God, open our eyes to the world of pain.
We open the newspaper to changes and chaos that envelops the world, especially as we look East. The Brexit vote and European Union unrest. The European refugee crisis and countries who seek to know how to be hospitable in difficult days. Political and military chaos in Turkey. Mass murder in Nice, France. And the continuing civil war in Syria that has been the underlying source of so many of these issues, and the destabilizing force in the region.
God, open our eyes to those who are hurting in parts of the world beyond our own. We sing that in Christ there is no East nor West, and so we pray for others in other parts of the world, hurting and struggling and dying and grieving.
And we pray for ourselves.
Because we know that at the heart of so much unrest and destabilization are things like fear and hunger for power and xenophobia about those who look and sound different than us and greed. And all of a sudden, the part of the world that are hurting don’t sound that different than us. And our hurt.
Open our eyes to the world of pain, far and near.
But God, perhaps more importantly this morning, we pray that you might open our eyes to your world of promise! Your world of grace. Of forgiveness. Of healing.
We pray for the Damascenos, serving in the United Kingdom, doing Gospel work in the midst of the chaos. We pray for Doctors without Borders, who serve and heal in the most dangerous parts of the world. We pray for organizations who implicitly and explicitly are doing your work of healing and restoring and bringing about hope.
And we pray that your promise will be far – and near!
We pray that you would open our eyes to the promise and hope in our own world. The organizations here who implicitly and explicitly become sources of your healing. The individuals who speak out against the hatred of racism, of sexism, of greed. Even the unspeakable joy of the promise of new life: celebrated today with the birth of Ava Knight, and with the baptism of Maddy Hajer.
God, open our eyes to your world of promise!