Monday, September 29, 2008

Mid-Day Prayers
20th Week of Pentecost

The Watchword for the week to guide our steps:
Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus. Philippians 2:5

Praise be to you, creator God;
to you be glory and praise forever!
Just as your creative power moved over the face of the waters to bring light and life to your kingdom on earth,
Pour out your Spirit on us this day,that we may walk as children of light.
By your grace reveal your presence to us,
that we may be reflections of our love for the world.

Psalm for the Week: Psalm 25:1-9
(Read the Psalm slowly and deliberately at least three times. Take time to pause at words that happen to catch your spirit today and reflect for a moment on what those words mean to you. What might God be speaking into your spirit?)

1 To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
2 O my God, in you I trust; do not let me be put to shame; do not let my enemies exult over me.
3 Do not let those who wait for you be put to shame; let them be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.
4 Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths.
5 Lead me in your truth, and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all day long.
6 Be mindful of your mercy, O Lord, and of your steadfast love, for they have been from of old.
7 Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions; according to your steadfast love remember me, for your goodness' sake, O Lord!
8 Good and upright is the Lord; therefore he instructs sinners in the way.
9 He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way.

With full assurance of God’s grace we confess our sins.

Gracious Lord and God we confess that we often fail to seek after our Savior and instead use our own minds to guide our lives. In so doing we bend to the influence of prevailing culture which can lead us to self-centered decisions and separate us from you and our brothers and sisters in Christ. We are sorry for our sins and seek now to turn away from them. For the sake of your Son who died for us, forgive us, cleanse us, and change us. By your Holy Spirit, enable us to seek after the mind of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Hear the comforting words of our Lord: Your sins are forgiven. Go and sin no more.

We praise God by saying: Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. AMEN.

Reading of the Daily Texts

Prayers of the Community of Faith (spoken and silent)

Lord, have mercy upon us.
Christ, have mercy upon us.
Lord, have mercy upon us.
Christ, hear us.

Our Father in heaven,hallowed be your name.Your Kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heavenGive us today our daily bread.Forgive us our sins,as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours. Now and forever. Amen

Living God, you invite us to take on the mind of Christ.
Everyone who follows you in the ways of your love is born of you and knows you well.
Loving Savior, you sacrificed your life in love for us,
You show us how to love in being vulnerable, unconditional, and persistent to the end.
Since you love us so much,
you empower us to love one another.
And if we love one another, you abide in us, and we in you.
Your love will bear fruit through us, complete and perfect at the harvest.

Almighty God, unto whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hid;
cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of Your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love You, and worthily magnify Your holy name, through Christ the Lord. Amen.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Mid-Day Prayers
18th Week of Pentecost

The Watchword to guide our feet this week: Bless the Lord, O my soul, and do not forget all his benefits. Psalm 103:2

Unto you, O God, we lift our praise.
Your ways are marvelous, and we seek to walk in your path.
This day gives us the chance to honor you,
To share with others your never ending love.

Psalm 103:1-13

1 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name.
2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and do not forget all his benefits—
3 who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the Pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
5 who satisfies you with good as long as you live so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.
6 The Lord works vindication and justice for all who are oppressed.
7 He made known his ways to Moses, his acts to the people of Israel.
8 The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
9 He will not always accuse, nor will he keep his anger forever.
10 He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west, so far he removes our transgressions from us. 13 As a father has compassion for his children, so the Lord has compassion for those who fear him.

Unto that compassionate God, let us confess our Sins:

We, in our human frailty, have a hard time understanding your steadfast love O God. We confess that too often our love comes with strings attached, and is based on what can be gained from sharing it. We, in our human frailty, have a hard time understanding how you can be so slow to anger when ours comes so easily. We confess that too often we break the promises we have made to you, and to those that we love. Gracious God, forgive our lack of steadfastness, forgive our shortsightedness, and forgive our unfaithfulness. Guide us to walk in your ways, to sing your praise, and to share your love freely.

Thanks be to God that God’s love for each of us is not based on our faithfulness but rather on God’s steadfast love. My friends, know that your sins are forgiven, go therefore and walk in the light of the Lord, and give praise:
With joyful hearts we give praise to God by saying: Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Take time to read the Daily Texts for today. Pause at places where God seems to be drawing you. Open your heart and mind to listen to a new word from God.

After you have concluded the Daily Texts take time now to simply pray for the needs and concerns of the world around you. Take time also to simply be still and know that God is around you. Don't feel as if you need to struggle for the right words, just be still and know that God is there. When you are ready please continue....

O Lord, hear us now as we brothers and sisters in Christ pray together.

Creator of all humanity, we call you Holy, and seek to worship you all the days of our lives. We pray that the ways of your heavenly kingdom may be made real in the world that surrounds us. May the bread that we need for today be made available for us and all who are hungry; and may you forgive us, just as we are able to forgive those who have sinned against us. In the time of moral testing, may we listen first for your voice calling to us, instead of the call of the world; take from us the self-centeredness of our society. This world, and all that is in it, always has been and always will be yours, help us to lose ourselves to you and your kingdom. Help us to find who we truly are as we walk in your light. Amen.

And now, most merciful God, we ask you to continue extending your grace and favor towards us;
Let the sun of your gospel never go down out of our hearts;
Let your truth abide and be established among us forever.
Help our unbelief, increase our faith, give us hearts to consider your many gifts to us.
In faith clothe us with Christ, that he may live in us, and that your name may be glorified in the sight of all the world.
Keep us mindful of your steadfast love and ways in which we can make that love come alive in the hearts of those that we serve and come in contact with this very day.
May Christ, and him crucified,
Remain our confession of faith. Amen.

