For your presence with us, we thank you. We praise you because you do not lock yourself in heaven, that we don’t need a battering ram to force our way into your presence. We praise you as the God who is with us.
So we pray for the world in which you come to us.
For tax collectors like Zaccheaus, for those who take and distribute tax in order to keep our economies working. For those who plan to reduce Housing Benefits, we pray for a sense of fairness and justice, that money be saved only by withholding it from those who can most afford it.
We pray for those who suffer beneath the poverty line, in our own country and others. For those whose governments do not have the resources or the character to protect them from the consequences of extreme poverty. Lord, we pray for justice and fairness, that food and shelter and security will become a reality.
Forgive us, when we bring nothing to you but our ‘to do’ list. Forgive us when we want nothing from you but your ‘to do’ list. Expose us again to the reality of your living and loving and comforting and disturbing presence.
Expose us to you in s such a way that our bank accounts, our wardrobes, our garages, our pockets, our computers, our phones, our holidays, our habits, our hopes and desires and motives all come truly under your lordship.
Lord, fill your church with your presence, fill our lives with yourself, that changing who we are does not feel like a goal but an accident, whether we give half what we own to the poor, or learn to apologise to an enemy, fill us with grace, that our lives breath our grace and forgiveness and generosity and love. Make us children of Abraham, and channels of your grace.