Pastoral Prayer - Palm Sunday

God of all times and places
We have awakened to a haze-filled day,
A Blanket had been thrown over the earth
Hiding the colors of creation that surround us
Making it difficult to see the very things placed before us.
Hear our prayers, O Lord, as we seek you in this light muffled world.

We pray for all the people of the world,
Knowing that you have created and endowed each of us with your image,
Where war has ravaged neighborhoods, we pray for quiet and peace;
Where leaders have lied, dictators stolen, and autocrats bullied, we pray for honesty;
Where sickness and grief have swallowed life, we pray that wounded hearts may heal;
Where isolation and bigotry have separated, we pray for reconciliation.
Creator God, this world is your world, endow us with the strength to live beyond our limitations and grant us the courage to speak and act in the best interests of the global community.

We pray for the people of this nation,
Knowing that we do not have a divine mandate to rule the world and each other,
In our time, O Lord, morality has become personal rather than corporate,
We worry about issues of marriage, when children die living on the streets and people with jobs can’t afford adequate housing and food for their families.
We tear up the environment and our neighborhoods sprawl like an oil slick caught in an ocean current.
We believe we have the right to consume resources at will, forgetting that you are the author of all things.
Lord of life, remind us that poverty, the environment, and hyper-consumerism are also moral issues, and that sometimes what is best for this nation and this world may not be what is best for me.

We pray for the people of this community,
Knowing that there is much to rejoice and grieve over,
In this day, O God, we are suspicious of one another,
We gauge motives and measure arbitrarily those who surround us, forgetting that you call us to love one another and turn the other cheek to those who would harm us.
We pray for those who make decisions in our community, guide them and enable them to put the needs of all above the needs of a few;
We pray for our church, that it would not be caught up in the fervor of what is popular, and instead live as a community of God called out to be prophets in this world.
God of patience, grant us the good sense to remember you in all of our actions and the hope to act with conviction.

We pray finally for ourselves,
Knowing that we will welcome you with palms today, and shout for your crucifixion tomorrow,
We are torn, O Lord, between our responsibility to you and our desire to be a success in this world.
We often choose to believe that you are the God of only one way, forgetting that you are the author of all possibilities,
We believe that you support one political party or one set of values, never remembering that you are above such pettiness and that you support all people,
We strive for wealth and power and influence, disregarding the witness of your son who came and lived simply, who chose the path of love over the path of control, and whose influence was in his ability to care for those that everyone else ignored.

O Lord, you are the great I Am, the lover of humanity, reach out and touch our distant hearts and renew a right Spirit within each of us. So that we might begin to live gently and walk softly upon this earth; that we might speak with conviction and live accordingly.

We ask all these things in the name of the one who taught us pray, saying…



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