Pastoral Prayer for 22 August 2021

[After prayer concerns are spoken aloud, and a silence is kept]

For the week that is behind us,
    we thank you, O loving Creator.
For our peaceful town, for smiling faces,
    for unhurried encounters on the sidewalk or in the store,
        we are grateful.
For our nation and our church,
    clean water to drink and food on our table,
        we are grateful.
We thank you for our health and for the health of those in our household.
And we thank you for the faith that brings us joy when we are together
    and gives us hope when we are apart.

Forbid it, Lord, that in our thankfulness,
    we forget those who do not share our blessings.
As we are made aware of people
    whose communities have been destroyed by earthquake,
        or whose homes are threatened
            by wildfire or rising water 
                or hurricane-strength winds:
May our faith remind us to lift them up to you in prayer,
        and may our prayers change us from people who look on helplessly
            to people who are willing to act and to give,
    that our blessings might be transformed
        into gifts of the living water of the Spirit, 
            and the living bread of the Christ.

As we remember the people of Afghanistan and Haïti,
        of California and New England,
    we also pray for people here and around the world
        who are still dealing with a pandemic.
Help all of us to act responsibly—not in our own interests,
    but in the interests of our communities and schools.
And help us not hoard preventative and healing resources
    for ourselves alone, but to reach out to a world in need.

All of this we pray in the Name of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord,
    who with you and the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns, God forevermore.