Weekly Prayers for the Church Street Family

Week of January 17, 2024

Written by Rev. Catherine Nance*

O Loving God of all Creation, we look out over the snow and think, “How beautiful!” Others think, “Oh no!” as medical procedures are put on hold. Children exclaim, “YIPPEE!” while parents and grandparents sigh, “another day.” For some it has brought a much needed respite; for others, more work. For some, there has been the joy of baking and for others there have been pangs of hunger as the usual places to get a meal are shut off. Some are having COVID flashbacks as we ‘work from home’ on ZOOM.  

Whatever our circumstance, O God, we thank you for the brightness and whiteness reflecting from the snow. Thie light reminds us we are in Epiphany! O God of Epiphany, we need YOUR light! We remember the words of Isaiah just a few weeks ago: “Arise, shine; for your light has come!” We think of those whose loneliness or circumstances cover them in darkness; loved ones we wish to help but the darkness seems impenetrable.  

May we trust in your Light. 

As a star rose high into the nighttime sky to draw the nations to the Christ-child; send your blessing, O God, on this nation, and every nation, and draw the whole world to your peace and truth. We pray for your children in Israel and in Gaza. We pray that your light shines in the minds and reasoning of those in power. 

May we trust in your Light.  

As John the Baptist guided throngs of people to the edge of the wilderness and baptized Jesus in the River Jordan, we pray that you would guide our country and our leaders to the ways of justice and righteousness. We have just celebrated Martin Luther King Day but know we have so much left to do.  

May we trust in your Light to guide us, O God. 

As Jesus called his disciples to leave their nets and boats, and follow him, we pray that your spirit would give us courage to set aside the things that hinder our discipleship. We pray for your light to clarify the things we need to leave behind – relationships, dependencies, additions, longings that do not reflect your will. Help us to leave our nets on the shore and leave those things that seemed essential before we heard the call, so that we might travel the road you have put before us.  

May we trust your Light to lead us, O God.  

Lord Jesus, Light of the World, hear our prayers, and make us reflections of your Light, that the places of darkness in our world, in our community, and in our relationships, would be pierced by your Light, and that all would be drawn to you and be overwhelmed with joy.  

We pray for ….

  • A sister who is anemic and for her doctor who is trying to find the cause.
  • Patience and guidance as one helps her brothers on family farm 
  • All people and animals who do not have shelter during this freezing winter
  • Someone who is asking for God’s will to be made clear to him. Wants to move beyond identity as “survivor” or “victim” into what God is desiring for him.
  • A friend who is a missionary in the Philippines; particularly in the Davao City area. Concerns arising from floods and earthquakes
  • For those who are serving in the military; particularly those engaged in the Red Sea. Praying for safety and that resources can be delivered to those in need.
  • Those who are homeless
  • For school children for whom ‘snow days’ are difficult because of situations at home.
  • For all in our church who are dealing with cancer
  • A dear friend who is grieving the death of her husband.

We continue to pray for ….

  • A couple trying to make good decisions about boundaries and friendships
  • A member’s son who is having intestinal/abdominal issues; hoping to get diagnosis and treatment soon
  • An individual who requests prayers for many concerns including depression and sleep disorder; prayers for peace and healing in body and family. 
  • Those who are adapting to being home after being in rehab for extended stay
  • Those who are looking for meaningful employment
  • Young adults studying abroad

We offer prayers of thanksgiving for ….

  • The birth of a healthy baby boy!
  • Family and friends who are there to help when needed
  • Vestal UMC, Magnolia UMC, and Cokesbury UMC working with the Office of Housing Stability and government agencies to provide warming shelters
  • Family Promise volunteers
  • Aneighbor who stopped by to check on us

We offer this in the name of Jesus Christ who taught us to pray …. 

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.

*A portion of this prayer is adapted from one written Rev, Rick Morley, an Episcopal priest, who lives in New Jersey.