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THE PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH

4th Sunday in Lent, Cycle C (March 31, 2019)

 

 For the Church, the world, and our poor sinful selves, let us pray to our Lord, who is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.

A brief silence

Dearest heavenly Father, thank you for forgiving, welcoming, and restoring us, even when we have foolishly squandered your great gifts and turned away from you! Thank you for your Holy Spirit, who brings us “to our right minds” and helps us repent. Thank you for your Son. He guides us to your embrace; he gives his Body and Blood as the homecoming feast; he clothes us with his own righteousness; and he places the signet-ring of his Sonship upon our hand. We give you thanks, Father, not as we ought, but as we are able.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

 

Make your Church faithful in proclaiming both your Law and Gospel. Make it lovely with holiness, gentle in rebuke, warmhearted in reconciliation, and generous in welcoming all whom you have led to repent.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Help this congregation to pray for, seek out, and forgive anyone who has wronged us. Give us patience, hope, graciousness, and humility. Make this a place where those who are estranged from us, and from you, may return and be reconciled.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

We pray for families torn apart by sin, squabbling, and selfishness. Heal them; return each person “to their right minds.” Deliver them from the pigsty of foolish pride and the far country of hostility. Take away whatever resentment and hurt stands in the way of healing and reunion.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

 

Forgive those who, though entrusted with the great gifts of authority, power, and influence, have squandered them and used them foolishly. Give wisdom, integrity, and prudence to our elected and appointed leaders; to those in the military and first responders; to those entrusted with the education of our children and the welfare of our most vulnerable neighbors. And teach us to live at peace with one another, despite our differences!

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Bring healing, hope, and wholeness to everyone who suffers – especially: {List}. Bring them back from the far country of pain, sorrow, or despair. Restore them to the fellowship of all who love them, and increase their joyful trust in you.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

 

Father, you have welcomed so many prodigals into your Kingdom already, including many whom we have loved in this life! Thank you for your forgiving and loving embrace. Keep our eyes firmly fixed on the road home to you. Deliver us from the pig sty of our stubborn pride. Soften our hearts to help our fellow prodigals along the way. Lavish your Holy Spirit upon us, so that we constantly strive to live in faith toward you and in fervent love for one another. And, at the last, welcome us to the homecoming feast you have prepared by the prodigality of your dear Son’s great love for us, the wayward sisters and brothers he has redeemed to live in your house forever.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Hear us, dear Lord; and answer our prayers according to your will, to your glory and for the benefit of the people you long to save.

Amen.