One of the delights of the worship that takes place each week in my current placement, is that the Prayers of the People are led by a range of people from within the Congregation. This provides prayers which are “grounded” as well as reflecting the diversity of perspectives found within the people.
Today, Mother’s Day, Marg Cotton led with this thoughtful prayer. I share it with her permission.
Creator God, as we come to you in prayer help us to pray in your spirit and truly enter into a time of stillness and simplicity. Give us courage to be open to your unfathomable goodness, and imponderable light. While we cannot ever know the depths of your being help us to see enough of what is truly mysterious to break down our pride and recognise that we need to rely on your grace and mercy.
We have much to be thankful for. Living in freedom in this land. Having access to education and health care, food and water, warmth and friendship. Being able to worship in peace and security. We give thanks for the many blessings you have given to us and the many people who have been part of our lives.
On this Mothers Day we particularly acknowledge the role that those who nurture us have had in our lives. For some of us we have fond and happy thoughts about our mothers: their love and support, sacrifice and hard work, compassion and teaching.
For others, perhaps our experiences and memories are not so sweet. The difficult mother or embarrassing mother, the times when our mums could not cope, the absent mother, the one who was addicted self obsessed, or struggling with mental illness.
As we think of our mother on mothers day let us show her the respect of acknowledging that she was always more than we ever understood. Like the God we worship she came before us and she labored to bring us into this world. Let us acknowledge in the words from Deuteronomy 32:18 “You were unmindful of the Rock that bore you, and you forgot the God who gave you birth.”
In the same way we have been often been unmindful of the women who gave us birth and of those other nurturing figures who supported us in many steps in our lives. Help us to acknowledge appropriately those who have helped make us who we are.
But as we acknowledge this help us not be complacent. Help us to see that some of our own struggles may have come in part from our upbringing and our expectations. Help us to turn to you and see that our lives can be transformed and made more whole as we seek a path of hope and reconciliation.
We are aware that there is much darkness in our world. We hear every day of terrible injustices, of violence, of hatred, of feuds, of greed. We see this both at the personal level, at the political level and at the global level. Break through our complacency and help us see when we are jealous or spiteful, not prepared reconsider our own prejudices, not able to acknowledge the hurt we caused.
Help us to be aware of the needs of others and take our part in caring for those who are facing difficulties. We know that there are some people in our midst who struggle to find hope and justice in our community. For people living with illness or disability, let us ensure that our health system and the NDIS are available to provide the best kind of help available.
For those struggling to find employment let them not be disheartened by the complex structures that sometimes make a secure job seem unattainable.
For people who are seeking to exercise leadership. Please grant clarity of thought and honesty of purpose as to all who are involved in important decisions.
For the forgotten people who toil without recognition or thanks. May we sometimes notice and give thanks for their work and commitment.
As we join together and to share praying the Lord’s prayer I invite those of you who would like to acknowledge the non-gendered divinity of our God to begin this prayer…
Our Mother in heaven….
Hallowed be your name,
Your kingdom come,
Your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins,
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial
and deliver us from evil.
For the Kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours
now and forever. Amen