Imprecation: Shatter Them

Lord God, how do I do this prayer thing when I’m really angry at someone?

Can I wish them ill? Do I throw curses off of my tongue?

(If I use the fancy word for curses: imprecation, does that make it better? It feels better to say Imprecation)

What did Moses do when the Pharaoh continually made a promise to free the Hebrew people, and then took it back, over and over again?

What did Jesus do when people tried to throw him off the cliff the first time he preached?

Can I just shake the dust off from those encounters, and continue on my day?

That doesn’t feel like enough!

Lord, God, I know it is my job to name evil when I see it, and that a synonym of imprecation and curses is simply denunciation.

Sibling Jesus, I am praying that you Help me to reject evil, Lord. Gift me with a better understanding than hate the sin and love the sinner (because that just isn’t good enough)

And I know the Psalms is full of really hard curses like: Give them what they deserve, and let my enemies experience what I have experienced.

Hannah says ” He will guard the feet of his faithful ones,but the wicked shall be cut off in darkness;  for not by might does one prevail. The Lord! His adversaries shall be shattered;” (1 Sam 1:9)

Mother Mary, who is often portrayed as sweet and quiet prays: “God has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts. He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly; he has filled the hungry with good things,  and sent the rich away empty.” (Luke 1: 51-53)

So I guess my prayer will echo theirs, in it’s own simplicity.

And trust you know the full meaning of the prayer, because I confess I do not.

And justice is yours.

Lord shatter the enemy.

Those in power Shatter them to pieces.

Shatter the hardhearted as only you can.

In Christ’s name. I submit this prayer to you, O God.

Amen

Use/Copy/Adapt with Credit to Pastor Katy Stenta

Denunciation of Evil Prayer

Mundane Prayers & Pandemic Prayers

Bulletin: God Answers Hannah Pastor Katy Stenta

God Answers Hannah (Extended Advent Opt 1) Imprecation: Shatter Them
1 Samuel 1:9-11, 19-20; 2:1-10
Luke 1:46-55 Opt Psalm 96

Call to Worship (Luke 1: 47-49)
My Soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior
For the Holy One has done great things for me,
Holy is His name, Holy is the Lord God Almighty

Hymn Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee

(Luke 1: 51-53) Prayer of Confession: Lord, we confess that we look for strength in power and money, instead of in the lifegiving practices that you model. So often your Holy Spirit is at work renewing and creating and we confess we spend too much time worrying about the structures being ruined, instead of looking for opportunities to learn and grow. Remind us that you bring down the powerful, and lift up the lowly. Help us to preach the good news of how you fill the hungry with good things and send the rich away empty, we pray.

(Luke 1: 50) Assurance of Pardon: God’s mercy is for all who fear him, from generation to generation. Hear the Good News: In Jesus Christ we are forgiven.

1 Samuel 1:12-17, 2:1-8 (Note we read at home or in our drive in at the same time, and we do so by Pastor Katy indicating what we should read by holding up a finger)
(1 Finger) Hannah was praying silently; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard; therefore Eli thought she was drunk.
(2 Fingers) So Eli said to her, ‘How long will you make a drunken spectacle of yourself? Put away your wine.’
(Pastor Katy) But Hannah answered, ‘No, my lord, I am a woman deeply troubled; I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but I have been pouring out my soul before the Lord. 16Do not regard your servant as a worthless woman, for I have been speaking out of my great anxiety and vexation all this time.’
(3 Fingers) Then Eli answered, ‘Go in peace; the God of Israel grant the petition you have made to him.’
(4 Fingers) Hannah prayed and said, ’My heart exults in the Lord; my strength is exalted in my God. My mouth derides my enemies, because I rejoice in my victory.
(5 Fingers) There is no Holy One like the Lord, no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God.
(6 Fingers) Talk no more so very proudly, let not arrogance come from your mouth for the Lord is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed.
(7 Fingers) The bows of the mighty are broken, but the feeble gird on strength.
(Pastor Katy) Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread, but those who were hungry are fat with spoil. The barren has borne seven, but she who has many children is forlorn.
(8 Fingers) The Lord kills and brings to life; he brings down to Sheol and raises up.
(9 Fingers) The Lord makes poor and makes rich; he brings low, he also exalts.
(10 Fingers) He raises up the poor from the dust; he lifts the needy from the ash heap to make them sit with princes  and inherit a seat of honor. For the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s, and on them he has set the world.

