Jun 16, 2019

Prayer of Confession: Lord, I Need You


Here’s a congregational act of confession which incorporates Matt Maher’s Lord, I Need You (a song inspired by lines from the traditional hymn, I Need Thee Ev’ry Hour). This prayer was put together by Greg Scheer (see the link to his website below). The sung portions of the prayer are in italics.

Call to Confession

Let us bow before our holy and loving God, confessing our sins with honestly and faith:

Lord, I come, I confess
Bowing here I find my rest
Without You I fall apart
You're the One that guides my heart

Lord, I need You, oh, I need You
Every hour I need You
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You

Confession and Assurance

Holy God, you see into our hearts.
You see the true selves we try to hide from others,
the sins we fear would destroy our images,
the evils that lurk so deep within us we can scarcely name them,
the unholy habits that have been with us so long 
that they no longer prick our consciences.

But you also see in us Jesus Christ,
the Holy One who took on our sin
and covers us in his righteousness.
Forgive us for the sake of Jesus Christ, our Savior.

Where sin runs deep Your grace is more
Where grace is found is where You are
Where You are, Lord, I am free
Holiness is Christ in me

Lord, I need You, oh, I need You
Every hour I need You
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You

Call to Renewed Living

So teach my song to rise to You
When temptation comes my way
When I cannot stand I'll fall on You
Jesus, You're my hope and stay

Lord, I need You, oh, I need You
Every hour I need You
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You

~ written by Greg Scheer, http://www.gregscheer.com/

Call to Worship & Prayer: God is Our Salvation


Here’s a combination call to worship and opening prayer from Gill Le Fevre.

Call to Worship and Prayer


God is our salvation,
guiding us out of the darkness of the world.

Redeeming God,
as trees stretch towards the sun,
we seek your healing light.

God is our salvation,
when we hunger for direction and meaning.

Sustaining God,
as branches bear fruit,
your word feeds our souls.

Come now, put down the burdens of your days.
God is our salvation.
We rest in the garden of God's reconciling love.

~ written by Gill Le Fevre

Confession: Proverbs 17:22


Here’s a prayer of confession inspired by Proverbs 17:22: “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a downcast spirit dries up the bones.” It was submitted by Pastor Carl Eliason, Pastor of Peace Lutheran Church in Grand Island, New England.

Introduction

Where do you seek joy in your life?  We all have people, activities, or things that bring us moments of happiness.  Sitting on the floor in a pile of puppies, hearing a baby giggle, a cool breeze on a hot day, mashed potatoes and gravy, or a squeezing hug from a loved one. However, all of these are just moments of joy.  Moments are temporary and can lead us to temptation to relive a moment.  We can also get caught in the trap of trying to create even greater moments.  Temporary joys followed by longer periods of unhappiness.  Or what happens when our expectations for happiness are not met or even denied to us or stolen from us?  The seeking of the moment becomes an idol.  An idol helps us realize that we have been seeking happiness and joy in the wrong direction.  God is the true source of unending joy.  Let's confess together.

Prayer of Confession (unison)

Gracious God,
you have blessed us with the entirety of your creation
and we have taken it all and tried to place it
in a box that we can control rather than manage. 
When we go against your will
we wonder why life does not work out for us. 
In our brokenness
we seek happiness and joy in things and expectations.
Then, outside of your hope,
we are crushed by the world around us
and our own inward thoughts. 

Holy Father,
shine your light into the dark days and nights of our lives. 
Forgive us for falling from your love and blessings,
and for the sake of Jesus,
restore in us the joy that only comes
through your Spirit living in us and through us.  Amen.

Words of Assurance

Through his unending mercy and grace,
our heavenly Father offers his Son Jesus Christ
in exchange for our brokenness. 
Jesus is the light the brings joy in the morning
and leads us to eternity by grace through faith. 
He has destroyed the grip of darkness
that crushes the spirit
and allows me to announce to you the good news:
your sins are forgiven
in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

~ written by Carl Eliason, Pastor, Peace Lutheran Church in Grand Island, New England.

Call to Worship: Loving Our Neighbors


Here’s a responsive call to worship from Rev. Mindi’s Rev-o-lution website.

Call to Worship
(inspired by Matthew 22:34-40, Mark 12:30-31)

We hear the voice of God calling,
“Love your neighbor as yourself.”
We feel the Spirit moving among us,
moving us to acts of compassion and justice.
We know the love of Jesus.
We love because Christ first loved us.
Come, worship God together.
Come, let us serve our God,
who calls us by name.

~ written by Rev. Mindi and posted on Rev-o-lution. http://rev-o-lution.org/

Jun 9, 2019

Call to Worship: When God Imagined Me


Here’s a responsive call to worship inspired by the creation story in Genesis 1-2. It was written by Tim Graves and posted on LiturgyBits.

Call to Worship:
When God Imagined Me

In the midst of darkness & chaos…
God imagined.

In the fury & darkness…
God imagined a world filled with trees,
and blue skies
and fluffy white clouds.

In the meadow, God stood and…
imagined foxes, bluebirds, and slithering snakes.

In a world of rainstorms and wildlife
and cattle and grasses blowing in the breeze…
God imagined humanity.
God imagined the continuum from man to woman. 

In a world teeming with billions of people…
God imagined me. 

God imagined you and God imagined me.
We are created in the image of God.
God imagined us all. God loves each of us. 

Let us worship with the same imagination
as the creating One!
Amen.

~ written by Tim Graves, and posted on LiturgyBits. https://liturgybits.wordpress.com

Call to Worship, Prayer: Life-Giving Trinity


Here’s a Trinitarian call to worship and opening prayer from The Minor Keys blog.

Call to Worship and Opening Prayer:
God, the Life-Giving Trinity

The words God speaks
are the life and sustenance
of all that exists.

The life Jesus gives
is the re-creation and renewed birth
of all that is broken and worn.

The Spirit’s stirring in our souls
is the inspiration
for creativity, compassion, joy, and community.

Life-giving, life-restoring, life-fulfilling God;
may our whole lives be worship.
In all things, may we seek to connect with
and to reflect your love and your hope.

~ posted on The Minor Keys. http://theminorkeys.blogspot.ca/  

Prayer: Matthew 28: 16-20


Here’s a prayer from Christine Jerrett’s blog. It was inspired by Matthew 28:16-20.

Prayer
(inspired by Matthew 28:16-20)

Out of our ordinary, everyday lives,
you have gathered us here, Holy God,
to this time of worship,
to this time of praise.

We join with angels and archangels
and all the company of the saints
to bless you,
to listen for your Word,
to immerse ourselves in your grace,
in your love.

Open our eyes,
our hearts,
our minds
to your presence with us.

Take the chaos of the world
that has found its way into our hearts —
speak your Word
and give order and form and new creation.

Take the failures and defeats,
the guilt and the shame
that bind our spirits —
speak your Word
and set us free.

Take our longings for your goodness
to shape our lives, this community,
the hurting world —
speak your Word
and infuse us with
your courage and
your hope and
your love.

Then, awaken us to your Holy Spirit
who is making all things new,
even us.

We ask in Jesus’ name
who sends us out to speak
love and mercy and grace
to those who are waiting
longing
hoping
for a sign
that they are not alone,
that you are a God of love,
that you are a Saviour who knows their name,
that the Holy Spirit is leading them home.

Amen.

~ posted on Christine Jerrett. https://christinejerrett.wordpress.com/