Prayers of the people

Num. 21:5-9 and John 3:1-17

Father in Heaven,
Here we are, your beloved and often petty children – your church.
And, Lord, we sing, in full voice, your mercy and majesty. We do.
But we come with our laundry lists of sins and our resumés of good works.
We are as inconstant as the Israelites, as impressed with our own competence as Nicodemus.
We are, dear God, like them: people – from immortal soul to finite mind and faulty heart.
So change us. Make us your people.

Dear Christ,
Intercede for us again.
Let us look on your cross and see our meanness crucified, our self-righteousness crucified,
our disdain crucified, our egoism crucified, our hate crucified. Our sin – crucified.
Let us look on you and see our God crucified, and let us die to our old selves.
And, Jesus, let us look on your tomb and see your resurrection.
And our own. And the resurrection of the saints who have gone before us.

Holy Spirit,
May we be born again in you. And born, we pray, into an ever-wider family of God.

O God,
Here we are: your children. We love you with all of our imperfect being.
Be near us, we pray. Amen.                  

Ed de Guzman is a painter, missionary and member of a Catholic Charismatic Community in Quezon City, Philippines. He has loved to draw and paint since age seven. Colossians 3:23 is his favourite Scripture verse; he draws inspiration for his art from his prayers.                                                                 


  • Jane Zwart is an Associate Professor of English at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where she also co-directs the Calvin Center for Faith and Writing.

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