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A Call to Prayer

March 26, 2012

The following was read from the communion table as our community gathered for prayer on Sunday. The prayer that follows was posted on the LiturgyLink and was included as part of our prayers.

A little more than a month ago, a young man named Trayvon Martin was shot dead in Florida by a self-appointed neighborhood watch captain in Florida. He was unarmed, holding only an ice tea and a bag of skittles. And he was black. The man who shot him was armed, following him, and claims self-defense. He has not yet been charged with a crime. This most of us know. I wrote about it this week on my blog and in a local paper.

Do you also know about the 33 year old Iraqi woman who died in California yesterday? She was found severely beaten with a note left beside which read “go back to your own country.”

We live with, and permit, an unacceptable level of violence and anger in our society and in ourselves.

We live with, and foster, a level of fear and suspicion that is killing us.

We live with an enduring legacy of racism.

May the future be different because of how we respond to God today.

LET US PRAY:

God, your faithful love surrounds us,
and we give you thanks
for the gift of life, and the gift of new life,
and for the many ways you sustain and nurture us.

We come before you this day,
some of us tired and hungry,
looking for your word to sustain us,
your spirit to comfort us.
some of us come bruised and sore,
looking for healing,
longing for wholeness.
some of us come despairing,
wondering what has happened
and where the joy of life has gone.
some of us come with heavy hearts,
praying for young people harmed by those who should protect,
praying for those who look different and so are suspect,
praying for a world on edge, tense with fear and hate and violence.
We come, looking for good news in the midst of the world’s bad news.
We come, seeking forgiveness for our wrongs,
seeking to know your presence when we feel so alone,
seeking to know your heart and will for a world with so much need.
In the silence, we offer you our prayers, and we listen for yours.

Let your grace rain down on us, O God.
May we be surrounded by your love, your peace, your hope.
Open our eyes and our hearts to see you in unexpected places,
guide our hands to show your love.
You are a God of surprises,
a God of peace, a God of hope,
a God of love.
Fill us with your spirit, that we may widen the circle until all the world knows your grace.

We pray these and all things in the name of Christ, who taught us to pray together…

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