Table Prayer

For Communion Sunday this month, we are moving our ‘Prayer of Intercession and Dedication,’ which usually follows the offering, to our time around the table itself.

“All who are thirsty, all who are weak, come to the fountain.
Dip your heart in the stream of life…”
Today, Lord, we come to the fountain,
to this table,
so that the pain and the sorrow of this past week can be
“wash’d away in the waves of your mercy.”
And we sing: “Come, Lord Jesus, come.
Come, Holy Spirit, come.”
We know that we’ve said and done things this past week
that have caused pain and sorrow,
for others and for ourselves.
And we recognize today that, before we can say another word,
we need to say this word:
“We are so sorry.”
Hear, O Lord, our prayers of confession and contrition
as we offer them silently to you now:
— Silence —
We thank you that your word to us is love,
your word is
encouragement to do better tomorrow,
to take our newly washed and cleansed selves and,
empowered by your Holy Spirit at work within us,
go back to our homes,
our jobs,
our friends,
our family,
our neighbor
and to give gentle witness to what happens in us
and through us
because of your loving forgiveness and acceptance.
And so we pause now to say, “Thank you!”
for this, and for so many good and lovely things in our lives
and in our world.
In this time of silence,
hear the thankful prayers of our hearts as we offer them to you.
— Silence —
Lord God, we are your free and forgiven children,
we are your thankful children,
and we are also your broken and worried children,
fully aware of our own needs
and the needs of others in our community.
We remember Bryan Anderson and his family today,
in the loss of his dad this past week.
Will you bring healing, peace and hope in the midst of
this pain, this pain of grief and loss?
We remember Kathryn Trautwein today,
still suffering the after-effects of a serious head injury
sustained in a fall two weeks ago and aggravated
by a second fall just days ago.
In your good and perfect plan, will you bring whatever healing is needed?
We remember all of the students in our midst
who are beginning again –
studying hard, trying to find new friends,
figuring out how to live life well while keeping all the plates spinning evenly.
Be very near to them, O Lord, whispering your words of hope and love
as they move through their days.
We remember the teachers in our community, as well.
They, too, are beginning again,
taking up the load of guiding, informing, counseling, grading,
meeting the expectations of students and parents and administrators.
Encourage them, Holy Spirit. Remind them of the deep and lasting difference
they can make in this world.
And so we pray also for parents today, Lord.
For wisdom and patience and the ability to see
and appreciate
the wonder that is their child.
You give us no richer gifts than these children of ours –
may we see them as such,
even when they exhaust and frustrate us,
even when they mystify and puzzle us.
Each of us in this room is holding in our hearts
some worry or concern that we need to bring to you today.
It may be something deeply personal,
it may be something public and political,
all of it is welcome in your presence.
So, dear Holy Spirit, come and remind us,
pray in us,
so that we might,
in this silent space, offer these cares to you.
Lord, hear our prayer.
— Silence —
So, now, O Lord, we are ready.
We are ready to meet you in the bread and in the cup.
We are ready to share in this holy meal with you,
and with one another.
Set aside these simple table gifts for
sacred and transforming purposes.
We pray this, and all these things,
in the name of the Father,
and of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

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