Church got snowed out on Sunday, but this is what was on my mind this week.
With all our heart and with all our mind, let us pray to the Lord.
We pray for this congregation—for our pastors and staff; for elders and deacons, for teachers and volunteers. For all of us who yearn to be faithful, who sense the promise of something more than a life of striving: shape us to live as your beloved, renewed and whole.
We pray for leaders in our nation and in the world: Renew in each the solemn desire to uphold the common good, work in their hearts to provoke the same desire of Solomon—an “understanding mind to govern your people, that [they] may discern between good and evil.” Shape us to elicit a nobler course from them; shape us for harmony; shape us for justice.
We pray for those who are affected by the shutdown—for those who are wondering how they will pay their bills, for those who don’t know how to plan for the future. Shape us to meet their needs.
We give thanks for the snow—for the ways it inspires joy, for the way it quiets the world for a moment, for the ways it makes us see with new eyes. Shape us for wonder and gratitude, and to protect the world you made for us.
Today we pray especially for those who despair, whether from circumstances, from physical or mental illness. Today we specially lift up those who are suicidal. Please, God of mercy, give them hope. Please, God of compassion, find them in their suffering and bind up their wounds. Shape us to love them in the ways they need most.
We pray for those who grieve — for lost opportunities, for lost hope, for lost love, for lost loved ones. Remind each of us who grieve that you are near to the brokenhearted. Shape us all to walk and weep with our brothers and sisters in pain.
Hear these prayers and our longings too deep for words. Shape us to offer even those to you, trusting in your tenderness and mercy.