Great God of creative abundance. We come before you this morning as a people in need of your generous blessing, and so we offer ourselves to you, with open hands and receptive hearts.
Take away from us our pretensions of self-reliance, and unmask for us our images of self-security. Help us to realise that our fleeting blessings of health, wealth, and power are fragile idols of sustenance, and that we entrust our souls to them at our peril.
May we learn instead to see ourselves and our world with your eyes; may we come to appreciate where true value lies; both within ourselves, and in the lives of others.
May our eyes be opened to the gentle gifts of grace that you have placed in our midst, and may we come to value the abundance of your hidden yet dawning kingdom, as it is made real in our midst.
And so we offer ourselves to your service: Take the gifts of our lives, and bless them, that we might become a blessing to others. Whether we bring wealth or weakness, power or poverty, health or helplessness; we place our lives into your hands, and we ask for your blessing.
We offer before you today the resources of this church; we offer our resources of people – from pastors to volunteers to occasional attendees; we offer our resources of money – from that which sits in our personal bank accounts to that which we hold collectively as a community; we offer our building, our contacts, our friendships, our whole bodies, and the body of Christ that is this church in this place. May we learn together the lesson that hoarding the resources of the kingdom is not what we are called to do. Grant us the courage to release to your service the gifts you have given us.
And so, mindful of the needs of others, we pray for those who live in need, poverty, uncertainty, and fear; aware that you call us to play our own part in the coming of your kingdom of peace and justice.
We pray for all those who are hungry today, and especially for those who have this week used a food bank for the first time in order to feed themselves or their families. We pray for all those who will share lunch in this building today, as we sit down together to share with one another the blessing of food. May this tangible sign of your kingdom be transformative and life-giving in our midst.
We pray also for those who have an unhealthy or abusive relationship with food and drink. From the overweight to the anorexic, from the middle class drinker to the hardened alcoholic. We recognise how easily the kingdom blessings of food and wine can become distorted in our own bodies. And so we pray for the various anonymous groups that meet here, and for the support they give in helping people re-balance their lives. May we learn to see ourselves as you see us.
We pray for those who have the power to make changes at a national level, for policy-makers, politicians, and business and industry leaders. Keep them from the dehumanising commodification of humanity, and may they instead find ways of bringing the body politic to health for the common good. We ask for, and commit ourselves to, your transformative vision of a just and equal society, where none go hungry and all are fed.
And so, finally, we pray for ourselves. May we learn to share both the hidden and visible blessings of our lives, offering ourselves and all that we are and have, to the service of your in-breaking kingdom of equality and justice.
In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.