PASTORAL PRAYER

 O Lord our teacher, on this Sabbath morning, we come before you in the fullness of who we are.  In an attitude of worship, we incline our ears to your teaching about discipleship in the story of Martha and Mary, and we look to your life’s example as our model.  There were times in your service to God and the kingdom when you were vocal, active and on the move.  You were teaching, healing, debating with the establishment, crossing barriers, and changing lives.   By your Spirit, help us to live out our love of God and neighbor in concrete and tangible ways when that is what is called for.  Other times, you sought solitude to be alone with God in prayer, and you listened for a word of guidance and direction from your Father in heaven.  By your Spirit, help us also to tune into the still speaking voice of God when that too is what is called for and needed.  On any given day, we pray for wisdom to discern what is the better part and for courage to respond accordingly.  

     O Lord, we are a world full of people who are worried and distracted by so many things.  Viruses, poxes, inflation, fires, drought, guns, war, court rulings… consume our focus and energy.   We are stressed and weary and out of balance with God, ourselves, our neighbors, and our whole world.  For ourselves and our neighbors in all places, we pray for the indwelling of your Spirit to help us turn our focus back to seeking first the kingdom of God and God’s righteousness and allowing everything else to fall into place.  To that end, we join with others of your disciples in praying, “Our Father, who art in heaven…   

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