Weekly Prayers for the Church Street Family
Week of May 3, 2023
Rev. Catherine Nance
We come together in prayer this evening – knowing that is only through the power of your grace and the mystery of the Holy Spirit that we are able to commune with you and with one another. This is more than an email we clicked on, O God, (we do thank you for technology); this is a way of connecting. We heard in our scripture Sunday that the apostles devoted themselves to prayer and that contributed to the growth of the community. So, we pause here to think about people in our congregation who are praying alongside us now ….
We think of those who sit near us on the pew … we think of those who type in ‘good morning!’ on the YouTube Rejoice chat. We think of those who are not able to come to the building but who depend on these emails and prayers for connection. What a gift it is to imagine others beside us.
As we offer thanks to you for the gift of creation, we can imagine others saying, Thank you, Lord! We look at the mountains; others who pray tonight look across plains while some hear ocean waves splashing as they whisper, “Thank you, Lord, for your creation!”
As we pray collectively, we acknowledge that we have the same needs and desires — the same fears and hopes. We join in prayer with those who are struggling to find a sense of peace, a sense of community, a clear path. You know the decisions and situations we face, O Loving God. Thank you for your calming spirit. If we would simply listen to your voice assuring us we are loved and that we are precious in your sight, we would not waste our energy on worry. Forgive us when we look to you as an ‘outcomes manager,’ instead of the Source of our Being. We want to hurry up and make things perfect (or more honestly, easy or comfortable). Remind us of whose we are and how your presence gives us a steadiness for each day.
Great Physician, we pray for healing for ourselves and loved ones. We are grateful for so many advances in medical technology and pharmacology, but we become impatient or resentful when we do not ‘feel better’ right away or when a pill or procedure does not ‘fix’ everything. Help us to tend to our bodies well, O God. We are fearfully and wonderfully made! Give us patience as we heal and give us holy encouragement to make good decisions for our health. And when we have done all we can and our bodies still decline and illnesses invade, may we turn to you for solace and strength. We pray for those who struggle with pain. Make us sensitive to the hurts, the anguish, the illnesses that are usually not visible to us. We offer prayers for those who are suffering with mental illness, with shame, with hurtful relationships and other situations that are normally kept private. May we let others know that the community of believers is a safe place to say, “I need help.”
We pray for our country O Lord; we are horrified and saddened by more reports of violence; neighbors attacking neighbors; we pray for police officers and EMT personnel who must respond. Our hearts are with the communities in Henrietta, Oklahoma and Cleveland, Texas. We ache for all of those who were on Interstate 55 in Illinois and now know how life can be disrupted – or ended – in an instant. It is easy to read news stories and feel such grief or outrage, and then it fades away as we move on with our day. Let us linger for a moment and remember the ripples in community, O God. One victim of a crash is someone’s father who is someone’s friend who is someone’s teacher who is someone’s …. When tragedy is too overwhelming, may the knowledge that you are aware of all the ripples soften our hearts. May we be kinder to the people in our everyday connections. We never know how that might ripple out to others. Turn our outrage and grief into civility and respect for all people. Move us to whatever action will bring you glory. May our church offer opportunities for all people to live in harmony with one another that we might be a beacon of light and hope.
We pray for our government leaders; may they serve out of respect for humanity and obedience to you. Guide and direct them to follow your vision of community. Guide us all in the path of discipleship, so that, as you have blessed us, we may be a blessing for others. May our words and actions empowered by your love bring the promise of the kingdom near.
We pray for ….
- A niece who serves as a chaplain in a hospital; recently diagnosed with cancer. So thankful for successful surgery, but it leaves her unable to have children. Prayers for all the layers of healing …
- A family whose child has died after a long struggle; prayers for extended family and friends. Thankful for caring staff at St. Jude’s Hospital.
- A friend’s little boy with several health issues had a tracheotomy this morning. Prayers for the family – mom, dad, and younger brother – as they navigate new procedures and home health care and being a family.
- A friend whose father was killed in the ‘dust bowl’ crash on I-55 in Illinois
- Our local politicians
- Teachers as the school year winds down and students’ attentions are elsewhere!
- One of our Soup Kitchen neighbors who asked for prayer
- A 99-year old friend who had three blood clots in leg removed; prayers for healing as she looks forward to 100th birthday celebration next week!
- A member who has been diagnosed with a chronic pain ailment; praying that doctors may find effective medication
- A family who is saying goodbye to a beloved father and uncle at age 94. May his memory be for a blessing!
- The family and friends of a 55-year old daughter/mother/friend who died from cancer. Grateful to hold on to her mantra, “Faith over fear.”
We continue to pray for ….
- A young father receiving chemotherapy
- So many in our congregation who are dealing with caregiver issues for aging parents, chronically ill spouses, adult children with addiction issues …. Lord, in your mercy!
- A brother in rehab regaining his strength and balance
Prayers of thanksgiving for …
- A a son in Peachtree City who had successful surgery for colon cancer; prayers for continued healing as he moves forward with chemotherapy.
- Clear scans
- The ability to have surgery when needed
- Birth of a granddaughter and for good health!
We offer this prayer in the name of our Savior Jesus who taught us to pray saying:
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.