Weekly Prayers for the Church Street Family

Week of February 14, 2024

Written by Steve Richardson

God in heaven and in our midst, source of agape love, in your graciousness hear our prayers. 

The ancient writer said you created us in your image, God. Even though we might question what that means about your physical appearance, we’re confident about one trait of your image: You, the God of love, infused in each of us the innate ability to love. Jesus affirmed this in his straightforward command: “Love one another.”  He never would have told us this so succinctly if we were not capable of doing so.  

So, Lord, help us learn ways to better reflect this facet of your sacred image. Sometimes it is hard to love, especially when our self-interests take over. Other times, it’s easy to just step aside, taking no initiative at all when love is needed. Forgive us, God, when we fail to live as people imitating your image of love. Accept our repentance, particularly on this Ash Wednesday. Through your merciful compassion, revive us with new hope and energy to be ever-more obedient to Jesus’ charge: “Love one another.” 

Also as Jesus taught, we plea that your kingdom comes, that your will is done, among us on this Earth as you have already done in heaven. Sometimes we casually presume that only you can make this happen. Help us acknowledge that we, too, have roles and purposes in your kingdom coming. Again, keep us mindful that Jesus told us how: “Love one another.” 

Yet circumstances of suffering and strife do exist that are out of our control. For these we pray with faith and hope that you instill peace in war-torn and conflict-laden areas; heal the physical and mental illnesses beyond scientists’ abilities to remedy; reveal passages for moving forward to people experiencing loss, separation and grief; rehabilitate lands shattered by natural disasters; restore social justice and equity for all your children; rouse mutual self-respect among all people; and lead all humankind to accept and adhere to the way of living espoused by our Savior: “Love one another.”    

Thank you for Church Street United Methodist Church, our base for our journeys through the Lenten season. Thank you for the wisdom and spiritual insights shared by members’ and pastors’ Lenten devotions. Thank you for clergy, staff, teachers and volunteers who forge paths for growth, learning, mission, fellowship and transformation. Thank you for reawakening our minds and hearts to your clear call: “Love one another.”      

Merciful God, please hear these needs and prayers of others in our church community. Surround each person with your loving embrace and comfort… 

We pray for ….

  • Our clergy and staff as they lead us through this Lenten Season.
  • For dear friends; a husband who is in ICU with infection and other concerns, and for his wife
  • One who continues to grieve for her husband while dealing with some family tensions
  • Comfort for those who grieve …. Many funerals this past week, this weekend, and next week
  • Victims of Israeli-Hamas war
  • Loved ones who are transitioning from ‘home alone’ to ‘assisted living’ 
  • Those for whom Valentine’s is a difficult day
  • The family of the deputy in Maryville and all affected by gun violence

We give thanks for ….

  • The birth of a baby boy!
  • The opportunity to provide an educational opportunity for our Holston Hispanic Ministry Team
  • Sunshine that lifts our spirits!
  • The one-hundredth birthday of a dear church member and friend!

We continue to pray for ……

  • Caregivers who feel they are alone.
  • A member who has brain tumor; may she feel God’s comfort and healing presence
  • Children who were recently hospitalized; prayers for continued strength and healing
  • Our youth and young adults who carry so much inside

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.