The Prayers of Our People

Based on the responsive-style reading of The Prayers of the People from the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer, here is my version of the “Prayers of Our People.” These are written to be used either as a single long prayer, or individual elements as needed. The first half is read by a lead reader, and the italicized response is said by the entire group as punctuation to God.

A lead reader then closes with the final stanza.

Keep the faith!

 

_________________________________________________________

 

In peace, we pray to God saying, “Lord, hear our prayer.”

 

For the universal church, without regard to our arguments and dissent, that all may work together for the betterment of your heavenly kingdom, with right teaching, love, and community. We pray to you, O God.

- Lord, hear our prayer.

 

For our religious organizations (especially…) , who strive to win full inclusion of all your children at your Holy table, even in the face of exclusion, excommunication, punishment, or death, we pray to you, O God.

- Lord, hear our prayer.

 

For our ministers and priests, counselors, rabbis, and pastors, bishops and imams. For monastics and contemplatives, for nuns, brethren, and any who go forth to minister in your name (especially….) We pray to you, O God.

- Lord, hear our prayer.

 

For those who strive to protect us day after day. For those who choose to give themselves to you, we pray to you, O God.

- Lord, hear our prayer.

 

For those who devote their energies to restoring peace, to helping those who suffer, to building a more just world, we pray to you, O God.

- Lord, hear our prayer.

 

For the right use of nature all around us, for our bodies and our health, that we may be pleasing temples to your great spirit. For our earth which is a cathedral to your love, we pray to you, O God.

- Lord, hear our prayer.

 

For simple pride in daily life: for our daily work to be part of your greater family, that we may work gallantly, upholding all members of our community, never feeling ourselves less-than our neighbors for who we are, how we look, or who we love; we pray to you, O God.

- Lord, hear our prayer.

 

For those who are in despair and looking for light in their lives, we pray to you, O God.

- Lord, hear our prayer.

 

For those who have been turned away at the doors of the church, the mosque, the temple. For those removed from schools, colleges, and universities. For those forced to move from their neighborhoods or wrongly imprisoned or hospitalized. For those who must pray to you only in the secret places of their heart, we pray to you, O God.

- Lord, hear our prayer.

 

For those who are bullied by others falsely-stronger, for those who are neglected or abused, and beaten in mind, body, and spirit, we pray to you O God.

- Lord, hear our prayer.

 

For those who work  to reduce social and economic inequality and to make the earth a better place for all, we pray to you, O God.

- Lord, hear our prayer.

 

For those who have so long worked in the valley of the shadow of HIV/AIDS , cancer, other chronic or terminal conditions, giving comfort where often there is none, that we may learn to take care of the living in the same exquisite way they care for the dying, we pray to you, O God.

- Lord, hear our prayer.

 

For our community leaders (especially …) and Community organizations (especially…) For our schools and educational programs (especially…). That without malice, divisions, or contention, they will strive to encourage our people, promote equality and justice, and pursue peace. We pray to you, O God.

- Lord, hear our prayer.

 

For those whose lives are joined in Marriage, Holy or Civil Union (especially…), for domestic partners, for those who choose a single life, and for those who are alone. We pray to you, O God.

- Lord, hear our prayer.

 

For those whose love is best understood within their own hearts and reflected in yours. We pray to you, O God.

 - Lord, hear our prayer.

 

For our children: for our natural children, our adoptive families, and those placed in our care, that we may lead each life toward its own direction, protect and defend their rights as human beings, and work together as a community to help each child reach their full potential. We pray to you, O, God.

- Lord, hear our prayer.

 

For our families: for those of our blood relation and those who migrate in and out of our extended kin, that all will be welcome and nurtured in whatever way You see fit, reminding us always that we are not meant to live alone. We pray to you O God.

- Lord, hear our prayer.

 

For families going through difficult times, for parents, and their children. We pray to you O God.

- Lord, hear our prayer

 

For all Christians, that we may be open to your Word in our lives. We pray to you O God.

- Lord, hear our prayer.

 

For seekers: for those who seek to listen  for your innermost  word and put it into practice, we pray to you O God.

- Lord, hear our prayer

 

For those who have died (remembering especially…) and especially those whose faith is known only to you, that having fought the good battle on this earth, they now rest in the blessed reward of you and all saints, we pray to you, O God.

- Lord hear our prayer.

 

(Here, the people may add their own intercessions.)

 

That together we may remember the promise of our baptismal covenant: to proclaim by word and action the good news of God in Christ, to love all neighbors as we love ourselves, and to strive for justice and peace, respecting the dignity of all people. Let us offer ourselves to one another and to the living God through Christ.

- To you O LORD, our God.

 

(a silence is kept)

 

Almighty God to whom our needs are known before we can even think to ask, help us to seek only that which accords with your will; and those good things which we dare not, or in our blindness cannot ask, grant us, for the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

- Amen

 

 

 

 

3 thoughts on “The Prayers of Our People

  1. Hi-

    I too found this a beautiful and simple prayer. I also took sections of it for prayers on the day of the Baptism of Christ, and added some specific words for that topic. Credit was given to your website- I hope this leads people to you…

  2. Pingback: Secret Love – a prayer

  3. Hi, I was so inspired by this prayer that I used it this morning in the morning service at my church. I omitted several verses, but kept everything else in its original form. I took no credit for having written this wonderful prayer. Thank you.

    Mitchell (Lay reader)
    St. James House of Prayer
    Tampa, FL

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