Lord, We come as we are.
But how are we? Exactly?
Are we strong in faith? Or are we weak in spirit?
We pray for our Church, for the congregation and the worship leaders. We pray for our Minister, for the Elders and Sunday School teachers. We pray for the presbytry, for the synod, for all those who support the church, who make up the church. May the Holy Spirit guide them in their leadership, and may you sustain them in their toil.
Are we healthy, in mind and body? Or do we suffer illness, and pain.
We pray for the many who are in pain. For those suffering physical pain, the pain of illness. For the victims of artheritis, or osteoporosis. We pray for those with failing sight, or hearing. We pray for that you will support all those who suffer from chronic pain, and give them the strength to carry on.
We pray for those who suffer from mental illnesses. Victims not only of skitzephrenia, or depression or altzimers, but also from the prejudices that we all hold. We pray that you will be for them the unshakable rock that they might cling to, the never-failing reliance on which they can depend in their individual nightmares.
We pray for those who suffer from loss. Of family. Of Friends. Of circumstances. Grant them knowledge of your never-ending and unchangeable nature.
Specifically we pray for the mother whose children and father were murdered. And for the victims of Isabel as she ravages the U.S. And we pray for many others too numerous to list.
Lord, We come as we are.
But who are we? Exactly?
Are we the instruments of peace? Or the bringers of war?
We pray for the people of the world who are embroiled in war and conflict. For those whose countries are torn apart by violence and aggression. We pray for the many thousands of children, not only those made homeless by bombs and bullets, and not only for those who lose their families to enemy or friendly fire, but also for those many thousands of children who are forced to be soldiers themselves. They would not be allowed to drive. They would not be allowed to vote. Yet they are taught, are compelled, to kill or be killed. We pray for an end to wars, to aggression, to hatred and power and greed. We pray that children can be children, and live without fear or grief, or loss.
Are we identical clones, all looking the same, acting the same, thinking the same? Or are we all different, individually crafted by the most perfect of artists?
We pray for those who we ill-treat, because they are different. For the so-called boat-people, for the many refugees whose only crime is to seek a better, safer life in the lucky country. We pray that we might receive those who run to us for protection might receive it, instead of rejection. We pray that we might open our hearts and our country to those in need.
We pray for those of different races, of different appearenace. We pray for those with different cultures and different views. If we cannot share the same visions, or the same outlooks, may we at least learn to share the same world. Lord, We come as we are. But how do we come? Exactly?
Do we come with hearts full of forgiveness? Or full with condemnation?
We pray for those who hurt us, or those we love. For those who insult us, or steal from us. For governments who profit the rich but leave the poor to struggle. We pray for those who think only of themselves, for those who are cruel, and for those who kill.
We pray that we can find forgiveness in our hearts. We remember that forgiveness does not justify a crime, nor does it erase it. But it is the first step in our healing, and the first step to true rehabilitation. We pray very hard for the strength and spirit to forgive, as Jesus did.
Do we come embracing reconciliation? Or conflict.
We pray for those that we have hurt. For family and friends, and for those that we don’t even know, but who we have grieved. For our indigenous population, who we have made strangers in their own country. We pray that we might all grow together, as brothers and sisters, and develop the bonds of love, and trust that you expect of us. We pray that blame, and fault, and criticism and prejudice might be abandoned forever, and replaced with the spirit of reconcilliation and support that is truly the Holy Spirit.
Lord, We come as we are. But why do we come? Exactly?
Do we come to love you more? Do we come to abandon our imperfect selves, in you? Or do we come In habit? Or for the society of others?
We pray for all those with habits. For drug users, caught in a nightmare trap from which they cannot escape. For sexual offenders, out of control, driven by desires - unhealthy and unholy - unwilling, unable to resist, passengers in the vehicles of their own bodies. We pray that you might sustain them, and help them break out of the cycle of self destruction. And we pray for their victims, their families, all those touched by the by the evils of dependence and desire.
Do we come for insurance? Are we afraid of losing our ’Rating 1’? In fear of "Acts of God"? Or do we come, for, the love of God.
We pray for those who blame you for their problems. For those who place at your feet, every calamity, every inconvenience. We pray that they will be able to find the much talked-about silver lining that accompanies all tragedies. You have given us a mind, intelligence, a body, and a world to live in. You have given us choices, and guidance, and life, and hope. We pray that we might all recognise this, and take resonsibility for our own lives and the lives of others.
Lord, we come as we are.
We pray that you will bless all of your children, regardless of their appearance, of their background, their race, their sex, or their past.
And we pray, most earnestly, for those who could not come today, for any reason. We know you are always with us, we pray that we might always remember this.
In the name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.