Holy and Illimitable God, Loving and Faithful Creator, God of blessing and love,
You are ever present with us amidst the flurry of emotions and experiences on this day. You are with us as we prepare for another school year, anxious and excited for all this year may bring. You are with us as we turn from rest and vacation to study and work. Your love and presence is at the center of it all.
You are with us too, as we sift through our feelings about this day, September the 11th, ten years after our country was struck with tragedy. Grief and sorrow, hurt and anguish, confusion, but also hope and forgiveness, reconciliation and joy, love and compassion. Your presence is with us in all.
Your word is love, and so we pray this morning for all those who are still torn with grief and anguish, those who have not been able to move on, those who live in fear of the unknown, those who re-live this day every day because of the loss and pain they have experienced. Let your love surround them and bring them peace.
Your word is love, and so we pray too for all those for whom this day marked the beginning of persecution and prejudice because of their skin color or religion. We lift to you the places of war and violence that have been born out of our revenge and hatred, we pray for the many victims of those actions. Help us seek peace and reconciliation, help us overcome evil with good.
Your word is love, O God, and so we pray too for our enemies. Those who continue to hate and breathe violence, those who would seek our destruction. Help us respond with love and peace, living out the challenge that we would love our enemies, living a life of forgiveness and compassion.
Your word is love, O God, and so we give thanks for the ways that love has redeemed our pain into hope. For the connections that have been made since, sometimes because of that day, for the relationships that have strengthened, supported, lifted us beyond our grief and grievances, for the lives that were saved, the children born, the joys and memories shared, we give you thanks. Help us to cling to these joys and to you.
Your word is love, O God, and so along with all these prayers, we lift to you those for whom your love is life and hope: The sick and recovering, those homeless and hungry, the grieving and lonely, the lost and addicted. May your love be present for all those who seek it, may it overcome all our weaknesses and bring light and peace.
We pray this, along with all the prayers that lay silent in our hearts, in the name of Christ Jesus, the one who blesses us and loves us always. Amen.