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…”

Promises of God (Genesis 28:10-19a)

Gracious God, you are with us always.
Be with those in our world who are fleeing their homes in fear.
Be with those in our world who have had their lives disrupted
by the loss of a job,
by the loss of a spouse,
by the loss of health and mobility.
As they start anew, help them to feel your presence in their lives.
Help them build a new life that revolves around
your promise and your teachings.

Gracious God, you are with us always.
But sometimes, we allow this world to distract us
with both the good and the bad.
When we are focused on success and wealth, we overlook our need for you
and think only of our own strength and talents.
When the world treats us badly and we feel pain instead of joy,
we can overlook your healing presence and cling to our suffering.
Remind us to feel your presence always.
Remind us to say prayers of thanksgiving in times of success
and prayers for your support and grace in times of need.

Gracious God, you are with us always.
You made promises to our ancestors and promises to our future generations.
You were the God for our great-, great- grandparents
and you will be the God for the children of our great-, great-grandchildren.
No matter what the world is like now or in the future, you are our God
and you are with us.
There are many among us who feel insecure and powerless.
Remind us that you are with us and in your teachings, we find peace.
As your followers, give us the strength to stand up for those who feel powerless.
As your followers, give us the wisdom to see the plans you have for this world.
As your followers, give us the desire to share the
good news of your teachings to others.
We support one another in their time of need and
we ask that you especially be with ___.
We celebrate one another in their time of joy and we name ___.

Gracious God, you are with us always.
This world can be full of tension and danger,
but it can also be a world filled with joy.
Remind us of your presence in times of stress and in times of joy.
There are nations who are in strife with millions of refugees
who have fled their homes.
Be with our leaders and encourage them to work towards peaceful solutions.
Be with our leaders and encourage them to find ways
to give voice to the powerless,
to restore dignity to those who have lost everything,
to work toward a world where peace and justice is the norm, not the exception.

Gracious God, you are with us always.
We feel your presence and your peace with us,
as we use the words your Son taught us,
“Our Father…”

Not Without Conflict (Genesis 2:19-340

Creator God, we know that families can be messy.
Because we think we know each other,
we miss seeing each other’s full potential.
Because we know each other,
we can take advantage of each other and
we know all the buttons to push.
Because we know each other,
we drop the facade of politeness and sometimes,
we are brutally open with each other.

Mother God, as your children,
we feel your love and concern.
You’ve known us since before we were born.
You know our deepest hopes and desires.
We know that you hear our prayers and our concerns,
even if it may take years to receive an answer.
Grant us patience as we wait and
grant us the wisdom to see your truths in our world.
You seek peace and harmony in our relationships.
Remind us to be in community with each other
and to seek forgiveness when we wrong another.
As a mother, you nurture us, your children,
loving each of us deeply.
We ask that you especially be with those among us
who are in need of healing and grace. We name ___.

Father God, despite your strength, you do not favor only the strong.
You champion the underdog, the child without power,
and loving all your children equally.
First-born or last-born, there is enough to share with each other.
Remind us to follow in your teachings.
Remind us that no matter what status the world assigns to us,
we are your children and we are to make this world yours.
When we squabble with one another, whisper in our ear to make peace.
Open our hearts to the needs of others and
help us to focus less on our needs and wants.

Creator God, you gave us families, messy relationships, and
conflicts that we need to work through.
Joy and pain, we feel the deepest emotions with those we know best.
As you love your children, help us to see and share that love with others.
Help us to work towards the good of the community.
Help us to serve and to lift up others.
Help us to speak for the powerless.
Help us to comfort the disappointed.
Help us to see the abundance that surrounds us and
help us to share that with others.
Help us to be a true family of your believers.

As a family, we stand up for one another.
As your community of followers, we use the words your Son taught us,
“Our Father…”

Loving One Another (Genesis 1:1-2:4a)

Creator God, we have heard the story of Creation many times.
Help us to truly hear this story.
You used chaos to create order.
You provided darkness to highlight the light of day,
a moon to glow in the night and a sun to blaze in the day.
You saw the beauty and knew how to enhance your Creation.

Help us to truly hear this story of Creation.
Help us to realize that you personally created us.
You created us in your image
and therefore each of us is loved and cherished.
We were not an accident, or a by-product.
You saw your Creation and purposely created us in your image.
Open our hearts to truly know and accept that act of love.
Help us to feel the awe of your Creation,
to feel part of your Creation, and
to feel the responsibility of acting as stewards for your Creation.

Help us to truly hear this story of our Creation.
Remind us that you did not create us separate from your Creation.
Remind us that you created us to live in community with each other
and with the rest of Creation.
As we support one another, we ask that you also be with those among us
in need of your grace and healing touch. We name ___.
We ask that you be with our elected leaders, guide them and give them
the wisdom they need to act in ways that protect your Creation.
Encourage us to also act as stewards of your Creation,
the world that you entrusted to us, your children, created in your image.

