Be With Our Children (Romans 8:22-27 and Acts 2:1-21)

Heavenly Mother, we are your children.
You gave us the gift of life.
You knew us before we were created and you formed us in your image.
You surrounded us with grace as we struggled to understand how to live
and how to follow your teachings.
You nurtured us and comforted us when we fell short.
You taught us what it means to be in a family.
We especially thank you for the young adults
who have spent the last year learning about their faith
and who have chosen to join us as part of this family of believers.

Holy Spirit, intercede on their behalf.
You alone know their deepest needs, their biggest dreams,
and their unique talents and abilities.
Fill their hearts with the passion of their faith.
Strengthen them when they begin to despair.
Open their eyes to how they can make a difference in this world.
Guide them through the temptations of this world and
keep their focus on following Christ and his teachings.
As your children, we want to follow your will and your teachings.
Help us to instill this same desire in our children.
Help them to instill this same desire in their own children
in the years to come.

Heavenly Father, you declared you would pour out your Spirit onto us.
You gave us your Son to show us the way.
Fill us with your Spirit, show us your signs.
As your early church did, help us to create a community of believers.
Help us to support one another.
We lift up to you, those among us we know are in need.
We name ___
We also lift up to you those who are unnamed.
Help us to be your people and to follow your ways.

As your people, we lift up our voices using the words your Son taught us,
so many years ago, “Our Father…”

Made in God’s Image (Romans 12:1-8)

Creator God, you have made us in your image.
To each of us, you have given special gifts and talents.
We may not feel special, but we are uniquely made
for your purpose.
Help us to understand that purpose.
Help us to fulfill that purpose.
Help us to use our gifts and talents to their fullest.

Giving God, you have given much to us.
Remind us that our gifts are not only for ourselves,
but are meant to be shared.
Our world is full of plenty,
even when we feel in need.
Help us to recognize and to appreciate all that we have.
Open our hands and hearts to others.
Encourage us to share freely and to accept the gifts of others.
Help us to celebrate our gifts and to use them in joy.
Help us to worship you with full hearts, minds and bodies.

Loving God, you have brought us here together in this sacred space.
Remind us to continue acting in community with one another
during the week.
Help us to share your love and your teachings with others.
As we support one another, we ask that you be with those among us
who need your healing touch and your strength.
We name ___.
As we celebrate joys with each other, we thank you for ___.
Encourage us to continue to build relationship with one another,
to make friends of those who used to be acquaintances,
to make peace with those who used to unsettle us,
to comfort those who are grieving, and
to recognize and appreciate the differences of others.

As your children, we lift up our voices, using the words your Son taught us,
“Our Father…”

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…”

9/11 Remembrance (Romans 12:1-8)

When tragedy strikes, well-wishers may tell us it was God’s plan.
They tell us we may not understand today,
but someday it will be made clear.
But we know that you have given us free will
and it is our choices, or our failure to choose,
that cause accidents, pain and injury to ourselves and others.
We know there is true evil in this world and
we know there are people who choose evil
and people who choose to hate.
As we remember the pain of 9/11,
we recognize our lives began to change at that point in time.
We came together then in grief and shock
but we have now allowed fear to separate and divide us.

Help us to choose love.
Transform us with your grace.

When tragedy strikes, remind us to see the first responders
who risk their lives to save others.
Remind us to see the helpers,
the people that use their gifts to heal and comfort those in distress.
Help us to use our gifts to be those helpers,
to fulfill your teachings here on earth.
Give us the strength to stand up to hate.

Help us to choose love.
Transform us with your grace.

When we look at the people around us, Gracious God,
help help us to see who is missing and marginalized.
Help us to seek understanding over being right.
Help us to use our gifts to fulfill your plan here on earth.
We ask that you be with those who are grieving,
those those who are angry, and those who are fearful.

Help us to choose love.
Transform us with your grace.

As your children, we know that we are loved.
We lift up our voices using the words your Son taught us,
“Our Father…”

**Bold text may be read responsively by the congregation.

Love Each Other (Romans 12:9-21)

Creator of Love and Light,

Your lesson to us has always been love.
Love each other as we love ourselves.
Three easy words, Love each other.

Giver of all things,
Your lesson to us is to hate evil and cling to love.
Remind us to lift up in prayer, even those we do not care for.
Love each other as we love ourselves.
Three easy words, Love each other.

We are the children of God.
As children, we may not comprehend the meaning of all your teachings.
Three easy words, Love each other.
Your teachings come down to these three words.
As we are cherished and loved as your children,
we, too, also need to love each other.

Compassionate One,
As we are loved, we know that we are to support one another.
We lift up __ in our prayers and know that while You are also with them,
we need to show them our love and our concern, in our words and in our prayers.
As the body of Christ, we cherish each other as you cherish us.

Lord of Peace,
Remind us that by loving one another, we create peace in our world.
Love each other as we love ourselves.
In love, you sent to us your Son.
In love, He taught us these words,
“Our Father….”