These prayers were adapted from prayers written by Neil Paynter and guests at the Iona Abbey in Scotland.
Dear God, we listen for your voice, your sound like sheer silence… in the words of the Bible stories, in the cries of the poor, in the testimony of saints, in the warnings of prophets, in the questions of children and young people, in everyday conversations with our neighbours, in words unsaid,
in the movement of breath.
O Source of our being, sometimes your voice may not be a voice at all. Thank you for speaking in the sound of the sea, in the wind in the trees, in the rustle of leaves and the sweep of a cleaning brush, in the laughter and debate of birds in the early morning. Help us to sense you in the smell of grass after a rain, in the colours of the sea, in the tang of salt spray, in the touch of a stranger. For your presence among and with us, we are grateful.
For the peoples of the world with our diversity and colourfulness, with our unique ways, we are grateful. We are mindful today of the people who call Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger home and we ask your blessing on the whole earth, that we know a renewed hope of kinship. We are also mindful of our Bienestar partners involved in the Nelson United Church outreach project in Guatemala, our brothers & sisters at Nyanyadzi Methodist Church in Zimbabwe, Peacemakers and peacekeepers, health care workers, teachers, engineers and the many who serve throughout the world through many organizations.
Thinking of those situations in our world in need of attention, justice, love and compassion, we pray for kin who have been affected by the tragedy and violence in El Paso, Dayton, Toronto, Northern Manitoba and BC, Kashmir, Hungary, and so many parts of the world. We pray for LGBTQ+ people facing persecution in many countries. May we come together to find new paths of reconciliation and togetherness.
In our own United Church circles, we pray for Chown Memorial-Chinese United Church, Christ Church Gabriola Shared Ministry, Cliff Avenue United Church, Cloverdale United Church and Colebrook United Church named in our Pacific-Mountain Region prayer roster.
And closer to home, we pray for all who are in our hearts and name: Deby Wood, Penny Allard, Selemawit and her family, Carol White, Jim Button, Ross Smith, Richie Hearn, Betty Pengelly, Katherine Czesak, Candise Wilkins, Shelby Gielen, Esther and Jannie Jansen, RJ Warren and his family, Duff Franklin, Glenda Hyatt, Evelyn Cartlidge, Jennifer Beauregard, Grace Baines, Jon Marshall and family, Kathleen Clough, Marg Ironstand, Jessie Hamilton, Michael Graham, Henny Cherenko, Maureen Feeshback, Janet Turner, the family and friends of Mary Madill and others we name…. You know the concerns that weigh upon us, O Compassionate One; hear our prayers, those we’ve spoken aloud and those spoken quietly in the silence of our hearts. Bless the world with peace and hope. And with affirmation, we say, “May it be so.” AMEN.