Thank you God for the slanting rays of the sun in the morning,
making everything golden and new.
For the blessing of snow, falling on everything,
covering everything like a benediction.
Thank you for the shock of cardinals against bare branches,
and the liveliness of squirrels running through trees.
Thank you for the smell of coffee and tea in the morning,
for warm houses and comfortable clothes,
for days off and time to relax.
Thank you for this day, which we have been given as a gift!
We long to know you, and your will for our lives.
We confess there are places in our lives where we are confused and puzzled.
In complicated family relationships, we don’t know where to turn.
In heavy financial difficulties, we feel stuck.
In scary health problems, we feel overwhelmed.
In complex political dilemmas, we long for answers.
Give us insight into your Word,
so that we can understand your will for our world, and for our lives.
Helps us to be a community for each other,
and for those on the margins,
extending the peace of Christ in practical, everyday ways.
Today especially we pray for the children in our church.
Thank you for the promise of hope for the future that children bring.
Thank you for our babies, our toddlers, our school age children;
thank you for our high schoolers.
We pray for health and strength for these precious ones in our midst,
keep them safe from harm and accident.
Thank you for the way children are a gift in our church,
their unbounded enthusiasm and excitement is like yeast and salt for us.
Help them in their schooling, to learn well,
and give them insight as they reach out in friendship
and are themselves befriended by others.
Give parents and caregivers patience,
help them to find creative solutions in stressful circumstances.
Give them soft hearts and open arms
as they model how to say “I’m sorry”, and how to say, “I love you”
with more than words.
Today we also pray for children in our community who are frightened,
and alone, who face abuse, and hunger and uncertainty.
Help the teachers and social workers and medical staff who meet these children
to recognize their pain and do as much as they can
to bring peace into their fractured lives.
Help our political leaders to have a heart and a will to help children in trouble.
Our communities are far from perfect, far from peaceful,
we have a long way to go to find your kingdom,
and yet you are here even now.
Open our eyes to see your presence.
And now we pray together, as you taught us to pray [Lord’s Prayer]