Sep 26, 2020

Prayer for Others: God's Provision

Here’s a prayer of thanksgiving and intercession inspired by the ways in which God cared for the Israelites while in the wilderness.

Prayer for Others

God,
like the Israelites in the wilderness,
we too have known Your love,
and experienced Your care and provision.
You invite us to extend that love to the world around us—
to care for others as deeply as we care for ourselves.
And so we bring the needs of our world before You now.
In Your mercy, hear our prayer.

We pray for the many who do not have enough:
  enough food to eat, or shelter to keep warm;
  enough employment, or money to pay their bills;
  enough medicine or medical care.
Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.

We also pray for those who have more than enough,
  but who still struggle to find meaning and purpose in life;
  who indulge in dangerous or self-serving activities
      to dull their pain or loneliness.
Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.

God, Your grace reaches out to all of us.
You call us to live as citizens of heaven,
working together with one heart and mind.
Strengthen us to live in a manner worthy
of the Good News we have received,
offering our lives in service of Your kingdom,
where the last are first, and the first are last,
and there is grace enough for all.
Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.

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

~ Christine Longhurst, re:Worship

Prayers of the People: Proper 21 A

Here’s a possible prayer of intercession for Proper 21, Year A, based on the suggested scripture readings for that day: Exodus 17:1-7 (where God makes water flow from a rock in the wilderness); Matthew 21:23-32 (the parable of the two sons); and Philippians 2:1-13 (where Paul encourages believers to live with humility, imitating the example of Jesus Christ). Feel free to revise this prayer to suit your needs.

Prayer of Intercession

God,
You are a God of compassion and love.
Time after time we have experienced your care and provision.
Time after time You’ve answered our prayers and met our needs—
often in ways we could never have dreamed possible.
We praise You for Your faithful love toward us.

Because we have known Your love,
we come to You with confidence,
offering our prayers for the world that You love.

We see so much pain and suffering;
so much anger and frustration and despair.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the needs around us.
But we continue to bring our prayers to You in faith,
because we know that nothing is impossible for You.
You are the God who rained down bread from heaven,
and made water flow from a rock in the desert;
the God who resurrected Jesus Christ from the dead,
and who brings new life and hope to all who believe.
For You, all things are possible.
Hear our prayers.

We pray for those suffering the effects of recent  natural disasters....
(insert petitions here)

Because nothing is impossible for You, O God,
hear our prayer, and in Your love, answer.

We pray for the regions of our world caught up in violence and threats of violence:
(insert petitions here)

Because nothing is impossible for You, O God,
hear our prayer, and in Your love, answer.

We pray for those who live with serious illness,
   those with chronic pain,
   those without access to proper medical care,
   those for whom treatment is no longer an option.
Because nothing is impossible for You, O God,
hear our prayer, and in Your love, answer.

Merciful God,
You sent Your Son, Jesus Christ, to show us a different way to live—
the way of deep humility and obedience.
You’ve called us to love one another,
and to work together with one heart and mind,
balancing our needs with the needs of those around us.
Give us courage to follow faithfully, and with integrity—
with actions that bear witness to the words we speak,
and worship that overflows into our daily tasks and relationships—
so that our lives will bring glory and honour to You,
our Redeemer and Lord. Amen.

~ Christine Longhurst, re:Worship

Prayer: Splitting Rocks in the Wilderness (Ps. 78)

Here’s a prayer of praise and commitment inspired by Psalm 78:15, “He split the rocks in the wilderness and gave them water as abundant as the seas.” It was written by Rev. Erin Counihan, and posted on RevGalBlogPals.

Prayer
(inspired by Psalm 78: 15)

You split rocks open in the wilderness.
You called water to pour forth from the fissures.
To quench your people’s thirst.
To calm your people’s complaints.
To teach us how to trust.


You.
You split rocks open in the wilderness.
You split rocks open in my heart.
You called living water from there, too.
To change your people’s path.
To fuel your people’s journeys.
To teach me how to believe.


