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Through the Spring and Summer, and now into Fall, we have borne the grief of a global pandemic, endured a massive loss of life and of livelihood, and protested escalating violence against Black Lives. Even as we wait on the help of Almighty God, we are compelled to stand up; to defend the cause of righteousness. With boldness in our prayers and by our actions we seek to redeem the soul of our nation.

Love and Devotion to Others (1 Samuel 19:1-7, NRSV)

The Scripture reading is drawn from Sunday’s lesson for Oct0ber 4, 2020 ©Uniform Lessons Series, National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA.

19 Saul spoke with his son Jonathan and with all his servants about killing David. But Saul’s son Jonathan took great delight in David. Jonathan told David, “My father Saul is trying to kill you; therefore be on guard tomorrow morning; stay in a secret place and hide yourself. I will go out and stand beside my father in the field where you are, and I will speak to my father about you; if I learn anything I will tell you.” Jonathan spoke well of David to his father Saul, saying to him, “The king should not sin against his servant David, because he has not sinned against you, and because his deeds have been of good service to you; for he took his life in his hand when he attacked the Philistine, and the Lord brought about a great victory for all Israel. You saw it, and rejoiced; why then will you sin against an innocent person by killing David without cause?” Saul heeded the voice of Jonathan; Saul swore, “As the Lord lives, he shall not be put to death.” So Jonathan called David and related all these things to him. Jonathan then brought David to Saul, and he was in his presence as before.

Psalm 72, adapted

Today’s prayer, an adaptation of Psalm 72, is written by Arville Earl, High Point, North Carolina. The prayer first appeared in “Prayers With the People,” an email newsletter sent out from the Alliance of Baptists on September 16, 2020.

O God of love,
Grant to your faithful ones the grace
To represent you effectively in our Discordant world.
Give us courage enough
To put our lives on the line
In communicating truth and hope
To people all around us,
Wherever they may be found.
Where there is injustice,
May we diagnose its cause
And discover its cure.
Where there is bigotry and hatred,
Teach us to love and how to encourage others to love.
Where there is poverty,
Help us to share our wealth
That comes from your benevolence.
Where there is war and violence,
May we be peacemakers that help to lead those in conflict into
Lasting peace.
Help us, O God, to become
What you have called us and
Empowered us to become.
Where there is darkness,
May we become the rays
Of your sun that banish the gloom of lonely lives.
Where there is drought,
Let us be like fresh showers
That turn desolate land into
Green meadows.
When we are besieged by disaster,
May our faith be anchored in your grace.
Where there is ugliness and distortion,
Enable us to portray
The beauty and order of your
Will and purposes.
Great God,
You are here in our world.
Your presence is reflected
In your creation that surrounds us.
But there are those
Who do not feel your concern
Or acknowledge your love.
Is it because those
Whom you have called
Have not understood your will
And your mission in our world?
Forbid, O God,
That we be deaf to the cries of the poor and indifferent to their needs.
May we identify
With those who are oppressed
And help us to bear the burden
Of those who endure continuous suffering.
May we hear your voice of lovingkindness and may your loving touch be extended
through us, your faithful ones who are in this world to make known your all-inclusive
The glory is yours, O God,
And we shall praise your name.
May we celebrate
your great work together.