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Prayer page title

A COMPASSIONATE HEART

CALL TO PRAYER

LEADER - Blessed be the Father of Compassion and the God of all encouragement.

All            Loving God, we meet to enrich our understanding of the call to serve in your healing ministry.  Strengthen our faith, hope, and love through our meeting today and the sharing of thoughts and prayers.  Take care of us, your ministries, and all who face the threat of illness and pain.  We pray in faith. Amen.

 

READING I    “For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that he may grant you in accord with the riches of his glory to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inner self, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the holy ones what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to accomplish far more than all we ask or imagine, by the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”

Ephesians 3:14:21

READING II         God’s Heart

                It is very important to realize that compassion is more that sympathy or empathy.  When we are asked to listen to the pains of people empathize with their suffering, we soon reach our emotional limits.  We can listen only for a short time and only to a few people.  In our society we are bombarded with so much “news” about human misery that our hearts easily get numbed simply because of overload.  But God’s compassionate heart does not have limits.  God’s heart is greater, infinitely greater, than the human heart.  It is that divine heart that God wants to give to us so that we can love all people without burning out or becoming numb.  It is for this compassionate heart that we pray when we say: “A pure heart create for me, O God, put a steadfast spirit within me.  Do not cast me away from your presence, nor deprive me of your holy spirit” (Ps 51).  The Holy Spirit of God is given to us so that we can become participants in God’s compassion and so reach out to all people at all people at all times with God’s heart.

(from Here and Now by Henri Nouwen, Crossroad, 1994, pp.109-110)

REFLECTION       What does it mean to live in the world with a truly compassionate heart, a heart that remains open to all people at all times?  Who are the people we need to reach out to in this community?  What will we do to show compassion to all?

RESPONSE           For those in the healing ministry, that we may serve others with a compassionate heart. 

ALL         “We pray in faith, O God”

                That local, state, and national officials may always cooperate to improve health care for all people

ALL         “We pray in faith, O God”

                For the sick and dying, the imprisoned, and those suffering and need, that health care workers may show them Christian compassion and concern

ALL         “We pray in faith, O God”

CLOSING PRAYER

                God of goodness and love, hear our prayers for a compassionate heart as we remember the sick members of our community and those who care for them.  We pledge our renewed commitment to the healing ministry.  Hold us in your tenderness and bid us do the same for one another.  Make us a compassionate healer, like your Son Jesus Christ. Amen