For you, O Lord, see the tears of the widowed, the sobs that overtake them when the rest of us are not looking.
You see the disorientation in which so many people live every day—confusion borne of war, poverty, abuse, or chronic illness.
You see the people in dead-end jobs who trudge to work every day filled with so much despair that they can hardly breathe.
You see those who search a loved one’s eyes for traces of love but find only an empty stare. As Lord of the earth, you spy every instance of one person cutting another to the quick, every place where a child lives in fear, every bar where someone tries to drown their sorrows.
Yet you are our world’s every hope. You are tender enough to weep with those who weep and yet strong enough to lend comfort and not be consumed with the sorrows that overwhelm us.
You are discerning enough to see where our lives run off the rails and yet gracious enough to forgive our foolishness and open again the better path that leads into your kingdom.
You are the bright centre to all of life, O God! Your lordship helps us glimpse our future with you in your kingdom, even as it points the way home.
Make us into people of the ascension, Christ Jesus!
Make us your hands of mercy, your voice of grace, your presence of love.
Whatever we do, whether in word or deed; whatever we see, whether sinful or salacious; whatever we hear, whether uplifting or depressing; whatever we face in this world, help us to face it in your power and with the knowledge of your grace and goodness.
Help us to be gentle with prodigal children. Help us to be stalwart in the truth with people in love with lies. Help us to be radiant with hope with people who fear death.
Help us to be your people, Lord God.
For today, as always, this world needs your shalom-filled presence. Bring peace to war-torn places and help people everywhere to see in one another your image.
May those who delight in the paths of suicide and destruction be turned instead to delight in life and in mutual flourishing. End the terror in which so many live, and thwart the dreams of those who plot still more terror on the unsuspecting.
Where there is hunger, bring bread; where there is drought and thirst, send refreshing rains; where there is hatred, bring your peace; where there is greed, bring your own fullness and so turn appetites run amok away from short-term pleasures toward things that last and that foster richness and plenty for all.
We are the people of your ascension and reign, Holy Christ of God. Whatever we do, help us never to forget who we are, whose we are, and where true joy may be found.
In the power and blessing of your name we pray. Amen.
(I found this prayer somewhere on the internet. Used it to close out our Story telling nights last year but as usual forgot to note where I found it. But it is pasted to our fridge if that helps at all)