You.
You are splitting rocks open in our communities.
You are calling forth the rush of our voices.
To flush out your people’s complacency.
To bubble up your people’s creativity.
To teach us how to act out in faith. (Again)


You.
You are splitting and pouring and helping and churning,
You are rumbling and turning and raining and charging,
and we are trying to follow along.
Not understanding.
Not knowing.
And, yes, complaining.

And You.
You don’t give up.
So, go ahead.
We’re here.
Listening.
Learning.
Breaking.
Trying.
For You.

~ written by Rev. Erin Counihan, pastor at Oak Hill Presbyterian Church (PCUSA) in St. Louis, MO. She blogs at http://www.somewhatreverend.wordpress.com. This prayer was posted on RevGalBlogPals. https://revgalblogpals.org/

Jul 6, 2020

Opening Prayer: Matthew 13:1-9

Here’s a possible opening prayer based on Matthew 13:1-9, the parable of the Sower and the Seed. Feel free to revise it to suit your context.

Opening Prayer
(based on Matthew 13:1-9)

O God,
We gather together in Your presence with expectation,
hungry for an encounter with You,
eager to hear Your Word.

Open our eyes and ears to the presence of Your Holy Spirit.
May the seeds of Your Word scattered among us this morning
fall on fertile soil.
May they take root in our hearts and lives,
and produce an abundant harvest
of good words and deeds.

We pray this in the name of Jesus Christ,
our teacher and our Lord.
Amen.

~ Christine Longhurst, re:Worship

Call to Worship: Matthew 11: 28-30

Here’s a call to worship inspired by Matthew 11:28-30 (CEV).  It comes from the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand website.

Call to Worship
(inspired by Matthew 11: 28-30)

If you are tired from carrying heavy burdens,
come to me and I will give you rest.
Take the yoke I give you.
Put it on your shoulders and learn from me.
I am gentle and humble, and you will find rest.
This yoke is easy to bear, and this burden is light.

Christ calls us to come to worship
To rest from the things that are troubling us
To learn what Christ can teach of life
To realise what we can offer to others
And so to return into the world to serve
Let us worship God

~ posted on the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand. http://www.presbyterian.org.nz/

Intergenerational Call to Worship: Ps. 65

Intergenerational Call to Worship
(based on Psalm 65)

Come and worship,
everyone on earth,
everywhere the sun shines,
let’s praise God together!

For listening when we call,
answering our prayers,
forgiving our mistakes,
and providing what we need:
let’s praise God together!

Come and worship,
everyone on earth,
everywhere the sun shines,
let’s praise God together!

~ Christine Longhurst, re:Worship

Responsive Prayer: Psalm 119:105-112

Here’s a simple responsive prayer inspired by Psalm 119:105-112. It was written by The Rev. Erin Counihan, and posted on RevGalBlogPals.

Prayer
(inspired by Psalm 119:105-112)


Your word is a lamp to my feet, Lord.
Your word is a light to my path.
Though the world around me tosses and tumbles,
I hold fast to you.
Though I have doubts and worries and I wonder,
I hold fast to you.
Though my heart hurts, my spirit aches, and I lose my way,
I hold fast to you.
Though I encounter wickedness and hate seemingly around every corner,
I hold fast to you.
Your stories and your songs, O Lord-
They comfort me.
Your will and your way, O Lord-
They nudge me along.
Your presence and your promise, O Lord-
They give me hope.
Your world is my heritage and my heart.
And I will turn toward you forever.
I will hold fast to you.
And I will sing praises to your name!

~ adapted from Psalm 119:105-112. Written by The Rev. Erin Counihan, pastor Oak Hill Presbyterian Church (PCUSA) in St. Louis, MO. Posted on RevGalBlogPals. https://revgalblogpals.org/2017/07/13/thursday-prayer-126/