Living and Reigning God

We give you thanks on this Easter morning for the Resurrection
of your son Jesus Christ! Lord, help us to make Jesus’ victory our own and to
viscerally experience this liberating Good News.  From whatever graves we may currently inhabit, may we hear Jesus’ clarion
call to follow him to new life.  We
do not expect magic or instant gratification, rather we pray for your powerful
presence as we journey on our path of renewal.  From our destructive sin turn us to accept your transforming
grace, from isolating loneliness lead us towards a healing community, from
instinctive fear inspire intentional love, from paralyzing personal grief awaken
us to compassion towards others, in our helpless despair reveal your Incarnate One
so that we might be living testimonies to your resurrection, that we might, in
St. Augustine’s words, be alleluia from head to toe.

On this Easter morning we remember all those who are sick,
who are suffering, those who have died, and those who grieve those deaths. God,
who through your son Jesus conquered death, we commend the souls of all who
have died to your loving eternal embrace. 
May those of us who suffer from any affliction feel your comforting
presence and receive your healing power to sooth and mend our broken
hearts.  May the light of Jesus’
love break through the shadows and slowly bring back to life even the most
painful and deadened parts of our spirits.

Compassionate God, we remember the men and women of our
armed services and ask that you might protect them and give them a special
portion of Easter Good News.  We
pray for all people living in countries affected by war including Iraq and
Afghanistan, Israel and Palestine, Darfur, the Congo. God we pray for the day
when our swords will become plowshares and war will be no more.

Lord, much of the world remains in the hypnotic thrall of
crucifixion.  Billions of your
precious children living and dying in poverty, habitual war strangling fragile
efforts for peace, the weak exploited for gain by the greedy, loss of jobs and
homes throughout our nation devastating families, and the continued inequality
among peoples rotting the fabric of our society.  On this day of resurrection we remember Jesus’ first sermon
when he told us that he came to bring good news to the poor, release the
captive, give sight to the blind, liberation to the oppressed. Commission us
today to be apostles of your radical Gospel that Love is more powerful than
death, that passion is more powerful than the grave.  May we labor in your kingdom with the confidence that there is no evil we cannot
overcome if we are bound by the blessed power of your sacrificial love and
resurrecting Holy Spirit.

Thank you God for your son Jesus, for his life, for his
death, and for his resurrection. 
Hear us as we pray the prayer he taught us:

Father, who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy Name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
and the power,
and the glory,
for ever and ever.


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