Beloved, Embrace Us In Your Mercy

Responsive prayers by Margaret D. McGee, appropriate for use any Sunday in the Green Season.

 

Let us join our voices together in prayer to the One God – Creator, Lover, and Friend:

Beloved, embrace us in your mercy.

We put our trust in you.

It seems as though our world is always in some kind of trouble, from natural disasters to disasters that we bring on ourselves. Dear God, surround and preserve our earthly home.

Beloved, embrace us in your mercy.

We put our trust in you.

Our nation is a leader in the world. From your teachings, we know that means that we are called to be the world’s humble servant. Guide our leaders with your eyes, that with true humility they may see the path to peace, justice, and truth.

Beloved, embrace us in your mercy.

We put our trust in you.

Out here on the corner of the Olympic peninsula, we have our ups and downs as well. We want to love you more than anything else and to love our neighbors as ourselves, but it’s not always clear how best to go about it. That’s why we’re here in your house today, hoping to learn the way that we should go.

Beloved, embrace us in your mercy.

We put our trust in you.

We pray for all those in pain, sickness, or any kind of trouble. Let your heart be their hiding place, a surrounding of deliverance and peace. We remember especially those on our parish prayer list and those named now, aloud or in our hearts.  [Pause for names to be said aloud.]

Beloved, embrace us in your mercy.

We put our trust in you.

We pray for all who have died and for all who mourn, remembering especially those named now, aloud or in our hearts.  [Pause for names to be said aloud.]

Beloved, embrace us in your mercy.

We put our trust in you.

We pray for the Body of Christ here on earth—for all faithful people, and for all who are true of heart. Keep us in their number, open and willing to meet the Savior in all we do.

Beloved, embrace us in your mercy.

We put our trust in you.

We come to you aware of our weakness, and still with faith that when we have the heart to speak, you will listen. Hear us as we make our prayers to you, the One God – Creator, Lover, and Friend.

Amen.  

These prayers were first used on June 13, 2010 (Year C, Proper 6) at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Port Townsend, Washington. They were written using language and inspiration from the scripture readings for the day, which you can find on The Lectionary Page.

More about responsive prayer.
Note on Sharing the Leader Role in Responsive Prayer

The call-and-response refrain of these prayers was inspired by Psalm 32:11b“…mercy embraces those who trust in the Lord.”  Though I like the refrain, it doesn’t give the congregation much to say. So when we used the prayers for the first time, I decided to get the congregation more into the act by sharing the leader’s role. Just before the service, I passed through the aisles and asked various individuals if they would take the role of leader for one petition. At the appropriate moment in the service, I started the prayers by reading the first line and call for response. After that, each petition and call was read by a different person in the congregation. As the various voices spoke up from around the room, our prayers truly did feel like “Prayers of the People.”
— Margaret

About Margaret D. McGee