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As we prepare for the prayers of the faithful, let us take a moment now to settle deep into our chairs, lengthen our spines, loosen our eyes & jaw, drop our shoulders, open our hands, and become that much more aware of the spaces within us…   when you hear: Lord be with us, please respond, “Lord hear our prayer.

In this time of slumber of the earth essential for the growth to come, we recognize the value of slowing down and making time for a greater stillness within ourselves that compliments the environment surrounding us.  We trust in the cycles of life and the church, and our relationship with God knowing that much is taking place unbeknownst to the naked eye, both beneath the ground and within us that is vital for our sustenance.  Hold us, Yahweh, as we venture deeper yet into the unknown of prayer, time alone, time of stillness.  Be with us to mark the way.  Lord be with us...  Lord hear our prayer.

We consciously call forth all that we are grateful for:  the lengthening of the days as imperceptible as it is at this time; the technology that connects us with our loved ones near and far; the Covid vaccines and access to them;  the support and kindness of others when we are feeling frightened, in pain, lonely, and hope is diminished; the beauty of a naked tree, bird in flight, full moon at night, and glimpses of sun through the clouds.  Help us to practice gratitude with intention. Lord be with us...  Lord hear our prayer.

And as we pray, we ask for your blessing, guiding light, healing touch, and comforting presence for the congregation of St. David’s by the Lake Anglican/United Church in Celista, BC; for the people of Egypt, Jordan, Israel, Palestine, and Lebanon; for those who we name aloud or hold tenderly within our hearts; and for Our Bienestar partners involved in our 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.  All affected by COVID-19, whether in body, mind or spirit & LGBTQ2SIA+ people who are persecuted in many countries.  The future of our environment; protecting and respecting this gift of creation.  We also pray for those who are named in our Prayer List, whose concerns have been entrusted to us…   …As John brought forth the good news, so too do we commit to being disciples of Jesus through our prayer, words, actions, and commitment to walk humbly, love fully, tend to the vulnerable, and trust in our God with all of our heart and our soul.  With the beginning of the new year, lengthening of the days, and in anticipation of God’s grace, we go forth…

Amen.

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