"Sea of Galilee" by Kris
“Sea of Galilee” by Kris via Flickr Creative Commons

I offered this prayer on July 21, 2013 as the Prayers of the People. The sermon text that day was the beatitudes in Matthew 5:1-16.

God of the prophets,
God of Christ:
we are reminded today
that your blessings do not necessarily follow the logic of the world.

The world believes that the rich are blessed,
but Jesus reminds us that it is the poor who are blessed,
the poor in spirit
and the materially poor as well.
We pray for a more just world
in which all have enough and none are left behind.

Though we fear death and avoid its inevitable arrival,
Jesus tells us that those who mourn are blessed.
Help us to experience the truth of this mystery;
bring healing and wholeness to those who are sick;
and comfort those of us who have lost loved ones.

While people covet power,
Jesus blesses the meek;
instruct us, O God, in the ways of humility;
help us to stand in solidarity with the oppressed and marginalized;
show us your presence in the faces of those the world forgets.

Give us a hunger and thirst for righteousness;
fill our hearts with love, overflowing with mercy;
make our hearts pure, and give us a vision of your glory.

In a society divided by race, gender, class, ideology, sexual orientation,
and so many other labels we alone have created,
remind us that we are created in your image,
each of us a beautiful reflection of you,
each of us your beloved child.
Help us then to end our conflicts and wars,
help us to be peacemakers and agents of reconciliation.

Gracious God,
you have so richly blessed us with life,
with love and joy,
with hope in the midst of despair.
Help us to be the salt of the earth.
Help us to be the light of the world,
sharing with others that which we have received,
boldly proclaiming the good news of your love,
finding the seeds of your kingdom within us
and letting your way grow in our lives and throughout the world.

Give us eyes to see the ways you are changing the world in which we live.
Give us ears to hear your call to join with you in the great transformation.

Hear us now, o God,
as we pray for the coming of your kingdom,
following Christ as he taught us to pray:

Our Father…

John W. Vest

John is a "church hacker" attempting to overcome the limitations of church as we know it. To connect with him and learn more about his work, please visit johnvest.com.

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  1. John, thanks for this great prayer. I am beginning a series from the Beatitudes entitled, “Attitudes that Work OverTime.” I would very much like to include parts of your prayer as my benediction. Bless you, my brother.

    • Thanks, John, you have crafted a very helpful prayer for this Sunday in which the Lectionary deals with “What does the Lord require..” and what Jesus said when he sat down…” It is timely and on target. Rev. Dr. Jerry Kramer, a Presbyterian Interim Pastor

  2. Hello John,
    I am a layperson, taking a service at our Presbyterian church in Christchurch, New Zealand, next weekend, and I just want you to know that I will be using your lovely prayer during our service. Thank you very much for it.
    Anne Shave

  3. Dear John,
    While researching about the Beatitudes, I came across your beautiful prayer. I would like you to know that I will be using it for youth of my school and Sunday Liturgy Class.
    Thankyou and God bless!
    Praneeti

  4. Dear John,
    We will be using your the prayer to begin our session on the Beatitudes next week during Lent.
    Thank you for posting it!
    Theresa

  5. Dear John,
    While researching about the beatitudes, I came across you wonderful prayer and would like to let you know that I will be sharing it with the members of the ‘Christ Renews His Parish” team as we prepare for an upcoming Retreat.
    God Bless You

  6. John …thank you for this beautiful prayer. It will be used as part of an opening prayer for a group of spiritual directors who meet monthly in a peer support group in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
    Blessings and peace be with you!

  7. Hi John
    I came across your lovely prayer while researching The Beatitudes for our prayer/meditation group. I shall be using this as it is beautiful and says it all.
    Blessings to you and your team.
    Ingrid
    New Forest, England

  8. Hi John,

    While researching about The Beatitudes, I came across this beautiful prayer. I would like you to know that I will be using your prayer for our Potluck service this Sunday.

    Blessings to you and your Team
    Luisa

  9. John, Thank you for providing inspiration for my prayers on the theme of the Beatitudes for our service tomorrow morning.
    Best wishes
    Rob
    Hertfordshire, UK

  10. John, thank you for this beautiful prayer. Will it be okay if a Bible study I’m involved with includes this prayer in a blog post on our website (http://www.brightpond.org)? We will be sure to give you credit and link back to your site. Thanks!

  11. John, Next year our theme for Faith Formation is The Keys to the Kingdom and in preparing our team for an upcoming prayer day, I found your wonderful prayer about the upside down Kingdom of God as expressed so beautifully in the Beatitudes. Thank you so much, Peace, joy and abundant blessings, Lyn

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