We are an independent lot, Lord.
We each have our own opinions
and our own ideas
of how the world should work–
of how each other should be.
We seek our own light
and our own truth.
Everything can be customized
and tailored to suit.
Even our spirituality.
But in spite of all that,
and against our better judgement,
we gather together as one body
these Sunday mornings.
This ‘gathering’ is an act of cultural defiance–
a protest against rampant individuality
We gather collectively as an act of trust
that your presence is in, around, and among us.
We hold to the promise of your faithfulness and love
that when two or three are gathered, you will dwell among us.
And so gathering together like this displaces our egos
and opens our hearts and minds
to the Spirit’s leading
As our individual prayers are read aloud before the congregation
they are transformed into the collective prayer
and hope of us all.
So we ask you to hear the prayers of this gathering.
[read aloud the prayer cards]
And we acknowledge those intimate thoughts,
concerns and hopes that feel
too tender of fragile to speak aloud.
We trust those to your presence too.
[pause for silent prayer]
Hear our silent prayers!
Bind us together
as a collective
and move our hears and minds
towards a good that is greater than our individual egos.
Open us to your leadership–
to learn a new way.
Inspire us by your faithfulness and love
and renew our hearts
for the love of our neighbors
and this world.