Dear God, our God, our Lord.
We pause now to pray in thankfulness. We are so grateful for your many gifts.
Thank you for ourselves – our own bodies, our own gifts, our own lives. Thank you for health, for memories, for thoughts and ideas, for faith. We know you gave them to us, and we are grateful.
Thank you for our communities – for Opoho Presbyterian Church and all that means to us. Thank you for those who help us, look after us, inspire us, love us. We know you gave them to us, and we are grateful.
Thank you for our city – for Dunedin Otepoti, this city nestled in the arms of an old volcano. For its harbour, its beaches, its hills, its wildlife, its institutions and especially its people. We know you gave them to us, and we are grateful.
Thank you for our country --for Aotearoa New Zealand, these islands, mountains, beaches and forests surrounded by the restless waves, the life and landscape, the people organized into government bodies, councils, laws, plans, reports. We know you gave them to us, and we are grateful.
Thank you for this world – for the seas and the land, for the countries and their languages, art, music, medicine, heritage, for the air above and the land below, for the warmth that comes from deep in the planet, and from the faraway sun. Thank you for all the lights – sun, moon, stars, lightning, fireflies, glowworms, candles, bonfires, lamps. We know you gave them to us, and we are grateful.
We all have things for which we give you thanks.
We pray now for ourselves and others.
We pray for peace for this world – the peace of an environment in equilibrium, a place where things can grow and thrive, where the light of peace reaches the shadows of fear. Lord, help us to work towards peace in the world.
We pray for peace in our country - -the peace of a place where people have food, water, shelter, care. Where children can grow and learn, where people are respected no matter what they look like. Where it is safe to drink the water in rivers, to walk the streets, to be a person who is different. Lord, help us to reach towards peace in Aotearoa New Zealand.
We pray for peace in our city – the peace of a town where people of all kinds can work and play, learn and teach, take care of each other, and be taken care of. Lord, help us to aim for peace in Dunedin Otepoti.
We pray for peace in our community – for a church on the hill where people look after each other, where laughter, music, caring, baking, sermons, cups of tea, prayers and psalms all come together to help us understand more about you and your world. Lord, help us to practice peace at Opoho.
This is the hardest one of all, Lord. We pray for peace for ourselves. Help us to forgive ourselves for our mistakes, teach us to let ourselves relax. Remind us that Advent is about joy, not about rushing around. Show us how to find the peace that comes when we remember to spend time with you. Lord, help us to allow ourselves the peace we wish for others.
Dear God, Our God, Our Lord, we place these and all our prayers into your hands.