Jan 26, 2020

Call to Worship: Come to Me!

Here’s a call to worship on the On Earth Peace website.

Call to Worship
(inspired by Matthew 4:19, Mark 1:16-20, Luke 5:1-11)

The invitation is given to every person by Jesus Christ:
"Come to me! Follow me! Be my disciples!"
We come to this place, to this time,
at the invitation of Jesus Christ.

In the name of Christ,
we accept the invitation to discipleship.

In the name of Christ,
as his disciples, we worship and praise God.

In the midst of a world where cruelty abounds,
we proclaim the God of Compassion.

In the midst of despair that threatens to swallow up
whole lives, whole peoples,
we proclaim the God of Hope.

In the midst of indifference and apathy,
we proclaim the God of Love.

Come, let us worship together
and share our witness of God's living presence in the world.

~ from the On Earth Peace website.  http://www.onearthpeace.org/

Jan 25, 2020

Prayer: Call to Obedience

Here’s a prayer about obedience from Walter Brueggemann.

A Hard, Deep Call to Obedience

You are the God who makes extravagant promises.
We relish your great promises of fidelity and presence and solidarity,
and we exude in them.
Only to find out, always too late,
that your promise always comes in the midst of a hard, deep call to obedience.

You are the God who calls people like us,
and the long list of mothers and fathers before us,
who trusted the promise enough to keep the call.

So we give you thanks that you are a calling God,
who calls always to dangerous new places.
We pray enough of your grace and mercy among us
that we may be among those who believe your promises
enough to respond to your call.

We pray in the one who embodied your promise
and enacted your call, even Jesus. Amen.

~ written by Walter Brueggemann, in Awed to Heaven, Rooted in Earth: Prayers of Walter Brueggemann, (Augsburg Fortress, 2003, p. 90).  Posted on Consider Your Call. http://www.consideryourcall.org/sites/default/files/CYC-Media/Toolbox/Materials/Worship-Toolbox.pdf 

Jan 24, 2020

Prayer: You Call Us

Here’s a prayer of petition written by Rev. Bob Gibson.

Prayer
(inspired by Matthew 4:18-22, Mark 1:16-20, Luke 5:1-11)

You call us,
Wanderer of seashores and sidewalks,
inviting us to sail out of our smug harbors
into the uncharted waters of faith
to wander off from our predictable paths to follow You
into the unpredictable footsteps of the kingdom;
to leave the comfort of our homes and accompany
You into the uncomfortable neighborhoods we usually avoid.

As we wait,
in our simple, sometimes crazy,
constantly uncertain lives,
speak to us, Spirit of Grace:
of that hope which is our anchor;
of that peace which is our rock;
of that grace which is our refuge.

~ from a worship order prepared by Rev. Bob Gibson for the London Conference of the United Church of Canada.  http://www.londonconference.ca/


Jan 13, 2020

Prayer: One Body


Here is a prayer of confession and commitment from Jeff’s Blog (see link below).

Prayer of Confession and Commitment
(inspired by Ephesians 4:4-6)

Holy God, your word declares that you have taken away our iniquity, and that you remember our sin no more. But we confess that we focus so much on ourselves, and our failures, and our feelings and our merits that we choose to be consumed by our guilt and shame, and refuse the salvation you offer us freely through the gift of your Son, Jesus Christ.

Forgive us when we forget the comfort of your love, our fellowship with your spirit, and the tenderness and compassion you have called us to show to a world in need. Forgive us when we care so much about ourselves and what we want that we forget to love our neighbor, and in so doing forget to love you.

Almighty Father, take from us all hatred and prejudice and discord. Remind us that there is but one Body and one Spirit, and one hope of our calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of us all, so that we may all truly be of one heart and of one soul, united in one holy bond of truth and peace, of faith and charity, and that with one mind and one mouth we may glorify you, through Jesus Christ our Lord who reigns together with you and the Holy Spirit, in a Kingdom without end. Amen.

Prayer for the Church


January 18-25 is observed by many in the northern hemisphere as the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. Here is a prayer from the World Council of Churches website which is appropriate for that occasion (and others throughout the year).

A Prayer for the Church

God, Protector of the widow,
the orphan and the stranger –
in a world where many know despair,
you raised your Son Jesus
to give hope for humanity and renewal to the earth.

Continue to strengthen and unify your Church
in its struggles against the forces of death in the world,
where violence against creation and humanity
obscures the hope of the new life you offer.

This we pray in the name of the Risen Lord,
in the power of His Spirit. Amen.

~ from Resources for The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity and throughout the year (2011), http://www.oikoumene.org/fileadmin/files/wcc-main/documents/p2/2010/WOP2011eng.pdf  jointly prepared and published by The Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and The Commission on Faith and Order of the World Council of Churches.  Posted on the World Council of Churches website.  http://www.oikoumene.org/en/home.html

Jan 12, 2020

Epiphany Prayer: Abiding


Here is an epiphany prayer from Christine Jerrett. It was inspired by John 1:29-42 and 1 Corinthians 1:1-9. It could be a prayer of confession (she follows it with words of assurance), or an opening prayer of invocation. The words of assurance could easily inspire a closing benediction, too. (See the link to Christine’s blog below.)

Abiding

A Prayer for Epiphany 2, Year A
(inspired by John 1:29-42 and 1 Corinthians 1:1-9)

Holy God,
You are mystery
greater than our minds can comprehend.
And yet,
you have come to us in Jesus
and he invites us to stay with him;
to follow where he leads
so that we may find you
whom our hearts seek.

We come
but we bring with us
our doubts
our questions
our frailties
our inability to love one another well.

We come,
hesitant,
yet drawn by your haunting love.

Immerse us in the waters of your grace.
Pour your Holy Spirit upon us.
Teach us to love one another
with the love of Christ.

For we ask it in the many names of Jesus, our Lord,
the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world,
Son of God,
Teacher,
Saviour
the One whose love surrounds us all our days. Amen.

Assurance of God’s Grace

In the waters of our baptism,
God bathes us with the Holy Spirit and declares
“You are my beloved child.”
Now we are community,
called to flood our world with the love we have received.

This week, whenever anyone or anything
makes you feel small or insignificant or alone,
remember your baptism
and live into your high and holy calling.
It is the gift of God’s grace for you.

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