Gathering in Silence
Call to Prayer
Lighting of Candle
In the name of Jesus Christ, welcome to this sacred space that “stand(s) as a towering symbol of a people who knew injustice and strife on the frontier and who now seek the peace of Jesus Christ throughout the world.”
—Doctrine and Covenants 161:2b
Today in our prayers we remember the people of Macao, a nation on the western side of the Pearl River Delta in East Asia and the most densely populated region in the world. Under the policy of “one country, two systems,” the State Council of the People’s Republic of China is responsible for military defense and foreign affairs while Macau maintains its own legal system, public security force, monetary system, customs policy, and immigration policy.
Scripture Reading—Isaiah 35:1-2, 10 NRSV
The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad,
the desert shall rejoice and blossom;
like the crocus it shall blossom abundantly,
and rejoice with joy and singing.
The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it,
the majesty of Carmel and Sharon.
They shall see the glory of the Lord,
the majesty of our God.
And the ransomed of the Lord shall return,
and come to Zion with singing;
everlasting joy shall be upon their heads;
they shall obtain joy and gladness,
and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
Prayer for Peace
Almighty God, our creator and faithful friend,
We come to you in a Spirit of repentance, asking you to forgive us of actions we have taken, and words we have spoken that would fall short of your expectations for us, as your children.
We know that when we ask forgiveness with sincerity of heart, that in your mercy, you accept us as we are. You throw our sins into the depth of the oceans and post a sign that says, “no fishing.” We know, too, that you do not take away the consequences of our sin but you give us the courage and strength to do what we must to make amends.
We know that you are our God and we are your children, and so it is that I lift your children before you and ask that in our great need for spiritual nurture, you would look inside our hearts and see our doubt, our pain, our frustration, our deep desire to have a greater knowledge and a greater commitment to you and your purposes in our lives.
In our midst are those who are lonely, those who are grieving, those who struggle with health issues, those who feel unworthy and unloved, those who are searching for meaning and purpose in their lives. May we feel within us the comfort of your Holy Spirit as you gather us in your arms, wrap us in the warm blanket of your love and fill our hearts with new desire to serve one another. Grant us a desire to be a peaceful people, a holy people who respond to your grace by loving and forgiving one another.
We trust you for what will be. We thank you for your promises of renewal and a life transformed by the gift of the Holy Spirit. Help us to be the gift of a shoulder for another to lean on. We know that when we are serving others we are but serving you.
As we take leave from your table now, we rejoice in your promises and look forward to the future with a sure knowledge of your forgiveness, your love, your guidance, an abiding faith and a sense of peace that passes all understanding.
Loving God, enable us to respond to your grace and the invitation to follow you in our daily lives. Empower us to glorify and honor your holy name. In the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Today’s hymn is “Golden Breaks the Dawn” number 185 in Community of Christ Sings. Sing or silently reflect on the meaning of the text.
Prayers of the People
As we enter a time of guided prayer, meditation, and musical reflection, you are invited to offer silent prayers or meditate during the moments of quiet. The Prayers of the People this day begin with ourselves and then, enlarging life’s circle, move outward to include those we know and love, to strangers and enemies, to the entire world, and to all of creation.
Please join with me in today’s prayer and meditation; quiet your breathing and embrace God’s eternal grace as you become aware of your own responses to the guided prayers of the people.
God, you are the still point of the circle within which all creation is found. I yearn to connect with your spirit of peace and experience the companionship of your presence in this moment. May I abide in the center of creation’s circle with you?
Creator of horizons, help us draw the circle wider to include those I know and love, and even those I struggle to understand and accept. Fill this circle with the gifts of forgiveness, mercy, compassion, and peace. Give us the desire to include all whose paths cross ours into a place where acceptance is offered freely. Draw our circle wider.
Giver of dreams, let the peace we’ve dreamed of expand to embrace all your children. We remember all nations, including Macao, the country we pray for today. Within this circle may we see the other as brother and sister, and act as mutual stewards of one another. You call us to live without borders that exclude. Help us to draw the circle wider still.
God of all living things, your world longs to be whole and in harmony. The dream of shalom includes caregiving for the water, earth, air and all that has life in one great family. You created us with interdependencies. Give us mutual respect and tender care for all. Let this be our song: Nothing on your created Earth stands alone, but lives in shalom with all other living things. Draw the circle wide open.
Architect of life and peace, may we be blessed by your vision of shalom this day. May our minds, hearts, and spirits be wide enough for all to find a home. We pray in the name of Jesus Christ, God’s shalom. Amen.
May blessings of peace
Be realized today
Through the Source, Savior, and Spirit.
Go in peace.