Children’s Sermon

Sermon “Power & Prayer”

Hymn: Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty

The Lord’s Prayer

Passing of the Peace

Feel free to use/adapt/share with credit to Pastor Katy Stenta

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Passover Prayer

I see what you did there, God. All those years ago.

You put forth all the plagues: the bloods and the bugs and the frogs (or a giant frog depending how you translate it).

And when all of that was said and done. When Moses’ leadership alone wasn’t enough to set the Hebrews free–you required some participation.

You said, with arms outstretched, that if you want salvation, I’m going to need a little work and sacrifice from you people.

I imagine there might be some Godfearers in Egypt–some friends–who also put the sign of God upon the door. I imagine there was grace there that is as of yet unknown.

And I wonder, God, if the method to this was the foretaste of the work to come. The understanding that Moses could lead all he wanted but without the people, nothing would happen.

What a great precursor to Jesus who stands with an open hand for our salvation–and at the same time forces no one and waits for our participation.

God is always with us, but are we able to see it?

Lord, how can I participate in my own salvation? How can I help others paint their doors with the sign of God?

Image from Prince of Egypt from here

In an era where we continue to think it’s every person for themselves, I’m praying that you show us how to be more like the people in Exodus–who although they complained every step of the way, and fumbled and made mistakes. In the end they understood that my freedom is wrapped up in yours.

Lord teach us to be safe and free, teach us how to love and serve one another. Help us to participate in our own Passover today. Not because we are better than anyone else, but because we want every single person who can be saved, to be saved.

I pray this is your most holy name. Amen.

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God of the Rainbow Coat

God,

when you looked into Joseph’s face, laced with drama;

when you saw his heart–full of queer notions…

And his coat that was gay to its core.

When you truly got to know who Joseph was.

Then, and only then did you call him by name.

I know this, because you are God, and you are with us.

You don’t call us as strangers who might be able to help.

You call us as beloved children who you know can be more fulfilled serving others.

You didn’t ask Joseph to take of his rainbow coat, or to change, or to be better–you just asked him to come.

And it is beautiful that you can take a dreaming boy, who was too flamboyant, and dramatic, and talked to much, and turned his dreams into hope.

First for all of Egypt, and then for the very siblings that betrayed him.

May we all have the grace to remember that God calls us exactly as we are. Remind us, that just as God knows each and every star, God knows and calls us all by name.

We pray in Christ’s most Holy Name.

Amen.

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Orange Skies

Lord, today I wonder what you think when you see our skies in California, stretched orange with smoke.

When Karachi is flooded.

When Superstorm Laura winked out the power before a heat wave.

When Beirut explodes, and Typohoon Haishen blows through Japan and South Korea.

Did you have a big messy cry when violence erupted not once but twice in Kenosha, WI?

I did.

God I cannot even grasp the news. I can feel people falling through the gaps as children go hungry and try to sign online to education.

Are there days when you feel like you can’t look at the news anymore–does God wish God could close God’s own eyes sometimes? And yet I know you never do.

You work for that justice that has been delayed and therefore denied too long! No justice, no peace.

For you have promised that one day justice and peace will make love!

I worry about the jobless, the homeless, the sick.

I worry that I haven’t upheld my promise to be anti-racist today. (I haven’t, and the work continues)

I am continually angered by the hotspots that people don’t seem to want to control.

I cringe at how in policy, protection and politics about how all lives–don’t!–matter. Cringe and taste vomit in my mouth.

Today, I think the orange skies pretty much exactly show how absurd my emotions have become.

And though I really don’t think you punish us with disasters–I highly suspect there are a million exit signs on the road that we willfully ignore–I do wonder how you process them all.

Lord God Almighty. What do we do when the sky turns orange?

Please take my messy cries, my absurd emotions, my mistakes, my exhaustion, my cringing and the vomit in my mouth. And shape them into a prayer.

An embodied prayer, so that we can do that which needs to be done.

With my entire self I pray.

Amen.

Feel free to hit share or use or adapt with credit to Pastor Katy Stenta

Image

God’s Promise to Abraham

God With Us

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God’s Promise to Abraham Bulletin and Sermon & Consider Prayer
Genesis 15:1-6 alt Gen 17: 1-8
Luke 3:8 Opt. Psalm 8

Sermon by Rev. Stephen Cook: please attribute https://day1.org/weekly-broadcast/5d9b820ef71918cdf2004067/stephen_cook_on_beyond

Consider Prayer

Bulletin
Prelude Be Not Afraid John Michael Talbot
https://youtu.be/wQr4udSiEew?t=2

Opening Prayer
God of our forebears, as your chosen servant Abraham was given faith to obey your call and go out into the unknown, so may your church be granted such faith that we may follow you with courage for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, on God, forever and ever.  Amen.

(Book of Common Worship, Westminster John Knox Press, 1993. pg. 245.)

Call to Worship
In days of old God called Abraham and Sarah:
Come—I am with you; step out in faith.
God speaks still, claiming people of every land and race:
Come—I will bless you, that you may bless others.
In the dark of night, Jesus confirms God’s gift of abiding love.
Come—I will bless you with eternal life.
Heirs of the covenant, let us continue the journey:
Come—let us worship the Lord!

(Rev. Barb Hedges-Goettl)

PC(USA) Online Hymnal worship suggestions for March 8, 2020. https://hymnal.pcusastore.com/Home/

Opening Hymn The God of Abraham Praise
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DZovXddne9I
The God of Abraham praise, who reigns enthroned above,the Ancient of Eternal Days, the God of love!The Lord, the great I am, by earth and heaven confessed,we bow before your holy name, forever blest.


Your spirit still flows free, high surging where it will.In prophet’s word you spoke of old and you speak still.Established is your law, and changeless it shall stand,deep writ upon the human heart by your strong hand.


Your goodly land we seek, with peace and plenty blest,a land of sacred liberty and Sabbath rest.There milk and honey flow, and oil and wine abound,and trees of life forever grow with mercy crowned.

You have eternal life implanted in the soul;your love shall be our strength and stay, while ages roll.We praise you, living God! We praise your holy name:the first, the last, beyond all thought, and still the same!

Prayer of Confession and Assurance of Pardon
Call to Confession
If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. But if we confess our sins, God who is faithful and just will forgive our sins and cleanses us from all unrighteousness. In humility and faith let us confess our sins before God and one another.

Prayer of Confession
Holy and merciful God, in your presence we confess our sinfulness, our shortcomings, and our offenses against you. You alone know how often we have sinned in wandering from your ways, in wasting your gifts, in forgetting your love.
Have mercy on us, O Lord, for we are ashamed and sorry for all we have done to displease you. Forgive our sins, and help us to live in your light, and walk in your ways, for the sake of Jesus Christ our Savior.
(Time of silence for personal confession.)

Assurance of Forgiveness
Hear the good news! Who is in a position to condemn?
Only Christ! And Christ died for us, Christ rose for us, Christ reigns in power for us, Christ prays for us. Anyone who is in Christ is a new creation. The old life has gone, a new life has begun. Know that you are forgiven and be at peace. In Jesus Christ, we are forgiven. Thanks be to God!

(Book of Common Worship, pages 52-56. Reprinted by permission from Book of Common Worship, © 1993 Westminster/John Knox Press.)

Gloria Patri: (Blue #579) Glory Be to the Father
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QUBxpypSblw

Prayers of the People/Lord’s Prayer (traditional)

Celebration of Birthdays and Anniversaries
Doxology (Blue, #592) Praise God, from Whom All Blessings Flow https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ivaDXu27_IY

  • Prayer of Dedication Please place gifts in the plate on your way out.

