General Assembly Opening Prayer

Let us pray the prayer and scriptures of the Opening Worship of the 224th General Assembly.

Lamentations 5: 20 -21

20 Why have you forgotten us completely?
Why have you forsaken us these many days?
21 Restore us to yourself, O Lord, that we may be restored;
renew our days as of old—

Ephesians 3:14-21 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father,a]”>[a] 15 from whom every familyb]”>[b] in heaven and on earth takes its name. 16 I pray that, according to the riches of his glory, he may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through his Spirit, 17 and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love. 18 I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

20 Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

Opening Prayer of the 224th General Assembly, 2020 offered by J. Herbert Nelson, II, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly PCUSA

Awesome God, our hearts are bowed down by the troubles we are experiencing. There is suffering and death, despair and doubt among us, and hope lies just beyond our reach in the shadows of the cross. We pour out our hearts before you like water. Our eyes are spent with weeping, our mouths with cries of “how long.” You have seen what has befallen us, O God.

You have heard our whispers and murmurs at the pain that fill our souls. The joys of our hearts have ceased; our dancing has been turned to mourning. Yet, we thank you for bringing us to this place of worship and discernment; of uncertainty and hope about the future. Inspire us by your truth to listen to your voice speaking through your people gathered 
 here. Grant us your wisdom and peace during these days and renew our hope. For you, O God, are our God. Your steadfast love never ceases, and your mercies never come to an end, they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Amen