O God, you have been our help in ages past,
and you are our hope for years to come.
We give you thanks for calling us together to worship,
and for hearing us when we pray.
Before the word is on our lips, you know the desires and cries of our hearts,
your healing balm covers our hurt and your spirit of joy dances in our midst.
We celebrate together, rejoicing with those who rejoice,
for life and family, health and opportunity.
Help us to live in gratitude, recognizing all you have done for us.
And we lift up to you a world in need—
people in need of healing,
communities in need of comfort,
nations in need of guidance.
Where there is violence, give us courage to make peace.
Where there is fear, give us courage to stand with hope.
Where there is illness and disease, give us courage to reach out with healing hands.
Open our hearts, O God—break our hearts open for what breaks yours.
Pour in your hope, and then lead us into your world unafraid,
ready to stand with your people near and far,
as signs of your kingdom here on earth, among us and within us,
until all creation sings your grace.
We pray these and all things in the name of Jesus the Christ. Amen.
Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson, the Presbyterian Church of Palatine, IL