In a world of give and take, in a culture of mend and break,
give us minds, hearts, hands, and wallets for sacrificial care,
to satisfy hunger and thirst everywhere. These and all prayers we offer,
in the name of Love himself, Jesus the Christ.
Amen.

(Todd Jenkins, Happy To Be a Presbyterian PC(USA) https://www.facebook.com/groups/happy2pcusa)

Hymn of Invocation: Spirit of the Living God5
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ccaFnRYLTok
Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me (repeat)
Melt me, mold me, Fill me, use me.

Prayer for Illumination
God of mercy, you promised never to break your covenant with us Amid all the changing words of our generation, speak your eternal Word that does not change. Then may we respond to your gracious promises with faithful and obedient lives; through Jesus Christ. Amen.
Old Testament Scripture Genesis 12: 1-4a
Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. 2 I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” 4 So Abram went, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him.
Psalm: 1216
I lift up my eyes to the hills; from where does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.
The Lord will not let your foot be moved; nor will the one who watches over you fall asleep.
Behold, the keeper of Israel will neither slumber nor sleep,
the Lord watches over you; the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.
The Lord will preserve you from all evil; and will keep your life.
The Lord will watch your going out and your coming in from this time forth forevermore.

Old Testament Scripture Romans 4: Selected Verses6
What then are we to say was gained by Abraham, our ancestor according to the flesh? 2 For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. 3 For what does the scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.” 4 Now to one who works, wages are not reckoned as a gift but as something due. 5 But to one who without works trusts him who justifies the ungodly, such faith is reckoned as righteousness.
13 For the promise that he would inherit the world did not come to Abraham or to his descendants through the law but through the righteousness of faith. 14 If it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void. 15 For the law brings wrath; but where there is no law, neither is there violation.
16 For this reason it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his descendants, not only to the adherents of the law but also to those who share the faith of Abraham (for he is the father of all of us, 17 as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”)—in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist. 18 Hoping against hope, he believed that he would become “the father of many nations,” according to what was said, “So numerous shall your descendants be.”
20 No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, 21 being fully convinced that God was able to do what had been promised. 22 Therefore his faith “was reckoned to him as righteousness.” 23 Now the words, “it was reckoned to him,” were written not for his sake alone, 24 but for ours also. It will be reckoned to us who believe in the One who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead, 25 who was handed over to death for our trespasses and was raised for our justification.
Message Rev. Elizabeth Wagner

Affirmation of Faith from the Brief Statement of Faith, 1983

In life and at death we belong to God. Through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit, we trust in the one triune God, the Holy One of Israel, whom alone we worship and serve.

(Book of Common Worship, page 91. Reprinted by permission from Book of Common Worship, © 1993 Westminster/John Knox Press.)

Closing Hymn Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gPKpkrqBwNs
Come, thou Fount of every blessing; tune my heart to sing thy grace;streams of mercy, never ceasing, call for songs of loudest praise.Teach me some melodious sonnet, sung by flaming tongues above;praise the mount! I’m fixed upon it, mount of God’s unchanging love!
Here I raise my Ebenezer; hither by thy help I’m come;and I hope, by thy good pleasure, safely to arrive at home.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I love;here’s my heart; O take and seal it; seal it for thy courts above.
Jesus sought me when a stranger, wandering from the fold of God;he, to rescue me from danger, interposed his precious blood.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I love;here’s my heart; O take and seal it; seal it for thy courts above.
O to grace how great a debtor daily I’m constrained to be!Let that grace now, like a fetter, bind my wandering heart to thee.Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I love;here’s my heart; O take and seal it; seal it for thy courts above.
Charge and Benediction

Postlude Be Not Afraid The Orchard Enterprises https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pEOt7yXCaJI&feature=youtu.be

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Consider

Lord,

I know when I am frustrated or stuck,

When I’m lamenting or angry, that you tell me to consider

Consider the lilies of the field, who neither toil nor spin

Count the stars, the grains of sand, if you can

Consider who made the mountains, all animals and food.

