When you hear: “Lord be with us as we grow in discipleship,” please respond: “Hear our prayer.”
Oh, Holy One: The blessings of this season – the beauty of the colours, dappled light, and sounds of our footsteps rustling through the fallen leaves knows no bounds. Present in this time is our awareness of both the beauty and of the transient nature of life within it that becomes ever more evident as its final moments and days give way to death and renewal. We are struck anew by the radical changes in nature that are underfoot mirroring the changes within and around us as life continues to unfold and our need to be neither attached to that which gives us pleasure or repelled by that which causes us pain. All is changing, and we are an integral part of this cycle. May your example of trusting in the constant love of God when suffering, thriving, or dying, help us to grow more fully into people of faith marked by a deep peace within. Lord be with us as we grow in discipleship… “Hear our prayer.”
Many of us find ourselves before you as vessels full of suffering that at times seems endless: Suffering borne out of fear, sadness, pain of illness, misunderstanding, loneliness, fragile self-worth, and longing for community, justice, meaning and purpose in our lives. Be with us as we abide by your example of how to heal and live into our lives of faith through calling for forgiveness as you did for the men torturing you on the cross, through servanthood as you did when working with others to feed the masses, through the work of justice-making as you did when challenging the oppressive views of those in power, and through prayer as you did when alone in the desert. Lord be with us as we grow in discipleship… “Hear our prayer.”
Today we hold in our hearts all those who have gathered in Creston for the dedication of the Trinity United Church building and to mark the final gathering of Kootenay Presbytery as named in the Kootenay Presbytery Prayer Roster. We value their work on our behalf and commit to supporting them in active partnership as we collectively work to bring forth the new church and its way of being. Lord be with us as we grow in discipleship… “Hear our prayer.”
We also hold in our hearts the people and their struggles, hopes, and dreams in the countries of Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico named in the World Council of Churches Prayer Cycle. The peoples of these countries are overwhelmingly known for their Christian faith. May we be open to learning from them as they become the missionaries serving to renew our faith by their example of sacrifice, resistance, and leadership as land defenders to safeguard the earth and water against greed and degradation, and destruction. Lord be with us as we grow in discipleship… “Hear our prayer. We bring before our prayers spoken and unspoken. We pray deeply for the following people and for those who brought forward the concerns of their loved ones. May the power of prayer alleviate the pain of isolation and forge stronger bonds of connection through which we witness your grace: Our Bienestar partners involved in the NUC 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, and others named in our Prayer List.
As people of faith, we recommit ourselves to following your example Yahweh. We trust in your deep love for all of your creation and know within our marrow that we are infused with the holy spirit as a guiding light for all thought and deed. May the following words in Jeremiah serve as our invitation to abundant life as we go forward: Thus says the Lord: “Let not the wise one boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty one boast in her might, let not the rich one boast in his riches, but let they who boasts boast in this, that they understand and know me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.