Easter 2014Prayers of the people from today’s Easter worship at Fourth Presbyterian Church.

God of majesty, God of grace,
God of love, God of peace,
God of wonder, God of mystery,
God of hope, God of joy:

In the darkness of night at the Easter Vigil,
at the breaking of dawn early this morning on the beach,
and now in this magnificent place
filled with people eager to feel your presence,
heralded by trumpets and choir,
celebrated with the best we have to offer,
the light of Christ shines bright.

In the joy of children on Easter morning,
in the wonder that fills their hearts and minds,
the light of Christ shines bright.

In our songs of praise and Easter proclamations,
in the energy that fills the air
and the hope that rings throughout the world,
the light of Christ shines bright.

But what about the lonely places, God?
What about the dark places?
What about the person waiting alone at a bus stop?
What about the person standing on the corner asking for help?
What about the person without a job?
What about the family without a home?
What about the person aching for love and companionship?
What about the couple longing for a child?
What about the child without a mother or father?
What about the relationship that is ending?
What about the friendship falling apart?
What about the sick and the dying?
What about the feeble and frail?
What about people on the brink of war?
What about communities torn apart by violence?
What about the damage we have done to our precious world?
What about families losing hope that loved ones will be found?
What about the person suffering from an addiction they cannot control?
What about the person wishing it all would just end?

God, does the light of Christ shine bright in these places, too?
Does the light of Christ pierce these places of darkness?

With hearts and minds wide open, God,
in the stillness of this moment
we hear you whisper, “yes.”

With a confidence we can barely comprehend,
we know that there is no danger,
no disaster, no tragedy,
no mistake, no sin, no failure
no pain and no darkness—nothing
that is beyond the redemptive power of your love.

And in the quiet of this moment,
we hear you calling us,
each of us.
Calling us to not just be spectators of this sacred drama,
not passive participants or spiritual consumers.

The empty tomb needs someone to tell about it.
The light of Christ needs lives in which to shine.
The world needs the body of Christ to bring your love.

And so, on this day in which we are filled with joy and hope,
on this day that reminds us of your amazing love,
on this day in which the light of Christ shines bright,
we dedicate ourselves to you.
We answer your call to share the good news we have heard.
We commit ourselves to loving others as much as you love us.
We step forth in faith to be a part of your kingdom,
as it grows in the world through lives transformed by your grace.

It is for this kingdom, O God,
that we pray on this day of days
using the words the living Christ teaches us.

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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