Loving God, we come before you this second week of Lent, thankful for your grace in forgiveness. We hear your high calling, and we know we need your help. We give you thanks for the witness of faithful saints and martyrs whose courage and discipline inspire us in our own walks of faith. Today we give thanks especially for the witness of Billy Graham and for the impact his faith had on so many people. Keep on lifting up women and men of faith in every place and in every generation, and in each one, may we see your power at work through them, even in their imperfections and failures. Strengthen our disciple and make us an inspiration to others as well, not for the sake of pride or fame, but for the sake of love and for the sake of your kingdom.

We pray for those who need your love to be shown through us. We give you thanks for the faithful who will serve their sisters and brothers in the Arthur Center this Tuesday. May each one who enters those doors know your love, and may they know our love as well. And we pray in advance for our homeless friends who will benefit by the Clean of Heart Opportunity Center.  Pour your blessings upon this witness season project, so that more of your beloved children may be served.  

We pray for caregivers for the sick, the disabled, and the aged. Bless them with peace, patience, and abundant love. Given them both strength and also rest, so that they may be a blessing to those under their care. We pray also for the ones under their care. May they know that you hold them in your hands. And we pray for the ones that are suffering alone. Help them to know your presence and companionship through each challenge, so that they may never feel alone.

We continue to pray for those whose lives are shattered by violence in their schools, in their streets, or in their homes. Heal the wounds that lead to hatred, and stop the hatred that leads to violence. Comfort those who mourn and those who are afraid, and protect those who are in harm’s way. Protect, especially, those who place themselves in danger to help and protect others.

Guide those in power in our community, our state, our country, and our world, that they may pursue just and loving ends. Enlarge their vision beyond their own party or ethic group, that they may see all as neighbors and fellow children of God.

We pray all of this in the powerful name of our Lord Jesus, who lived and died and rose again, and whose reign will never end. Amen.