Pastoral Prayer Sunday June 19: Orlando, LGBTQ, Church, Father’s Day

God of grace in you we have everything.  Everything that makes us breathe, that makes us live, that makes us love, that makes us want, that makes us desire, that makes us musical, that makes us full, that makes us thrive in human relationship and community.  And so we offer you these gifts in that knowledge, as the one from whom and in whom we have all  and are sustained in everything.  Receive our gifts as an act of sacrifice and love, and use them we pray to bless others within these walls and without; within this city and without;  within this country and without.  For the money we give that goes to Presbyterian Sharing Presbyterian Sharing to Presbyterian World Service and Development and from there to page the wage of program directors or pastors or educators in Africa, Eastern Europe or Asia, or the money that goes to the Acts Alliance and continues to help rebuild Haiti, or the money that goes to ministries for the First Peoples of Canada to grow and strengthen leadership and faith

— for all these uses and more, we ask O God that you may multiply, bless and change lives through the weekly and monthly sacrifice of the giving we offer to you.

This week O God, we pray for the people of Orlando, our society and ourselves.  For those who mourn, please bless and uphold them.  For those who were injured and for those connected to the injurer, we ask your mercy and healing.  For a combination of history, policy, ideology, fear, aggression, illness and fighting that has led to a society where citizens can buy and own incredibly powerful machine guns, we pray for a sea change of mindset and peacefulness.  And Lord, we also pray for the hate spread against people that call themselves Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, or Queer.  And Lord, we confess that the Christian church and our society, in the history time and in our time, have not spread a message of positive human value, unconditional of all other things.  We remember with sadness the late, great Sir Alan Turing, persecuted and treated very badly by a state precisely because of sexuality.  We remember also countries around the world where people can be put in prison or even put to death.

And Lord, we confess that in the church, there has been and there is fear in the area of sexuality.  That there has been hate on a personal level, even though we know your Son, our Lord, died on the cross once for all and every person.  And so Lord, challenge us, shape us, draw us and all people deeper into the life of Jesus Christ, where we ourselves are fully loved, fully known and fully blessed.  And may that blessing override violence and hate in our hearts, in our cities, in our world, and redeem and transform every broken part, starting with us today.

Lord above, hear us as we pray for the Canada Youth 2016 conference in July.  Guide and bless those who organize and the youth from Central who are going to join 500 other young Christian Presbyterians from across Canada.  May lives be built up in the faith of Jesus Christ and relationships of helpfulness and mutuality begin there and grow and last long.

We also pray for our new Director of Discipleship,  Melissa Kuipers, who will focus especially on children, youth and young families, and support the deepening of our Christian faith in this church.

And today we thank you, O God, for our fathers, and for all those men who have been examples to us of character, strength in life and faith.  We thank you for the good words spoken, for the eyes our of hopefulness with which our fathers have seen us, for the resources physical and emotional that they pour into their children, and grandchildren, for their hard work, for their commitment, for their dedication, for not giving up on families or their children when times were the hardest.  And for those O God, who have or have had strained relationships with parents or loved ones, and where grudges and injuries remain unhealed, we ask, O God, for a miracle of renewing, sustaining and resurrection in Jesus Christ in those places and people, and in us.  Grant, O God, that we may walk in the good example of those fathers and men who have lead us, and in the footsteps of Jesus, our truest friend and brother, who teaches us to pray together saying:

3 thoughts on “Pastoral Prayer Sunday June 19: Orlando, LGBTQ, Church, Father’s Day

  1. Thank you for this very powerful prayer Greg. Homophobia, misogyny and bigotry are all in our midst. I pray for softer, kinder thoughts and Christian beliefs in all of us.

  2. Thank you Greg….a wonderful prayer, powerful, all encompassing, and most “thought and heart provoking”. I will read it regularly. Thank you.

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