God, we come with praise and gratitude.
Thank you for your word, for speaking to us anew today.
In faith and trust, we open our ears and minds to you.
We know you are with us in the rush of life.
God, you see us as we truly are,
with our secrets and shames,
our dreams and hopes.
We crave your blessing and direction.
We confess that we have walked in dark places.
Our hearts are contrite with the memories of past wars
and the images of current conflict
— the horrors human beings can and do commit toward one another.
In your mercy, cleanse us from all evil,
forgive us the sins that are past,
and bless us with your insights for the future.
Bless us, as you blessed Jacob,
with perseverance to find new ways of living in your peace
and in the wisdom of your Spirit.
May this time of worship renew and strengthen us
to live out the blessing we receive from you.