I’ll be preaching in a small country church tomorrow – country as you can only get there via gravel road, small as in maybe 50 total members with an average worship attendance of 15 or 20. I’ve met a few of them in person and talked to two others on the phone (the organist and the one printing the bulletin). In other words, I don’t know them so the pastoral prayer will be somewhat generic. But it’s the Sunday before Thanksgiving and gratitude is never out of season. Please join me in prayer.
Turning to God in prayer, I invite you to take a slow, deep breath. In the silence, count your blessings and give thanks. (silence)
Creator of Life, Giver of all good gifts, having paused to count our blessings, we are amazed. Thank-you.
Thank-you for the breath of life, the gift of birthdays, and for all who bear your image – the people around us, neighbors and strangers, nearby and far away; infants and children; teens and young adults; those in the middle years of life; and those living their last days.
Thank-you for family and friends, for partners and encouragers in life’s journey.
Thank-you for love and laughter and even the tears that remind us of the most important thing: we are all beloved – beloved by others, beloved by you.
Thank-you for land and sunshine and rain, for orchards and gardens and grain.
Thank-you for providing all that we need – food and drink, clothing and shelter, music and art, poetry and prose, rest and play and so much more.
Thank-you for the curious and the brave, for the imaginative and the practical, for hard workers and gentle spirits, for all who make your world – this earth – a good place to call home.
We are grateful to trust you with the concerns of our hearts and so we pray
for the people on the prayer chain…
for all dealing physical and mental illness and for those who love them…
for refugees fleeing for their lives, for immigrants seeking to survive, for individuals everywhere dreaming of a way to thrive…
for communities reeling from disaster – wildfire and tornado, flood and famine, hurricane and earthquake…
Holy One, send healing, send hope, send wisdom. Use us as answers to our prayers.
We ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.