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.
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: