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great prayer of thanksgiving: bearing fruit

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them up to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.

We give you thanks and praise, almighty God,
for the gift of your creation,
the garden that you yourself tend,
the wonderful fruit that you invite us to share.
Even when we wandered from your ways and bore no fruit,
you kept longing and hoping and working to show us a better way,
sharing the law, the prophets, and even your own son
to deepen your love in us and help us bear the fruit you intend.
For these and all your gracious gifts, we are truly thankful.

Loving God, we are most thankful for the gift of your son Jesus, the great gardener,
who taught us how to walk in your ways and bear your fruit.
He lived for us and died for us,
and when you raised him from the dead,
he gave us too the promise of new life.
Even now he intercedes for us and shows us the possibilities of life with you.

So as we gather to share this feast,
show us his presence in these simple gifts of bread and cup.
In this holy meal, lift us up to new life in you and with you,
that we might have grace to bear the fruit you intend in the life of your Spirit—
love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control—
each and every day as we journey with you.

Along this journey, by the power of your Spirit,
make us one with Christ,
that we may be one with all who share this feast,
united in ministry in every place,
bearing the fruits of your mercy, grace, peace, and love.
Keep us in your ways and guide us in your paths
until you gather up all things in Christ
and we share this feast with you and all your saints
in the joy of your eternal love.
Through Christ, with Christ, in Christ,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
all glory and honor are yours, almighty God,
now and forever. Amen.

Submitted by Rev. Andy James, First Presbyterian Church, Whitestone, New York

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