A moment of contemplation for yourself or on behalf of others on everything from the life-altering to the mundane.


Prayer: A conversation with The Higher Other who lives within each of us. An invitation to vent, to re-think, to ask, and to rest.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Prayers of the People: Peace by Piece, 5th Sunday in the Season of Creation

for November 9, 2014 5th Sunday in SoC, Readings: Amos 5:21-24, Ps 139:1-7, The Holy Qur’an 57:1-4*, Mt 5:43-48

            Love my enemies? Maybe a question parallel to another that Jesus posed is: Who is my enemy? It seems to me that most of us don't really think of having enemies in personal terms. But we sure can name and number those we dislike intensely whether we know them or not. Among other classes, there are those who hold diametrically opposed political, religious, social views and social status whose observed intolerance makes my blood pressure rise and my head want to explode as I exhibit high levels of intolerance for their intolerance ~ OH PLEASE - do I have to LOVE them? It's easier for me to love an enemy of my country - or at least pray that they go away and do no more harm. 
            It's no wonder the Prophet Amos reports that the Lord tells us our festivals, our offerings, our sacred rituals and music are unacceptable when we show up and show off our piety in Church and then head outside of the building for the rest of the week with the same old attitudes as if putting aside the costume and mask we wore on Sunday morning. All of our good worship is nothing unless we are living the everyday life that reflects all that we pretend to be while in Church. I must consciously work on reconciling my intentions with my actions, little by little, piece by piece. Until we are loving and peaceful within ourselves reflecting the love of Christ in all we think, all we do, all we are, complacency, hatred, violence, and fear will only escalate and kill us all one way or another, if not in body, certainly in soul. I don't believe that loving my enemies has to mean standing by and allowing viciousness and injury, but I can certainly take a deep breath and genuinely act and care for those less fortunate and pray for those I do not understand lest I allow my own anger and frustration to feed the whirlwind of destruction. Oh LORD, this is the hardest thing You ask of me.


LET US, GOD’S PEOPLE, PRAY

Leader:  ~ Almighty All-Knowing God, there is not a thought, word, or act of ours that You do not see. As we offer our praise and faith-filled worship, You know how we offer You our everyday lives. Through Your Prophets and Your Son, we know that the peace of the world begins within ourselves in how we love and serve the earth and all Your people, even those we call our enemies.

                                 Holy Lord of High Expectation
RESPONSE:      Help us to let justice roll down like the waters,
                                 and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream
           
~ Almighty All-Knowing God, these are serious times of distressing political discourse, extreme fear, and increasing violence in our community and around the world. To those holding power on our planet, in our country, and our local community, even those with whom we disagree, let us give a calm, rational voice to the issues at hand as we pray especially for: add your own petitions

Holy Lord of High Expectation
Help us to let justice roll down like the waters,
                             and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream

~ Almighty All-Knowing God, grant Your peace to all those living with serious illness, pain, and uncertainty and give hope and comfort to those who offer them loving care. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

Holy Lord of High Expectation
Help us to let justice roll down like the waters,
                             and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream
                                         
~ Almighty All-Knowing God, as our hearts weep with those in mourning, let us also console them with the hope of eternal life now bestowed upon those who now live in Your light.  We pray especially for: add your own petitions

Holy Lord of High Expectation
Help us to let justice roll down like the waters,
                             and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream

~ Almighty All-Knowing God, we pause in this moment to offer You our other heartfelt intentions and petitions, silently or aloud…

Holy Lord of High Expectation
Help us to let justice roll down like the waters,
                             and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream
 
~ Almighty All-Knowing God, as with those anointed to lead us and declare Your glory before us, Your right hand holds us all fast in Your eternal presence. Press upon our spiritual leaders even more wonderful knowledge that they can impart to us as they guide our soul journeys toward You. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

Holy Lord of High Expectation
Help us to let justice roll down like the waters,
                             and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream


The Celebrant adds: Wise and Mighty, Beneficent Lord, grant us wisdom and inner peace enough, within our earnest Sunday worship of You, that we rise up in our daily lives to become a direct reflection of Your love in action. We ask this through Jesus, our Christ, and the most Holy Spirit who, together with You, reign as One God, in heaven, on earth, and beyond all time and space. Amen.


*2nd Reading - From The Holy Qur’an 57:1-4
In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. Whatever is in the heavens and the earth declares the glory of Allah, and He is the Mighty, the Wise. His is the kingdom of the heavens and the earth. He gives life and causes death; and He has power over all things. He is the First and the Last and the Ascendant over all. He is the Knower of hidden things, and He is Cognizant of all things. He it is who created the heavens and the earth in six periods, and He is firm in power. He knows that which goes deep down into the earth and that which comes forth out of it; and that which comes down from the heaven and that which goes up into it. He is with you wherever you are; and Allah sees what you do.









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