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I am a high school English teacher in an urban high school in Oklahoma City. I am a member of the American Federation of Teachers, Local 2309. I am a Democrat, a union activist and a worker for social justice. I also am a Christian (Congregationalist). I play chess and coach our school chess team.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

My Prayer This Sunday

Mayflower Church

To Learn More About Mayflower Congregational,UCC Church

Note: I was the worship leader this Sunday at Mayflower Church. Our pastor is away for his annual vacation, which this year includes a book tour promoting his new book. Former Oklahoma Governor David Walters was our guest speaker. This was the congregational prayer I gave.

God of all Creation, God of Many Names Honored in Many Ways

We pray first for your blessings on our pastor, his wife and child while they are absent from us. Grant them your protection during this time of rest and renewal. May we ever be mindful of the stresses that are a constant factor in the lives of those called to minister to our needs. May we seek to “Bear … one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.”

We pray also for our wounded and bleeding world. We have grown too fond of war so much so that we have become numb to its terrible consequences. We have even invoked the name of the Prince of Peace to justify our indulgence in our belligerent nature. We ask for your healing touch on those whom we have called upon to fight our wars. God, forgive those leaders who fight wars with other people’s children and try pay for their wars from the resources of future generations.

We pray for our state, this land of rolling hills, vast plains, woods and rivers. In the coming elections in our state, give us the wisdom as we chose among those participating in our democracy in a personal way by becoming candidates. We honor their sense of devotion, their sacrifice, their labor, and their commitment to service. May we reject all appeals to our prejudices and make our choices based on the demands of justice.

We pray for our church that has become a beacon of hope in our community. We truly are as city set upon a hill. The eyes of all have been set upon us. May we provide a model for what a spiritual community ought to be. May we enjoy each other’s fellowship; make each others’ conditions our own; rejoice together, mourn together, labor and suffer together, always having before our eyes our community in your work, as members of the same body. May our unity be symbolized by our praying together the prayer that Jesus taught us to pray:

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, the power, and the glory forever, Amen.

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