European Forum

of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Christian Groups

Prayers Lead us beyond acceptance!

The Open Church Service in Amsterdam took place in the Oude Lutherse Kerk on Saturday May 19, 2012. Rev. Wielie Elhorst was our intercessor and said (among much more) the prayers.

Dear God,
We want to thank you
for the wonderful opportunity we were given
to meet each other in this rainbow service.
We thank you for the hospitality
we have found in this church,
where so many people before us
have sung and prayed and listened to your stories.
We thank you that we can be next in line
in sharing your stories in this house of faith
and in sharing what you mean to us in our lives.

God of all people,
we want to thank you and pray to you
for the voices from around Europe
we have heard in this service.
We thank you for women like Leah
who are honest and open
about the sad situation many women are in
in the churches of Moldova.
Only openness about the real situation
and not denying reality
will help us to move forward.
We pray to you for continued courage
and we pray to you:
open the minds and hearts of those men
that are in leadership positions,
make them understand the true meaning of your Word:
there is no distinction between people,
because Your Son Jesus Christ has lifted
all that keeps people apart from each other.

We thank you that the colorfulness of your Kingdom
comes to life every year in the Canal Parade in Amsterdam,
so close to where we are now.
We thank you that people from all colors and backgrounds
understand this true meaning of the Parade
and dance and sing to the glory of the richness of your creation.
We pray to you that people really see
what is happening here:
people feeling free and uplifted,
oh, happy Anton, oh happy Gay!

We thank you for the openness of ordinary faith communities,
to embrace trans people like Monika.
And we thank you for Monika herself
and for the courage she had to step up to her local community.
We are in need of people like her
who can, by their openness, help local communities,
to invite everyone in, without distinction.
Help us, God, to understand
that your acceptance is more than enough
and that it lays the foundation
for the trust we can put in each other.
On this basic trust communities of faith are built.

God of love and mercy,
we pray to you for those places on our continent
where people are seriously threatened
because of their sexual orientation.
Please, God, be the safeguard,
of LGBT people that cannot rely on their own authorities to keep them safe.
We especially think of our sisters and brothers in St. Petersburg.
We are appalled by the legislation of the city council
that prohibits LGBT-people to gather freely,
that reduces them to second class citizens.
God, please reveal yourself,
let your love shine,
let your mercy grow
in the hearts of the religious authorities,
who all too easy support the discriminatory developments,
by abusing your sacred Word
in favor of the blatant discrimination of all those people
that are dear to us and to You.
God, help us to do what we can do
to end this shameful situation.

Eternal God,
we pray for all those
who would have liked to be here,
but were not able to come.
Please make every one of them feel
we are praying for them
and keeping all of them close to our hearts.

God, Friend, Mother and Father,
We thank you for all our friends and family
who have come to this service
to celebrate with us.
We thank you for having them in our lives.
We thank you for their solidarity and love.
We pray to you:
let the circle of our allies
that we find in family, friends
and in brothers en sisters of all backgrounds,
continue to grow,
until there are no longer people that are strangers to each other.

We especially pray to you
for the wellbeing of bishop Kamau of the Trinity Methodist Church in Kenya.
He is one of the few African bishops
that supports the cause of LGBT people.
He was brutally attacked and nearly killed,
only just recently.
Make your presence felt in his heart
and give the local LGBT groups
the continued courage to support him
as they do now.
Have mercy, God, on his attackers,
for they do not know what they are doing.

Dear God,
thank you for your embracing love
that accepts us for who we are.
We ask you to help us to let your love
be the power to accept others as they are.
We are in need of the power of your love.
We pray that it will
break down the walls
that keep people apart.
Your love alone will be enough for us.
Please, pour it into our hearts in abundance.

Eternal God,
we trust you
we know our lives are in your good hands.
There are many things that worry us,
there are people we love and miss,
we are thinking of.
In a moment of silent prayer
we want to lay all these worries and people
that dwell in our hearts
before You.

[silent prayer]

Dear God,
You know all there is inside of us.
Now all is said and put before You,
we ask you: give us your peace,
comfort us with your quiet,
grant us your eternal rest.