Various times in Feedback, different ones have shared how they felt about

prayer.......... if they prayed at all..... and if so, why?

When asked to lead the prayers today, these questions resurfaced for me.

I've concluded at least 2 things for myself which I wanted to share.

l) One was said best by Wm Barclay, an Eng. theologian, who said.

"We pray because we can do no other". This seems to be true down

through my life. I've not been able to not pray.

2) Secondly, I realize that prayer for me is a way of expressing my very

deepest longings and yearnings. There's a verse in Romans that says,

"The Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray

as we ought, but the spirit intercedes for us with sighs too deep for


Will you join me this morning in praying both for ourselves and for each

other in our community of faith?

God, we thank you for this new that we have never lived before.

We are thankful for health and homes and family and friends and all things

which enable us to more fully live this day and enjoy it.

But we remember those who are in illness or pain...for whom the day will be slow and long.

Bless those who are hurting for any reason- those who are lonely- those in crisis- those who have given up hope. May we who have been blessed with so much, reach out to those who most need our caring.

We pray for our pastor and the other men who are on Retreat. May they

return to us renewed and refreshed in spirit.

We pray for all of our Shalom community, this special church for so many

of us. Help us to value one another for who we are, not just for what we do. Help us to take time to know each other. Time enough to see when

there are tears just behind the smiles and laughter.... time enough to

sense the fears beneath the confident exteriors. May we listen to

each other so that we can truly understand.

Deliver us from self-absorption that may cause us to overlook another's

need. Save us from selfishiness which sees only our own point of view... &

from smugness which suggests our way is best.

Be with those of us who are on personal journeys of recovery and healing.

Keep us from discouragement. We long to be whole, Lord.

We have been known to say that we love all the people of the world- and

yet sometimes find it hard to love that one sitting in the next chair, or

across the circle at Feedback.

In all of our relationships, may we speak the truth with courage, and

always with love.

Let the strength of our convictions be matched by the depth of our respect

for the convictions of others.

Make us aware when we become too comfortable or complacent.

Save us from fear of facing the dangers that confront us today. Help us to

see the tables that need kicking over. Give us courage, we pray.

Strengthen our confidence that through all of life's changes, you are the same God, ever gracious, from whose love nothing can separate us.

May we learn better how to offer that love to each other.

Hear our yearnings, Lord. Listen to our sighs. And somehow increase

our faith so that we may know that we are heard. Amen.

The Pastor at Shalom asked me to do the Pastoral Prayer in Sunday's service. I spoke, and prayed, the above….. Joyce