The following are the prayers of the people written by Deb Whalen-Blaize for the WBB service held on 8 November 2022.
Oh God, who is all-knowing Who forms us in the wom And is still placing stars in the sky We approach with confusion and yearning We ask: are you powerful and mighty Or humble and gentle? And we hear you answer: Yes. This morning we bring you all our assumptions, Our preconceived ideas The worldviews and narratives in which we find identity We offer them to you in trade for humility In your presence May we practice the art of listening, Mull over your morsels of wisdom, And learn to ask the right questions. (Moment of Silence and listening) O God, the journey to wisdom is long Thank you for your love along the way We pray for Your Church We have built so many walls Based on so many presumptions We have forgotten that sometimes It’s just more important to love Than to always have it right Will you foster in us not only humility, But curiosity? To delight in discovery, and marvel in mystery To remember that you have taught us To love the Lord our God With all our heart, soul, mind and strength And to love one another as we love ourselves. (Prayers for forgiveness for our faults and failings, for the strength to make amends, and to be who God wants us to be) O God, the journey to wisdom is long Thank you for your love along the way We pray, too, for your Spirit To guide all of us here At the University of Toronto For the students and faculty In pursuit of knowledge We pray that they will continue to experience The joy and excitement of learning We know that in every realm of society and community Your desire is for justice and equity We pray today for educators and support staff In institutions across the province Be with them in this time of outrage and protest Console and sustain those with stress or anxiety Free all from presumption and pride And from the temptation to abuse power and privilege May we see you at work Here on campus, and on the picket lines, O God. (Continued prayers for U of T students and faculty and for equitable working conditions in education in Ontario) O God, the journey to wisdom is long Thank you for your love along the way As Remembrance Day approaches, God, We thank you for your nearness As we continue to grieve loved ones And rage against history repeating itself (A moment of silence to remember those we have lost to war and violence, and to resonate with God’s desire for peace) We offer you these prayers Knowing you accept each and every one As we carry on along this journey towards wisdom, justice and peace. Thank you for your love along the way We know that, as we seek you, God You hide behind a tree, and laugh Beckoning us to come and play To walk beside you To consider and reconsider And to savour the richness of the journey Long before we reach the destination. Amen.