July 4th, 2022

Holy One, thank You that You have been our strength in times past, and that You continue to support and strengthen your people through every season of life. For babies, their fragrance, their vulnerability, the softness of skin, we give thanks. For toddlers and children, full of energy and endless questions, squirming, and spontaneity, we give thanks. For teens, maturing and growing, young adults spreading wings and growing in independence, we give thanks. For all the stages of adulthood; the joys of family life, adventures, intimate relationships, for grandparenting, we give thanks. For the golden years of wisdom, grace amidst limitations, a time for reflection, a time for retirement, we give thanks and pray that you would be glorified through each stage and season.

We give thanks for summer days – ripe strawberries, the refreshment of swimming and the fun of water balloons; backyard bbq’s and fire flies. As school terms have wrapped up, summer jobs and vacation planning under way, we pray for refreshment for educators and students, bright celebration for our graduates. We pray for spaciousness in each day to soak in the beauty of each day. Vibrant sunsets; the warmth of the sun of our cheeks, waves that ebb and flow.

God, we offer our prayers for whose needs, or pain, or suffering, we carry deep in our hearts. We pray for compassion and comfort for all who are grieve, the weak, the frazzled. We pray for those anticipating appointments and the unexpected journey of treatment as well as their families as they support and extend care. We pray for the frustrated, the discouraged, those who are weary of struggle, or division, and those who live with pain. We pray for long-term care communities locked down amidst covid outbreaks. We pray for patience, comfort amidst isolation and loneliness. And we pray for safe travels for all on the roads these days.

We pray for Ron Gerber who has had a difficult week. Ron is receiving treatment for an infection. He is very weak and feeling unwell. Ron appreciates prayers for healing, restored strength, and deep measures of patience. We also pray for Ron’s family as they have taken on primary care giving roles. Grant them peace, strength, and rest. We pray for all who are caregivers for aging parents and loved ones.

We especially pray for all those currently impacted by covid outbreaks and lock-downs including loved ones at Nithview Home and Fairview Mennonite home. May God’s comfort surround all those experiencing isolation and loneliness.

We pray for Grace & Elmer Neeb & family as Grace begins chemotherapy tomorrow to treat leukemia. Grace & Elmer appreciate all the prayers and care they have received. We pray for treatment to do its healing work and for sustained strength and peace for Grace.

Surround and keep safe our loved ones in long-term care.

We pray for our Households of Faith. Whether at work, at rest, at play, may each know your love and peace. May relationships be seasoned love and may the peace of Christ fill each heart.

We pray Holy One as those desiring to walk faithfully in your ways saying: Our Father……………..

VBS Prayer:

VBS….. is opportunity to attend to the sowing of the seeds of faith…. Trusting that through the Spirit those seeds will be received, nourished, grow, and bear fruit.

Bible Stories, songs, activities including comforter knotting and milk bag mat making….are seed sowing opportunities.

Seeds are nourished through the accompaniment of patient and kind leaders and volunteers ….

It is God that makes the seeds grow.

Let’s pray: Abundant and Joy-giving God,

You fill your world with a season of summer delights. Fill us with the joy of this season.

As we gather in the midst of summer days to hear and engage with and live into your story of love, may our days together lead to new friendships, new activity, new insights, and a strengthened and deepened relationship with you.

May your Spirit shower upon teachers, leaders, and volunteers; giving energy, creativity, and patience. May your love embrace the children and young people who join us for VBS so they may come to know you more deeply. May your people experience good fellowship in these days as we study, create, and play.

Bless us, O God, as we seek to learn from your living Word and to share your love. As you gather us in for VBS, send us out beyond this place to show the world what we have come to know: that your grace and welcome and wonder are for all. We pray in the name of your Son. Amen.