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Prayers of the Church, 4th Sunday after Pentecost – June 28, 2020

Let us pray for the Church, the world, and for one another.

A brief silence is kept.

Father, you pay us the dubious compliment of revealing stern, high, difficult truths to us. You expect us to see the world honestly, and to value your truth above even earthly peace. You speak to us of sin and death, cross bearing and persecution, suffering and service. Give us a double measure of your Spirit as we seek to be disciples of Jesus, because, dear Lord, we’re going to need it!

Lord, in your mercy, please hear our prayer.

Give the Church courage to speak your truth, even when that seems to bring not peace but a sword. Keep it faithful to the testimony of apostles and martyrs, saints, and doctors of your one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church throughout all time and space. Grant that it should prefer nothing whatsoever to Christ; and that it should count as its greatest honor the bearing of his Cross in this sin-shadowed world.

Lord, in your mercy, please hear our prayer.

Preserve the lives of your persecuted servants from those who despise your Law. When they must bear a bitter cross, keep them faithful, firmly fixed on the joy set before them. Give us courage to defend and assist them. Give us grace to faithfully serve the Lord for whom they are willing to die.

Lord, in your mercy, please hear our prayer.

Bless the people and ministries of this congregation. In these strange and difficult days, give us fresh ways of being nourished in your Word and strengthened in our fellowship. We ask a special blessing upon all Vacation Bible School programs, especially as their leaders strive to create fellowship and fun even while socially distancing.

Lord, in your mercy, please hear our prayer.

Even in the lazy days of summer, you call us to be Jesus’ apprentices in the art and craft of healing souls, enlightening minds, and softening hearts to receive your great gifts. Bless and guide everyone learning to be disciples of Jesus, walking with him as he seeks the hurting and lost.

Lord, in your mercy, please hear our prayer.

We pray for our own nation, and for our elected and appointed leaders. Yet we do not pray only for our nation, but for the leaders and people of every nation upon earth. Bless our world with peace, and with freedom from every evil which besets it. Teach us all to live together as your children, and to work together for the prospering of all.

Lord, in your mercy, please hear our prayer.

Keep safe those in the military, and all on the front lines of chaos, danger and disease. Prosper all they do that is in accordance with your will. Give them clear heads, capable hands, and upright spirits. Bring them safely home when their task is done, and heal those who are injured in any way.

Lord, in your mercy, please hear our prayer.

We pray on behalf of your servants who suffer in body, mind, spirit, or circumstance, and for all who crave your mercy and blessing, especially: {List}. Restore them to health, wholeness, and hope. Help us to give even a cup of cold water for the sake of our Lord and his love for them. Bless all caregivers, doctors, nurses, technicians, and therapists with compassionate expertise and cheerful service.

Lord, in your mercy, please hear our prayer.

With reverence and affection, we remember before you our beloved dead. Comfort all who grieve. Help us care for each other for Jesus’ sake: forgiving, helping, chiding, or encouraging, as there is need. Help us speak hard truths with humility and love. Give us grace to take up our cross and follow Jesus, knowing that he will lead us through danger, evil, and death, and will bring us home to you forever.

Lord, in your mercy, please hear our prayer.

All this we ask, dear Father, in the power of your Spirit. Receive our prayers and grant all that is in accordance with your will, for the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.