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THE PRAYERS, October 23: 20th Sunday after Pentecost (Proper 25)

 

Genesis 4:1-15: (Cain murders Abel)

 

            ELW/RCL: Jeremiah 14:7-10, 19-22 (Condemnation of Israel for its sins, prayer for forgiveness; eliminates God’s command to not pray for them, especially the false prophets)

 

Psalm 5: (God doesn’t delight in wickedness. Spread your protection over those who love you)

 

            ELW/RCL: Psalm 84:1-7 Beauty of God’s house; blessed are God’s pilgrims!)

 

2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18: (I have fought the good fight, I have run the race)

 

Luke 18:9-17: Parable of Pharisee and tax collector; Jesus blesses children)

 

            ELW/RCL: Luke 18:9-14 (Eliminates blessing children)

 

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Let us pray in the name of Jesus to our heavenly Father for the Church, the world, and one another.

A brief silence

Father, today’s Scriptures are a mixed bag! Help us listen to them, for one of them may carry the blessing or warning we need. Remind us that everyone’s life is a “mixed bag.” Help us to listen, see, and forgive one another. Help us to pray that your Word may warn and bless us, today and forever.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Purify and guide your Church. When it is wrong, correct it. When it is divided, heal it. When it strays from your truth, lead it back to the proclamation of Jesus Christ, true God and true man, crucified and raised for the forgiveness of sin unto everlasting life.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

 

Look with kindness upon this congregation. Keep us humble and faithful. Help us to make this place a true hospital for repentant sinners, not a museum for self-proclaimed saints.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

 

Be merciful to your persecuted servants. They aren’t perfect, but they are justified by your Son’s righteousness. Let them always find shelter in your arms. Let their enemies repent and seek your mercy.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

 

As elections near, tempers flare and rhetoric gets inflamed. Breathe your Spirit of wisdom and understanding, counsel and might, knowledge and fear of the Lord into candidates and voters alike. Bring sanity and prudence to international relations, so your people across the world may enjoy a measure of peace and health.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

 

Lord, we need pastors who are zealous to speak the Gospel to those who don’t know you. We need spiritual guides and discipleship partners to walk with another believer. We need holy fire and deep love for Jesus to shine in our lives, so many may be led to faith. Make it so, dear Father! Make it so!

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

 

Bring your healing love to everyone who suffers in body, mind, or spirit, especially: {List}. Keep them in your merciful care, and bless everyone who comforts and assists them in their time of need.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Heavenly Father, we entrust our beloved dead into your care. Bring comfort and hope to all who grieve, especially those who have lost faith in you – or who never had any! Help us to bring the light and love of Jesus to them, and to everyone we meet on our earthly pilgrimage. Be merciful to us, and bless us, and bring us into the beauty and joy of your heavenly home.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

 

In the power of the Holy Spirit, we entrust our prayers and petitions into your hands, gracious Father, for the sake of your beloved Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.  AMEN.