Monday, April 27, 2009

Prayers for the 3rd Week of Easter

The watchword for the week: See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are. 1 John 3:1

This is the day the Lord has made,
Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
We pause for these moments to orient our lives to God’s purposes.
May our hearts be open, our minds be receptive, and our souls be vulnerable to God’s presence with us now.

Psalm 4
1 Answer me when I call, O God of my right! You gave me room when I was in distress. Be gracious to me, and hear my prayer.
2 How long, you people, shall my honor suffer shame? How long will you love vain words, and seek after lies?
3 But know that the Lord has set apart the faithful for himself; the Lord hears when I call to him.
4 When you are disturbed, do not sin; ponder it on your beds, and be silent.
5 Offer right sacrifices, and put your trust in the Lord.
6 There are many who say, "O that we might see some good! Let the light of your face shine on us, O Lord!"
7 You have put gladness in my heart more than when their grain and wine abound.
8 I will both lie down and sleep in peace; for you alone, O Lord, make me lie down in safety.

We are deceiving ourselves if we think that we can live apart from God’s protection and influence. We have all been wandering children, let us confess our sins.

Gracious God, we are thankful that you have invited us into your household of faith, and called us your children. Despite our shortcomings you welcome us as we are, but love us too much to leave us that way. Forgive us for those times when we have ignored your will for us and when we have forgotten to whom we belong. Forgive us for doubting the power of Easter to transform us into your children, holy and righteous. Help us O God, to reach beyond ourselves, and beyond our comfortable sanctuaries to invite others into your family, so that they too might feel your loving embrace through us.

See God is coming to you, with arms outstretched, ready to welcome you home. Know that in Christ your sins are forgiven. With a joyful heart then, give God praise.

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 now to read and pray the Daily Texts for today. Don't just rush over them as if it was a chore to be completed, but eagerly await each word from God as gift that has the potential to change your life. After you have had a chace to read the prayer at the end of the texts, take time to pray for your needs, the needs of your most imediate cirle of family and frriends, then pray for the larger comunity, most especially your congregation.

When your have completed your prayer time, continue as follows:

Our Lord taught his disciples to pray using these words:

Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be your name, your kingdom come,
Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and forever. Amen.

Romans 8:14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.
15 For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, "Abba! Father!"
16 it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God,
17 and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ—if, in fact, we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.

We go from here knowing that God cares for us as parents care for their children. May we go in peace to love and serve the Lord. Amen.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Prayers for the 2nd Week of Easter

The Watchword for the week: If we walk in the light as God is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. 1 John 1:7

O Lord, your Word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path.

Give us grace to receive your truth in faith and love, and strength to follow on the path you set before us;

Guide us, O God, by your Word, and Holy Spirit,

that in your light we may see light, in your truth find freedom, and in your will discover peace.

Psalm 89:1-4: 11-18

1 I will sing of your steadfast love, O Lord, forever; with my mouth I will proclaim your faithfulness to all generations.

2 I declare that your steadfast love is established forever; your faithfulness is as firm as the heavens.

3 You said, "I have made a covenant with my chosen one, I have sworn to my servant David:

4 "I will establish your descendants forever, and build your throne for all generations.' "

11 The heavens are yours, the earth also is yours; the world and all that is in it—you have founded them.

12 The north and the south you created them; Tabor and Hermon joyously praise your name.

13 You have a mighty arm; strong is your hand, high your right hand.

14 Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; steadfast love and faithfulness go before you.

15 Happy are the people who know the festal shout, who walk, O Lord, in the light of your countenance;

16 they exult in your name all day long, and extol your righteousness.

17 For you are the glory of their strength; by your favor our horn is exalted.

18 For our shield belongs to the Lord, our king to the Holy One of Israel.

In honesty before God, let us acknowledge our need for grace by confessing our sins:

Gracious God, we need the light of your love to shine into the dark corners of our hearts. We humbly confess that at times we have walked in darkness and have said and done things that have caused us to hide from you, and brought pain in the lives of those around us. We know that it is your will for us to be in fellowship with our brothers and sisters in Christ, but we confess a single mindedness in our point of view, and our lack of patience with others who think differently. For our sins we ask for your grace and that you might cleanse our hearts from all that separates us from each other and from you. May the new life of Easter be our guiding light.

Friends, hear the good news: God loves you and welcomes you out from the shadows, your sins are indeed forgiven. Give God praise:

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)

As you taught your disciples to pray, so we pray together:

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil.For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and forever. Amen.

O Lord our God, you have commanded the light to shine out of darkness,

You have brought us again into this time of prayer to illuminate our hearts and minds so that we might be brought closer to you and to each other.

Accept now the gift of our hearts and our desire to walk in your light.

May our words and actions be ever more reflective of your love for us and for the world.

May the Lord bless you and keep you, may the Lord’s face shine upon you and be gracious to you. May the Lord look with favor upon you, and give you peace.

In the name of Jesus, Amen.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Prayers for Easter

(Portions of this prayer adapted from the MBW Easter Liturgy)

The watchword for the week: But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have died. 1 Corinthians 15:20

The Lord is risen!
The Lord is risen indeed!
Hail all hail victorious Lord and Savior
You have burst the bonds of death.
Joyful, we with one accord
Hail you as our risen Lord.

