Responsive prayers by Christine Hemp, appropriate for use on Trinity Sunday.
We pray fervently this morning, Lord, for your Church—that it may delight in its mission and tip its ear to the needs inside and outside its doors. We ask that you guide all those who minister, who cultivate your garden.
Beside the gates in front of the town and at the entrances of all the portals, Lord,
Brace us with the spirit of your wisdom.
Let us remember that with you there is always a blanket of peace, even when anger and turmoil lash out across the globe. Nudge us to turn toward one another in amazement, to see ourselves in the face of the “other.” Help all nations seek that place where all severed parts get sewn together.
Acknowledging the splendor of your open temple,
Hear our cry, Lord, to all who live.
We pray for our country, our president, and all the leaders of the world. Show us that the human family begins at home: waiting in the doctor’s office, standing in the grocery line, or setting up chairs in the labyrinth. May each small encounter remind us that our own community is but a reflection of the larger world.
In the astonishing inclusiveness of your holy name,
May we love our neighbors as ourselves.
When you assigned to the sea its limit and made a circle on the fountains of the deep, you held wisdom’s hand. You rejoiced with her in your inhabited world. Please help us, Lord, to stanch the bleeding of our earth. Move us from helplessness into a sense of purpose so that we can heal her wounds. May we honor the work of your fingers, knowing that everything we touch is sacred.
In your unending forgiveness,
We call out with tender hearts.
Thank you, Lord, for the blazing beauty of our existence: From the black holes of space to the birth of distant stars; from the first bits of soil you created to the wild beasts of the field. Bless and protect all the creatures of our earthly home – those with hooves and scales, wings and paws, fur and shells, fins and feathers. We marvel at the pulse of life around us: in the needles of the Douglas fir, the ooze of a jellyfish, the mosquito’s buzz. Make us mindful that all your creation is our family.
In exaltation of the highest order,
We clap our hands like the rivers and sing out like the mountains.
Knowing that suffering produces endurance and endurance produces character and character produces hope, give us the strength to live this knowledge–even when it is the hardest thing to do. Assure us yet again that all will be okay, no matter what. We pray for those in fear and pain, trusting that you are laying your hands upon them, even as we speak. In silence or aloud, we pray for those who struggle.
In the white flame of your strength,
Lord, give us mercy and hope always.
We pray for those who have left this earth for your vault of heaven. We, too, wish to follow them with a willing heart. Our Lord promised that all the Father has is his–and ours as well. Therefore, we look forward to that reunion when the multiple tendrils of our love—past, present, and future—will be woven together. In silence or aloud, we pray for those who have gone before us.
With all the things the Spirit has yet to tell us,
We await our merging with you, three-part God.
Finally, Lord, we shower you with thanks. For out of the mouths of infants and children your majesty is praised above the heavens. We sing with gratitude for our laughter, our bounty, our healing, our love, and all the joys that dapple our daily path. Both silently and aloud, we praise you for the blessings of this life.
Glory be to you, Lord,
We praise you and exalt you until space and time no longer mark our days.
Lord, the Eternal Triptych – Creator, Child, and Spirit— keep us steadfast in your holy mystery; give us strength to breathe in the truth and to embrace what we can barely comprehend: That you love us, that you are with us, and because of Jesus your grace is draped upon us all.
These Prayers of the People were first used on Trinity Sunday, May 30, 2010, at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Port Townsend, Washington. I especially like the passionate voice that infuses these prayers, and the closing collect with its “Eternal Triptych – Creator, Child, and Spirit.” —Margaret