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July 23: 8th Sunday after Pentecost (Proper 11)

 

Isaiah 44:6-8 (I am the first and last; beside me there is no god.)

Psalm 119:57-64 (I hasten to keep your commandments)

            (ELW, Psalm 86:11-17, Teach me your way; you are gracious and merciful,

slow to anger, abounding in steadfast love)

Romans 8:18-27 (Creation is in travail; we groan, but Spirit searches heart, intercedes for us)

            (ELW, Romans 8:12-25)

Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43 (Parable of the wheat and the weeds)

Let us lift our hearts, hands, and voices in prayer to God on behalf of all people.

A brief silence is kept.

 

Holy Father, thank you for stating what we ignore or forget: we’re all a weedy field! Thank you for giving us Jesus’ wise words to stand against “cancel culture” that seeks only to uproot and destroy. Thank you for his patient tending, that alone can “cancel” our sins and heal us. Thank you for your promise to gather us, from every race, tribe, and nation, as your treasured, holy, precious, and redeemed people.

Lord, in your mercy, please hear our prayer.

You are the first and the last; beside you there is no god. Make your Church faithful and persistent in telling the world that in Jesus, crucified and raised from the dead for the forgiveness of sins unto eternal life, you have revealed to us your very heart.

Lord, in your mercy, please hear our prayer.

 

Come to the aid of all who suffer scorn and violence because they name a crucified Jewish carpenter as the one, true, and only God. Grant that they bear faithful witness to that precious truth.

Lord, in your mercy, please hear our prayer.

 

We confess that our congregation is sown with weeds as well as wheat. Forgive us. Deal mercifully with us. By the grace of your Spirit, help us to bear one another’s faults with patience and gentleness. Remind us that you alone will make us pure, holy, and good, by conforming us to your dear Son.

Lord, in your mercy, please hear our prayer.

We pray for our enemies – especially those who hate us because of our faith in Jesus. We pray for all who deny and despise him. We pray for all who do not know him, or who only know a shriveled, distorted image of him. Soften their hearts; enlighten their minds; and fill them with your Spirit, so they may repent and believe in the Good News.

Lord, in your mercy, please hear our prayer.

We know there are no perfect rulers or programs – only sinful people in a fallen and death-shadowed world. Therefore, we groan in travail, pleading that you would free us from bondage and futility. We cry out for redemption and righteousness; for healing and wholeness; and for your Sabbath rest, your Shalom. Until then, make us humble, gentle, and wise; and heal the evil we have caused.

Lord, in your mercy, please hear our prayer.

Your Son’s parable counseled letting weeds and wheat grow together. Yet for the sake of your people, we must stem the spread of deadly weeds: violence, injustice, and hatred. Therefore, we plead on behalf of those in the military, police, security, intelligence, and first response. Give them wisdom, integrity, and honor, so that by their labors, those they serve may have a measure of justice and safety.

Lord, in your mercy, please hear our prayer.

Sickness, sorrow, and adversity take root in every life. We cannot uproot them all, yet we know you desire abundant life for your servants. And so, we are bold to pray for everyone who suffers, including: {List}. Heal and encourage them. In your good time, complete in them and in us all, the full and perfect healing that you have promised in Christ Jesus.

Lord, in your mercy, please hear our prayer.

We thank you, heavenly Father, for those who have gone before us and are at rest in you. Teach us to pray confidently for each other, knowing that you have made us your children. Teach us to care for each other, knowing that you will prosper your handiwork in us. Gather us to yourself as your rich and fruitful harvest in Jesus, so that with all your forgiven sinners, we may abide with you forever.

Lord, in your mercy, please hear our prayer.

Hear our prayers, dear Father, as they touch your heart through the Spirit who searches our hearts. For the sake of your beloved Son, answer them as may be best for us and give you glory. Amen.