A prayer for the church of Christ
Ocean Park, Maine
August 15, 1999
Precious Lord, we thank you this morning for bringing
us together to worship you in this beautiful place. We thank you
for your faithfulness in sustaining Ocean Park as a Christian community
from generation to generation. You have gathered us together today
from many places. You have called us out of your scattered churches
to be one congregation. We come from a variety of denominations,
yet we worship you today as one body of Christ. We here in Ocean
Park experience the blessings of unity which you bestow on your
gathered people, and we are thankful.
Before his death, our Lord Jesus prayed that his followers would
be “one”, as he and the Father are one. That oneness
is a gift to us through the Holy Spirit, yet we are ashamed to say
that we have often turned our back on it. As brothers and sisters
in Christ, we have sometimes looked more like quarreling children
than mature disciples.
We confess that the church has divided where you sought to unite.
We confess that the church has sown prejudice where you sought to
reap love. We can hardly bring the good news of justice and peace
to the household of humankind, when the world can see that we Christians
are like a house divided against itself, which cannot stand.
We confess that we have fallen short of your vision for the church.
We have not lived in the loving communion which mirrors the unity
of the Father and the Son. For this, we repent and humbly ask your
Lord, help us to realize your vision of a church that will bring
all people into communion with you, God, and with one another, professing
one baptism, celebrating one communion, and acknowledging a common
ministry. This is our gift; this is our calling. For this, we pray.
Lord, help us to realize your vision of a church which will express
its unity by confessing the apostolic faith, living in genuine fellowship
and acting together in mutual accountability. This is our gift;
this is our calling. For this, we pray.
Lord, help us to realize your vision of a church that will reach
out to everyone, sharing, caring, proclaiming the good news of your
redemption, a sign of the kingdom and a servant of the world. This
is our gift; this is our calling. For this, we pray.
Lord, help us to realize your vision of a church, your people on
the way together, confronting all divisions of race, gender, age
or culture, striving to realize justice and peace, upholding the
integrity of creation. This is our gift; this is our calling. For
this, we pray.
We know you have a purpose for us in your kingdom, Lord, and we
pray for your forgiving grace and loving guidance as we seek to
fulfil our calling, to mirror among our brothers and sisters the
creative communion which marks your being in trinity.
We pray these things in the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Amen.
© 1999 Eden Grace
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