You may freely use these prayers publicly as you feel led, I only ask that you acknowledge me as the author, let me know that you are using them, and that you use them as they are. I don't want to take either the credit or the blame for any adaptation that you might make. I do hope that you find the prayers helpful to your fellowship with God. Thanks!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Prayers for the
17th Week of Pentecost

The Watchword to guide us for this week: Give me understanding, O God, that I may keep your law and observe it with my whole heart. Psalm 119:34

From the busyness that our jobs bring us,
We fix our attention on God’s way.
From the busyness that fills our daily lives,
We fix our attention on God’s way.
From the distractions that re-order our life’s priorities,
We fix our attention on God’s way.
From the slumber into which our faith can sometimes fall,
We fix our attention on God’s way.

Psalm 119:33-40

33 Teach me, O Lord, the way of your statutes, and I will observe it to the end.
34 Give me understanding, that I may keep your law and observe it with my whole heart.
35 Lead me in the path of your commandments, for I delight in it.
36 Turn my heart to your decrees, and not to selfish gain.
37 Turn my eyes from looking at vanities; give me life in your ways.
38 Confirm to your servant your promise, which is for those who fear you.
39 Turn away the disgrace that I dread, for your ordinances are good.
40 See, I have longed for your precepts; in your righteousness give me life.

Let us humbly confess our sins.

Gracious God, we affirm that your way is perfect. The Biblical witness and the life of Jesus Christ give us the pattern by which we should live out our faith, but we have chosen to walk on our own path. We confess that we have found it all too easy to follow the way of our culture and have made keeping your statutes an option, rather than an expectation for our lives. So we humbly ask that you create in us a clean heart, O God, and place within us that understanding that will help us to see your way and to observe it with our whole heart. Lord have mercy on us.

The Lord says to us: I will forgive your iniquity and remember your sin no more. Peace be with you.

With grateful hearts we say: Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Read Today's Daily Texts. Puase when words or phrases catch the attention of your soul. Ponder those words and seek to hear God's voice calling you.

When you have finished reading the Daily Texts take time to lift up to God those things for which your heart is broken, as well as those things which make your heart sing for joy.
You may end your prayer time by praying the following :

Creator of us all, we praise your name because you have lovingly made each one of us. May your intended purpose be made real here on earth, even as it is already done in heaven. Feed us today with those things that we truly need, and may we share our abundance with others. Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who have done wrong to us. In times of temptation, may we know of your life giving strength, and keep us from all evil. Gracious God, this is your kingdom, and we acknowledge your power and glory, both now and forever more. AMEN.

Just as God created an Eden in which all was made to work together,

God has created a pattern of life which is intended to bring us to wholeness.

That wholeness was shown to us as Jesus brought the law of God into human form.

Jesus showed us a way of grace and forgiveness even though life was made difficult for him by the sin of the world.

We pray that God might awaken in us the desire to follow his path more closely amidst the temptations and difficulties of our lives.

Come, Holy Spirit, show us the way, the truth, and the life.

Whatever we do, therefore, whether in word or deed, let us do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Thanks be to God. Amen.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Prayers for the
16th Week of Pentecost

We read the watchword for the week together: Jesus says, "If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me." Matthew 16:24

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
And also with you.
Praise the Lord and give thanks to Him for all his mercies.
In Jesus Christ God grants us the forgiveness of sin and shows us a new way of living. We seek to respond to that love by following the way of the cross.
We will rejoice and worship God with all our heart.Hear now the call of God to draw near to His loving embrace.
We will rest ourselves in God and do all that He asks.

Psalm 26:1-8

1 Vindicate me, O Lord, for I have walked in my integrity, and I have trusted in the Lord without wavering.
2 Prove me, O Lord, and try me; test my heart and mind.
3 For your steadfast love is before my eyes, and I walk in faithfulness to you.
4 I do not sit with the worthless, nor do I consort with hypocrites;
5 I hate the company of evildoers, and will not sit with the wicked.
6 I wash my hands in innocence, and go around your altar, O Lord,
7 singing aloud a song of thanksgiving, and telling all your wondrous deeds.
8 O Lord, I love the house in which you dwell, and the place where your glory abides.

Let us humbly confess our sins.

Loving God, as we think of the life of Jesus we are awed by the sacrifice that he made on our behalf. By accepting the way of the cross he took upon himself the sin of the world. With this love fixed in our minds and as we read the words of this week’s Psalm we confess that we have not always lived up to the standard that you have set for us. We have often shunned the way of the cross and a life of integrity for what seemed like an easy path. By what we have both said and done, and by what we have left undone, we have not always been your followers and for that we are truly sorry. Strengthen us as we resolve to live more responsively to your gracious intent toward us and the world.

(Take a few moments to read over the prayer of confession again. Spend sometime pondering the places that most need God's healing. When you are ready continue reading the prayer as it continues below.)

My friends, the Biblical message is clear: Christ has died, Christ is risen, and Christ will come again that we might live in newness of life; new life both here and in the world yet to come. Let us give thanks to God.

Praise be to you triune God, for you have lovingly created us, compassionately redeemed us, and graciously empower us to live the life of the cross. Amen.

Reading of the Daily Texts

Continue with a time of intercessory prayer for the needs of the world. This might also be a time to read the watchword for the week once again. Reflect on how taking up the cross is finding its way into your life. When you feel ready to move on take time to affirm your faith using the words of the Nicene Creed.

We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father. Through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets. We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

Let us go from here, take up the cross, and live a life that gives witness to that which we believe.

Thanks be to God. Amen.