May 31 Prayer concerns

Church of Christ, scattered and exiled in our homes, we trust the Spirit to unite us wherever we are in one prayer.

Let us pray for our church: we offer thanks for the support of our Regional Minister, Rev. Jill Graham, and for our Southern New England UCC Conference, during this time of wilderness wandering. We pray for our congregation and its appointed leaders as we seek a way to celebrate together as one Body of Christ even as we preserve the health of especially our most vulnerable members. May the Spirit make us creative!

I ask for prayers for the members I talked with and visited this week. They face painful family issues, concerns about the wellbeing of family and pets, you’re your guidance, O God, in how to serve your church. They also are finding strength and resilience from their faith in You, for which we give thanks and praise.

O God, we pray for our nation in turmoil. We pray out of grief for George Floyd’s death, and pray for all victims of racial iniquity; may we all be liberated from it. We pray for our leaders to hear and bring healing to this crisis. We also grieve the state of our world in which raw anger and a thirst for violence seek to exploit every opportunity. O God, show these wayward souls—some of them white anarchists, some reportedly even white supremacists—the utter futility of their ways.

O God, we pray for one another in this pandemic time. Some of us are working overtime, or are anxious for our businesses, as we try to keep our workers employed. We give thanks that most of us have been spared infection, and some of those we were concerned about have recovered.

But we focus our prayers this week on a new friend that this crisis brought to us, Margery Tipton, who cannot normally make it to church. Margery and her husband Bob lost his Aunt Louise Laudisi Rebar (90), very dear to both of them, to covid-19; Louise’s son Richard Rebar died at 66 of the virus while she was ill, but she couldn’t be told. The funeral is today in New Jersey, but will be restricted; Margery and Bob cannot attend. Margery asks for prayers also for Arlene Rebar Stiffler and the whole family.

May our prayers also expand to include all families grieving from covid-19, their grief often stifled by lockdown restrictions. Hear their cries, O God, and receive their tears.

On this Pentecost Sunday, we pray to God by the power of Christ’s Spirit working in us: for the refreshment faith has brought us, for the comforts of your good creation that we see in nature and in friendship and loved ones; but also for the great thirst we all feel. We pray for the living water of Christ to flow into our hearts: flowing like the mighty waters of justice; healing our grief like the balm of Gilead; sustaining us with comfort and quiet and peace. Gather these waters in our heart, Lord Christ, for us who believe in you. And then let them flow from our hearts to sustain and witness your peace and goodness to others. In this way make all our prayers circle around to the prayer you taught us: Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive our debts as we forgive our debtors. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory for ever. Amen.