Psalm 118:1-2,14-24
1 O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his steadfast love endures forever!
2 Let Israel say, "His steadfast love endures forever."
14 The Lord is my strength and my might; he has become my salvation.
15 There are glad songs of victory in the tents of the righteous: "The right hand of the Lord does valiantly;
16 the right hand of the Lord is exalted; the right hand of the Lord does valiantly."
17 I shall not die, but I shall live, and recount the deeds of the Lord.
18 The Lord has punished me severely, but he did not give me over to death.
19 Open to me the gates of righteousness, that I may enter through them and give thanks to the Lord.
20 This is the gate of the Lord; the righteous shall enter through it.
21 I thank you that you have answered me and have become my salvation.
22 The stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.
23 This is the Lord's doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.
24 This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By God’s great mercy we are given new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading.
Praise, honor, glory, and power to the One seated on the throne, and to the Lamb, forever and ever!
Jesus was handed over to death for our sins,
And was raised to new life for our justification.
Then what can separate us from the love of Christ? Can affliction or hardship? Can persecution, hunger, nakedness, peril, or sword?
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Christ, who loved us.
For we are convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come,
Nor powers, nor heights, nor depths, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Take time now to readi the Daily Texts for the Day. Don't rush over them as if it is a task to be checked off. Look with anticipation that each word might bring meaning to your life.

Once you have completed the prayer in the Daily Text, take time to pray for yourself, your loved ones, your church family, and the needs of the world. When you have completed your prayer proceed as follows:

Victorious Lord, as you taught your disciples to pray, so we pray together:

Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be your name, your kingdom come,
Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trail and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and forever. Amen.

What we are saying brothers and sisters, is this: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God.
Nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.
What is sown as perishable,
Is raised imperishable;
What is sown in dishonor,
Is raised in glory:
What is sown in weakness,
Is raised in power;
What is sown a physical body,
Is raised a spiritual body.
Then the saying that is written will be fulfilled: Death has been swallowed up in victory.
Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

God of peace, who brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus Christ, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant,
Make us complete in everything good so that we may do your will, working among us all that is pleasing in your sight; through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Prayers for Holy Week

(Portions of this prayer are adapted from the Liturgy for Palm Sunday in the Moravian Book of Worship)

The Watchword for the week: Jesus said, "...'you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Power,' and 'coming with the clouds of heaven.'" Mark 14:62

Say to those who today possess a heart of fear, “Be strong and fear not. Behold, God will come and save you.”
“He will feed his flock like a shepherd. He will gather his lambs in His arms, and carry them close to his heart.”
Behold your king is coming to you.
During this week we seek to walk with Jesus, to learn of his passion for the sins of the world, and his desire that we might have eternal life.

Psalm 31:9-16
9 Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am in distress; my eye wastes away from grief, my soul and body also.

10 For my life is spent with sorrow, and my years with sighing; my strength fails because of my misery, and my bones waste away.
11 I am the scorn of all my adversaries, a horror to my neighbors, an object of dread to my acquaintances; those who see me in the street flee from me.
12 I have passed out of mind like one who is dead; I have become like a broken vessel.
13 For I hear the whispering of many— terror all around!— as they scheme together against me, as they plot to take my life.
14 But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, "You are my God."
15 My times are in your hand; deliver me from the hand of my enemies and persecutors.
16 Let your face shine upon your servant; save me in your steadfast love.

Confession of Sin

If we say that we have no sin we are simply fooling ourselves, but if we confess our sins, God is faithful and just and will not only forgive them, but cleanse our hearts, making us a new creation.

Our sovereign Redeemer, we join with the people of Jerusalem offering our own shouts of praise and celebration at your coming. Although we often welcome you as did the multitude on Palm Sunday, we have not always understood what that meant. We confess as well that we have stood with the condemning crowd on Good Friday with our betraying thoughts, words, and actions showing our lack of faithfulness. And like Peter we have, at times, denied our relationship with you through our silence. We turn to you for help and forgiveness, gracious Savior, not because we deserve it, but because you are forgiving. Save us from our sinful ways, and restore us to a life of loyalty to you. Amen.

After reading the prayer of confession, pause for a few moments and reflect on your own particular shortcomings, as well as the gift of God’s grace.

We are reconciled to the Father through sacrifice of the Son. Rejoice in your new found life.

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

After reading the Daily Texts for the day take time to prayer for yourself, those around you, your congregation, and the needs of the world.

Gracious Lord, Jesus Christ, as you taught your disciples to pray, so we pray together:

Our Father, who art in heaven,hallowed be thy Name,thy kingdom come,thy will be done, on earth as it is inheaven.Give us this day our daily bread.And forgive us our trespasses,as we forgive those who trespassagainst us.And lead us not into temptation,but deliver us from evil.For thine is the kingdom,and the power, and the glory,for ever and ever. Amen.

Almighty God, we are continually amazed at the way you turn the world upside down. For a Savior of the world we would have chosen a powerful prince,
But you chose a carpenter’s son born under questionable circumstances.
For disciples to help Jesus through his ministry we would have chosen well connected wealthy people of the upper class to bank roll the operation,
But you chose fishermen, a tax collector, and other such outcasts.
For a grand entrance into Jerusalem, we would have chosen a white Stallion,
But you chose a humble donkey.
When riding high in the polls on Palm Sunday we would have chosen to stay there as long as we could,
But you chose to clear the temple.
For a place of coronation we would have chosen a palace with a wonderfully decorated royal throne,
But you chose a cross.
For those who we would want to have included in the kingdom of God we would have chosen those who look, sound, and worship just like we do,
But you chose the world with all of its challenging diversity.
For people to show the world the love and grace extended to us in Jesus Christ, we would have chosen somebody else,
But you chose each of us.
May the God of hope fill us with all joy and peace in believing through the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Romans 15:13