In the heart of this season of Easter rejoicing, we are reminded that faith is sometimes fragile and circuitous. If we listen carefully, we realize that Scripture relays another truth about people who struggle and need to be convinced. This is a good Sunday for those of us who have ever experienced doubt and who need to hear that God still loves and forgive us. That describes most of us.
- Lord Jesus, you appeared to the disciples behind locked doors: Lord, have mercy.
- Christ Jesus, you gave them the power to forgive sins: Christ, have mercy.
- Lord Jesus, you called Thomas and all of us to believe in you: Lord, have mercy.
- Acts 4:32-35 Evangelism and daily life in the early church
- Ps 118 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love is everlasting
- 1 Jn 5:1-6 The importance of faith and love in the community
- Jn 20:19-41 Jesus challenges Thomas’ doubts
Prayer of the Faithful
Presider Brothers and sisters, let us pray for both believers and those who struggle with doubt.
Minister For the whole church in our ongoing efforts to be a faith-filled, rejoicing people ... we pray,
- For those whose faith has been shaken by life’s circumstances or who doubt their capacity to believe, especially in those areas of the world where life is precarious ... we pray,
- For those who fear that doubt is unforgiveable or who have never experienced God’s great mercy ... we pray,
- For the ability to recognize the presence of God in our midst, even in times of fear ... we pray,
- For the gift of forgiveness bestowed on us by the reconciling power of Christ Jesus and made active through the healing presence of the Spirit ... we pray,
- For those who judge the faith of others, or who are impediments to faith by their words or actions ... we pray,
- For those in this community who are in need; and for those who touch and support us in our faith journey ... we pray,
Presider God of mercy, we are grateful that you know and love us not only in our strengths, but also in our weakest moments. Uphold us when we are doubtful, and encourage us when we are afraid. Help us to remember your unending mercy. We ask this in the name of Jesus, who calls us to believe. Amen.