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You are the One, O God, to whom each of us is ultimately responsible. We came from you at birth. We return to you at death. We belong to you in life. In Jesus Christ you have redeemed us from sin and called us to live day by day as he lived, loving you with heart, mind and will and our neighbors as ourselves. We earnestly pray that you will enable us to do that with increasing consistency in order that we may have in life the joy which you intend and that life for others may be brighter and better because of their contact with us.
We pray today for the church which we have entered by baptism here in this place or in churches to which we have previously belonged. You called us together to be a model on earth of that perfect community which exists with you in heaven and to be an instrument of your justice and compassion in the world. You know how inconsistently we fulfill that calling, but you know that we aspire to greater faithfulness, and we pray that you will help us to meet our aspirations. Shape us, here in this congregation, into a community of mutual support and effective outreach which you want us to be.
Make us attentive to those close by who have special needs this day. We lift up to you for comfort and healing members of the Fiske, Silver and Patten families who have lost loved ones.
Make us attentive, as well, to those distant from us upon whom catastrophe has fallen. Surround with your grace and peace all who have been directly affected by earthquake in Mexico; by wind and water in Puerto Rico, Texas and Florida; by gunfire in Las Vegas; and by raging fire in Northern California. By your Spirit lift those who have fallen and be an eternal refuge to those who will not rise again in this life. Give stamina and success to all who are working day and night to rescue and rebuild. Give generous hands to those of us who seek to support their efforts from afar.
We pray for the world which you created, which you love and in which you are continuously at work independent of your church. Worldly powers exist with your permission and will ultimately succeed to the degree that they serve your design for human life and society. Grant that the governor and legislator of our commonwealth may discern and serve your purposes. Grant that the president and congress and courts of this country may lead us in paths of justice and righteousness for your name’s sake and for our well being. Grant that leaders of all nations may be thwarted to the extent that their purposes are narrow and self-serving and may thrive to the extent that they contribute to the building of a more just and stable global community.
Lord of our lives, Lord of the church, Lord of the world, we commit ourselves and the earth to your loving care in the name of Jesus Christ your Son; and together we pray the prayer which he left 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 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.
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