Ascension Day Pastoral Prayer 5/28/2017

God of holy times, on this Ascension Sunday we ask

where are you going?

Where are we going?

In-between times are hard for we do not like not knowing, or seeing, or holding onto things that are important to us. 

We miss those who have gone before us, and we envy you getting to have those we love who have died, and we so easily forget that we will know them again.

We hurt one another in our fear of the unknown- where are you? who are we?

We hurt one another in our fear of the unknown...where are you? Who are we? How can it all possibly be redeemed?

In a bombing in Manchester, in a racist and xenophobic stabbing in Portland, in a domestic shooting in Mississippi, in political upheaval and marshal law in the Philippines, in individual and massive tragedies in cities and towns and nations all over the world we mourn, we fear, we rage,  and we search for answers. We search for you.

In the ascension of Jesus we have a story, a heritage- not just of who the person of Jesus Christ is for us, but how we are to be as his people. We are to be wholly where we are, to celebrate joy, to pray, and to be with each other. In doing this we will know the Spirit, we will see our call and live it.

Gods kingdom is and will be ours, it will not be easy, it is not easy, but it will be right. We will give and know forgiveness. 

And so, Loving God, help us to keep this enigmatic way, the way of the ascended Christ. Make us participants in your glory- showing your love, sharing our faith, manifesting your hope- here and now and in all the days to come as witnesses to your presence and The Way. We are yours, you are ours, and in you we can know peace that passes understanding if we only reach for it. We know all of these things because of our brother Jesus who taught us to pray...Our Father...

A Pastoral Prayer for Mother's Day

This prayer was first offered May 12th 2013 at Welshire Presbyterian Church, and has been used and shared in worship since.

A Prayer for Mothers

 

We pray to you Mother God today for all mothers.

In our world a mother is a complex thing: a person who cares, teaches, learns, struggles, loses patience, has endless comfort, love and care for their children. 

We give thanks for mothers of new babies. Who’s every thought and move is consumed with love and care for their little ones. Give them peace and clarity in these early days. Help them in the fear of not being enough, and rejoice with them when they rejoice. 

We give thanks for mothers who knew the time was not right and gave their new little ones into the arms of another, so that they might be safe and well cared for. Heal all the pain of their situations.

We give thanks for adoptive mothers, who knew their hearts had space for more love, and that your world and people had need for a caring touch, loving heart and stable home for a child who did not have the freedom of those gifts before their relationship.

We give thanks for mothers of toddlers, whose every moment is consumed with motion, words, messes and learning. May you give them rest, creativity and fun every day. Help them when their children struggle with health, developmental struggles or physical struggles. Help them to know you are there, with them, loving their children for just who they are, even as the world may say they are “not normal”.

We pray for peace and comfort for those who wish they were mothers. Whose bodies do not cooperate with their dreams, or whose circumstances mean they cannot or have not conceived. Be with them and heal the empty spaces that their hearts hold, and help them to see whatever it is you have in store.

We pray that you remind us all that children are a gift and a blessing to your church, in their motion, noise, questions and struggles. Your church is not the world, and we should love them and do a better job of meeting them where they are, and seeing what they see, what you see in them…that they are perfectly your children just as they are.

We give you thanks for the mothers of children. Whose time and hearts are filled with crayon drawings, firsts, growing brains and bodies. Give them the tools to teach and the patience to learn with their young ones.

We give you thanks for mothers who do all the work, those who teach and care and struggle alone. Who are mother and father to their children, and have too many rolls to fill. Hold them close in their exhaustion, keep them in your presence as they make a way in hardship, and rejoice all the more with them when there is peace and joy and love. Help your people to be a support, a relief and a home to those whose strength is what helps their children thrive. 

We pray for healing for those mothers who have lost their children, whatever age they were, may your presence and your people be a balm to their broken hearts.

We give you thanks for the mothers of adolescents, whose time and energy is spent in the in-between of childhood and adulthood. Be with them; be in their words and actions as their children look to them most for how to be your people.

We pray for all those mothers who are separated from their children. Be with those whose relationships are toxic, broken or painful that they might find your peace in the situation and find the path that is best. Be with those who are separated by war, strife, financial difficulty or personal belief, heal these relationships and help the world to be a more loving place.

 We give you thanks for the mothers of teenagers. Mothers who are beginning to learn who their children will be, who see their children’s’ potential and attempt to teach a way toward self-sufficiency. Be with them as they fret, praise, nag, love, question and care for those who both try to hold on too tight and also let go far too soon.

We pray today that you are with those whose mothers are now with you. They leave behind a hole in the spirit that can only be eased with your help. Whether they were lost yesterday or 20 years ago their place can never be filled in our lives.

 We give you thanks for mothers of adults. Who have the privilege of watching their children soar, and the heartbreak of watching them fall, and the enigmatic joy of watching them do it all on their own, even as they sometimes return home with laundry, questions, laughter and wisdom of their own. 

Be with every family, every mother, every father and every child today. We take joy in the relationships we have with our mothers, and we pray for your presence where we need it every day. You are our mother, Parent God who holds us close, rejoices in our success and weeps with us in our pain, protects us sometimes even when we don’t want protection, and gives us freedom to make our own mistakes even as you know they will both hurt us and help us grow. You are infinitely patient, infinitely caring and infinitely loving,

We are your children, often ignorant of your power and irreplaceability in our lives. As your children we are incredibly blessed, grace-filled and protected. We give you thanks for this reality in our lives as we pray with our brother Jesus as he taught us how to pray to you…Our Father…