Feb 24, 2021

Prayer Reflection: Romans 4: 18

Here’s a prayer reflection inspired by Romans 4:18, where Paul writes that, “Hoping against hope…”  Abraham continued to believe the promise of God.

Rough Translations
(inspired by Romans 4:18)

Hope nonetheless.
Hope despite.
Hope regardless.
Hope still.

Hope where we had ceased to hope.
Hope amid what threatens hope.
Hope with those who feed our hope.
Hope beyond what we had hoped.

Hope that draws us past our limits.
Hope that defies expectations.
Hope that questions what we have known.
Hope that makes a way where there is none.

Hope that takes us past our fear.
Hope that calls us into life.
Hope that holds us beyond death.
Hope that blesses those to come.

~ written by Jan L. Richardson, and posted on The Painted Prayerbook. http://paintedprayerbook.com/

Feb 23, 2021

Call to Worship: O God, do not be far from us

Here’s a call to worship inspired by Psalm 22 and Mark 8:31-38.  It was written by Joanna Harader, and posted on Spacious Faith.

Call to Worship
(based on Psalm 22, Psalm 71:12, Matthew 16:24-26, Mark 8:31-38)

We come to worship this morning from different places.
O God, do not be far from us.
We come to worship this morning for different reasons.
O God, do not be far from us.
We experience the presence of the Spirit in different ways.
O God, do not be far from us.
We hear Jesus’ words with different ears.
O God, do not be far from us.
“Deny yourselves.”
O God, do not be far from us.
“Take up your cross.”
O God, do not be far from us.
“Follow me.”
O God,
we thank you for drawing near to us
in this place,
in our lives.
Amen.

 ~ written by Joanna Harader, and posted on Spacious Faith. http://spaciousfaith.com/

Challenge: Deny Yourself


Here is an invitation inspired by Jesus’ invitation to “Deny yourself, and take up your cross and follow me (see Mark 8:24, Matthew 16:24 and Luke 9:23). 

Invitation to Follow

Abandon the illusion you're a self-contained individual.
Be a part of this wounded world,
and find yourself with Christ.

Set aside your own desires,
give yourself fully for others;
be the hands and heart of Jesus.

Renounce self-protection,
accept your brokenness,
and reach out for love.

Let go of your own plans.
Join in the healing of the world.
You will not be alone.

Follow your soul, not your ego.
Follow it right into people's suffering.
Follow it right into the heart of God.

Pour yourself out;
let the world pour in;
then you are one with the Beloved.

~ written by Steve Garnaas-Holmes and posted on Unfolding Light. https://www.unfoldinglight.net/  

Feb 22, 2021

Prayer: Children of Abram

Here’s a prayer of petition and intercession from John van de Laar at Sacredise.com.

Prayer
(inspired by events in Genesis 12-18)

Long before the change of name,
before the first signs of new life
showed the beginnings of promises fulfilled,
You asked Abram to make his home among foreigners,
and share the blessing that was to come.

And now, O God, you ask the same faith of us:
The faith to count ourselves among the least,
to find our place alongside the poor and broken;
The faith to trust in your mercy and your promises,
and to share what we have received;
The faith to wait expectantly for your reign of justice and equity,
together with those who most need its gifts.

Teach us to be children of Abram, sharers of the blessings we enjoy:
The blessing of plenty shared with those who have need,
The blessing of healing shared with those who are sick and wounded,
The blessing of joy shared with those who celebrate
and of tears shared with those who grieve,
The blessing of friendship shared with those who are excluded,
and of solidarity with those who fight injustice,
The blessing of peace shared with those in conflict,
and of confrontation shared with those who bring harm;
And in some small way, may our faith and our sharing,
help to bring your promises into being
in our world.

Amen.

~ written by John van de Laar and posted on Sacredise. http://sacredise.com/prayers/type/intercession/children-of-abram/

Feb 9, 2021

Sunday Prayer: Transfiguration

Here’s a prayer for Transfiguration Sunday.  It was written by rev karla, and posted on RevGalBlogPals.

Transfiguration Prayer

Holy One,
We come before you,
many of us feeling like we have climbed just a part of the mountain,
and there is so much more of a climb left to even get to point
to dream that we might be dazzled by what is Divine.

Our loads are heavy,
with worry, with regret,
with fatigue, with illness,
with despair for all in the world
that is hurting, in danger, in bondage and more.

We trudge ahead, following you,
stumbling, hoping, praying...
breathing hard, hearts pounding, and yes,
even some of us are nimble and skipping.

Lead us Lord,
to the top of that mountain,
where we might be dazzled by your Light,
lifted by what is Divine,
filled by the sheer delight
of what is numinous and ethereal and grounded and real.

We pray this,
for ourselves, for one another,
and for the worlds in which we live in.
Amen.

~ written by rev karla, and posted on RevGalBlogPals. http://revgalblogpals.blogspot.ca/

Prayer for Illumination: Psalm 99

Here is a prayer for illumination, a prayer traditionally spoken before the reading and preaching of the Word in worship. It was written by Amy Loving, and posted on The Worship Cloud.

Prayer of Illumination
(inspired by Exodus 13-16, Psalm 99)

Mighty God,
you spoke to your people in the pillar of cloud
as they walked together in the wilderness.

Speak to us through your Word today,
that we may hear you calling us
out of the wilderness places in our lives
and into new places you have promised to show us.
In the name of Christ, we pray.  Amen.

~ written by Amy Loving, and posted on The Worship Closet. http://worshipcloset.com/words-for-worship-18th-sunday-after-pentecost/

Prayer of Confession: Transfiguration

Here is a prayer of confession and words of assurance for Transfiguration Sunday. It was written by the Rev. Dr. Renee C. Jackson, and posted on the United Church of Christ’s Worship Ways website.

Prayer of Confession

God of Mercy and Grace,
you come to us in Jesus of Nazareth
to break down the dividing walls of hostility between us:
Yet we maintain walls that separate and isolate.

You give us the ministry of reconciliation:
Yet we nurse our wounds and withhold mercy and forgiveness.

You invite us to join with Peter, James, and John
on the mountain of Transfiguration:
Yet we deny the wonders you have worked in our own lives.

You ask us to acknowledge and share our wealth:
Yet we refuse to recognize and relieve the poverty around us.

You bless our lives with boundless love:
Yet we fail to witness to that love,
and so keep others from knowing you.

Forgive our selfishness, we pray.
Transform us by your Spirit and your Word
into that which pleases you,
the image of Christ.   Amen.

Words of Assurance

Jesus admonished Peter, James, and John
not to tell of what they witnessed on the mountain
until he was resurrected.
But we can tell what we have seen and heard of God’s glory!
Here is the good news:
Jesus lives! He is raised! We are forgiven!
Go, share the vision!
Tell of God’s love! In this God is well pleased!

~ from “God of Awe and Glory,” written by the Rev. Dr. Renee C. Jackson,  Southeast Area Minister for the Michigan Conference, UCC. Posted on the United Church of Christ’s Worship Ways website. http://www.ucc.org/worship_worship-ways