O God of light and life, through the ages your messengers have proclaimed that your day is at hand.  Creation has spoken of your care and benevolent love.  You sent Christ into the midst of humanity so that there could be no denying your concern for our wellbeing.  We are grateful that you are the God who restores what your people destroy.  We see how you mend brokenness and bring wholeness in the midst of fractured relations.  You are the one to make wars cease and establish peace among the nations. We praise you, healer God.  Send forth your light so that all may inherit your eternal life.

We offer our prayers today for those whose relationships are in disarray.  Keep us from premature or harmful judgments that only enhance pain.  Help us to offer reconciling suggestions when they can be helpful and make our presence beneficial in overcoming anger, separation and resulting loneliness.   You O God have taught us what it means to love one another.  Keep us mindful of the mutual support we can offer, and make us willing to bear another’s burdens as though they were our own.  Let us shed some light on what it means to love others, as you so love the world.

We ask your comforting presence and healing for those who are experiencing the freshness of grief or even the ghosts of old grief rearing their heads again anew.  Touch those who are suffering through new and frightening diagnoses, chemo therapy treatments, chronic illnesses, recurring pain, May your healing touch them through our hands and words.

We pray for our mission team in Cuba this week.  We pray that relationships will be strengthened and our Cuban brothers and sisters will be heartened by our support. May our team be enriched in understanding and in faith as they build friendships with the people of Cuba.

We pray for our search committees for our new youth director and children’s ministry director.  Lead them to the right servants for this time in our church’s life.  May these committees be wise, careful, hopeful and confidant of your Sprit’s guidance as they go about their work.   We wait in anticipation of your action, O God.

Prepare our hearts and lives for our coming observance of Holy Week as we look to the celebration of your resurrection.  Help us allow ourselves to move through the valleys to reach the mountaintops of this Lenten season finding new life and a stronger relationship with you our Creator, Redeemer and Comforter. 

May your love rule our lives and be obvious in all we say and do.  Attune our hearts to you that we might come to love you with all that we are and be enabled to love our neighbors as ourselves.  We pray in the name of Jesus, who makes possible such love.  Amen.