We offer this prayer as the General Assembly of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church meets in its 190th session this week in Louisville, Kentucky. Let us pray:
Loving God, you have fearfully and wonderfully made all people in your own image. We thank and praise you for the beauty of your creation.
We ask you to lead and guide the General Assembly as this body seeks to discern your will, and better reflect your love in the life of the church. Grant the members of this body wisdom, courage, mercy and minds open to your Spirit.
As this body deliberates on a statement on human sexuality, we confess and grieve the harm such statements have caused in the past. We lift up in prayer our LGBTQIA+ (lesbian, gay, bi, trans, queer, intersex, asexual, and more) siblings along with their families. The debates and decisions made this week will impact them most directly. Bathe them in your love. Reassure them and keep them from all spiritual, emotional and physical harm.
We are grateful and pray for all those who seek God’s will on how to lovingly respond to our LGBTQIA+ folks in the church and the wider community. Help us all to listen….listen for your voice speaking in one another’s voices and the voices of our LGBTQ+ siblings and allies. Grant us patience with one another and the capacity to set aside anything that keeps us from demonstrating your love to those most vulnerable.
Christ, make us one with all people in your ministry of reconciliation. Help us break down the barriers between us and help us engage one another with patience and grace so that we can overcome misunderstandings and bring peace.
O God, make us one in you, filling us with your grace and compassion. Have mercy on us. Have mercy on the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Have mercy on the whole world. Amen.