Jul 19, 2021

Prayers of the People: Open Your Hand

Here’s a prayer of intercession which draws on Psalm 145 and Matthew 14:13-21 (the feeding of the 5000).  Feel free to revise it to suit your context.


Prayer of Intercession

(based on Matthew 14:13-21 and Psalm 145:15-16)

Loving God,
You are our Creator and Sustainer.
When You open Your hand,
You satisfy the hunger and thirst of every living thing.
And so we look to You whenever we are in need,
trusting in Your love and Your abundant goodness.

As You once fed the hungry crowds with five loaves and two small fish,
we ask that You would again fill those who are empty this day.
Pour out Your Spirit on all who hunger and thirst.

We pray for those who are physically hungry—whose stomachs are empty.
We think especially of the people in Somalia and Eastern Africa
who are facing critical food shortages;
    who are suffering the effects of malnutrition and starvation;
        and watching helplessly as loved ones die.

Lord, in Your mercy, open Your hand.
Pour out Your Spirit, so that they may be filled. 

We pray for those who are empty emotionally—
who are lonely and long for companionship and love,
        who are caught in the grip of depression,
            or overwhelmed with grief.

Lord, in Your mercy, open Your hand.
Pour out Your Spirit, so that they may be filled. 

We pray for those who are spiritually empty—
who are troubled, but don’t know where to turn;
    who long for purpose and meaning, but don’t know where to look;
        who need You, but do not yet know You.

Lord, in Your mercy, open Your hand.
Pour out Your Spirit, so that they may be filled. 

God, we praise You for Your abundant gifts in our lives.
Pour out Your Spirit on us as well.
Fill us with Your compassion and love,
so that we would willingly share some of our abundance
with those who have need.

Lord, in Your mercy, open Your hand.
Pour out Your Spirit, so that we may be filled.

We pray in the name of Jesus Christ,
who came so that all of humanity might come to know
the abundant life that comes from You.

Amen.

~ Christine Longhurst, re:Worship

Opening Prayer: Feed Us, Lord

Opening Prayer
(based on Psalm 145:15-16, Isaiah 55:1-3, John 6:35)

Lord,
the eyes of all look to You in hope;
and You give them what they need.
You open Your hand
and satisfy the hunger and thirst of every living thing.

We, too, turn to You again, longing to be filled—
to eat of the Bread of Life,
to drink from Your life-giving streams,
to taste Your goodness and live.

May the time we spend together in Your presence
nourish our hearts and minds;
may it strengthen our relationship with You,
and renew our commitment to live in this world as Your faithful disciples.

For You alone are God,
the Source and Sustainer of life.

In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

~ Christine Longhurst, re:Worship

Offering Prayer: Matthew 14:13-21


This offering prayer was inspired by Matthew 14:13-21, the account of how Jesus uses five small loaves and two fish to feed a vast crowd of hungry people.  

Offering Prayer
(inspired by Matthew 14:13-21)

Merciful God,
the gifts we bring are so small in comparison to the vast needs in our world—
nowhere near enough to save the thousands dying of starvation all around the world,
or even to meet the needs of the hungry and homeless in our city.
Yet we have brought what we can.

As You once multiplied the five small loaves and two fish,
multiply these gifts as well,
so that, once again, the hungry may receive all they need, and more.
Amen.

~ Christine Longhurst, re:Worship

Prayer: Enough for All

Here’s a prayer for the offering inspired by the story of the loaves and fishes in Matthew 14:15-21 (or Mark 6:35-44, Luke 9:12-17, John 6:1-15). It comes from the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand website.

Offering Prayer
(inspired by Matthew 14:15-21)

On my own
what I have to give
doesn't amount to much
in the light of all you have given to me
and in the face of so much need.
Put together as a congregation,
what we offer you here in love
becomes more,
not simply added together,
but somehow multiplied in its usefulness.
We ask you to bless our gifts
and with the addition of your blessing,
just as it was with the loaves and fishes,
there is enough for all.
Amen

~ from the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand website. http://www.presbyterian.org.nz/

Jul 12, 2021

Pastoral Prayer: Loving Shepherd

Here’s a pastoral prayer for Good Shepherd Sunday, or any other time when passages like Psalm 23 and John 10 are being used. It was written by Rev. Karla, and posted on RevGalBlogPals.

Pastoral Prayer
(inspired by Psalm 23, John 10)

Loving Shepherd,
You lead and guide,
You walk alongside,
You prepare, you feed, you call,
all of your sheep,
even those of us who are lost,
those of us who stray constantly,
those of us who stay close to your comforting staff.

We are grateful for the lush green pastures of our lives,
and we pause now to offer our thanksgivings
for the goodnesses in our lives…

There are so many who walk in the shadows
of fear and suffering and despair,
and we pause now, to offer our prayers
for the broken and bleeding places in this world…

We also offer our prayers for the sheep of our own flocks,
in our families and friends,
in this our church and our community…(pause)

O Loving Shepherd,
We have all we need,
as we live in You.
Amen.

~ written by Rev Karla, and posted on RevGalBlogPals. https://revgalblogpals.org/

Call to Worship: Psalm 23

Here’s a call to worship litany inspired by Psalm 23. It was written by Joanna Harader, and posted on Spacious Faith.

Call to Worship
(inspired by Psalm 23)

In the darkest valley,
at the banquet table;
in the hard work of life,
at the moments of ease;
in our day-to-day reality,
at times set aside–
like this time, now–
for worship, for listening, for paying attention;
with every step we take:
goodness and mercy follow us;
our cups overflow.

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

Call to Worship: Isaiah 43: 2


Here’s a call to worship inspired by Isaiah 43:2. It was written by Rev. Mindi and posted on her Rev-o-lution blog.

Call to Worship
(Inspired by Isaiah 43:2)

When we pass through the waters,
God is there with us.
When we suffer and feel hopeless,
God is there with us.
When we are joyful and celebratory,
God is there with us.
Whether we feel triumphant or defeated,
God is there with us, always.
Come, let us worship together with Emmanuel,
God with us.