Concerns and Prayers

Most Holy God,

We are a people who need you in your fullness
— as Creative Father, Redeeming Son, and Sustaining Spirit.
Our lives have complications and pain,
our world has war and despair.
But we were made in your image, and
your Spirit was breathed into us
that we might experience hope in your goodness.

There are situations that make it hard to be aware of that goodness.
We pray now for those whose lives are affected
by the negativity in these circumstances:

When bombs and terrorist and military attacks kill and injure innocent people around the world . . . (brief silence)

When storms and hurricanes are so strong they destroy even the homes designed to withstand them . . .(brief silence)

When political battles bring out pettiness over issues too important for bickering . . . (brief silence)

When our hearts ache, hurt by broken relationships and unmet expectations . . .
(brief silence)

When we are exhausted emotionally from illnesses in ourselves or those we love . . . (brief silence)

When we are overwhelmed by loneliness and isolation even though you are always with us . . . (brief silence)

Gracious and Merciful Lord,
our church is working to hear the words of your Spirit.
Our desire is to learn what and who you are calling us to be in your world.
We call out to you
that we might have the courage
to give to you whatever burdens we entered with today
so that our hearts and minds can be open to you,
to your Word,
and to your Spirit — your Ruach*
— the same life-giving breath from the first of creation.

Christ challenges us to know you, God,
as one who would search us out if we are lost.
But we must also know that when we are not the "one,"
we are members of the 99 waiting together for your guidance.
So it is together that we use our breath to pray the words Christ taught us:

"Our Father . . ."

*The use of "Ruach" (the Hebrew word for breath, wind, and spirit) in the prayer was suited to the context as the congregation is going through a discernment process called "Ruach and Renewal." The word has overtones that connect it to the winds so prominent in the experience of people in the Caribbean and the southeastern United States in September 2004.

Copyright © 2004 Andrea Murdock. Used by permission. This article may be printed, copied, distributed, reprinted in church bulletins or newsletters, or otherwise used for nonprofit local church worship or education with the inclusion of the copyright citation. It may not be used for profit or reproduced in other media without prior permission of the author. For permission, contact the author at

Andrea Murdock, Youth Minister at West End United Methodist Church, Nashville Tennessee, in 2004, prepared and led this expression of concerns and prayers with the congregation on September 12, 2004. The Center for Worship Resourcing shares it as both an example and a usable expression of intercession for the world, the church, and all in need. If you use it in your setting, be sure to adapt it to the context and time of use.

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