Prayer For Alumni Gathering
As we gather together, we praise You for this day and Your purpose for it. Reset our agendas, as we sit in Your presence. For You assure us that where two or more gather in Your name You are here. Recalibrate our intentions and refocus our hearts. Your will for our lives does not always reflect our plans. Change them to reflect Your will. Help us to understand that we don't need full clarity to walk into the unique purpose You've inlaid in our lives.
Lift our eyes to seek You first today, and always, surrendering our need to achieve, understand, and be known. Shift our perspective to seek Your peace above all else. In every situation we ponder in our daily lives, let the Holy Spirit translate Your commands. Give us renewed strength and godly courage to obey You without questioning. Forgive us for striving beyond our means, worrying, and forcing results.
Only You know what lies ahead. You are our good Father, just and righteous. Though our circumstances will be unfair from time to time in this life, You are always our unwavering protector and shield (Psalm 3:3). Keep the words of King David fresh in our minds, and renew our hearts to the tune of Your truth.I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me. Psalm 3:5 NIV Let Your peace rain down on us today, as we seek You more than anything else.
In Jesus' Name,
Praise You for this event, and Your purpose for it. We know that when we gather together, You always have a divine agenda. We love You for that, Father. That even when we have done what You have asked, the results are so much greater than we ever could have imagined. Even in failed attempts, You blow us away with Your faithfulness to provide what we need.
Our prayer today is that Your will be done through this event. Take what we have prepared and multiply our efforts as only You can. Steer our intentions to align with Your righteous will. Remind us of Your faithful provision when our efforts fail us or fall short. May all glory go up to You when we reach the finish line and climb over benchmarks. Blanket us with Your peace today, Father. Keep us physically safe and guard our hearts and minds from pride and selfishness. Keep love at the forefront of our minds today, and the guiding light for all we set out to accomplish and celebrate.
In Jesus' Name,
Thank You for every seat that has been filled here, today. For each mind and heart that fills the presence of this room, we thank You. Only You truly know what we are setting out to accomplish today. We have an idea, a vision, hints, and daily instructions. We have talents, abilities, and time to work. However, only You can see in perfect detail the end of every beginning. Every project, every season, every life. Nothing is ever in vain, for even mistakes and missteps are used for good.
Your righteousness transcends all our efforts and understanding. Forgive us for our pride. The pride that puffs us up and the pride that threatens to unqualify us. Strengthen our confidence in who You have made us to be. Set us free from comparison in order to work together efficiently.
Bless this meeting today, all those present, as well as the lives of those we will encounter afterward. Ready us to make every moment count.
In Jesus' Name,
I was asked to offer the invocation at the 50th Class Reunion of my high school the other night. I've never cared much for the word invocation in worship services, or community meetings for that matter. I suppose it means that we are invoking God's presence or blessing. I figure we are asking for what we have already received. So, instead of asking the already Present One to be one present with us, I prefer a prayer that acknowledges the occasion and offers thanks.
Oh, and I also like thinking through my public words, and writing them down, as opposed to the off-the-cuff-Spirit-led-winging-it prayers that we must offer when there's no advanced notice. When I do have some lead time, I can approach this privilege thoughtfully, and, of course, prayerfully.
So, with classmates from 1962 gathered at tables at the Sons of Italy hall in Endicott, NY, this is the prayer I prayed:
God of love
Creator of every moment of joy-filled friendship,
of each sign of grace, each spark of hope, all wonders and every warm-hearted gesture;
here we are, old and growing older friends,
sharing remembrances and the news of our years.
We remember with gratitude
being touched by the friends whose lives are no longer earthbound.
In the midst of this present moment of celebration and fellowship,
we affirm the value of every breath you offer us,
every heartbeat, every step we take,
every dream to which you still call us,
every lesson life continues to teach us,
and every opportunity to speak and act with loving-kindness.
Now we thank you for the food we share around these tables,
and for the labor of all those who harvested, prepared, and serve it.
Bless this reunion meal with your presence,
and keep us all always in your peace.
