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Occasional Prayers

Occasional Prayers

To celebrate someone who has served long and faithfully to help others in their need:

    God of volunteers and everyone who for love of you seeks to make the world a better place, especially for the children, grace, we pray, our gathering this evening with your own presence, that in the praises sounded, the music played, the prayers offered, the fellowship generously passed around, and the food enjoyed, we may detect yet another blessing of your providence.  For you are the God who inspires, who desires that we willingly and freely join with you in the good and blessed work of redemption, reclaiming for the abundant life those who have fallen on hard times or made bad choices or suffered poor health, any of the tough circumstances visited on everyone.  So do we thank you for [Name(s) of Honoree(s)] and their colleagues in service who have heard your summons to lift the burdens of those weighed down and have done their best to do something good about it.  Increase their number and consider us and our best efforts side by side with them, as the earnest of this prayer, that heaven may have still more reason for rejoicing in those who have heard your summons and taken their place beside you.  Amen.

 

To celebrate the reunion of old friends and classmates:

    God of grand reunions and all the celebrations that bring meaning and joy to our lives, we thank you for providing us one more time, at least, to meet and greet and swap stories and commiserate with one another, and find out just how it goes in this mortal life with those with whom we have shared many a good moment in this mortal life.  For you have privileged us with a long life.  You have prospered our hands and minds beyond the expectations most of us had [ # ] years ago.  You have given us to the care and solicitations of kind [women/men/spouses].  And you have linked us with a loyalty to a [high school/church/fraternity/college/etc] we are proud to name as our own.  Amazing is your grace, and we would be ungrateful guests at your feast of life if we did pause to consider just how lucky we are.  Take, God, we pray,  this evening of anticipation of another grand reunion, our toasts, our laughter, our speeches, our songs, and hear them as our praise to you for the gifts of life, and strength, and friends, and the goodness of it all.  Amen.

 

On a day when everything goes wrong:

    God of storm and sunshine, God of lilied valleys and cross-topped hills, the author of our successes and our comfort in failures, speak to us of your abiding care on the day when everything seems to go wrong, when whatever we turn our hand to comes up empty or broken, and we are tempted to curse the day we were born, feeling it, and sometimes saying it, that you have forgotten us and, worse, have given up on us.  Then, God, grant us the wisdom to seek out the comfort of your word spoken to those in similar straits, about the vastness of your responsibilities and the transience of our lives, about your sure provision for us through time and all eternity if we but hold on and do our best and love one another, and about the evidence everywhere, in the people around us, even in our own hearts, that you do remember us, think of us, care for us, and want only the best for us.  Better yet, God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, focus us on his cross, the wonderful grand reversal it writes over every circumstance that seems our undoing, that we, in the shadow of that cross, and living within the eternal benefit of its mercy, may be confident that, with you, wrongs shall be righted, love shall triumph, hope will be justified, and goodness wash over our world to cleanse and refresh us and all your children of earth.  So shall the day of unhappy circumstances be just another day we know will pass and be embraced in your everlasting arms. Amen.



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