Lord, you have called your church, as you called Israel of old, to be your vineyard in the world, producing good fruit worthy of your character and purposes.
You have called us to be branches of the vine which is Christ, standing for what is good and true and loving in a world beset with what is bad and false and hateful.
You have called us to emulate witnesses of the past who took up their own crosses and followed Jesus with exemplary and costly fidelity.
Give us the courage, as political people, to be steady advocates for negotiation and reconciliation in a world governed by people who believe that they can only be safe and secure through confrontation and domination.
Give us the capacity, as spiritual people, to practice a kind of godly religion which brings people closer together rather than a kind of ungodly religion which drives them farther apart. May the covenant between Williamsburg Presbyterian Church and St. Bede’s Roman Catholic Church and the developing relationship between Williamsburg Presbyterian Church and the Presbyterian Church in Guatemala and the enthusiastic participation of our church with non-Presbyterians in rising against hunger and providing harbor for the homeless be a continuing testimony to the kind of religion to which we are committed.
Give us the ability, as thinking people, not to become addicted to writers and speakers who simply reinforce our most cherished opinions and make it hard for us to entertain seriously ideas which might necessitate any change of mind.
Give us, as people of self interest, a genuine concern for other people which expresses itself in earnest prayers, kind words, thoughtful deeds and generous gifts. We lift up for your loving care the loved ones of our members who have recently died and those of our members who are dealing with illnesses and injuries from which recovery is possible and those for whom it is not. We pray that you will also be a source of empathy and of reassurance to those who now are seeing death as a friend rather than an enemy.
Give us, as family people, appreciation for the winsome qualities of those we love, patience with the irksome qualities of those we love and increasing awareness of the ways in which we ourselves are an aggravation to those we love.
Dear God, before your face generations rise and pass away. You are the strength of those who labor, the rest of the blessed dead. We rejoice in the company of your saints. We remember all who have lived and died in faith, and especially those dear to us who rest in you and whom we name silently before you. . . . . Give us at length our portion with those who have trusted in you and have tried earnestly to do your holy will in a world which does not gladly welcome that. To your name, with the church on earth and the church in heaven, we ascribe all honor and glory and pray together as your Son taught us,
Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed by 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 us our debts as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen