Today there is a prayer upon my heart.

Gracious God, we bring to you your people who are threatened by storms that could harm them, the land and property. Keep people and animals safe and free from fear. We take a moment to pause, and pray to you for those in and around Florida.

Other people, O God, are suffering from extreme heat, without relief Help us know how to help them, for all your people hurt when some are hurting. We pause and pray.

We pray for those places in our world where there is violence and unrest that threatens people. Give leaders your heart, O God, your wisdom and strength to care for those who are living with constant uncertainty. We pray for those who serve in our military and their families. We pause and pray for who are in dangerous places.

On this Labor Day weekend, we pray in thanksgiving for work and pray for those who find themselves without good work, with no good way to care for their families. Give those who employee others a good heart so they can lead people well. We pause and give thanks for work.

We pray, O God, for the United Methodist Church. You know our needs and struggles.  We pray for your wisdom, your grace to cover over all our failings and longings to bring us to a place of healing and hope for all your people. We pause to hear your voice.

Here at St. Mark’s, God of love, we pray for your wisdom, too. We pray to be patient, to find ways to listen to each other, to extend grace – your love – to one another, and to see your face in each other. We worship you, God, and are filled with joy at what you are doing in our midst, and long for your continued guidance and direction as we find our way in the United Methodist Church, and as we start our second site. Our prayer, O God, is that through the second site we might reach more people with your love, so lead us in your way.  We pause to feel and know your heartbeat of love.

We pray for ourselves today. We come to you with humility and longing. Heal our hearts, strengthen our lives to serve you, show us your way and your desires for us. Fill us with your Spirit of joy so that we focus not just on ourselves but on you and on your love for all of us. We give you thanks, great thanks, in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Blessings, Sharon