This morning at Middle Church I offered the Prayers of the People, perhaps the greatest and most frightening honor a minister could have. Here’s the words we prayed, with “hear our prayer” as a congregational response.

God, we gather this morning, here in this physical and digital sanctuary, in need of hope and healing, grace and peace, for ourselves and for our world. Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

With turmoil and anxiety on our shoulders, both from our immediate life and in the world around us, we need you now and everyday. Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer. 

We hold on to hope, knowing you are always with us, as close as the air in our lungs and the beating of our heart. Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Give us comfort in our time of grief, give us healing in our time of dis-ease, give us rest in our time of exhaustion, give us hope in our time of despair, give us love in our time of animosity. Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

For the times when we miss the mark, forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. For the times when we find ourselves crossing a line we should not have, forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. For the times when we fail to repay, forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

God, we pray for ourselves, our families, and our friends. We pray for our city, our nation, and our world. We pray for our loved ones and for our enemies. We pray for all those who are oppressed and all those who are oppressors. God, we pray for your love and justice, your grace and peace, your reign and your way to be here and now among us. Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.