Our Father and our God, we open now our very souls before Thee,
for something within us craves food
which the bread of this world cannot satisfy.
We would slake our thirst at the everlasting fountain.
We thank Thee for all Thou hast done for us,
for the way Thou hast shepherded us and provided for us
all this journey through,
for family and friends and the fulfillment of daily work.
Above all, for Jesus Thy Son, our Lord.
We lift before Thee our nation, so splendid in possibility,
so stricken and uncertain in this moment of history.
Give us again the vision of a nation under God,
moving to be what Thou wouldest have us be
and to do what Thou dost bid us do.
We pray for all political prisoners and, indeed,
for all who languish in cells anywhere.
Likewise we hold up before Thee
those who have come within sight of the grave.
Bless our young people seeking to find the point and purpose of their lives.
Bless all who are here and those who worship with us
beyond this visible company.
Bless this Church and Thy churches everywhere.
Put on Thy churches’ lips the old Gospel of Bethlehem and Galilee
and Calvary’s resurrection morning.
Come Thou among us.
Set the fires of God burning afresh in our hearts.
Let the words we utter here with our mouths
and the thoughts we think with our hearts ,
be acceptable in Thy sight,
O Lord our strength and our Redeemer.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord we make our petition – Amen.
Gardner Calvin Taylor, 1918-2015, American pastor, friend of Martin Luther King Jr.
The counsel of the Lord stands forever,
the plans of his heart to all generations.
Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,
the people whom he has chosen as his heritage!