Daily Reading and Prayer – Sunday, August 2

1 John 4:7-12, 19

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us… We love because he first loved us.

Prayers of Thanksgiving and Intercession

– from 1 Corinthians 13

We thank you, Lord God, for your love.

We thank you, for without love, our lives are empty and hollow.

               without love, our finest words are but noise.

               without love, our greatest abilities are without purpose.

               without love, our greatest sacrifices are futile.

But with your love, O Lord, we can do great things,

               Making a difference in our world and in our lives.

               And blessing the lives of those around us.

We thank you that the love you give is patient and kind,

               never envious or boastful or arrogant or rude.

We thank you that the love you give does not insist on its own way;

               it is not irritable or resentful;

               that it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth.

The love which comes from you bears all things, believes all things,

               hopes all things, endures all things.

Your love never ends. All else may falter, but your love continues on.

Help us ever and always, Father, to better understand

               your love for us and for all the world;

To love you more each day;

To be a church which worships and works together in love and in service;

To share your love with all the world.

Bless us with faith.  Strengthen us with hope.  Fill our hearts with love.

Above all, Lord God, fill our hearts with love.

It is in love that we raise our prayers to you,

               prayers not only on behalf of ourselves, but of others.

We pray for struggling families, hurt by violence, frustration,

               misunderstanding, economic need.

We pray for families struggling with Covid 19 – those infected,

               those in quarantine, those separated from loved ones,

               those put out of work, those who must work in places of risk.

We pray for the children in our world, our country, our city,

               even our own neighborhood, who live in poverty,

               who live in neglect, who live in violence.

We pray for the parents who wish to provide for their families

               with dignity but are unable to find work.

We pray for those grandparents who find themselves forgotten and alone.

We pray for those who seek to serve our families;

               those who provide for education, healthcare, social assistance,

               and the whole ever-more challenged social structure.

Help us always to seek where we might serve, and in serving,

               help us serve in love.

In love, we pray for those in need of healing;

And in love, we pray for those who grieve.

Hear our silent prayers for these,

               and for the countless other needs which weigh heavy upon us…

Hear our prayer, Lord; Hear, and give answer.

In the meantime, Lord God, be with us, and all who need your love.

Bless us with faith.  Strengthen us with hope.  Fill our hearts with love.

Above all, Lord God, fill our hearts with love.

Praying as Jesus taught us, we say,

Our 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 debts, as we forgive our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation,

               but deliver us from evil.

For Thine is the kingdom, and the power,

               and the glory, forever and ever.  Amen.