Weekly Prayers for the Church Street Family

Week of November 23, 2022

Rev. Catherine Nance

It is the evening before ….. 

The evening before “Thanksgiving Day.” 

O God who knows us and loves us and understands what is in our hearts – even when we feel our hearts are a jumbled mess…. Hear our prayers. 

Where to start? 

We know we are to pray for the world and to pray for those who are hungry. And we do. We have given offerings for thanksgiving baskets (did I send in that $70.00, Lord?) and we helped fill boxes and bags (what was the name of that new person? She seemed shy but glad to help. Lord, help me remember her name. I hope she’ll come back to church). 

Lord, we pray for those who are hungry. We pray that all of the places who are serving meals tomorrow will have plenty and everyone who is looking for a place finds one. Thank you God for those churches and community centers who are serving turkey and dressing tomorrow. We pray that those who sit around the tables will feel blessed. Thank you for those who have signed up to help; they are angels on earth! (What day did they need help at the Soup Kitchen next month? I was going to call. Help me remember to call, O Lord!) For those who are eating in a hospital room or ICU waiting room … dear Lord, I cannot bear to think of them. Lord, have mercy. May they feel some sense of community on a lonely day.   

We give thanks for our families who will be gathering and pray for safe travels for all who are on the road. Lord, please help everyone use good judgment and be safe. (Is it possible to bless an interstate, Lord? Please watch over my loved ones on I-40. Why do people drive so fast? Dear God, please remind me to stop and get gas when I go to Kroger early in the morning) 

Be with all of us as we gather. Help us to focus on gratitude and not get into conversations about things that do not matter. Oh Lord, you have given us plenty to eat this day. (Dear God, please remind us that we do not need to talk about the difference between being a vegetarian and a vegan!) Help us welcome everyone at your table. 

Oh Lord, as we make preparations, we are mindful of the people who will not be here tomorrow. The family member who chooses not to come, the one who could not afford to travel, the one who is in rehab, the one who just started a new job …. May we not judge their reasons but remember to call later. We pray that those who are not ‘with us’ will find somewhere meaningful to be. (Or, that they find meaning this day. Oh God, my heart breaks when I think how things will be different this year. Is there something I could have done differently? How do I help? Help me know how to reach out.) 

We remember those who have died; we talk about the empty seat O God. Help us imagine loved ones at your heavenly banquet. May memories sustain us; may we not be overcome with guilt and grief but focus on this day and giving thanks for possibilities of memories for those who are here. (Lord, I am crying now; please don’t let me cry tomorrow; I do not want anyone to know how sad I am.) 

God who cares about everyone, I can hardly think about eating when I think of mamas and daddies not having their children with them this year. Those young men in Virginia, the students in Idaho, those innocent folks in Colorado Springs. (Lord, I cannot remember the other cities; but you know O Lord. I feel so guilty that I cannot call each tragedy to mind. But I pray for those mamas and daddies.) 

O Lord, it is the night before Thanksgiving Day and we hope for a beautiful and glorious day. You have heard our prayers and our rambling. Forgive us, O Lord, for our distracted thoughts. But, you know our hearts and know that what often distracts is what we need to say aloud to you. For all of your good gifts, O God, we give you thanks. For hearing ALL of our prayers and jumbled mess, and loving us still, we are most grateful. 

We pray for ….

  • A granddaughter who had knee surgery this past week in Wisconsin; prayers for healing and good rehab. Thankful for a good report from doctor!
  • A family in the death of their brother; prayers for comfort as funeral is planned for next week
  • A child in ICU at Children’s Hospital with severe head trauma; things do not look hopeful. We pray for God’s spirit to be present to all of the family in the way each needs.
  • People who suffer from extreme anxiety and other mental health issues. We pray for understanding and no judgment. Prayers for family members who are doing their best to support loved ones. 
  • Families and friends affected by hate crime and violence in Colorado Springs. We pray for LGBTQ persons and that we would welcome and include them. 
  • A niece in Los Angeles looking for a job
  • A woman who stopped by the church yesterday to ask for prayer before heading to her new job across the street. Prayers that God will calm her anxiety and help her focus on tasks at hand.
  • Families of victims killed in the shooting in Chesapeake, VA. Lord, have mercy …

We continue to pray for ….

  • Two church members who are under hospice care; giving thanks for faith in God. Thankful for supportive families
  • Those who are caregivers and those who are making difficult decisions.
  • Those who are in rehabilitation after a fall and/or surgery
  • Those who are weary with chronic illnesses and those whose bodies are ‘wearing out.’
  • A member who is dealing with depression. We pray for so many who deal with depression – who want to be at church and with family, but just cannot make that happen.

We offer prayers of thanksgiving for ….

  • A mazing volunteers this past Sunday with the Thanksgiving blitz
  • A family reunion; first time together since 2019!
  • Chemotherapy that is having positive effects
  • RETIREMENT!! Looking forward to what God has in store with new freedom of schedule. Thankful for loving co-workers who will be missed.
  • Scans that show improvement

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.