Who made the flood, the earthquake and the hurricane.

Consider who God is, and then remember,

No matter what you say or do.

God says, “Consider,

Consider, I have made a promise, a holy covenant that cannot be broken,

that I will always be your God, and you will always be my people.”

God proclaims that God is not constrained by place or time or ethnicity.

You promise to be present. You promise to be.

“I am, what I am”

The burning bush, the pillar of fire, the whirlwind, the rainbow.

You can be praised by all types of people in all types of circumstances: the enslaved woman Hagar on the run in the desert, the imprisoned and abused Joseph in Egypt, the triumphant and loving sister Miriam.

You are present in Black Lives Matter, in the beauty of being Trans, in all those marginal places we refuse to see: mental illness, drug addition, homelessness, sex trafficking, war zones.

In the midst of trial and tribulation, you are with us. Your rod and your staff comfort us. You remind us “I am, what I Am”

You are God, always and forever, empowering the powerless.

Let us be the kind of people who consider who your are. So we no longer define you by our own constraints, but instead are liberated to worship the multitude that is the trinitarian, relational God.

God, the great I am, let us worship you through the all considerations of who you are–and when we forget remind us to look at the stars we pray.

Amen.

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Bulletin Genesis 2

God With US

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Creation and Fall: Bulletin & Confessions in the Garden of Eden
Genesis 2:4b-7, 15-17, 3:1-8
Luke 11:4 Opt Psalm 18:31-36

Prelude The Warrior is a Child Twila Paris
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Tu0vJg3RSA

Opening Prayer (1)
O Creator God,
open us to a new awakening, a new beginning,
where we look through the lens of the goodness of Your creation,
experiencing all possibilities in You.

Turn us away from the negative lens, and lead us to the light.
In the name of Jesus, who leads us into life, and the Spirit who sustains us,
we pray. Amen.

Call to Worship (from Psalm 33:6-9 Good News Version) (2)
6The Lord created the heavens by his command,    the sun, moon, and stars by his spoken word.
8 Worship the Lord, all the earth!    Honor him, all peoples of the world!7 He gathered all the seas into one place;    he shut up the ocean depths in storerooms.
8 Worship the Lord, all the earth!    Honor him, all peoples of the world!9 When he spoke, the world was created;    at his command everything appeared.
8Worship the Lord, all the earth!    Honor him, all peoples of the world!

Opening Hymn How Great Thou Art https://youtu.be/1NnLRMWj1Z0?t=22 (3)
O Lord, my God, when I in awesome wonderConsider all the worlds Thy Hands have madeI see the stars, I hear the rolling thunderThy power throughout the universe displayed

CHORUS: Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, how great Thou art (repeat the two lines)

And when I think that God, His Son not sparing,
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in
That on the Cross, my burden gladly bearing
He bled and died to take away my sin CHORUS (interlude)

When Christ shall come with shout of acclamation
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart
Then I shall bow with humble adoration
And then proclaim, my God, how great Thou art CHORUS
God calls us to repentance and new life.
Let us confess together our need for God’s mercy and forgiveness.

Prayer of Confession (4)
Gracious God,
You are always looking out for us: finding us when we wander away, waiting for us when we are stubborn, loving us when we can’t love ourselves, welcoming us when the world has turned us away, comforting us when we are hurting.

We forget that we should live that way, too. We forget that what everyone needs most is a hand to hold, a place to belong, a word of hope. Forgive us, Lord, and remake us in your image.
(Silent Confession)

Assurance of Forgiveness
God calls us as light in the darkness, a voice for the powerless, grace in the midst of chaos, and a reminder of divine love. Thanks be to God for the Good News:
In Jesus Christ, we are forgiven.


