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When you hear: “Lord be with us,” please respond: “Lord hear our prayer.”

Dearest God:  We are struck by the call in the scriptures to be humble, to be always seeking your path of service, kindness, compassion, and forgiveness recognizing that our good deeds, thoughts, and aspirations can be hollow in your eyes.

Time and again you remind us that it is the least among us, the most rejected in this world that will be first at your banquet.  We anguish over how in our righteousness, good work, ignorance, and social comforts we miss or at times reject outright the cries of the poor of status. 

We are brought to our knees by the image of a little Syrian boy drowned on the shores of Turkey and yet can find ourselves hardened of heart when the Indigenous peoples of Canada insist on us hearing and making reparations for the suffering of thousands upon thousands of  Indigenous children at residential schools which went on for decades and that continues to wreak havoc in the lives of their people down through the generations.  To hear the hateful words of unfettered racism spoken by Canadian nurses to Joyce Echaquan, a young Indigenous woman as she lay dying is to know that racism runs deep in our country.  Lord be with us…     Lord hear our prayer.

As disciples of Jesus Christ, we experience in our relationship with you hope and comfort and at the same time we know thanks to scripture, that our discipleship is also about service, humility, compassion, and striving in the deepest recesses of our own hearts to name and transform our limitations. Hear us Lord as we humbly ask for forgiveness for our role in the death of that little Syrian boy and countless other refugees; for our role in the racist words spoken by the nurses to Joyce Echaquan before her death. Lord be with us…     Lord hear our prayer.

While praying and reflecting upon the chaos in our world today we know that while we are oppressor at times, we are also the oppressed who suffer greatly as the powers that be damage this world we love, ignore those whose suffering we carry, and exploit our commitment to nonviolence as we work to bring about peace with justice. 

We give thanks and pray for the congregation of St. Mary’s Anglican and United pastoral charge in Sorrento as part of our Pacific Mountain regional prayer cycle.  We celebrate their offering of community and fellowship which has given rise to Christian witness over the years.

We pray for the people of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Panama as part of the Ecumenical Prayer Cycle and give thanks for their steadfast commitment and leadership as base Christian communities grounded in the liberating gospel, the sainthood of Oscar Romero, and their efforts to be stewards of the land.  We pray for them as they struggle with gang violence brought on by poverty and the insatiable appetite for drugs in the north, and deal with the trauma of migration to the United States and the separation of families. Lord be with us…     Lord hear our prayer.

Close to home, we pray for our Bienestar partners involved in our outreach project in Guatemala and 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 named in our Prayer List, whose concerns have been entrusted to us…    …The blessings of this season – the beauty of the colours, dappled light, and sounds of our footsteps rustling through the fallen leaves seem to know no bounds.  As we struggle with the pain, sadness and injustices in our world, we are also buoyed up by the beauty and the grace found in the cycles of life which becomes ever more evident as fall moves forward in preparation for winter. 

As we recommit today to serving God, we vow to be a source of love and hope, to refrain from shame and blame; to neither be attached to that which gives us pleasure or repelled by that which causes us pain.  May your constant offer of love God help us to grow more fully into people of faith marked by a deep desire to serve and peace within. Lord be with us…     Lord hear our prayer.

Amen!

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