Prayers of the People

 

During this week’s Jr. Middler II session, our oldest group of campers wrote the prayers of the people for chapel:

 

*God we pray for the church worldwide.  We ask you that divisions amongst ourselves would cease, and that we will understand one another better.  We ask that the church helps people and does not hurt them.

 

*God we pray for our government.  Please guide them to make wise decisions, especially financially.  We ask for world peace and a chance for all of our soldiers to come home.  Thank you for their brave service.  Thank you for our freedom. 

 

*God we pray for anyone struggling with depression or addiction.  Get them through the tough time to a brighter future ahead.  Give them hope.  Help them not give up.

 

*God we pray for our own generation.  Help us each to have a better self-image and believe in your love for us. Help us to know our own gifts and use them for you.

 

Amen.

Back to the Prayerbook: The Litany of Thanksgiving

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When asked to choose a prayer with which to close their Sunday School class each week, a group of fifth graders surprised and delighted me by choosing to pray the “Litany of Thanksgiving” (BCP 836-837).  We don’t say it in church often:  usually on Thanksgiving itself, and perhaps on a major parish anniversary or milestone.  On the cold morning last year when I heard a group of nine and ten year olds take turns with the call and response of the litany, I was taken aback.

“For the beauty and wonder of your creation, in earth and sky and sea,” they said.

We thank you, Lord.

….

“For minds to think, and hearts to love, and hands to serve,

We thank you, Lord.”

The Prayerbook invites us to use “A Litany of Thanksgiving” in place of the Prayers of the People during Eucharistic worship.  It works well in a devotional setting, too.  As the days remain cold and the wind remains biting, the litany is as encouraging as any prayer I know.  If it rings hollow when I pray it by myself, I just might find a group of nine and ten year olds, and pray it along with them.