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Prayer from Worship, May 18

Several members complimented me on the pastoral prayer offered at worship last Sunday. It was taken from the United Methodist Book of Worship, page 494. I chose this prayer specifically for that day, since our theme was "Making Sense of the Old Testament." This prayer not only shares wonderful imagery about God; it directly quotes God (from Genesis 2 & 4), and speaks to the Old Testament understanding of God that is not largely discussed today: that God is a God of justice and mercy, and that as followers of God we ought to embody those traits.

Creator God, breathing your own life into our being,
you gave us the gift of life.
You placed us on this earth with its minerals and waters,
flowers and fruits, living creatures of grace and beauty.
You gave us care of the earth.
Today you call us: "Where are you? What have you done?"

Silent prayer for creation.

We hide in utter shame, for we are naked.
We violate the earth and plunder it.
We refuse to share the earth's resources.
We seek to own what is not ours, but yours.
Forgive us, Creator God, and reconcile us to your creation.

O God of Love, you gave us the gift of peoples--
of cultures, races, and colors--
to love, to care for, to share our lives with.
Today you ask us: "Where is your brother, your sister?"

Silent prayer for others.

We hide ourselves in shame and fear.
Poverty, hunger, hatred, and war rule the earth.
The refugees, the oppressed, and the voiceless cry out to you.
Forgive us, O God of Love,
and reconcile us to yourself and to one another.
Teach us, O Creator God of Love,
that the earth and all its fullness is yours,
the world and those who dwell in it.
Call us yet again to safeguard the gift of life. Amen.

What does the prayer say to you? How is your understanding of God changed or impacted? What call on your life is evident?

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