Opening Prayers/Prayers of Adoration on Reconciliation
Kindness flows from you, Lord, pure and continual. You had cast us off, as was only just, but mercifully you forgave us; you hated us and you were reconciled to us, you cursed us and you blessed us; you banished us from paradise, and you called us back again; you took from us the fig leaves that had made us so unseemly a garment, and you put on us a cloak of great value; you opened the prison gates and gave the condemned a pardon, you sprinkled us with clean water and washed away the dirt.
Never again, after all this, will Adam blush when you call him, never will he try to hide because his conscience reproaches him, never will he seek concealment under the trees in the garden. The flaming sword will nevermore whirl about the walls of paradise and cut off the entrance from those who approach it.
For us that were heirs to his sin, all has been changed into rejoicing, for man now has access to paradise and even to heaven itself. The whole creation, heaven and earth, is at one again in friendship, its former differences forgotten, men join their voices with the angels and echo angels’ praise of God…….
There is no doubt who it is that dresses the bride in her finery; it is of course Jesus Christ – he that is and was and will be. Blessed is he, now and throughout the ages. Amen
Gregory of Nyssa, Quoted in Walter Mitchell, Trns, Early Christian Prayers, ed., A. Hamman, Longman Green, London, and Henry Regnery, Chicago, 1961.
Jesus, Lord—because you took on flesh,
You know what it’s like to be us.
You know what keeps us awake at night,
or yanks us out of sleep in the early morning.
You know what it’s like to have good days and bad days, too.
You know the feelings of being physically tired,
emotionally exhausted and mentally drained.
We’re grateful for a God who knows what it’s like to be us.
You know the joys of a newborn child in a family.
You care about parents who care for their children
with wisdom, love, grace and faithfulness so that
one day they’ll turn and follow You.
Give them what they need to fulfill their calling to love as You love.
You care about weddings and marriages that follow.
Bless husbands and wives with your love that bears all things,
hopes all things, endures all things, that never fails.
May our homes reflect Your love for us
and ours for You to all who see them.
You also know what happens when the wonder fades
and real life takes its toll on families and marriages—
when relationships get strained, sometimes to the breaking point,
when our own strength is not enough,
when forgiveness and reconciliation is tough.
Lord—come as the One who specializes in reconciliation,
in hope and in persistent love.
Make a way home for those who’ve wandered;
and an open door when they return.