Apr 12, 2015

Prayer for Others: Unexpected Places

Here’s a prayer of intercession inspired by the suggested gospel readings for the season of Easter.   It was written by Susan Miller and posted on the Church of Scotland’s Starters for Sunday website.

Prayer of Intercession
(inspired by Luke 24)

You come to us
In unexpected places,
In a crowded room,
In a journey on a dusty road,
In conversation,
In the stillness.
You come in the midst of our doubt, our fear, our sorrow
You come in the power of the resurrection
No pain and suffering is unknown to you.

You bring us peace
And we pray for the places where there is no peace
Countries torn by war
Refugees seeking homes
Prisoners facing torture

You bring peace
Peace to the tensions and conflicts within us
To the regrets, the failure,
The broken relationships
The lost friendships

You bring peace
For you are a friend to us
When we are alone
When we are lonely
Unseen you are there

You bring us peace
And we pray that we too
may become peacemakers.

~ written by Susan Miller, and posted on the Church of Scotland’s Starters for Sunday website. http://www.churchofscotland.org.uk/

Apr 6, 2015

Prayers of the People: Holy Humor Sunday

Here’s a thoughtful pastoral prayer/prayer of thanksgiving for Holy Humor Sunday from April Fiet. Holy Humor Sunday is often celebrated on the first Sunday after Easter.

Pastoral Prayer for Holy Humour Sunday

O Lord, giver of joy and laughter,
we thank you for giving us these gifts.

For the moments of laughter and unbridled joy you give to us:
  for opportunities to laugh at ourselves,
  for the belly laughs of children,
  for friends and family who love us because of our quirks,
    and not just in spite of them,
  for artists who give us the opportunity to see the world
    through the surreal,
  for the courage to smile even when difficulties arise,
  for those who have hope 
    even when others think there is no hope,
  for saints in the Lord who overflow with laughter 
    and spread your joy to all of us.

For the words of Jesus that defy our logical minds;
  for teaching us that we can be born again,
  for the woman who finds a lost coin 
    and calls her friends and neighbors to celebrate,
  for the absurdity of a camel trying to fit
    through the eye of a needle,
  for the father of the Prodigal Son 
    who is willing to look like a fool as he runs to greet his son,
  for the generosity of the landowner 
    who will pay workers a whole day’s wage 
    when they only worked one hour,
  for tiny bits of faith that can move entire mountains,
  for the reality that nothing can live unless it first dies.

For the great reversal of the Gospel:
  that the last shall be made first,
  that the rejected stone became the cornerstone,
  that those who wish to become great must serve,
  that the lost will be found,
  that the small will become great,
  that though you are Wisdom, you choose to forget our sins,
  that when we are weak, your strength shines through us.

O Lord, giver of joy and laughter, 
we thank you for giving us these gifts.

Thank you for the gift you give us
  that allows us to enjoy these things to the full.
We can laugh because of the most amazing thing of all – 
  that you conquered death,
  that the tomb is empty,
  that light shone so bright that it overcame the darkness.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Amen.

~ written by April Fiet, and posted on At the Table with April Fiet. http://aprilfiet.com/my-thoughts/laughing-church-holy-humor-sunday-resources

Apr 5, 2015

Call to Worship & Prayer: John 20: 19-31

Here’s a call to worship and opening prayer inspired by John 20:19-31.  It was written by Rev. Martha Spong, and posted on LiturgyLink.

Call to Worship
(inspired by John 20:19-31)

Christ is risen!
Now what?
The disciples clung to each other.
They huddled in the upper room, waiting.
Would the authorities come to take them, too?

Instead, Jesus himself appeared, despite the locked door.
What next?
Next came doubts and questions,
assurances and instructions, and a last word:
“Blessed are those who have not seen
and yet have come to believe.”

Christ is risen! Now what?
Now we come together to wait for him.
May the risen Christ bless us
as we worship what we have not seen, yet believe.

Opening Prayer

God of new life,
move through the locked doors of our hearts.
Open us to your love moving in the world.
Instruct us as you taught the disciples.
Make a new church of us,
a blessed place where we live in unity.
Help us to learn from those first believers who prayed as we do,
using the words Jesus taught, (to Lord’s Prayer)…

~ Submitted by Rev. Martha Spong, posted on LiturgyLink. http://www.liturgylink.net/

Offering Prayer: Transform the World

Here’s an offering prayer (prayer of dedication) for the season of Easter.  It was written by Laura Jaquith Barlett, and posted on the Ministry Matters website.

Prayer for the Offering

Generous and surprising God,
when we thought that death
had claimed your only Son,
you amazed us with the resurrection.

Surprise us again
with your ability to turn these humble offerings
into gifts that will transform the world
through our witness to your love.
We lay our very lives at your feet, O God,
knowing that you will use us
to proclaim and embody the gospel. Amen.

~ written by Laura Jaquith Barlett, and posted on Ministry Matters. http://www.ministrymatters.com/worship/entry/2528/worship-elements-april-12-2015

Opening Prayer: Doubters and Questioners

Here’s an opening prayer for Easter 2 from Rev Karla.  It was posted on RevGalBlogPals.

Opening Prayer
(inspired by John 20: 19-31)

Holy One, 
On this Eastertide morning, we come to you,
singing alleluias, celebrating new life all around us,
not quite believing it all, but going along with it, just the same. 

We celebrate the doubters and questioners among us, 
who simply keep our faith real,
who demand that we live our believing
into faith that works towards justice and peace, 
and making sure that the hungry are nourished and loved. 

We celebrate the saints among us, 
whose courageous faith 
flies without a safety net,
reminding us that true discipleship is risky and radical
in the face of a world held hostage by greed, love of power, and denial.

We are your Easter people, Holy One. 
Doubters, saints, sinners, questioners, spiritual and religious,
who skip, run, and stumble on the journey. 
We pray that whoever we are this journey,
that you might open our ears and eyes
to your call,
to be Your love,
where ever we are. 
In the name of Christ we pray,
Amen. 

~ written by Rev Karla, and posted on RevGalBlogPals. http://revgalblogpals.org/