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Archive for the ‘prayers’ Category

A prayer offered on June 14 2020 during the worship service of Shiloh Inwood United Church.

(sung) The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
God’s mercies never come to an end
They are new every morning, new every morning
Great is your faithfulness, O God,
Great is your faithfulness.

Words: Lamentation 3: 22 -23.

God, our God,
we lean into your steadfast love and faithfulness.

We lean into your steadfast love and faithfulness
for we live in a time
where old certainties are being shattered,
new possibilities are opening up,
old scripts are being re-written
and it is a messy time.

It is your steadfast love that anchors us.
It is your great faithfulness that
keeps pulling us toward
your reign of justice and peace.

God, our God,
this day, every day,
we count on your steadfast love and faithfulness.

(sung) The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
God’s mercies never come to an end
They are new every morning, new every morning
Great is your faithfulness, O God,
Great is your faithfulness.

God, our God,
we bring to you
our fears and our doubts.
They have held us captive;
they have kept us from daring
to live the risky love
into which you have baptized us.

Now, as we hear the voices
of our neighbours in new ways,
we ask you take take those fears and doubts;
speak your freeing love into them.

We pray for wisdom to hear your call to us.
We pray for courage
to be the people you have summoned us to be
in this time
and in this place
for the sake of Jesus
whose death and resurrection
has pulled us into your
good and holy purposes.

(sung) The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
God’s mercies never come to an end
They are new every morning, new every morning
Great is your faithfulness, O God,
Great is your faithfulness.

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What a beautiful thing, Lord Jesus,
to be part of the company of your people
giving you thanks,
singing your praises,
announcing your love each day.

What a beautiful thing, Lord Jesus,
to follow where you lead us:
for you take us with you into the heart of God,
the heart that breaks for the broken-hearted,
the heart that seeks us when we are lost
however far we may roam
the heart that moves in all our endings
and speaks your new beginnings into our lives.

What a beautiful thing, Lord Jesus,
to be included in your story
to be given a part to play in your holy purposes
to be offered strength and courage and hope
for the life you have called us to live.

We bring to you those times that,
in the midst of trouble
we lost sight of that beauty;
those times that,
in the midst of worry
we sensed only the brokenness,
not your healing presence;
those times that,
in the midst of weariness,
we forgot to rest in your strength
that holds and sustains us.

Trusting in your power
to speak new life
new hope
new joy
into our lives,
we submit our stories to you.
Do your holy work in us,
that we may begin again
to love
to hope
to risk great things for you.

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Today You Weep

A prayer for Good Friday in the midst of a pandemic

This is mystery beyond our comprehending
that you, Lord of the cosmos,
have entered into our suffering:
today you weep your fierce sorrow
for the brokenness of our world;
today you lament
the victims of greed and hatred;
today you grieve for the damage
we have inflicted upon your beautiful creation.

Drawn to you,
who lived and died and was raised to new life
by the power of God,
we gather together our cries fr your help:
the cries of those who are ill
the cries of those who are helping them
with resources inadequate to the task;
the cries of loved ones grieving those who have died.

We bring them to you
trusting that you are present with us and with them;
trusting that your powerful mercy will keep both us and them;
trusting that, by your death,
you have defeated death’s power.

We wait at the foot of your cross
for strength and hope
for love and justice in our world
for your victory and healing power
for your Life and resurrection joy.

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God, you are our refuge and our strength;
you are a very present help in trouble.

This is the truth your people have trusted
through the ages
when the world seems to be falling apart,
spinning towards the cliff-edge.

To this truth we turn
in these days
when fear and anxiety grow hour by hour
when the unknown looms large and threatening,
when faith is pushed beyond its usual horizons.

We lean into this truth today.
We lean toward you
whose faithfulness
and mercy
and grace
have chased after us
all the days of our lives.

Open our eyes,
our minds,
our hearts,
our spirits
to your healing, redeeming presence,
to your crazy, holy grace.

We ask in Jesus’ name
who promises to send
your Holy Spirit,
the Comforter,
your own self.

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A prayer for Transfiguration Sunday

Holy Mystery,
you are the God who is with us always,
the God who is for us in love and truth,
the God who gives us glimpses of
the glory and beauty and joy
that are the gifts of your presence.

And yet, God,
there are times when
you are present to us
only as an ache –
a deep yearning
that haunts our souls.

There are times when
the world’s pain
echoes so loudly in our hearts
that we cannot hear
your Word.

There are times when fear and anxiety
overwhelms our confidence
in your love
your mercy
your grace.

We gather
and we wait —
for your good news
for your healing touch
for your word that
raises us up again and again,
that transforms us,
that marks us with the love of your beloved Son, Jesus.
It is in his name that we pray. Amen.

Words of Assurance

The prophet Isaiah spoke this message from God:
“I live in the high and holy places,
    but also with the low-spirited, the spirit-crushed,
And what I do is put new spirit in them,
    get them up and on their feet again.” (Isaiah 57:15, The Message)
Some days, you will live into that promise with confidence and joy;
some days you will live into the promise only with yearning and hope;
some days you will not remember or trust that promise at all.
In all our days, God is faithful. God’s Spirit is at work, leading us home. This mystery; this is truth. Thanks be to God.

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A prayer for Baptism of our Lord Sunday (Matthew 3: 13 -17).

Jesus, God’s beloved Son,
God’s delight:
you are light for our blindness;
you are food for our hunger;
you are grace for our living.

We sing your praise;
we offer our prayers
and then we wait —
we wait for that moment
when you show up.

