Loving God, thank you for our families.
Thank you for the people who light up our lives,
whose tender presence is dear beyond all words,
people who have enriched our lives beyond all measure.
Give us love for our families,
accepting them as they are,
encouraging them to be all they can be,
appreciating them as we want to be appreciated.
You know our relationships inside out,
you know that we have people in our family we love,
but there are also people in our family we only tolerate,
and people in our family we can hardly stand.
Give us patience with our families this week.
When we would keep track of hurtful words,
call to mind the thoughtless words we have spoken.
When we would count the ways we have been neglected,
teach us to remember that we too overlook others.
This week some extended families are facing extra pressure
because they are grieving the loss of loved ones,
or caring for sick or hurting people.
Give caregivers strength and wisdom.
We pray this week for families that are torn apart,
especially families who are fleeing violence
and leave loved ones behind or are separated from them.
Give compassion to our government leaders who make decisions
about who gets to come to our country,
and can help families re-unite.
Jesus, you know that there some serious problems in our family lives.
Sometimes the people we love the most
can be the people with whom we have the most conflict.
You walked a fine line of love with your own family;
help us know when to stay, and when to walk away,
when to hope, and when to draw a line.
Help us to live in peace while still respecting ourselves;
to refuse to abuse, and not to let others abuse us either.
We want our church family to be a loving and supportive place
for singles, for couples, for every type of family group.
Be our familiar guide in all we do and say this week. Amen.