Prayers for Easter Sunday II, Year B (April 15 2012)

OPENING PRAYER

Lord Jesus Christ, on the second Sunday of Easter,
the light of your love shines on!
Your light has come into the world,
And neither darkness, nor evil, nor even death itself could overcome it.
And we (like Mary, like the disciples, like “doubting” Thomas)
who have been there with you through Holy Week and the first Easter Morning
have been made witnesses to the resurrection story:
Wondering, bewildered, hoping, rejoicing…. and sometimes doubting.
It is not always easy to believe with our minds and trust with our hearts.
Loving Christ,
Open the eyes of our faith that we may behold the work of your redemption.
Open our minds and hearts to receive you, Lord:
your resurrection glory, your light everlasting.
May this time of worship, reflection and celebration
be a worthy response to your love and your sacrifice for us.

Together we pray as you taught your disciples to pray….

PASTORAL PRAYER

Risen Christ, our eternal Savior,

Like the disciples, we are gathered together the week after Easter: wondering whether it is true, marveling at the possibility, and daring to hope.

Like the disciples, we are sometimes afraid, sometimes full of doubt.

But in your extravagant generosity, your boundless love, you appear to us in our fear and love us in our doubts and grant us the oceans of your peace.

Thank you for loving us as we are.

Teach us not to hide from our doubt, but to recognize it as a door to mystery and to deeper faith. After all, the disciples’ fear became a visitation as they saw you among them, risen and triumphant. Thomas’ doubt became a moment of revelation as he saw and touched you, and finally believed.

This morning we pray for the many men and women in our society who have no faith at all. There are so many who live without hope, without knowledge of your resurrection, without your light in their lives. Grant us the courage to live as witnesses to your resurrection. Risen Christ, be light in our world.

We pray for those in our congregation this morning who find it difficult to believe. Lord knows that they are not alone, but in the best of company: even Christ’s own disciples struggled to believe all that they had seen and heard. Loving Christ, it is your presence that removes all fear and erases all doubts: so come, and grant the doubting Thomases in our midst your presence & peace.

And grant to all of us, living Lord Christ, renewed faith, great courage, and your boundless peace.

We rejoice this morning with…

Loving God, we pray for….

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