God, I’m praying for the things that crowd into calendars and schedules and to-do lists. Why do we feel that it all has to be done right now? Help us to see the tyranny of the urgent and to overthrow that power with simple accession to the priorities you have set: Love for our neighbor, fellowship with our friends, and the full experience of the nurturing presence of our loved ones. Grant us eyes to see and ears to hear. In the name of Christ. Amen.
God, as darkness falls, the songs of the night begin. Some are singing through clenched teeth, cursing their physical pain. Others are singing songs of mourning and weeping. Still others are singing for bravado, alone in the night and terrified of what might transpire in the dark. The long hours of darkness pass slowly for those who cry out in their time of need. Grant them rest. Grant them slumber. Grant that the pain of their hearts and souls will abate for the duration of their sleep. And when the morning comes, let the light of your love wash over them, recreating their hope and awakening them to your dreams for their lives. We ask it in the name of Christ. Amen.
God, my heart breaks, longing to see once again the man who taught me so much. Like me, so many are missing their fathers. Some have entered rest, awaiting resurrection. Some are present but unavailable or unable to function as parent or friend. Others have simply walked away, estranged to friends and family alike. Comfort us in our loss. And give pause to those who still have Dads to hug, that we all might appreciate what they have. In the name of the Christ we ask it. Amen.
God, hospitals tonight are filled with the sick, the injured, and the dying. Let your healing mercies fall upon them. For those whose lives are coming to a close, comfort them with the hope of the resurrection. Let those who are returning home to rest and convalesce remind us that our health is a gift to be used for our good and your glory. In Christ’s name we ask it. Amen.
God, I’m proud tonight. My son has returned home after a week of helping out at camp. He has seen Christ in his experiences of developmentally disabled youth, and I pray that have seen Christ as well through the love shown by counselors and leaders and staff. Grant that we might all see the world without the artifice of complexity we so often bring. Let our joy be genuine. Let our love be plain — and wasteful. And let our faces hurt from smiling so hard for so long. In Christ’s name we ask it. Amen.
God, you created Sabbath to renew and recreate us. In each day there is a chance to sleep and be renewed. After much work, we are ready for rest. Teach us your rhythms that our minds and bodies might be refreshed as our spirits have been renewed. In the new day, may our work glorify you. We ask it in the name of the Christ. Amen.
God, our desire to do good sometimes gets in the way of the good you are doing. We send one thing when people need another. We ignore the request to fulfill our own expectations. We do what we want to do to make ourselves feel good instead of to make others lives easier. Give us ears to hear and hearts ready to serve actual needs rather than our own desire to get something done. Bless those in pain and grief tonight. As the recovery begins, let the Christ in us respond to real, felt needs. We serve in his stead. We fall down at his feet. We pray in his name. Amen.
God, your children are crying in the night, fearful of the storm. Many of these are among our smallest and youngest. Give us wisdom and courage to speak hope to them as the thunder rolls and the lightning flashes. Comfort those whose grief outweighs their fears tonight. And remind us that Christ can calm the storm, but just as often, he is content to walk through the storm to be with us. We pray gratefully in his name. Amen.
God, give us strength to show compassion to those who suffer in the aftermath of storm. Raise up a kindred spirit within us as we respond to disaster. Give us wisdom to explain your desire is to spare and not to harm. Silence those confused men and women who mistake the power of your creation for your wrath. Above all, bless those who lost much. Guard and heal those who suffer; draw near to the dying. And those for whom the hour of death has come and gone, welcome them into your presence, preparing them for resurrection and reunion for us all. In Christ’s name I ask it. Amen.
God, we cry out for your Holy Spirit, but we fear the change it will bring. We crave your forgiveness, but we are often slow to share it with our enemies. We call for your kingdom, but we so often beg off when the whistle blows and sacrifices are called for. How do you stand our double-mindedness? For your patience, tonight and every night, I give thanks. May tonight bring rest that we may rise to greet the challenges of the new day. I ask it for the sake of the Christ. Amen.