Weekly Prayers for the Church Street Family

Week of February 8, 2023

Rev. Catherine Nance

Over eleven thousand dead … 

We close our eyes to pray about the world but we cannot even fathom eleven-thousand people. 

But you know, O Lord; you know each one. Thankful for your tenderheartedness, we look at the map, find Syria and Turkey, touch the outline of the borders and pray. Praying reminds us you are the creator of all. 

We pray for rescue workers, for children who are now orphans, for parents looking for children. We pray for those who are in charge of clearing the debris, for the agencies trying to get relief to the people. We pray for those who are thirsty to find water. For those who are inconsolable to find some rest. For those who are in shock to find something to hold on to. 

We hold on to the miracle stories … a baby born under the rubble and taken to medical personnel … a teenage boy slowly pulled out from between two slabs of concrete … the sound of a voice after hours of drilling through debris. There is life! There is hope! There is light! 

These miracles do not diminish the devastation but they offer hope. A baby’s cry calls up compassion from people around the world. The determination of a few rescue workers crouched for hours inspires us to persevere.  

Over eleven-thousand dead and the count will go higher. We cannot begin to count that many people, O Lord. But, we can count one. Then two. Then one more. 

Help us to see the people in our own community, O God. There are many who feel like they are being buried by social earthquakes. Safety nets and agencies that once offered help are crumbling. Transgender teens, adults with HIV, neighbors with addictions … may we see them and hear them calling out for help. Help us take the time to see one. Then one more. Then two. Our children. Our nephews and nieces. Our neighbors. Your children. 

We thank you that you have created us in such a way that we hurt when others hurt; that we can imagine what it is like to be someone else. You have made us in your image, O God. A disaster on the other side of the world can shake us loose from our fears and prejudices and prompt us truly to pray for one another. We pray for those who feel trapped and for those who feel forgotten – here, there, and everywhere. May we crouch down in prayer; may we persevere in prayer. Perhaps, being empowered by prayer we can offer hope, light, life! 

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer. 

We pray for…

  • The family and friends of a special friend of downtown nonprofits and downtown neighbors who died this past week.
  • A young couple spending two weeks in Guatemala on mission trip; prayers for their safety and health as well as prayers for the people they are serving
  • A friend who has had many changes in her life recently; especially for the new job she started this week
  • A member beginning radiation treatments this week at Vanderbilt; prayers for healing and for prayers for his young family
  • The people of Turkey and Syria
  • People affected by the train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio
  • Families who are grieving
  • A member waiting on results of medical tests
  • A family who is grieving the death of one who held them all together

We continue to pray for… 

  • Those who are in rehab after surgery or stroke or illness
  • Those who are battling addictions
  • High school juniors and seniors who are under pressure to make decisions
  • A couple wanting to have a child
  • Members who have been recently diagnosed with chronic illnesses; seeking support and treatment

We offer prayers of Thanksgiving for… 

  • A beautiful funeral that celebrated a good friend
  • A meaningful confirmation retreat
  • For rescue workers
  • For those who feel a call to ministry
  • Family
  • A new grandson!
  • A sister who received special recognition for her years of work
  • Doctors who listen and take time

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.

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