Prayer For General Assembly
Heavenly Father, thank you that you are gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love. We enter your gates with thanksgiving today and we enter your courts with praise. We glorify you for the countless ways you have blessed us. We praise you for your great love. We thank you that we can enter your presence today. May Christ dwell in our hearts through faith so that we, being rooted and grounded in love, may have the strength to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge. May we be filled with the fullness of God. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord, Amen.
Heavenly Father, we praise you for your goodness and generosity. We trust you for faithfully preserving us through good times and bad. We serve you with all that we have. We glorify you in our plans and activities. We speak of you to others in response to your great love for us. We live for you, in every thought, word and deed, by the power of your Spirit. You are the God of endurance and encouragement. Help us to live in harmony with each other, that together we may with one voice glorify Jesus Christ. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord, Amen.
That the body will be led to choose the moderator and vice-moderator to lead and guide and moderate the work of the General Assembly during this next week and also to be a representative and ambassador of the larger church over the next two years. (For
more information on the three candidates who are standing for Moderator, please see Bruce Reyes-Chow's (moderator of the 218th General Assembly) 10 questions of the moderator candidates.
That the commissioners and advisory delegates may all prayerfully discern all the decisions (difficult and easy...and there are plenty of both!!) that lay before them this week, and that they may seek God's will above their own.
That the discussions, deliberations, and debates may be civil and helpful in every way.
That the members of the larger church remember that the General Assembly is not some distant body, but that we are all a part of the General Assembly of the PC(USA), and that the people who have gathered are our representatives in the voting of the business of the General Assembly. (And that we remember that no vote that changes the Book of Order is final until is passes a majority of the Presbyteries).
That we may hold fast to the idea of the Peace, Purity, and Unity of the church, and seek ways to work and live together in community even when we disagree on decisions that are made.
That the staff and volunteers of the Presbyterian Mission Agency, Office of the General Assembly, Committee on Local Arrangements, and all the other various committees and organizations that I have not mentioned that are working throughout this week be given strength, energy and stamina...and that they have a chance to rest and renew when this is all over. (Trust me, this is huge! I worked as very junior staff at two General Assemblies (2001 and 2002), and the staff and volunteers that make this huge event run are the unsung heroes of GA. If you're there this week, be sure to say Thank you. It means a whole lot!)
May these this all be my prayer.
May the God of Grace be with the gathered manifestation of the PC(USA) in Detroit this week.
Creator of all things,
whose steadfast love is everlasting,
we gather tonight as a people
called and elected to the task of leadership
in the service of our neighbors.
May we come without the illusion
that we are people of power,
but rather come with the humble knowledge
that we are servants to all who live around us.
Help us this night O God,
to remember especially those
whose voices are often muted in our society:
those who are struggling to make their way;
those who are just trying to make ends meet;
those who, through no fault of their own,
are judged as less deserving of our consideration.
Never let us forget
that we are no more special than they are,
and that their voices are just as important as ours.
As we debate our positions tonight,
help us to have the humility to listen,
the grace to speak carefully and kindly,
and the knowledge to recognize
that we work for the common good;
striving to make our state a place
in which ALL are welcomed,
in which ALL are kept safe,
and in which the vision of a place
dedicated to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness
is open to ALL people.
Help us to remember that the conviction of our beliefs
does not mean that those who disagree with us are our enemies.
Help us to never forget
that your call for love and justice
applies to every part of our state,
from the river bottoms in the west,
to the mountains in the east;
along the Tennessee River in the south,
and the Cumberland as it travels through the Big South Fork.
Remind us daily,
that you are present in our large cities
and in the farms and hamlets far off the main road.
And may we always recognize
that the citizens of this state,
people of varied backgrounds,
genders, ethnicities, and nationalities
shall always carry with them
the volunteer heritage
that says that we help when we can,
serve when we must,
and respect all as people created in your image.
As we deliberate tonight,
may we remember the teachings of our forebear, John Wesley
to avoid doing harm,
to do as much good as we can,
and to stay in love with the one who created us.
Speak tonight, O God,
and give us your light in the midst of the darkness
that we will see your way
and carry out your desires.
We ask this in the name
of the one who created us in the beginning,
who reconciled us to you when we tried to do things our own way,
and who sustains us and empowers us to be people of light and love.
Awesome God, our hearts are bowed down by the troubles we are experiencing. There is suffering and death, despair and doubt among us, and hope lies just beyond our reach in the shadows of the cross. We pour out our hearts before you like water. Our eyes are spent with weeping, our mouths with cries of how long. You have seen what has befallen us, O God.
You have heard our whispers and murmurs at the pain that ?ll our souls. The joys of our hearts have ceased; our dancing has been turned to mourning. Yet, we thank you for bringing us to this place of worship and discernment; of uncertainty and hope about the future. Inspire us by your truth to listen to your voice speaking through your people gathered ? here. Grant us your wisdom and peace during these days and renew our hope. For you, O God, are our God. Your steadfast love never ceases, and your mercies never come to an end, they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Amen
I pray for openness in the hearts of the brothers to hearing the Holy Spirit speak.
God of determination, we pray that you continue to guide the assembly today. We pray that in the midst of disagreement we find unity in you. There is much chaos and pain in the world. As the assembly continues to vote on issues relating to the environment, social justice, polity and mission, send your Spirit to guide us as we strive to be faithful to your call to us all.
God of the oppressed, help us not to put up walls in our own defensiveness, but listen to those who have long been silenced. It is with joy that we remember you are our Advocate, you are present in all of our suffering, and comfort us when we need you most. May we also be advocates for one another.
Empower us to trust your vision, to serve you and our siblings in Christ in love. Equip our passions that we have here to take home with us to our own local communities of service.
With our hope, love and trust in you, we pray, Amen.
in Jesus Christ you called disciples
and, by the Holy Spirit, made them one church to serve you.
Be with members of our General Assembly.
Help them to welcome new things you are doing in the world,
and to respect old things you keep and use.
Save them from empty slogans or senseless controversy.
In their deciding,
determine what is good for us and for all people.
As this General Assembly meets,
let your Spirit rule,
so that our church may be joined in love and service to Jesus Christ,
who, having gone before us,
is coming to meet us in the promise of your kingdom. Amen.