Prayers of the People: Isaiah 1

Here’s a prayer of intercession inspired by Isaiah 1: 1, 10-20. It was written by Keith Howard.

Prayer for Others
(inspired by Isaiah 1:1, 10-20)

 Our God, we give you thanks.

Thank you for not giving up on us.
We know we are prone to bad habits,
to preoccupation with ourselves, with what we want,
with that with which we feel comfortable,
with fulfilling the obligations that give us affirmation.
Thank you for hanging in there with us

even when we become lost in all the junk of our lives.
Thank you for the possibility of conversations –
with friends, lovers, spouses,
those who come into our lives as your angels in disguise.
So much of our life becomes routine and automated
and we are drawn to live into what next needs to be done,
we ask for your help to be courageous in our listening and talking,
to be still in order to hear, to let down the shields.

And this we also ask for our conversations with you.
We know there are times you draw near and want to talk and we divert.
We know there are times when you desperately want to lead us
into green pastures; beside still waters;
to restore our soul, to lead us in right paths ...
Help us listen and give us courage.

Thank you for your persistence, for your love,
for the many voices, the many ways in which you try and get through to us.
Do not give up on us even when we have given up on ourselves
through despair or self-satisfaction.

Our God, you draw us back to the fundamentals –
cease to do evil, learn to do good;
seek justice, rescue the oppressed,
defend the orphan, plead for the widow.
Are we not too old, too tired, too entitled
to rest here in the beauty of this sanctuary,
to enjoy this solemn assembly at least for a little while?

And yet, we are your people,
formed with these concerns now in our bones;
so we lift our hearts and our prayers to you for all those who suffer –
oppression, injustice, neglect, poverty,
a sense of being alone against massive powers which ignore or destroy.
We open our hearts and our eyes
and ask you to continue to move against all these forces
even if it requires us to move from our comfort.
Rally the heavenly hosts and the angels
who protect and fight for those who have no one else ...
and we shall try not to be too far behind.

For we will be your people even in spite of ourselves.

We join our voices with those early ones, the lepers, the sick,
the outcast who pleaded with Jesus outside of Jerusalem,
for the sake of the world and their own sakes, to teach them a prayer.
(the Lord’s Prayer)