I prayed this pastoral prayer last Sunday to fit with our theme of repentance and mercy. You might recognize the reference to the first two parables in Luke 15.
Almighty God, whose beloved Son gives us strength through the Holy Spirit: we lift up our hearts to you and give you our thanks and praise. We thank you that, although we were lost in our sins, you made a way for us to find forgiveness and grace through the suffering, death, and resurrection of your Son Jesus. We thank you that, while we were lost in our sins, you searched for us—as a woman sweeps the house, searching for a lost coin. We thank you that, although we were lost and unable to help ourselves, you found us and carried us safely home—as a shepherd carries a sheep on his shoulders and delivers it safely into the sheepfold. We belong to you. We are yours; you know our name. Enable us to hear you when you call. Enable us to answer you. Enable us to live our lives in grateful response to the grace and love you pour out on us. Forgive us, we pray, for so often failing to hear and answer and live as your beloved children. Give us power to change. Give us strength to endure to the end, when heaven and earth become one, and we feast at your heavenly banquet. Through Christ’s name we pray. Amen.