Jun 20, 2016

Lament in Times of Sorrow: Psalm 77: 1-20

Here’s a prayer of lament inspired by Psalm 77: 1-20.  Feel free to revise it to suit your needs.

Prayer of Lament
(inspired by Psalm 77: 1-20)

God, we call out to you!
From the depths of our hearts, we cry,
“Lord, hear our prayer!”

We are consumed by grief.
The events of the past few days have overwhelmed us—
it’s hard to sleep,
it’s hard to eat,
it’s even hard to pray.

Where are you, God?

Deep down, we know that you love us—
we’ve experienced your mercy and your faithfulness in the past,
and it has sustained us through many difficult times.
We refuse to believe that you have deserted us,
or that you are unaware of the pain that we’re feeling.
And so we turn to you again,
longing for your presence,
looking for your comfort and peace.

Surround us with your unfailing love.
Remind us that you alone are God,
and that you hold us in the palm of your hand.
Give us courage and strength to face the days ahead,
and strengthen us in the knowledge that we do not face them alone.

In the name of Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord, we pray.


Jun 19, 2016

Call to Worship: Psalm 16

Come, bless the Lord,
in whom we find our refuge and safety.
You are our God;
all the good things come from You alone.

Come, bless the Lord,
who gives us a rich inheritance,
and surrounds us with abundance.
You are our God;
our lives are in your hands.

Come, bless the Lord,
who guides us on the path to eternal life,
whose presence strengthens and sustains us.
You are our God;
we will not be shaken.
Let’s worship God together!

Offering Prayer: Thy Kingdom Come

Here’s an offering prayer (or even a closing litany) inspired by Matthew 6: 10 (the Lord’s Prayer). It was written by Carol Penner.


Offering Prayer: Thy Kingdom Come
(inspired by Matthew 6: 10)

In this world: kingdom living.
In our mouths: kingdom praises.
In our hearts: kingdom goals.
In our hands: kingdom gifts.
Thy kingdom come,
thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven!  Amen.

~ written by Carol Penner, and posted on Leading in Worship. http://carolpenner.typepad.com/

Jun 12, 2016

Father's Day Benedictions

Here are a number of scripturally-based benedictions for use on Fathers’ Day.  I’ve based them on a variety of scripture texts. Feel free to adapt them to suit your local context.

Benediction for Father’s Day 1
(based on Psalm 103)

As you go from here, remember this:
God’s love is from everlasting to everlasting,
from generation to generation.
Just as a father has compassion on his children
so God has compassion on those fear him,
who listen to his voice,
and who do his will.
Go out in the knowledge
that the everlasting love of God goes with you.

Benediction for Father's Day 2
(based on Jeremiah 31)

Listen to what the Lord says:
“I have loved you with an everlasting love,
and still I maintain my unfailing love toward you.
I will lead you beside quiet streams,
and down smooth, uncluttered paths so that you do not stumble.
For I have become a Father to you,
and you are my firstborn child.”

Go from here in confidence,
knowing that the love of God the Father,
the grace of Jesus Christ,
and the presence of the Holy Spirit,
goes with you.

Benediction for Father's Day 3
(based on Luke 12, The Voice)

Do not worry about anything in life—
what you’ll eat, or what you’ll wear.
Look at the birds of the air,
or the flowers in the field.
If God takes such good care of such transient things,
how much more can you depend on God to care for you?
For you have a Father who loves you,
a Father who knows all your needs.
So don’t be afraid.
Instead, live lives of love and generosity,
storing up your treasure in heaven
instead of here on earth.

Benediction for Father’s Day 4
(based on Luke 12)

Do not be afraid.  Stop worrying.
For your Father in heaven knows what you need,
and he delights in giving you the kingdom.
Instead, actively pursue his kingdom,
and all the things you truly need
will come to you as well.
So go out from here,
confident in the knowledge that God goes with you.

Benediction for Father’s Day 5
(based on Romans 8:15-16)

As you go from here, remember this:
Because of the work of the Holy Spirit within us,
we are sons and daughters of God.
We have been adopted into his family;
God is truly our Father.
And if we are God’s children,
we are His heirs, and fellow heirs with Christ.

So go in peace and confidence,
knowing that the love of God, our Father,
the grace of Jesus Christ,
and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit
goes with us.

Benediction for Father’s Day 6
(2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 TNIV)

May our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father,
who loved us and by his grace
gave us eternal encouragement and good hope,
encourage your hearts and strengthen you
in every good deed and word.

Benediction for Father’s Day 7
(based on 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17)

Brothers and sisters, stand firm.
Hold on to the traditions that you have been taught.
And may Jesus Christ himself,
and God, our Father,
who loved us
and in his grace gave us such unfailing encouragement
and so sure a hope,
may he continue to encourage and strengthen you
in every good deed and word.

Benediction for Father's Day 8
(based on Ephesians 1:18-19)

May God, our glorious Father,
open the eyes of your heart,
so that you might see
the hope to which he is calling you,
the richness of the inheritance he has prepared for you,
and the power that is at work among you.
Go in the grace of God!

Prayer for Caregivers

Here’s a prayer of thanksgiving, commitment and intercession for Mother’s Day or Father’s Day. It was written by Carol Penner, and posted on Leading in Worship.

Great Caregiver Prayer

When we entered this world as tiny babies,
you gave us caregivers,
who watched and waited on us,
who fed and clothed us,
who taught us how to live.
We pause in this moment of silence to give our own thanks
for one special person who has changed our life:
For their work, and their love which has shaped us,
we give you thanks! [Silence]
[or alternatively if you have a small congregation, invite people to come and light a candle in memory and thanks for a caregiver]

We pray today for caregivers;
mothers, fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers,
aunts and uncles, brothers and sisters and cousins,
neighbours and family friends,
all who care for children.
Give us the wisdom we need to do this work!
Open our ears and eyes to the real needs of those in our charge;
open our hearts and hands to meet these needs.
Give us endurance, and patience and hope,
and above all compassion,
treating each child as we would want to be treated.

You know us, God;
you know that there are places where we have failed as caregivers;
we also need your help to mend broken or strained relationships,
we need forgiveness, we need closure.
Grant us peace in our relationships.

Our prayers are also directed today for caregivers
around the world who face special challenges;
for those many caregivers
who are caring for orphans from the tragedy of AIDS;
for caregivers who are without food,
walking long distances with children in their arms;
for caregivers in war-torn countries who are trying desperately
to protect their children from bombs and guns.
So many dangers in this world, Lord,
and you know them all.
Bring peace to our troubled times,
justice for those who are oppressed,
hope to those who are hopeless.

God, you love us with a father’s love,
you care for us more tenderly than any mother,
you are the Great Caregiver.
Help us this week to be aware of your love,
your gaze upon us,
encouraging us, sustaining us,
directing us.

~ written by Carol Penner, and posted on Leading in Worship. http://carolpenner.typepad.com/leadinginworship/