Spirit of tender mercies, your scattered Church comes together in the unity of the one Lord, one faith, and one baptism to collectively pray for the blowing rush of your Holy Spirit to descend upon us; our God, now is the time to breathe into your people and enliven us to be a living witness of Love in a world that is bleak and heartbreaking.
Our nation, one that should be celebrating the hard work of our seniors finishing their studies and marveling at humankind’s ability to shoot people into orbit, is instead mourning the deaths of those we know who have died from an invisible illness and for the unweaving of the social and moral fabric of our culture.
Holy Spirit, purify our hearts of stone with your Holy Fire. Set your Church apart and make us holy in Christ and not full of ourselves. Enable your churches to show others what it means to transcend all the -isms of our world from racism to classism, from narcissism to barbarism. Lord, fill us with your Spirit to remind us we are not victims of what the world throws at us but rather we are victors and change-agents of love, peace, patience, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Holy Spirit, wake up your Church to be what you always dreamed it to be: A beacon of love and grace. Descend upon your people, O God, and turn the lenses of our hearts back out and into our streets and neighborhoods to let us see the needs, the injustice, the violence, the brokenness, the prejudice that surrounds us. We have become so obsessed with selfies we are not able to see the face of Christ in the other in our midst. Give us your Holy Spirit’s vision to see a world that needs each of us to live and act like Jesus to one other.
We pray for the students and their parents who are graduating to a new phase of their lives. The students may not see it now but they are the solution to our world gone awry. In-Spirit them!
We pray for those who are ill and for those who are dying, in many cases alone because of the isolation COVID-19 generates. In-Spirit them!
We pray for our leaders – that politics and partisanship melts into a collegial civitas that works together for prosperity and justice for all. In-Spirit them!
We pray for those whose hearts are full of weight from their silent prayers to you as a result of a failed marriage or relationship, broken dreams with lost work, or from unspoken fears of a new diagnosis. In-Spirit them!
We pray for all those who have been victims of abuse, racism, and unjust social systems; we hold up to you our civil servants and institutions that they would serve the people with energy, imagination, purity and love. In-Spirit them!
And now hear us as we pray as your scattered but smothered in the Spirit of Christ Church, the prayer Jesus taught his followers to say as we pray –
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed by 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, the Power and the Glory forever!
So be it! Amen!