Our Gracious God,

Thank you for creating the church.  Thank you that we don’t have to do this all on our own.  Thank you that we get to participate in all of this – the songs, the preaching, the bread and wine, the simply coming together week after week.

We are not alone.  Though the Evil One may want us to believe that we are all alone in this world, it is a lie.  You are our Father and our brothers and sisters are in this room and scattered all over the world – Poland, Thailand, Ecuador, Malawi.  For those brothers and sisters who suffer under the hands of persecutors, we pray especially. May the Holy Spirit comfort them and strengthen them and may our hearts increase as we recognize our union with them. It is a big family and we are in this together.

We confess that sometimes we want to be alone.  That we don’t want the hassle of community.  But You tell us that this is a dangerous road.  We simply cannot be the body of Christ on our own.  Convict us of our tendency to desire and pursue independence.

And God, sometimes we need each other – desperately – for the world isn’t always kind and sometimes the ugly seems to outweigh the beauty.  For those of us who are just hanging on, may Your body be the strength and comfort we need.  May we be willing to remove the masks and tell the truth – so that Your hands and feet can do what needs to be done.

We ask for the oil of grace – to keep this body limber and flexible.  We ask for humble hearts – to keep us aware of our need for each other – for that Christ we can see and touch and hear.  Keep us from the three year old’s cry that “I can do this by myself!”

And so –  together with our brothers and sisters – we pray these things in Your loving name,