Gloria Patri: (Blue #579) Glory Be to the Father https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QUBxpypSblw Sharing of the Peace: The peace of Christ be with you. And also with you.
Prayers of the People/Lord’s Prayer (traditional)
Celebration of Birthdays and Anniversaries

Hymn of Dedication Fight the Good Fight https://youtu.be/2oxRRxtQdaE?t=3 (5)

  • Doxology (Blue, #592) Praise God, from Whom All Blessings Flow https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ivaDXu27_IY
  • Prayer of Dedication (6)
    Creator God,
    As we are made in Your image, we give You thanks for the seed of creativity 
    You planted within each person. We praise you for the clean lines of the sculpture, the complexity of the concerto, the beauty of the poet’s words. We thank you also for the simple gifts of daily life: gracious words, soft hearts, impassioned actions. Make these gifts and all of our lives live up to who you create us to be. In the name of the One who was, who is, and who is to come, Amen.

Prayer for Illumination He Lives https://youtu.be/MLKGO5FzDsY?t=89 (7)
In all the world around me I see Christ’s loving care
And though my heart grow weary, I never will despair
I know that he is leading through all the stormy blast
The day of His appearing will come at last.

He lives, He lives, Christ Jesus lives today!
He walks with me and talks with me along life’s narrow way.
He lives, He lives, salvation to impart.
You ask me how I know he lives? He lives within my heart.

Old Testament Scripture: Genesis 2:4b-7, 15-17; 3:1-8

New Testament Scripture: 2 Timothy 4:6-8

Message The Run of Your Life Rev. Dr. Len Hedges-Goettl

Confession of Faith (2 Timothy 4:6-8, New Living Bible ) (8)
6 As for me, my life has already been poured out as an offering to God. The time of my death is near. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. 8 And now the prize awaits me— the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his appearing. Thanks be to God!


*Closing Hymn Now Thank We All Our God https://youtu.be/6g0BSC7eNXQ (9)
1 Now thank we all our God with heart and hands and voices,who wondrous things has done, in whom his world rejoices;who from our mothers’ arms has blessed us on our waywith countless gifts of love, and still is ours today
2 O may this gracious God through all our life be near us,with ever joyful hearts and blessed peace to cheer us,preserve us in his grace, and guide us when perplexed,and free us from all ills till heaven we possess.
3 All praise and thanks to God the Father now be given,the Son and Spirit blest, who reign in highest heaveneternal triune God, whom heaven and earth adore;for thus it was, is now, and shall be evermore.
*Charge and Benediction

Postlude Make My Life a Prayer to You Keith Green https://youtu.be/PNww8F6G9U8?list=PLF0C522B84843C1D4

(1) Adapted. from a prayer written by Rev. Mindi, and posted on Rev-o-lution. http://rev-olution.org

(2) Good News Translation (GNT) Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

(3) Tune: © 1949, 1953 The Stuart Hine Trust CIO. All rights in the USA its territories and possessions, except print rights, administered by Capitol CMG Publishing. USA, North and Central American print rights and all Canadian and South American rights administered by Hope Publishing Company. All other North and Central American rights administered by the Stuart Hine Trust CIO. Rest of the world rights administered by Integrity Music Europe. Text: © 1949, 1953 The Stuart Hine Trust CIO. All rights in the USA its territories and possessions, except print rights, administered by Capitol CMG Publishing. USA, North and Central American print rights and all Canadian and South American rights administered by Hope Publishing Company. All other North and Central American rights administered by the Stuart Hine Trust CIO. Rest of the world rights administered by Integrity Music Europe.

(4) Adapted from prayer from The Village Presbyterian Church, Prairie Village, KS 66208, found at https://www.villagepres.org/uploads/3/1/1/5/31151741/vpc_bulletin_06_05_16_readers.pdf

(5) Music © OCP.

(6) Inspired by a prayer written by Jennifer G. Brownell and posted on RevGalBlogPals.
http://revgalblogpals.org/2016/01/23/with-thanks-for-creativity-saturday-prayer/

(7) Words and Music ©1990 Belwin M

(8) Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

(9) Words and Music – ©OCP

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Procrastination as a Spiritual Practice

Lord God, I don’t know how you built us so that we will forever do one step above the hardest task before us to avoid doing that hardest thing.

