Gracious God, Your ancient and covenantal people, our Hebrew brothers and sisters, had as the center of their lives the Temple where your Son was taken as an infant...where those who had long waited in prayer recognized and made known who he was, which was Your hope, Your love, Your light and peace for the world You called into being but which had lost its way.
So, we pray, O God, for the Church in this place, that Your Son would once again be recognized by all who enter this Holy Space. May all who come here find Your welcome, Your incarnated blessing on their humanity, and when they leave, may they return to the world with fresh light ignited within and a sense of direction about the pathway they walk.
We remember and pray for all who are working for peace and honesty and justice in this world. From You, O God, comes our humanity, from You we receive the diversity of gifts which makes human life complete and interesting and joyful. Given the recognition of such generosity from You, grant each of us a sense of compassion for all, making us ready to listen and learn from each other, acts of simple blessing.
Make us eager to practice the justice of Your holiness and make us proud to be women and men rejoicing in the wonderful gifts of body, mind and spirit, all of which are hallowed by Your name. Under gird us with the strength of You holy Spirit and guide our living by teaching us how to live the prayer Your Son taught us.
Prayer from worship, February 14, 2010, by Dr. Roger Paynter. Listen to the entire sermon here.