March 11 2018

Joys and Concerns & Prayers of the People

All: The days are getting longer, Lord. The sun’s rays are higher in the sky bringing more light to our world. Warmth begins to flood over the colder portions of our nation. Let the warmth of your mercy and love pour over us. As we have gathered this day to celebrate the good news that you have given to the world, remind us that it is our purpose to offer that good news to others, not only in words but in deeds of love and mercy, peace and justice. 

Knowing that you hear our voices cry out, and with your eternal compassion you respond in loving care to each of us, we offer our prayers.  We desire your healing mercies in our lives and in the lives of friends and family and those who are lost, alienated, alone; who suffer from illnesses, who mourn, and who feel hopeless. We pray for those who are absent from us as well as victims of natural disaster, violence and war.  We raise in prayer those who reach out helping arms often putting themselves at risk: first responders, firefighters, police officers, our men and women serving in uniform around the world.  We hold in prayer the leaders of our nation and the nations of the world that together we may live in peace with justice for all. And God, as we gather here this day, meeting and greeting each other, celebrating fellowship and friendship, welcoming each other in your name, we also raise prayers of thanksgiving for the joy people are feeling and sharing because of your grace.
We bring to you names of these dear ones as we pray this morning.

One:Let us lift up names and situations of those for whom we care this day:

[Here the congregation offers prayers of concern for people and situations.]

[Here the congregation offers prayers of joy for people and situations.]

All:Lord, in your great goodness, hear our prayers of concern and joy.

All:We have lifted names and situations that stand in need of your healing mercies and compassionate love, as well as those who rejoice with receipt of your grace and joy. Some names we have spoken aloud; and others we have uttered in our hearts. You have heard all our prayers. You know our needs and joys before our voices can frame them. Help us accept the love you give to us and empower us to take that love and use it for good in your world. AMEN