Weekly Prayers for the Church Street Family

Week of May 23, 2021

Written by Rev. Catherine Clark Nance

O Holy Spirit of God – we thank you for Pentecost, and in this season, we are privileged to claim and celebrate the birth of your church. But we know your Spirit has been calling us into community from the beginning. Your Spirit, your breath, breathed life into all of creation; and has been made known in the voice of the prophets, calling our communities to exhibit justice and righteousness and compassion.

Your Spirit is revealed to us in the life and teaching of Jesus Christ, who welcomed the stranger and told us to love one another. We see the power of your Spirit on Easter morning and as Jesus ascended into heaven. When, O God, have we ever been away from your Spirit? The psalmist declares that you are always present.

Poets and songwriters and mystics and preachers have named you in countless ways: Liberating Spirit, Comforter, Wind and Flame, Spirit of Peace, Sacred Breath, Laughter, Mysterious Dancer, Pure Fountain, Holy Wisdom.

You have given us the gift of language to make sense of our world and to communicate and to draw your people together. Forgive us when our language attempts to contrive or constrain you. Forgive us when we name you in only the way that is comfortable and convenient for us. Forgive us when our language divides and alienates.

It is our prayer, Refining Fire of God, that we would open our ears and hear how you are prompting and leading and restoring us. And as we recall the story of Pentecost and the disciples understanding other languages, we are mindful of all the languages you hear as you listen to your world praying. We know that your Holy Spirit connects us to Palestinian and Israeli families who are grieving; families in Afghanistan are not just foreigners or people far away, but your Spirit enables us to hear the sorrow of parents and to pray for their comfort. Your Reconciling Spirit opens our hearts to all – in any country – who are dying from Covid.

Abiding Spirit, as you remain close to each of your suffering and frightened children, and as you know each one by name, draw near to your friends in the Church Street community who also call upon you in these trying times.  Speak each name, we pray, as you send forth your swirls of healing into their midst:

  • Husband in fifth month of Covid struggles
  • Four church families grieving deaths of loved ones this week
  • Anxious brother awaiting pathology report
  • Relief for one plagued by hip ailment
  • Peace for husband in hospice care
  • Comfort & healing for two in lymphoma treatment
  • Calm and peace for a mother facing extensive surgery
  • Beloved brother suffering from cancer
  • Dear friend recovering from back surgery
  • Continued healing of husband with rare cancer
  • Delivery of two from the pain of depression
  • A cure for two struggling with serious anemia
  • Ongoing healing for two recovering from knee surgery
  • Steady healing of shoulder injury
  • Continued good health for a cherished pet

And to these petitions we add our praises for your mercy and grace:

  • One who expresses renewed joy in living
  • Couple celebrating a new pregnancy
  • Husband thankful for a new job
  • Gratitude: friend recovers from ruptured appendix
  • Grateful for prayers: pregnant cousin is recovering from Covid and her unborn child remains healthy
  • Thankful for baptism of infant son on Sunday
  • Young couple celebrate their recent engagement
  • Gratitude: no cancer found following father’s lung surgery
  • Four families grateful for recent days of vacation
  • Declining numbers of new Covid cases in our area
  • One in PT regaining strength after leg injury
  • Astonishing work of our UMW & mission teams
  • Member thankful for improvement of cancer scans

Continue to open our ears, Spirit of Truth, that we might hear how you desire to shape us, rather than our words shaping how we allow you to fit into our hearts. May your wind and fire cause us to hear you and experience you in new ways. And now we join with other Christians all around the world who offer the prayer our Savior taught us:

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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