Blessed are you, O Lord our God, ruler of the universe,
for you have loved the world into being,
formed it with a word, enlivened it with your breath,
cared for it with your life.
We give you thanks for your faithfulness,
upholding your promise even when we fail.
As you created in love, so you call in love—
again and again, bringing us together, making us your body.
When we lost our way, or turned away,
still you sought us.
Through the voices of your prophets,
you showed us your vision and offered us your hand.
Though we do not often show it well, we are grateful, O God.
We give you thanks for Christ who came to walk among us,
living our life and dying our death,
teaching and eating and healing,
drawing us close to you,
feeding us with your word and your presence,
and showing us the extent of your love.
Though we did not recognize you in our midst,
our hearts full of our own ways and gods of our own making,
you stretched out your arms and gave us your last breath,
and then in the shadows of the morning you broke the last barrier,
bringing life yet again into your world,
proving love always has the last word.
It is still hard to see you, Lord Jesus, in the world today.
Love is elusive, healing seems far off, peace an impossible dream.
We pray that just as you fed the multitudes,
you would once again make your abundance known.
Where your children go hungry, break us open like bread.
Where your people are thirsty, pour us out in streams of clean water.
Where the earth groans, let your dew refresh and your shade protect.
You promised flourishing life, abundant,
and we beg you to continue your promise, O God.
Make your reality seen among us, even now.
May your Holy Spirit open our eyes and ears, hearts and minds,
to know you and your call,
and to serve you with every breath.
Give us courage to be makers of peace and doers of justice,
courage to confess our own shortcomings without highlighting the sins of others,
courage to trust your word of hope in a world of fear.
God of grain and grape,
from our many stalks and vines we pray that you would create one body,
as we share one bread and cup,
broken and poured for the healing of your world.
Lift us into your presence yet again, that we may feast at your heavenly banquet,
and then send us out nourished and prepared to build your kingdom here on earth.
We pray these and all things in the name of Christ, whose healing spirit overflowed into all who even touched his cloak, and who taught us to pray together…
Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson, the Presbyterian Church of Palatine, IL