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God of Grace and Glory, We give you thanks for the privilege to come before you today in prayer. We ask your blessings on the many troubled places in the world: where war and natural disaster, poverty and injustice have caused pain and suffering. Bless the people of Syria as they grieve their tremendous loss and struggle to find shelter and new places to call home. Give them strength for today and hope for tomorrow. Guide and direct the aid workers who deliver the concern of the whole world to those afflicted. Lord, we pray you will be active in our political process as we continue the long path of choosing a president. Give each of the candidates wisdom and compassion to lead our nation in paths of justice and peace. We pray your presence in our schools as a new year begins. Give strength and patience to our teachers and open and eager minds to our students. And Lord, we ask you to be with those in this congregation who are struggling with illness of the body or mind, and those who are experiencing the loss of loved ones. Let them feel your presence in their lives with the sure knowledge that they are not alone. As you have nurtured and protected this congregation for almost 250 years, we ask that you continue to watch over us. Help us make decisions for our church that will reflect your faithful love for all your children. We pray all this in the name of Jesus Christ who taught us to pray: 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 and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
Gracious and loving Father, we come to you this morning so very thankful for the opportunity to gather here for the beauty of this changing season, for the love and comfort of our families and friends, and for the many blessings we receive each day. Even though, deep down we know how blessed we are, there are times when we feel so troubled with loneliness, sickness, grief, financial crisis, or countless other burdens, that we may not feel so “blessed.” Help us feel your strength and comfort in these moments, and give us your guidance in ways that we can aid others who are suffering. And then…there is unrest and darkness in so many parts of our world. There are so many lives being needlessly lost, families torn apart, and children whose childhoods are being stolen by the ravages of war and terrorism. We pray for peace. And lastly, may we be strong, and follow your path each day, remembering as our Psalm today taught us…”the Lord will always watch over the path of the righteous.” Knowing that, let us pray the prayer he taught us by 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 and the power and the glory forever. Amen.