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April 5, 2014

PRAYERS for SPRING


 Jim Winkler, President and General Secretary 
of the National Council of Churches



In this season when new life is emerging from cold and darkness, when the promise of Easter sings in our hearts as well as our churches, we give thanks for the overwhelming evidence of your Holy Spirit. For good friends, the laughter of children, the memories of aging compatriots, and the dreams of youth, we praise your Holy Name.


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O God, the One who goes before and behind, the One who is for us and yet foreign to us, Maker of heaven and earth, creator of sea and sky, convener of day and night, we give thanks for your ordered gift of life to us. We are unworthy, yet your grace is apparent and abounding.

We give thanks for the rhythms that sustain and assure us, for days to work and nights to rest, days to control and nights to yield. Most of all, we give thanks for the forgiveness that curbs our anxieties and fears, for the assurance that we are not alone, that we do not have to live by our own power and cleverness.

Newness is all around us, but we often neither see it nor perceive it. Because we are so mired in the past, we cannot accept the gifts of grace and strength that you so freely offer. So, listen to our feeble cries of gratitude and hope.

In this season when new life is emerging from cold and darkness, when the promise of Easter sings in our hearts as well as our churches, we give thanks for the overwhelming evidence of your Holy Spirit. For good friends, the laughter of children, the memories of aging compatriots, and the dreams of youth, we praise your Holy Name.

We give thanks for all we have and are, knowing that words are never enough, that we must respond to such unmerited grace by trusting Thy will and living faithfully; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
II Healing, sovereign God, we pray in the midst of mudslides that take lives and livelihoods, that bury hopes along with homes. We pray in a time when our easy answers about politics and other people become laden with questions and doubts. We yield to thy will the pride that has falsely sustained us for so long.

Hear—and answer our prayers—as we bring to Thee the mysteries as well as the miracles. We confess that we do not trust and we find You uneasy to trust. We pray for those who live in the midst of disaster and disease, trouble and turmoil, pain and penury.

O God, give all those who suffer the assurance that enables them to live with hope as well as habit, with intercessions from all who love them. Come to them in silence as well as absence. We place in Thy loving care those who need Thee even more than we: some we love are dying and for them we ask divine peace; some we love are divorcing and for them we ask renewal if not reconciliation; some we love are angry and hurt and for them we ask assurance of providential grace.

Whatever the needs of those for whom we pray, we give them to Thee and rely on your divine will; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

III And for ourselves, O God, we pray in a minor key. We are those who pray with halting words and mixed motives. We are those who often pray more from desperation than gratitude. We are those who cry for mercy more often than we pray for others. But You are the One who hears nonetheless.

We have so many worries and apprehensions and fears—anchor us in thy grace.

We live with broken relationships and cherished grudges—help us forgive and help us to seek forgiveness. The journey has been long and there are still more turns in life’s road—hold our hand and guide our feet as we go through every valley and detour.

O God, destroy what is evil in us and incline our hearts toward your love and will and grace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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