1. (Source unknown)
In peace with God and with one another, let us offer to God our hearts desires and our concerns for our world and ourselves. Let us pray.
To you, O giver of joy, we praise you that in the fullness of time you came to be with us and to give us hope, peace and the joy of eternal life. We thank you that in Mary you found one who would willingly give over control of her life, trusting in you, for the sake of your love of us. We rejoice that we have received grace upon grace in the giving of your Son Jesus Christ to be our Savior. Forgive us for our frequent unwillingness to let your joy spring to life in our midst, and the self-centeredness that has kept us from revealing in the fullness of your joy. Refashion us that we might recognize the greatness of your gift, and to release the joy that you have planted deeply within us in creation and in our baptism. Because you have made us for joy, Lord, we are burdened to see a world that is limp and joyless. As trouble, oppression, grief and sorrow pervades our world, the joy of life seems to fade from our sight. Yet, we have been called by you to entrust our world’s needs, and our own, to your safekeeping, trusting that you, in your right time, will bring to fruition your promise of redemption. Inspire us to trust you more, and to joyfully bring to our world the news of your presence in our midst. We pray for all your children in their need. To those who are fearful and oppressed, give freedom; to those who are hungry and homeless, give help; to those who are lonely and grieving, give your peace; and to those who are sick, give healing and hope. As we give thanks for the life of _________, and for all your saints who rest in peace with you, we offer to you our lives afresh. Make us to walk in your paths of righteousness and peace, and fill us with joy, as we pray in Christ’s name.
2. (Source unknown)
Eternal God, you have shown your glory to the nations in the coming of Christ. Guide the church that you have gathered on earth, preserve it in faith, that it may grow in witness and service to the world. Strengthen and uphold our pastors and leaders that they may faithfully strengthen and uphold the church, and help us all to faithfully join in partnership with you to do your work according to your will and example in Jesus. Increase our faithfulness to you and bless us with new friends in our midst to share in the joy of discipleship. Increase the faith and understanding of those whose faith in you is new. Give to all in baptism a new birth as your children, and give us grace to nurture them in faith and in the communion of your saints. Lord, you created humanity with a longing to know you, to be in fellowship with you and to have peace in you. Grant that, in spite of hurtful things that stand in their way, they may find in the unity of fellowship in Christ the tokens of your love and mercy, and grow to acknowledge you as God and Savior. You, O Lord, are the champion of the poor, the oppressed, the lost and the lonely. Guide those in leadership toward the commonwealth of your justice, that in peace and freedom all may share in the goodness of your creation, and work with you in caring for it and for your creatures. You are the one who gives strength to the weary and new courage to the disheartened. Hear the prayers of all who call on you that they may have joy in finding you ever present to help… Hear the prayers of your people, O God, for we lift them all to you in the name and Spirit of your Christ.
3 (Source unknown)
O gracious and loving God, we come to you recognizing the wonders of life that you have given us. As winter falls around us, we pray that you will warm our hearts to your will and guidance in all of life, that we may truly live as your people, continually working for the reign of your kingdom on earth. Hear our prayers, O God, this day for all who are absent from us. Hear our concerns and hopes for them and all your people. Touch their lives with your grace that they may find healing, and peace, and love. May your Spirit touch us to ever reach out to them and to those around us that all may feel your generous love in their lives. Hear our prayers for your world. May we see the beauty of creation and work for your peace throughout the world. These and all our prayers we lift to you in the name and Spirit of our life-giving Lord, Jesus Christ.
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