In the Olympics this week, O God, we have watched many people gather and compete. We been moved by amazing human achievements, touched by individual stories, and inspired by our neighbors from around the world. We stand in awe, O God, of the miraculous gifts of life, and the human spirit, and the human body. We praise you, recognizing with gratitude that all of us are fearfully and wonderfully made by you.
As we watch swimming and diving… we remember that you hovered over the waters of creation and the waters of our baptism. We give thanks for the gift of abundant access to clean water, and the cleansing power of your spirit. We pray for those who thirst for water, those who suffer either flood or drought, and those who thirst for your spirit.
As we watch running events… we remember that you walked in the garden of Eden, seeking your shamed creatures after they sinned, and that you walked among us as a redeeming Savior. We give thanks for the gift of mobility – our ability to walk and run and bend and move. We pray for those who are disabled, or who have trouble walking or running, and all who suffer due to disease, injury, or age.
As we watch gymnastics… we remember that yours is the Spirit of strength and balance that holds the world together. We give thanks for the way you bend and shape and challenge us. We pray for those who are stiff or stuck, including ourselves – make us more flexible and more open to the movement of your Spirit.
As we watch teams sports… we remember that you made us because of love and for love, and that in your wisdom gave us each other and called us to live in community. We give you thanks for our families and friends, and for the fellowship we find in your church. We pray for those who are lonely, who feel alienated or unwelcome, who are isolated in their grief, fear, or pain. And we pray that you would help us reach out to them with your love and kindness.
As we watch people from all over the world competing with each other, we remember that you are the God of every nation. We give thanks for the gift of our own country, and all the freedoms we enjoy here. We pray for our great country, for its leaders and those seeking office, and for all of us in this challenging season. We also pray for the leaders and citizens of every nation, and for the whole world, praying that your peace would flourish among us.
We pray all of this and much more, in the name of your son, our Savior Jesus Christ, who taught us to pray saying…
Submitted by Rev. Betsy Turner, Luther Hays Presbyterian Church, Hayston, GA