But I know that cleaning the house, so I don’t have to write a difficult email…..

Or suddenly figuring out how to pitch another really important idea when I’m supposed to be working on the one in front of me is a uniquely human quirk.

Lord, I am practicing being thankful for the laundry that gets done when I’m avoiding something else.

I am thinking of the number of times I have prayed, desperately or defiantly because I don’t have the energy to do anything else at that moment.

How about you God? Do you save the most horrible tasks for the end? Did you play with judgement for a millennia before it suddenly struck you that you could delay the apocalypse by coming down to earth with/as Jesus’s humanself?

Are you breathing life into this grace period. This moment of waiting between Christ’s ascendancy and the second coming to save every last soul you can? Could procrastinating be in all of humanity’s favor?

My favorite is when I put off a task so long, that it feels too big to ever accomplish, and then I finally must, must do it and it takes mere minutes and does not in fact wound my soul.

Were you holding your breath in heaven, hoping not to have to send your only son, only to come down and realize that you love being human and 33 years is not that long to have after all?

Dear God, procrastinating is not always the best decision, but sometimes I take in the beauty that you designed us to give ourselves time to process things emotionally, that you allowed us to fill that time with more enjoyable or other important things.

And I ponder how, in the creativity of the Holy Spirit of procrastination, we are made in the image of God.

And I offer up to God my procrastinating as a form of thanks and praise.

Thank you God.

Amen.

Image found at https://clare-ofarrell.com/2018/06/01/map-of-procrastination/

Feel free to use/adapt with credit to Pastor Katy Stenta

For More Mundane Prayers: For Surviving Day to Day Life click here

Here are Pandemic Prayers and Resources: Top Posts are “In an Abundance of Caution” “The Lord is My Shepherd: What kind of Sheep are You” and “Masks: A Prayer”

Stealing Time

God, remind me to steal some time.

To look at the clouds

to be bored

to take the scenic route…

Tell me how it is ok if the house is messier than I’d like, that it’s good to claim the smaller victories of keeping everyone fed and (at least starting out) in clean clothes…

Remind me that Jesus stole time all the time!

Napping in the storm, snuggling a fig tree, sneaking off to a lake

When you lead me beside the (sort of) still waters of a small lake beach on a stolen afternoon, help me to embrace the experience.

When the power or internet is out and I’m forced to relax…

If the best I can muster in thought is half written sentences…

When time is given, as a gift, remind me that it isn’t stolen.

Remind me that Holy Spirit herself might be intervening.

Whisper to me that I am beloved. And that my worth is not based upon my productivity.

Image: Your Work is Not Measured by your Productivity

I’ll never forget my first year in full time ministry when there was a snowstorm every single Wednesday of November, forcing me to slowdown.

Sometimes, I need that reminder God.

And if I need to take the longer way to Jerusalem, if I need to mull and mutter and forge out some time to relax before I do the next hard thing, that is okay.

Remind me, God, that you built me, and all humans to be this way.

And that Jesus knew full well that breaks for food, laughter with friends, and time with family are essential to our humanity, and Jesus was indeed fully human.

Rest is essential, Sabbath is commanded, time is precious–let me live these truths in whatever way I can, I pray.

Amen

Image of Tweet Robin Thede: We all need to expect about forty percent less productivity from each other than normal and yet somehow everyone seems to expect one hundred and forty percent right now. Working at Proffitting WAP: Chile, they are thinking because we are working reotely that we do not nothing but time since we are sitting at home. However that push for productive is affecting our mental health because there’s no boundaries to decompress

Many thanks to the continuing inspiration of the Nap Ministry: https://thenapministry.wordpress.com/ (who you can also follow on twitter)

Feel free to use/adapt with credit to Pastor Katy Stenta

More Pandemic Prayers and Resources: Top Posts are “In an Abundance of Caution” “The Lord is My Shepherd: What kind of Sheep are You” and “Masks: A Prayer”