Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Prayers of the People are intercessory prayers offered during worship. Intercessions are offered for the universal church, the nation, the welfare of the world, local community concerns, the suffering and those in trouble, and for those that have died.

A creative way to weave scripture into the Prayers is to break down the verse and pray after each fragment.  For example:

For God so loved the world: 
Lord, we pray today for those suffering the destruction of life and of property in the wake of Hurricane Irene.  We remember those that still suffer losses from Hurricane Katrina.  We pray for those in the city of Idaban, Nigeria, where there has been loss of life and the displacement of thousands.

That he gave is only Son:
Lord, when we remember how much you love us, help us remember to love you and our neighbor.  As we remember the great gathering in our nation's capital 48 years ago, keep ever before us that "justice must run down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream."  Let us not just dream, but let us act.

So that everyone who believes in him:
Lord, we pray today for the Christian community. We send mixed messages to those outside of the church so that when we invite people to "taste and see that the Lord is good", they often respond "no, thank you." Help us to remember to build holy relationships with those you send our way so that our lives will mirror your face, and when we say, "taste and see", they will hear Jesus himself call them into a loving relationship.

May not perish:
Lord, many in our country continue to suffer from unemployment.  Not only a financial blow, unemployment is an emotional blow that undermines self confidence and sense of worth.  Lead us to give out of our generosity to agencies that assist the un- and the under-employed.  Lead us to examine our own pattern of spending so that we can release the resources that you have given us for the work of your kingdom.

But may have eternal life:
Lord, when we gather together to worship you, remind us that the gifts of the community are represented in each person present.  Help us to remember that if one person is absent from the community, the community has lost the gift that you have given to her for the good of our community.  Make us selfish in our desire to nurture these gifts because we will suffer when he is absent.

And now, pray together the prayer Our Lord taught us, saying ....

Worship at First Baptist Church, Come and See!


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