We wait
because we know we cannot
keep on this journey of faith on our own.
There are times when the path ahead
is uncertain
or rocky
or seems blocked altogether.

There are times when
we wonder if your promises are true:
if your grace is real;
if your strength will be enough in our weakness;
if your love is stronger than our fears.

We wait

We choose to trust
in your care for us
in your resurrection power
that your truth will set us free
and give us life.

We choose to trust and to hope,
grateful that you have called us by name,
that you have made us part of a people
who have waited before
and have been met by you,
surprised by you,
summoned by you to holy work.

With them we sing our joy
in the power of your Holy Spirit. Amen.

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Prayers of Adoration and Confession

Emerging from praying Jeremiah 18: 1-11, Psalm 139, and Luke 14: 25 -33
Used with the sung refrain: “Take, o take me as I am” (Words John L. Bell and Graham Maule)

You have invited us in, Jesus,
into this community,
into your loving presence,
into a life shaped by God’s grace.

We have come
singing praise to you for all your goodness.
We have come
bringing our real selves
sometimes joyful
and grateful
and filled with hope
but also sometimes
broken
and hurt
and anxious.

We come
looking for healing
and purpose
and a place in your love.
We come
because you have promised to meet us here.

(sung) Take, O take me as I am . . .

You know us, God,
you know us through and through.
You know our minds
when they are clear
and when they are muddled.
You know our hearts
when they are overflowing with love
and when they are smothered by hate.
You know our spirits
when they are restless and searching
and when they find their rest in you.

Here, in this time of worship,
we open ourselves
to your Spirit’s transforming power.
Take us as we are.
Make us what you have created us to be
Draw us closer into your heart
till like your Son Jesus
we love beyond limits
and live to your glory.

(sung) Take, O take me as I am,

Assurance of God’s grace

Our God is a God of grace and transformation.
What we have offered into God’s good care,
the Spirit will redeem and renew and make into
an instrument of Jesus’ grace. You are the Body of Christ,
the community of his Life, sharing God’s peace and love and hope with a hurting world. May the peace of Christ be with you.

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A prayer based on Acts 16: 16 -36, said after “Morning Has Broken” has been sung

Morning has broken,
like the first morning
and we bring to You our praise
for You are among us
making all things new.

We do not always see your work, God.
We see problems that we cannot fix.
We see people caught up in struggles that threaten to overwhelm them.
We see paths ahead of us blocked by obstacles that loom large.

We come here,
hoping for a word
that will open our eyes
our hearts
our minds
our spirits
to your Spirit’s re-creating work.

Speak that Word, God.
Speak it in ways that break the chains that bind us.
Summon us from our weariness
and hopelessness
and resignation.
Pull us into your transforming power.
Set us free to live
creatively and joyfully.

Speak, Lord,
for your servants listen.

Assurance of God’s Grace
Sunday by Sunday,
God gathers us together
to speak again the word of grace into our lives:
you are God’s beloved child.
Nothing can ever take you beyond
the reach of God’s love and grace.
Let that truth permeate deeply into your lives.
Let that truth shape every situation.
Live into the freedom Christ gives.

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A prayer for Good Shepherd Sunday, after singing “Fairest Lord Jesus“.
Scriptures: Psalm 23, Revelation 7:9 -17; John 10: 22-30

We sing our praise to you, fairest Lord Jesus,
Ruler of all,
living among us,
moving in our neighbourhoods,
bringing your salvation and blessing
your beauty and grace.

We sing our praise to you, fairest Lord Jesus,
for You shepherd us like a good shepherd:
you lay down your life for us;
you protect us from the powers that would
take us from you;
you come looking for us when we get lost.

We sing our praise to you, fairest Lord Jesus
for you lead us to living waters,
immersing us in love
that is deeper than our fears,
inviting us to drink deeply
at the fountain of your mercy;
filling our hearts with your courage and strength.

We sing our praise to you
even as we bring to you those times
when we were stumbling through
the valley of the shadow of death
and could not feel you near us;
we bring to you those times
when we were in the presence of enemies
and not at all sure that
you knew what danger we were in;
we bring to you those times
when our prayers seemed only to echo
in a vast emptiness.

It is mystery to us
that you are present
even there.
It is mystery to us
that you care
even for us.
It is mystery to us
that even now
you are seeking us out,
calling us by name,
yearning for us to
hear
and answer
and come to you.

It is mystery to us
but we lean into that mystery
and sing our praise to you.

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Hymn: Sing Your Praise to God Eternal

Prayers of Adoration and Confession

Eternal God,
strong and loving,
victor over the powers of death,
we sing your praise.

We sing your praise because
you bless us with days of gladness
and your goodness and steadfast love
summon our songs.

We sing your praise because
you meet us in our times of sadness
and your comfort and your peace
enfold our hurting souls.

And, now, we set ourselves
under your Word,
waiting,
listening,
yearning
for the words that will
draw us deeper into your love,
into your grace.

Come among us
with your words of peace.
Show us your hands and side,
your broken body,
the mystery of our salvation.
Breathe your Holy Spirit
into us
and send us out again
to speak your words of
love and mercy
grace and forgiveness.
Then we shall sing your praise
with lives made new in your grace.

Assurance of God’s Grace

The mystery of our faith is this:
Christ meets us in the broken places of our lives and says, ‘Peace be with you’. We belong to him and, whatever happens, we are held in God’s powerful care. The Holy Spirit is working within you and among us, pulling us deeper and deeper into God’s heart. Receive God’s gift and share the peace he gives.

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