Prayers for May                                                                   Shared by the Rev. Sanford K. H. Wright,

                                                                                                          Pastor Emeritus, First Presbyterian Church, Alpena

Tuesday, May 26--

   O God: we ask you to touch and shape our souls as we open them to you.  Grant healing wherever that is required, forgiveness wherever guilt is overwhelming, refreshment and renewal wherever all seems stale and old and tired.  As we grapple with unfamiliar threats and challenges, lead us forth into new visions of life and new possibilities of faith.  Help us to be a holy and happy people.  Amen.

Wednesday, May 27--

   Heavenly King:  every day brings new challenges and fresh opportunities.  Sometimes we're grateful and sometimes we're fearful.  We don't pretend that the future is mostly about us, though we're confident that you'll be with us to the end of our days.  We're concerned about the children and youth for whom there are no clear boundaries or expectations.  The foundations that gave security in the past seem to be crumbling.  The paths ahead lead in several directions.  Help the young to choose wisely where they will go.  Give them the wisdom and courage to start over when their initial choices prove to be wrong.  Amen.

Monday, May 25--

     Mighty God: we remember with thanksgiving all who have given their lives so that others may live in security.  We regret that there always seem to be people with twisted minds and evil intentions who make war appear necessary.  Teach us the true ways to peace so that battlefields may become pleasant places.  Convince us to convert weapons of mass destruction into machines and tools for building a world  of harmony and justice.  Lead us into a new age where our memories of hatred and violence will fade away.  Change our outlook so that we'll say, "Thank you for your service" also to those who see no glory or honor in armed conflict between nations.  Amen.

Sunday, May 24--

   Holy Parent, who dwells throughout the universe and reigns over the farthest reaches of creation:  we are in awe because of all that we know about you.  Teach us and lead us in your ways until we are able to make this world a true reflection of your dwelling-place.  Continue to provide for our physical needs.  Wipe out the effects of our wrong thoughts and acts, and enable us to do the same for others.  Prevent us from surrendering to ideas and actions that will degrade us.  Turn us away from everything that challenges what you had in mind when you made us.  We acknowledge that the whole universe is yours.  Your authority is unmatched.  Your goodness overcomes all darkness in and beyond every moment of time.  Amen.

Saturday, May 23--

   Great God:  you have given us the world as our home and have surround us with beauty.  Too often we treat the earth carelessly.  We abuse its natural resources.  We pollute the air and water, destroy farmlands and forests, lay waste to mountains in search of minerals.  We use rivers, ponds, lakes and oceans as garbage dumps.  Forgive our neglect.  Accept our thanks for the people who take pride in trying to keep everything clean and safe and fresh.  We're grateful for scientists who give us warnings, for people who clean up after us, for trash collectors who work to make our environment pleasant and secure.  Awaken us to the need to be more responsible with  all the blessings you offer.  Amen

Friday, May 22--

   Creator God:  you spoke and the whole universe came into being.  Too often we forget how powerful words are, not only yours but ours as well.  What we say or write can build up people  and institutions, or it can tear them to shreds.  Let us always be careful with the words we send out.  Show us how to appreciate and support the people who bring us news and help us to think.  Persuade them to seek and to publish what is true and to avoid what is only sensational.  May the power of words be used to renew our minds and to bring us together.  Amen

Thursday, May 21--

   O God: your thoughts and actions are so far beyond the limits of our imaginations that we often don't know how to interpret them.  Today Christians observe Ascension Day.  The Bible reports that Jesus was lifted from a gathering of his disciples and taken away on a cloud.  What does that mean?  Where did he go?  Did he really blast off like a rocket entering a heavenly orbit forever?  Some of the most brilliant saints have offered explanations that still leave us scratching our heads in confusion.  Don't let us forget that, in the best sense of the words, "it's not what we know but whom we know."  As we wrestle with life's deepest mysteries, give us the confidence that you are forever in control and our future is secure.  Amen.

Wednesday, May 20--

   Lord God: you have honored us by charging us to be co-workers with you.  Bless everyone who is laboring to meet that challenge.  Whether our efforts depend mostly upon strength of arm, skill of hand, ideas from the brain or compassion of the heart, convince us of the importance of what we are doing.  At the same time, show your favor for those who have no work.  Help us to open doors that will lead to their employment.  Together let us shape a world where no one is hungry, where decent housing and healthcare are available to all, where everyone finds satisfaction in his or her contributions to the common good.  Amen.

Tuesday, May 19--

    Creator and Ruler of all that is:  too many of your people give no thought to you whatsoever.  Too many others are convinced that you don't exist.  Millions more just don't care.  Those of us who sense your reality can't prove it.  But all around us, even in the midst of trouble and discouragement, we're aware of your love and power.  Others may disagree with our interpretations of certain events.  What seem like miracles to us appear to be mere coincidences to them.  What we regard as signs of your presence and support seem to be no more than wishful thinking to them.  Don't let their doubts alienate us.  Let the certainty of our faith move them to find hope.  Amen