The Promise of Prescence

Posted on 19 Oct 2014, Pastor: Walt McCanless

Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Deuteronomy 34:1-12; Psalm 90:1-6, 13-17; 1 Thessalonians 2: 1-8; Matthew 22:34-46

Below are two prayers, one used in the 9 am and one in the 11:15 worship on Sunday, October 19.

(9:00 am) Prayers for the People by Jay Witherspoon

O Lord God you are great, holy, and exalted above all humankind! You have been present with us since before the beginning and will be with us beyond the end – things we are unable to comprehend. You are steady, strong and unchanging – yet You chose to join the mess of humanity in this world through Jesus Christ, in order to teach us Your ways, encourage us, and give us a perfect example of justice and love. Help us remember Your unfathomable power, amazing grace, and Your ongoing presence with us through the Holy Spirit so that our hopes and expectations will remain high. Because You are always with us You experience our troubles, failings, longings, fears, sorrows and sins as well as our accomplishments, amazements, great fun, and wondrous joy – we live our whole lives and our whole hearts in Your presence, and You know our experiences even better than we do.

Because You are our Savior and our Strength we ask for Your help. We ask You to be with those of us struggling through difficulties – poor health – both physical and mental – difficult relationships, injustice, weak faith, our generally complicated and complex lives and so much more that troubles us. We ask for Your close presence in our lives to give us the patience and fortitude to learn from our experiences – both good and bad –  so that we may grow our faith in You.

We also pray for Your grand and overarching church. Of course we ask for Your guidance here at Providence as we apply our efforts in accordance with Your will and allow You the glory. We pray especially for our church leaders as we search for an Associate Pastor and Youth Director to carry this historic church into the future with Your Spirit ultimately leading the way.

Finally, help us go out into the world beyond Sunday and beyond Providence to take Your message of justice and love to others by living as a good example. Allow us to reflect a small part of Your presence in the small part of the world in which we operate.

(11:15 am) Prayers for the People by Aubrey Hill

Creator God, you hand crafted each of us, yet we feel that we need to fit into one mold and be like our neighbors. You specifically shaped the earth to make it fit all of our needs, yet we cry out that we don’t have enough, or that what we have isn’t good enough. We pray that we can embrace ourselves and that the world can accept our originality. We pray that we can live solely with what You gave us. Creator God, grant our prayer.

Holy God, you set us to the task of including everyone in the praising of your name, yet we fall short and feel awkward or claim the moment isn’t right. We know that sometimes, we cannot fulfill all of the hopes you have set for us, but we ask that you will let us keep trying and striving to be the best children we can be. We pray that worldwide, your love and mercy will be plentiful, with peoples of all nations rejoicing in your word. We pray that we can help spread your gospel and show we are Christians by the way we love. Holy God, grant our prayer.

Gracious God, despite all that you have given us, we feel the need to idolize material items and to work for a purpose other than You. We know that we can never be perfect as you are, and often we try too hard to help everyone, when we know that we cannot save everyone. We pray that all of those suffering and struggling with sickness recover and feel your presence at all times. Amidst all of the chaos in our lives as the season progresses, please grant us time to try to decipher your word and fully learn to trust you. Gracious God, grant our prayer.

Almighty God, we are very well aware that we are perfectly imperfect, but often, the imperfect portion clouds our vision. We stumble and trip when trying to see your out reached hands, even though they are right in front our faces. We are too busy worrying about school work, the next paycheck, the upcoming bills, the new world crisis, the next style, the worst boss, and how to perfectly follow you. We pray that you will reach out a bit more to wrap us in your healing embrace despite our imperfections. We pray that you will show us that we need not stress about you, for you will love us regardless of how far we stray off our your path. We pray that you will gather us as the body of Christ to pray as you taught us saying:  Our father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.  Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.  For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, forever.  Amen.