Pastoral Prayer

Third Sunday in Lent

We thank you, God, for all the blessings of life:
The air we breathe, fresh, clean water to drink,
the food on our table, and the roof over our heads.
We pray for those whose air is dirtied
and who do not have access to clean water,
even as we pray for the grace
to share our food with the hungry,
and to help provide homes for the homeless.

We thank you, God, for the blessing of health
and our access to the best healthcare known to humanity.
Yet we pray for the millions who are sick:
May your Holy Spirit be to them
a Spirit of healing and strength; and for the many millions more
whose access to healthcare is limited or nonexistent:
May we strive for equal rights for all your children.

We thank you, God, for freedom,
and all those who sacrificed that we may enjoy it.
And yet even as we thank you for our own freedom,
we do so in a land that imprisons more of its people than any other,
and whose children are held hostage
by the fear of the weaponry of which we boast.
Help us to see our hypocrisy, free us from a lust for revenge,
and help us to respond positively
to policies that educate and rehabilitate
instead of punishing and incarcerating.

And finally, O God, we thank you for your church and our place in it.
Give us grace to offer one another Christ,
and empower us by your Spirit to offer Christ to the world around us,
that in all that we say and do, Christ may be lifted up.

These things we pray in the Name of Jesus Christ our Sovereign,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, both now and forever. Amen.
—©2018 Sam L. Greening, Jr.