If you have adapted one of these pastoral prayers or written some of your own would you be willing to share them with other pastors? Just Send them to me and I'll post them here to help other pastors. keith.drury@indwes.edu


Sunday, December 21, 2008

Pastoral Prayer by James Benedict

Pastoral Prayer by James Benedict

In the morning when we rise and in the night when we lay down, and in all the moments in between, O Lord, you are there. In the night while we sleep, or toss and turn in anxiety, even then, O Lord, you are there. You are waiting for us to turn to you. You are waiting for us to look for you. You are waiting for us to make time for you, to pay attention to you, to take time to attend to our relationship with you. Far too often we are too busy.God, you call us to be still. We confess that this is difficult for us. We prefer to be active. We prefer to be busy. We prefer to be surrounded by activity and noise. Silence unsettles us. Solitudes intimidates us. Reflection rattles us. So we seek diversions and welcome distractions. We fill our schedules to overflowing.And yet . . . and yet . . . deep within us, there is a hunger that grows and grows. A hunger for silence. A hunger for solitude. A hunger for time to reflect. A hunger for you, God. And the busier we get, the more this hunger grows. We feel it – an ache, an emptiness.Grant us, O God, the strength of will to feed our hunger, to step away, even when there are other demands on our time. Shield us from the temptation to put off our prayers and postpone our time for reflection. Drive away the fears that make us shrink back from silence. Teach us how to be still and know you.We pray this day for the sick. Show us how to provide good care for them in whatever ways we can. Bless their doctors and nurses with both skill and compassion. Bless their families and loved ones with patience and the strength to give support. As bodies heal, let faith grow and relationships with others become deeper.We pray your peace for all who mourn, O Lord. Send your Spirit to lead them through the valley of the shadow. Fill their minds with positive memories and their hearts with comfort and resurrection hope. Answer the cries of the desperate and the discouraged, the frantic and the frightened, the anxious and the alone. Protect the poor and weak from the rich and powerful. Continue to guide and sustain those who are committed to showing the world a better way – your way.We rejoice and give thanks for your offer of love and friendship, O God – for your presence with us and your sacrifice for us. We thank you for answers to many prayers. We thank you for friends who are faithful, for people we can call upon and count upon when we are stretched beyond our limits. We thank you for the forgiveness of our sins and the new life we receive through faith in Jesus Christ. And we thank you for the sense of purpose and worth we derive from our call to follow Jesus and to continue his work in this world.Now help us as we prepare ourselves to hear and obey your word. Amen.

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