LORD God, divine shepherd;
in the days ahead, just as it has been all my life,
I shall not want for anything.
You will rest me in rich pasture
and lead me beside calm waters.
You will bring my inner being back where it belongs,
and lead me along the right paths,
for the sake of your name.
Even when things seem at their darkest,
sensing your presence, I fear nothing;
you are sure of the way ahead, and you protect me.
Indeed, in spite of the adversity surrounding me
you continue to provide abundantly for my well-being;
anointing me with your hospitality
and pouring out blessing upon blessing.
Surely good and lovingkindness will pursue me all my days,
I will return, and you, O LORD,
shall be my dwelling-place for days without end.
PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE (from Psalm 23)
Gracious God, you care for me; I need nothing more.
Hear the cry of those who are hungry;
hungry for justice, and dignity, hungry for freedom, and love.
You lead me into a haven of peace and rest.
Hear the cry of those who are alone;
those who grieve a relationship broken by death or human failing,
those who live in the isolation of a hospital room, a prison cell,
a frail body, a confused mind.
You breath new life into me and lead me in new ways.
God whose breath is life itself,
we pray for a just and caring use of your creation;
a fair sharing of its abundance, an ethical searching of its mysteries.
You are with me, and comfort me,
even when the darkness of the world looms large.
We pray for those who seek the truth;
those who cannot speak, and those who cannot be heard,
that the light of your Word
may shine in the darkness which overshadows their lives
In the face of those who trouble me
you provide for me, and pour out your blessings.
Hear the cry of those trampled by racial or religious intolerance,
disoriented by homelessness, defeated by unemployment;
God of justice and compassion you are with me always
and have promised to sustain me all my life.
Enlarge our vision of life, and make us bold in our hope,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
let our cry come to you.