PASTORAL PRAYER

God of compassion and mercy, we gather before you on this first Sabbath of a new month.  As we stand before Christ’s Table, we are reminded of the extent of your love for us; we are reminded how you continues to give and give and give again to your sons and daughters through your Spirit.  We give thanks for your presence among us this day and whenever we call upon your name in our need.  As you abide with us, so you call the church of your Son to abide with others in their need through deeds of compassion, love, and justice.  When our biases cause us to hesitate in our responding, touch our ears, hearts, and minds, and speak the words, “Be opened,” to our spirit.  Change our hearts, O God, make us ever true.  Change our hearts, O God, may we be like you. (“Change My Heart O God”  CCLI#991857)

     On this Labor Day weekend, we give thanks for those who stood up and spoke out for safe working conditions and fair wages for employees.  We give thanks for our employment at our current job or vocation.  We are grateful in our retirement for benefits received while working.  We pray for stability in our fragile economy and for an end to a terrible virus made worse by our inability to cooperate with our neighbors.     Finally we lift our world that is in dire need of healing and wholeness.  Every day there seems to be more disasters, more devastation and more death.  So many people are displaced and in dire need of help.  We are overwhelmed.  As September 11th rolls around, we feel also the shadow of the 20th anniversary of the terrorist’s attacks looming over us and we are taken back to that day.  Now as then we turn to the heavens, from whence our help comes, and we sing the prayer that cries out from our being.  “Our Father, who art in heaven.