This is a slightly expanded version of the Common Prayer I offered in worship at Pinnacle Presbyterian on November 9. It was our Commitment Sunday, when members are invited to bring their pledges of financial and spiritual commitment for 2015. It was also a moment to recognize all that is being heard in the news, in the U.S. and all over the world. And it was the week of Veterans Day, coming up. It was also the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. It was the week after an American election. It’s a sweeping prayer, from and for a full heart.
Holy One of all time and all people, let us turn to you in prayer.
Let us bring all of life into this moment, to give it to you:
the world in which we live;
the land we call home;
the communities we value;
the church we care about;
the families or relationships we depend on;
the bodies, and health, we cherish and want to preserve;
the hearts we give to you.
Let us pray for our world:
For West Africa and so many places where cries for mercy, and healing, come forth.
Inspire those who will help.
Protect the orphans and all those left without care.
Let no one die alone.
As so much of the Middle East seems to collapse, as Jerusalem tears apart, as we are reminded of how volatile all the world seems to be and how vulnerable all people are,
we ask that our eyes be opened—
with honesty and fairness,
with accuracy and truthfulness,
with insight and courage,
with both realism and hope.
Let us never lose hope.
For even as we remember 25 years ago this day, when the Berlin Wall came down, that things can change in a moment.
Let us never lose hope.
Let us think of our land:
As political leaders shift and change,
secure us in your values—deeper than our arguments.
Give us courage to respect each other.
Put an urge in us for true service over power or personal gain.
Let us think of our faith:
As life can seem so complicated,
let us find clarity in vision before comfort,
let us see our own sin before we see others’,
let us be open to your future before we plan our own.
Teach us to listen—
to your word and your Spirit,
to the strangers along our path,
to neighbors you bring into view,
to enemies you call us to love,
to loved ones you call us to protect,
to our inner voice when it echoes the timber of yours.
Let us see pain, but live in joy.
Let us accept life, but strive for more.
Let us embrace the moment, but live for eternity.
Let us love each other, but cling to you.
Let us be your people—
each person here, each family here, this church—here.
Let us be your people.