Gracious God, Merciful God‑‑
This Sunday is Pentecost and we praise you for the gift of the Holy Spirit. We praise and bless you for the gift of Easter which had to precede Pentecost.
We also praise and bless you as the creator of our world. We thank you for the beauty and mystery of nature. We thank you that in the midst of storms, you are with us.
We praise and bless you as the merciful one. We thank you that your mercies are new every morning. We thank you that you love to extend mercy to us.
Because of your mercy we are encouraged to confess and to receive mercy. We confess our distractions from you‑‑that our lives are so filled with other things, duties and responsibilities that we forget you. Forgive us for our absorption of social media, of politics, of our anger rather than focusing on you. Have mercy on us God and help us to turn our minds and hearts to you.
We confess our meanspiritedness toward others. We confess that our hearts are too small. And having small hearts limits our abilities to see and to hear others with attentive love. We cannot see the good in others, we cannot hear their voices longing for love. Have mercy on us God and enlarge our hearts so that we may have eyes to see and ears to hear.
Gracious God, Merciful God, we thank you for your forgiveness. We thank you for your gracious and merciful heart. Because we are forgiven we are now bold to bring others to you.
God we bring before you the families grieving across the nation. God have mercy on us as our world creates young men who hate others because of their race, their religion, their sexuality. We pray for wisdom and boldness to reach out to these young men and offer them mercy, healing, and love. We watch and listen in disbelief to the stories of violence‑‑we cannot believe that humans can do these things to one another. We grieve because our country is being torn apart. Oh God, we ask‑‑in fact, we plead and implore you‑‑to breathe peace into the world. We ask for wisdom and courage for those working for justice and peace. We ask for wisdom for us in how we are to respond to these painful situations as well as how we should talk to those in power. We don’t know how to pray for our leaders but we offer them to you, trusting that you will move and act in their lives.
Holy Spirit, wind of love, we praise and bless your Merciful, Gracious name. Let us proclaim that you are our God and we are your children. We praise your holy Name. Amen.
(My earlier prayer, “Lord, have mercy” can be found here.)
Unidentified. Wonders by Their Hands, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. http://diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/act-imagelink.pl?RC=55766