Prayer for Ascension Sunday (and Mother’s Day): Trust Jesus Rather Than Tradition (Mark 7:1-13)

Liturgist:    Teach me, O Lord, the way of your law; and I will keep it to the end.
All:               Give me understanding, that I may keep your law
and observe it with my whole heart.   (Psalm 119:33-34)

Father, we give thanks today for mothers, both our biological mothers and our spiritual mothers in the faith, for the special ways they reveal to us your glory and goodness. Thank you for all the ways they have shown us Christ-like love, selfless sacrifice, protection and comfort and wisdom. Father, please help us honor your law that teaches us to honor our mothers and cherish all the ways they have taught us and loved us well. We pray for those who struggle with hurt and disappointment on Mother’s Day: for those who have longed to be mothers but have not been able to enjoy that blessing, for those with a difficult relationship with their mother, and for those harmed by abortion. Enable them to lament and bring that pain to you to find their identity in you as your beloved daughter, to find the freedom of your forgiveness, and to know comfort and encouragement that only you can give.

Liturgist: Teach me, O Lord, the way of your law; and I will keep it to the end. . .

Our risen King, you ascended into heaven to reign at the right hand of the Father, so help us to submit every thought we think and every tradition we practice to the authority of your word. Please set us free from sinful traditions and habits that we do not even see because we are comfortable with them, traditions and habits in our work, in our spending, in our friendships, in our entertainment, and in our ways of “doing church.”

Liturgist: Teach me, O Lord, the way of your law; and I will keep it to the end. . .

Please open our eyes and our heart to see and to savor the riches of your law. Your word is bread from heaven that nourishes us with communion with you, so fill us with hunger and thirst to take it in and savor it, to study it, to memorize it and meditate upon it. We pray that we would have your word on our hearts and lips when we rise and when we go to bed, when we work and when we play. May we sing it daily so that your word may dwell in us richly. Your word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path, so please help us to see clearly by it, to walk through life boldly in its light and to flee from every path that leads us away from you and your mission.

Liturgist: Teach me, O Lord, the way of your law; and I will keep it to the end. . .

Our risen King, you ascended into heaven to reign and to give us power by your Spirit for serving you. Please help us tell and show our neighbors with excitement that trusting you and submitting to the rule of your law and your authority is not irrational bondage but rather the way of truth and wisdom and love that truly sets us free. We pray especially for leaders in our city & our state, our nation & our world who will honor your authority over all others, respect and protect the dignity of human life, promote equality and justice, and lead as humble servants for the common good.

Liturgist: Teach me, O Lord, the way of your law; and I will keep it to the end. . .

Our risen King, you ascended into heaven to reign, so we ask you to complete the salvation that began in your resurrection. We long for the day when your glory will fill the whole earth as the waters cover the sea and there will no more crying, or pain, or death but only mourning turned to dancing and the deepest joy forever. We pray for this in the words that you taught us, saying: Our Father. . .

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