Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day Prayers

This morning I had the honor of providing the opening and closing prayers for the Memorial Day ceremonies at our local courthouse.  The veterans have asked me to do this now for the third year.  The guest speaker for this event was our state representative Tom Tiffany.  Below is a copy of the prayers I offered.


Invocation
Almighty God, we gather this day in your holy name, thankful for the freedoms you have protected and preserved through the sacrifice of those who fought and died in our stead.  Make us ever mindful of the high cost in human life required to resist the forces of evil that seek to bring pain and destruction upon the innocent and helpless.  In mercy bring comfort to those who grieve this loss because of the deaths of family and friends; comfort them through the promise of your abiding presence and the assurance of eternal life in your risen Son.   Bless now our gathering in this place, that in honoring our fallen heroes we would honor you who worked through their service for our greater good; that all glory would be given to you who gave strength to our weakness and allowed us to serve you by serving our fellow citizens, sometimes through the giving of life and health that others might not suffer, that life be preserved, that safety for all would be secured.
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.
 
Benediction
Gracious Lord, may you bring peace and an end to warfare in our time, that the sorrow and sadness we share this day will soon be but a distant memory.  Sustain us in true hope, that even in our darkest hours when we struggle to see any good, and when the enemies of freedom seem for a while to prevail, we might look confidently in faith to you, our all-powerful God, in whom all things work for good for those who love you.   And may that hope carry our vision beyond this place and time to the end of all things, when death is no more, evil is judged and banished, and the faithful find eternal rest in you, our living Lord. As we await that day, preserve our country according to your gracious will, and uphold our brave military service personnel who still serve, both here and abroad. 
In the name of Jesus, the Prince of Peace, and Savior of the world, Amen. 

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