We are reminded of the story of Creation
and we are reminded that you have been with us always since those first days.
And we are reminded that you sent us your son who taught us the words that we use today,
“Our Father…”

Abundant Patience (Genesis 15:1-12, 17-18)

We can be an impatient people, Lord.
We want things to happen on our timeline,
when we want it.
Remind us that all things work together,
in a dance of influence and reaction,
creating and building a new reality
in a timeline that is determined
by more than ourselves.

We can also be people of little faith, Lord.
Sometimes it can be hard for us to trust in you,
to trust in your teachings.
Remind us that you are always there for us, Father.
When we turn our backs on you,
you circle around and approach us from the front.
When we make plans that don’t include you,
you wait patiently for us to invite you into our lives.
When we try to change the rules of the game and
make things happen on our own,
you help us see that it would be better
to follow your teachings and your suggested rules.
You never give up on us and we thank you for that.

You gave us free will, Lord.
You gave us a living world,
a world full of universes and galaxies that appear
to us as stars in the night skies.
A free will sometimes encourages us to think we are in control.
But a living world is ever changing, ever growing,
and change can lead to earthquakes and melting ice caps.
We soon realize that we are not in control.
As we gaze at the stars in the sky and feel the vastness of that space,
remind us that your patience with us is as infinite as the space above us,
remind us that your love for us is also infinite,
remind us that the gifts of this earth are infinitely abundant if we use them wisely.

We know that you are with us, Lord, even when we turn our faces away from you.
We ask that you be with those among us who need your healing grace and strength,
naming __.
As a sign of your love and your patience, you gave the gift of your son to us.
We use the words he taught us as we say,
“Our Father….”

sky-sunset-night-space

Teach Us (Genesis 45:1-15)

Lord, there is so much conflict in our world.

Conflict between countries, between neighbors,
and within families.
We want to be right,
sometimes more than we want to forgive
or to ask for forgiveness.

Teach us, Father, to be more like Joseph.
Teach us to forgive those who have wronged us.
Teach us to ask for forgiveness when we have behaved badly.

Lord, we know that you accept us as we are,
that you cherish us as we are.
We are your children.
As you love us, we need to love ourselves
and love those around us.
It is in loving our neighbors, near and far,
that we fulfill your plans and your commandment.

Teach us, Father, to be more like Joseph.
Teach us to forgive those who have wronged us.
Teach us to ask for forgiveness when we have behaved badly.

Lord, it is love that saves us, your love.
We are made in your image.
We are your children.
You show us mercy and give us your grace.
We ask that you be with ___

Teach us, Father, to be more like Joseph.
Teach us to forgive those who have wronged us.
Teach us to ask for forgiveness when we have behaved badly.

In your love, you sent us your Son. And in love, he gave us these words,
“Our Father…”

God of Creation (Genesis 1:1-28)

Creator God, in our darkest moments,
we know that the sun will rise in the morning from the east
and set in the west.
We have witnessed the beauty of those sunrises,
have marveled at the vast numbers of stars in the sky in the dark of night,
and have been humbled at least once in our lives
by the majesty of the world you have given us.
The world you have given to us is full of what we need
with more than enough for all of us.
Remind us not to take more than our fair share.

We have witnessed the beauty of the world you have given to us.
We have also witnessed the harm that we have caused your world.
We remember the Deep Water Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico,
the Kuwait oil fires from the Iraq war, the dead zone within the Chesapeake Bay,
Three Mile Island, the damage done to third world countries who have
the minerals or natural products that we want and far too many other examples to name.
Remind us that as you made the world, you created us, in your image.
Creator God, help us to act as your images here on earth.
As you have nurtured us, give us the wisdom and guidance
to nurture our earth, the world you have given to us.

God of the sunrise and the sunset, you are with us always.
We find you in the noise of the crashing waves against the shore and
we find you in the stillness of the darkest night.
We find you in the beauty of a bee dancing against a flower and
in the morning dew sparkling on a spider web.
We marvel at your creation as we look at the face of a newborn baby
and we recognize the cycle of life as we say good bye to those we love.
In today’s modern world, we can live our lives seemingly disconnected with nature.
Remind us that our lives are intertwined with nature
and that our actions impact your world directly.

Created in your image, we know that we are your children, Lord.
We are to support one another and work to fulfill your plan here on earth.
As we are to nurture the earth, we are also to nurture each other.
We know that you are with us always, and
we ask that you be with those among us who need you the most.
We name ___

As the God of Creation, you are with us every moment of every day.
Help us to feel your presence with us and within us.
Remind us to celebrate the simple pleasures of the world around us.
Remind us to value all aspects of nature.
And, as members of your creation, hear us as we lift our voices to you,
using the words your Son taught us,
“Our Father…”