Weekly Prayers for the Church Street Family

Week of November 22, 2023

Rev. Catherine Nance

God is great; God is good. Let us thank God for our food. Amen. 

We learned this prayer at an early age, O God. Eyes closed, head bowed, hands folded. We were not even sure who ‘God’ was, but we knew we were supposed to say this before we ate. 

We thank you for children’s prayer books and Sunday School teachers who later explained that it was you, O God, who made corn to grow and who gave the farmers strength to harvest the land. As we have grown in years and wisdom (hopefully) we understand that you are the Source of Life. We also know you care for each person who has a hand in preparing our Thanksgiving meal this weekend … farmers, migrant workers, truck drivers, warehouse employees, scientists, nutritionists, restaurant owners and workers, chefs, grocery store owners and workers and stockers …. 

Thank you, God who knows each name, for inviting each of us into your love. When we pause to say God is great, may our gratitude open our hearts even more to receive your love and your vision for your world. 

We pray fervently for peace; we pray for those leaders who are negotiating a break in the fighting for release of hostages. We pray fervently for those who have opportunity to gather in conversation and find ways to live alongside one another. We pray with tearful hearts for children, babies, that they might know safety and comfort. God is great, God is good. O Lord, we do believe that! May your spirit move in the hearts of angry and bitter leaders so that they might bring healing to their communities. 

God is great; God is good. We know so many who are praying for healing. We pray that they would know your peace first of all. We pray that they would trust that you desire wholeness for them and are working in and with others. We thank you for doctors and health care professionals who take the time to listen to us and hear about what ails us.  

God is great; God is good. Even for folks who are grieving this holiday, may they trust even in grief they know that love does not end. We hurt so much when a loved one dies; thank you for understanding that hurt and not asking us to pretend otherwise.  

God is great; God is good. We are grateful for opportunities to feed others in our community. We pray for all who are worried about food this season. Forgive us when we assume that ‘there is plenty of food,’ also means that distribution is possible. Help our agencies and ministries work together to ensure that all have enough to eat. 

God is great; God is good. Thank you for the relationships we hold dear. 

We pray for ….

  • A sister-in-law whose melanoma has returned; prayers for her as she meets with oncologist next week
  • A ninety-year old husband (childhood pastor of a member) is caring for his wife who has had Alzheimer’s for five years. She has now been diagnosed with Lewy-Body Dementia. Prayers for them both; but especially him as he struggles to care for her.
  • Friends who are going through difficult times
  • A member being transported back home after lengthy hospital stay out of town; prayers for strength as she goes through rehab
  • A friend who just learned of cancer diagnosis
  • A friend who is undergoing an alternative treatment for aggressive cancer
  • All of the victims of war; praying for peace
  • Prayers for a break in fighting so hostages can be released
  • For a neighbor in Vestal whose daughter died suddenly
  • For those who are struggling as the holidays approach

We offer prayers of thanksgiving for …

  • Those who funded, packed, and delivered Thanksgiving boxes
  • Devoted volunteers, Stephen Ministers, Parish Health Ministry Team, and Congregational Care members who stay in touch with church members
  • Family being able to come over the weekend
  • Clear scans at least doctor’s visit

Thank you for this church and for all the saints who join us in praying, Our Father, who art in heaven … 

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.