Our Heavenly Father, We come to you at this cycle of our lives, our later years.
We remember those, friends and companions, who have been in our midst, but who are now gone. We thank you for the part of their lives that we have shared, however brief or however joyful. Let us remind ourselves, because of them, that each day is a gift, not a promise, to be lived as beautifully as possible within our abilities and our means.
Thank you for the fleeting marvels in each moment, for the solaces of friendship, for the continuing miracle of love coming into our lives, sometimes unexpectedly, sometimes through the touch of a child or the embrace of another human, sometimes in the overwhelming reality that You approve of who we are or of what we do.
Thank you for laughter through the years and for those events, small or large, that bring us delight.
Thank you for mercy in the midst of suffering, for comfort when we are afraid or distressed, for sleep that eases our sorrows.
Thank you that we have danced, that we have celebrated, that we have sung and praised, that we have been privileged to live deeply in a time of amazing advancements.
Thank you that many of us have had meaningful work in our days.
Thank you that some of us have made a difference for good in our world.
We are sorry for the times that we have disappointed You, or abandoned others, or betrayed our own selves. Forgive us, please, and help us to do better.
Bless us this evening, we pray. Give us joy in meeting again. Give us tenderness for those who struggle. Help us to be kind in word and deed. Grant that we may be alive with curiosity. And as we leave one another, perhaps never to meet again, help us to wish one another peacepeace for living and peace for dying.
We pray this in Your name: in the name of the Father, and of His Son, Jesus Christ. May we use the time still left to us, through the help of the Holy Spirit, to be more than we thought possible. Amen.
Loving God, we are grateful for the
many gifts you have given to us:
The gifts of life, love, family, friends,
faith, and of our Catholic schools.
Thank you for guiding those who have
so generously given of themselves
throughout the years in the promotion
and growth of our schools.
May their dedication and sacrifice
continue to make it possible to bring
Christ to your beloved children.
We ask your blessings on the outreach
of the Catholic Alumni Partnership.
Open the hearts of our alumni so that
through their dedication and sacrifice
our schools may continue to flourish.
Lord, You are the God of life that sustains every moment of our being.
Today, we thank You for this opportunity of class reunion,
after we said our temporary goodbyes to our dear Alma Mater.
Thank You for all of us present today, for our friendships new and old,
and for all the good memories we share.
Thank You for the meal we will partake later,
the fruit of human hands from the bounty of your blessing.
Bless us all and our families,
including those who could not attend this reunion,
for various reasons.
We pray most especially for our classmates,
who have completed their life's journey
ahead of us. Grant them eternal rest, O Lord.
Make this special day full of fun and excitement,
celebrating life as we walk through memory lane of our youth.
And after our great time together, grant us a safe trip back home,
even as we pray and hope to be enjoying each others company again
at our next class reunion.
For all these we ask your blessing,
our loving Father, through Jesus your Son,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Welcoming God, whose abiding love sustains our world, with glad hearts we gather here in celebration of our shared histories.
In deep gratitude that stretches back through the years, we remember the strong friendships forged in our youth. We give thanks for the devoted lives of teachers, coaches, mentors and family whose generosity nurtured us as we grew. Tonight even as we rekindle old friendships, we are tenderly mindful of our twelve friends and classmates who are no longer with us on earth. We give thanks for their lives, and we pray for peace and comfort to those who grieve their loss.
May our time together be joy-filled as we share memories of days gone by and news of where life's journey has taken us. Give us grace to recognize our mistakes from the past, so that we might have forgiving hearts. May our personal reunions be shaped by kindness and laughter, and may the stories told and retold tonight bring delight and good will.
We give thanks for the food we share tonight, for the hands who harvested, transported, prepared and now serve it. And as we enjoy this meal, may our festivities be a toastin honor of and thanksgiving for those who had a part in our lives at Centralia High School over thirty years ago.
Bless this reunion time. May these moments together lead us to treasure ever more fully each beat of our hearts and every new day life brings us.
With the hope of God's shalom in our world we pray, Amen.