Loving, Holy, Incarnate God,
we give you thanks and praise,
for all the ways
you make manifest your love for us
and for the whole world:
for the gift of your good creation,
refreshed with rain after a long season of dryness and drought;
for the warmth and company of kindred spirits,
in an isolating age;
for the worthy work of justice,
in a world where power-over continues to harm so many;
for your Word,
made flesh in the midst of us.
As we look forward into this new year,
and set our intentions,
and continue our journey together,
may your Word come to life in us.
May our lives make manifest
your love, healing, and grace
in and for the blessing and re-creating of the world in Christ.
We bring to you the words of our prayer,
the concerns of our hearts.
We pray for the Earth that we have damaged to the point of collapse,
for a re-setting not only of intentions, but of our whole way of living,
that we might find our way to ways that mend and sustain the planet.
We pray for an end to all systems that oppress,
particularly American systemic racism,
for an end to the ways that we participate in those systems,
and for steady intention and action
to dismantle and rebuild systems where every child can live and thrive.
We pray for our government, for more wisdom than they have shown this week,
for a spirit of cooperation and collaboration that leads to your justice,
that reshapes our nation and its policies
to tend first to the most vulnerable in our midst.
We pray for those who are unhoused, for shelter;
for those who are hungry, food;
for those who are lonely, companionship;
for those who are sick or hurting, healing;
for those who mourn, comfort.
Loving God help us set our intention to find our way to you,
through Herod’s world of power-over, violence, and death,
into the world that you continue to birth and build in Christ.
In the company of all who have every called on you,
we join our voices with their voices, praying the prayer that Jesus taught:
Our Father/Mother, who art in heaven, hallowed be 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 sins, as we forgive those who sin against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.
Photo credit: Aziz Acharki, used with permission via Unsplash