracious God, we cling to you and we fight you.
In our world today, we allow little things to divide us.
Remind us that we are your community.
Remind us that you really did mean it when you told us
to love one another as we would want to be loved.
As you hold tight to us,
help us to hold tight to your teachings.
And as your embrace shelters us, we ask that you extend your grace and strength
to those among us who are hurting and in need of healing and comfort.
We name ___.
And as your embrace shelters us, we are reminded
that you also celebrate our joys and good news.
We name ___.
Through your embrace, give us the strength to really follow in your teachings.

Gracious God, we cling to you and we fight you.
We thank you for never letting go of us.
And as you are with us always, we lift our voices up using the words your Son taught us,
“Our Father…”

With Honor and Faith (Genesis 29:15-28)

Gracious God, despite our flaws you find ways to work with us,
to make us better people,
to use us to fulfill your plan here on earth.
Jacob cheated his brother and then was deceived by Laban.
We confess we sometimes work in ways that serve our own self interests.
But as members of your community,
we know that we should work for the good of all.
Be with us and encourage us to be honest,
to be faithful and to act in peace with one another.

Gracious God, work with us and use us to fulfill your plan here on earth.
We ask that you work with us to build and reinforce your community.
Help us to act with honor and respect toward everyone,
those who believe as we do and those who hold different beliefs.
Be with our political leaders and encourage them to act with honor,
to speak for the voiceless, to lift up the powerless, and
to provide justice for all.
Be with us and encourage us to also act with honor
and help us to share our best with others.

Gracious God, we are your children,
first born or last born,
each of us deeply loved and uniquely cherished.
As your children, we ask that you shape us and mold us.
Make us the people you want us to be.
Give us the strength and the wisdom to make the right choices.
As your children, we know that you are with us always.
We ask that you be with those among us who need your healing grace
and strength. We ask that you be with _____.

Gracious God, we trust in your promises.
We know that your timeline may differ from ours,
and yet we know that we can be impatient
We ask that you be with us and fill our hearts with your peace.
We ask that you be with us and open our eyes to your plans.
We ask that you be with us and open our ears to the cries to those around us.
We ask that you be with us and use our hands
to build this world into your world.
We ask that you be with us and use our voices to share the story of your love
with those around us.
And as we trust in your promise, we use the words that your Son taught us,
“Our Father…”

Transformation: The Places We Will Go (Acts 2:1-6, 12-21)

Pour out your spirit upon us, Lord.
Fill us with your promise,
with your grace and
with the joy of your teachings.
Remind us as we watch the baptism of ___and ___
of our own baptism.
Remind us that we are your community, your children,
baptized in the living water and
sealed with the participation of God’s grace and forgiveness.
We state today we are your children and we thank you.

Be with us in our daily lives.
Help us to see your active participation in our interactions with others,
in the mundane and in the significant.
Encourage us to spend time with you in silent reflection,
allow us to hear your guidance and your direction in that silence,
open our hearts to better understand your plan here on earth.
As your children, we long for your embrace and are comforted by your love.
We are loved, help us to feel that love and to accept that love.
Be with those among us who need an extra level of support. We name ___.

We have been cleansed by the act of baptism.
We have been filled with Holy Spirit.
Open our eyes to the signs of your involvement in our lives,
and in our future.
Help us to share those signs and your teachings with others.
As your children, we bring our own children to you
and promise to raise them in your teachings.
We pledge our children to you and as a community,
we pledge to support these children and their families.
As we look at ___and ___, remind us of our time of innocence.
Take us back to that time.
Take us back to the age of childish wonder and amazement
and fill our hearts again with that wonder.

As your children, we lift up the words you taught us and
we embrace that feeling of wonder and amazement as we do so,
“Our Father…”

We Bring Christ’s Teachings into the Light (1 Peter 2:2-10)

We gather here in this sacred place, as your people.
You have given each of us gifts,
the most precious of which is your gift of grace and mercy.
Help us to extend that grace to others.
Remind us as the people who have been given the gifts of your teachings,
we are to share those teachings with others.
Help us to serve as a role model to others,
not as a stumbling block.
Help us to lift others up and to support them in their journey.
We thank you for the teachers in our lives,
especially for the women who have influenced our lives.

We gather here today in this sacred place.
We find you here in this house of worship,
but also in our homes, in our cars, in our solitude and
in the noisy chaos of our daily lives.
We may not see our value when we look in the mirror,
but you have valued us and known us since before we were born.
We are your people, your community of believers,
and we feel you with us always.
We ask that you be with those among us who need your support and
healing touch, naming ____.

We gather here today in this sacred place.
Our building, made of bricks, is our worship temple,
but our bodies make up your living temple in this world.
Use us to fulfill your plan here on earth.
You called us out of the darkness into the light of your grace and mercy.
Help us to see our world clearly through your light and
help us to bring your light to others.
Help us to shine your light into the darkest corners of our world.

As we gather here every week, we use the words you taught us,
“Our Father…”

Open Our Eyes to Your Presence (Luke 24:13-35)

Lord, how many times have you been walking beside us
without us knowing?
When we are in moments of joy with friends and family,
open our eyes so we can see you celebrating with us.
As we do the mundane tasks of the day to day,
open our eyes so we can see you with us in our daily routine.
If we awaken in the night filled with worry and fear,
open our eyes so that we can see that you are here to comfort us with your peace.

Lord, how many times during the day, do we forget to live out your teachings?
As we face the normal irritations of our day to day,
do we practice loving one another when caught in another traffic jam?
As we learn about current events,
do we seek peace and justice or do we practice judgment and condemnation?
As we interact with each other,
do we seek to build up the community or do we put ourselves first?
Open our hearts to your words, Lord, fill us with the fire of your teachings.
Remind us to grant others grace as you have granted grace to us.

Lord, how many times have you spoken in our ear and we have not heard you.
In times of anger, when voices are raised, remind us to pause and to listen for your guidance.
In times of fear and uncertainty, remind us to take a moment to breathe deeply,
to relax our shoulders, and to listen for your words of peace.
In times of success and celebration, remind us to listen to your teachings
and to know that we still need your assurance and grace.
Remind us to be in community with one another and to listen to one another
so that we can truly understand each other’s needs.

Lord, you are with us always. Help us to also be with you.
We use the words that you taught us so many years ago,
“Our Father…”