An Eastertide prayer based on John 20.
Jesus, when you greeted the disciples after the resurrection your words were those of peace. You breathed upon them the Holy Spirit, so that your peace would always rest upon them. Having received the peace of Christ, we are sent out to share it with others.
We offer our prayers for those who do not know your peace. Silence words of hate, condemnation, and all that degrades the image of you in each human being. May the Holy Spirit continue to move in the lonely places. With words and sighs, may peace increase.
Jesus, you said, “Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Stand up and walk’?” Neither seems easy to us, but you have given us the power to forgive sins. This seems unbelievable to us. But if you have the power of life over death, surely you can give us the power to forgive.
We offer our prayers for those who believe they are beyond forgiveness. Teach us to see where we can be bearers of your grace to others. Release from us the need to hold on to the sins done against us. Help us to believe that you offer us more than the grudges we bear.
Jesus, when Thomas doubted, you returned so that he could see and feel your wounds. How patient you are with our doubts. Even when we say, “We will not believe!” and lay our demands upon you, you come to us in peace. You speak into our very souls, inviting us to believe in what we cannot see.
We offer our prayers for those whose doubts seem overwhelming. Speak to them in the beauty of art, music, nature, and friendships so that they would know of your goodness. May we welcome the doubts of others as an opportunity to wonder together about who you are. Give us a spirit that is able to hold what we do not know with the truth of what we have experienced.
Jesus, the “Alleluias” of Easter remain on our lips. With awe and thanksgiving for the resurrection, we join us voices together as we pray: Our Father…
Luke 5:23 (NRSV)
If you are interested in more prayers like this, consider checking out my book:
Prayers for the People: Scripturally Based Prayers for Worship Prayers for the People is a collection of prayers for worship. These prayers offer the worshipping community and individuals fresh perspectives for praying the words of Scripture, using current language and references. Cross-referenced to the Revised Common Lectionary, pastors seeking to lead their people in prayer have found a relevant and beautiful source for worship planning.