Pastoral Prayer for May 2, 2021 

God we are grateful today for all the celebrations of graduation we see and sense around us. For families of college graduates who snap photos with tears of pride in their eyes, for young people who have worked hard and learned and grown for the past four years. We give you praise for their perseverance and you give you thanks for the opportunity presented. We give you praise because some of these young people began as Thomas; needing proof, needing to touch and understand and know. Some parents were filled with doubt as they watched their emerging young adults flounder and make decisions that seemed self-destructive. And yet, you promised peace. And to all our doubts, you opened your hands. You opened your hands because you want us always to be invited into the realm of your kingdom, into the reality of your topsy turvy upside down grace-filled messy loving and joyful kingdom. You opened your hands and we grabbed a hold. Peace be with you, you promised as we journeyed on our way. 

May you take these young people graduating college this weekend and use their vision and their gifts and to help heal and create good on and in your world. For Lord, even as we celebrate, we know there is much to work towards, there much to pray for. 

we pray for those living in levels of poverty that we cannot fathom. We pray that we confront and engage the systems that maintain and imprison others in poverty; that we do the difficult work of justice to which you have called us. 

We pray for those who struggle with health crises, for those facing diagnosis that doctors cannot change; for those facing the loss of abilities or the agencies of their mind, for those anticipating surgeries. Grant them the courage to be honest in their fears and their anger, grace when they can’t process the realities, and love from the family and friends whom surround them. 

We pray today for the complexities of our own lives. We pray for our children, those who grow within us, those who are learning new independence, those who are launching into adulthood in a strange world. 

We pray for our levels of exhaustion and stress form the “open, no closed, no delayed, no, we’ll just wait and see” rollercoaster we’ve been on this past year. We pray for our healthcare workers, they are exhausted. 

Finally, Lord we thank you for Thomas. We thank you for taking our doubt not as a lack of faith but an important element of faith. 

For all of the needs and stories, our own, our communities and our world, we pray that your compassion enfolds. In the name of our comforter, our shepherd our lord: Amen.