#Days #relentless #slatespeak #Lent

c5nwu43uoaagif5What is the length of a day? Some days pound on me, relentless, some days never let me go.

http://bible.oremus.org/?passage=Deuteronomy+30

The length of days–heaven and earth are called to witness–will count. When we choose life our time counts even moreso.

Before I had children I would strive to be on time for everything. My parents were not the on time sort, and apparently I used to complain that I was the last child to be picked up from things.

Today I not only have to be late to things, but I have to miss commitments. Things I never would have done before children. But life is more complicated now I have a church, a husband, 3 children-one of whom is autistic-and myself.

WAIT! that meeting was today too? I had it in a different time stream in my mind and didn’t realize it was the same day.

Time no longer runs in straight lines for me, its seems to squiggle and intersect in weird ways. Its like running parallel world at the same time.

Thus obligations and time and everything flows differently.

We count our days, but God is the true reckoner, and God’s way of counting is not in pure math or numbers. Its in experiences and hope, its in the life-giving moments.If I have three children, then God has all children. If time flows different with different children for me, then time takes on meaning beyond seconds and minutes and days. Time has become an out of body experience. But time has also become more meaningful than trying to do all the things or trying to count up my life by counting. Because nobody has time for that. Time has to count with the goodness and fullness of days.

Because, God is timeless, its hard to conceptualize A Being beyond time…

A Being who just Is, for whom Was and Will Be are intrinsic.

 

god-in-time

Time counts differently for God

Time counts differently for God’s people.

Hold Fast to God, but how do I do that? My concept of holding on is to calculate the time I spend in prayer or measure the good deeds that are done. I’m too human, I can only love by keeping track. As evidenced in this 30sec clip  http://thirtysecondsorless.net/author/kstenta/

God loves me, without needing to keep track.

How do I let go of the relentlessness of time? How do I enter the time of Lent?

 

 

 

#ash #psalm51 #relentless #lent #slatespeak

I have been feeling the #relentless-ness of life this season. The relentlessness of the news cycle, telling me over and over how broken we are…

The Jewish Community Center daycares receiving bombthreats

The 7 Trans women who have been murdered

The queer couples who married quickly, just in case

The travelers who are being detained and kept from their families

The need for young transpeople to go to the bathroom safely

The international relationships that are in peril

The Jewish cemeteries being desecrated

The Dakota Pipeline camps being cleared out

http://bible.oremus.org/?passage=Psalm+51

Ministry, is about life, which means that there is seldom a “normal week” in the church. The best of ministry is open and adaptable, because Life is Relentless. The basement pipe leaks, then a member is ill and dies, then the governing body is borrowing your building for a meeting, then your board member steps down. This is church, its imperfect, because its alive. Its real, because it reflects real life, its about the imperfections and love in the midst of the daily-ness.

Relentless, means “unmerciful” and “heartless” and “unforgiving” Life is indeed relentless.

Lent, then is the season of the opposite.

Its the season of “have mercy on me O God” the season of God’s “steadfast love” the season of “abundant mercy.” Its the season of pause and reflection. Its the wait and see, its the celebration of the journey.

And I am aching for this season. The restoration of Joy, because only God can provide Joy in this time of weary sin. Only God can sustain a spirit of willingness.

Good thing you like broken spirits, God, cause thats what I got. Brokenness and Hope.

Lent & Relentlessness

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Crucifixion/Good Friday Links of Prayer Lenten Resource

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Invitation to by Rev. Rev Lee Ann Higgins

Feel free to use/edit. Credit to the original author (i.e. based on prayer/prayers written by Rev Lee Ann Higgins) appreciated.

Luke 23:32-47 and Psalm 31:5-13 ro Palm 31:5a

Call to Worship

(Based on  KJV – Psalm 31:1, 5-13)

Into thine hand I commit my spirit:  thou hast redeemed me, O Lord God of truth.

 I have hated them that regard lying vanities:  but I trust in the Lord.

I will be glad and rejoice in thy mercy:  for thou hast considered my trouble; thou hast known my soul in adversities;

And has not shut me up into the hand of my enemy:  thou hast set my feet in a large room.

Have mercy upon me, O Lord, for I am in trouble:  mine eye is consumed with grief, yea, my soul and my belly.

For my life is spent with grief, and my years with sighing:  my strength faileth because of mine iniquity, and my bones are consumed.

I was a reproach among all mine enemies, but especially among my neighbours, and a fear to mine acquaintance:  they that did see me without fled from me.

I am forgotten as a dead man out of mind:  I am like a broken vessel.

For I have heard the slander of many:  fear was on every side:  while they took counsel together against me, they devised to take away my life.

But I trusted in thee, O Lord:  I said, Thou art my God.

My times are in thy hand:  deliver me from the hand of mine enemies, and from them that persecute me.  Amen.

Opening Prayer:

Loving Father,

We come today, not only to worship and praise you,

But also to remember Your Son, Jesus Christ,

Who gave up his life for us.

Be present with us here today as we remember

This sad day and why it had to happen.

Help us to see the joy within the tragedy,

A life so willingly given, …

For me … for us … Amen!

Prayer of Confession

Forgiving Father,

On that Friday, oh so long ago,

Your Son asked you to forgive his killers,

Because “they know not what they do.”

As we stand here in our humanness

Not always knowing what we do,

We cannot possible understand the

Great love you had for those people, and

We do not understand the great love you have for us.

You allowed your Son to be put to death

In a cruel fashion, yet, we know it was because of

Your unceasing love for us.

Just like those soldiers, we have sinned

And fall short of your glory.

We aren’t always aware of where we fall short,

But we don’t mean to disappoint you.

You are our perfect God who wants nothing

But the love of Your children.

Through Your Son’s death we are assured of your love

And we ask for your unconditional forgiveness.

Lead us to your way.  Guide us in our path.

Forgive us, we pray.  AMEN!

Assurance of Pardon

(from Chalice Worship)

Our redeemer God, we bless you for meeting us in Jesus Christ,

Who for our salvation humbled himself to die for us.

We bless you for all the burdens Christ has borne,

For all the tears he has wept,

For all the pains he has suffered,

For every word of comfort he spoke on the cross,

For every conflict with the power of darkness,

And for his eternal victory over the terrors of death.

 

Lead us through the valley of the shadow of death,

That we may fear no evil, for you are eternally with us;

Through Jesus Christ, our Lord.  Amen.

Communion & Communion Prayer

On the night He was betrayed, Jesus met with His disciples in the upper room and they ate a meal together.  This began the tradition of the Lord’s Supper that we now observe every Sunday.

Paul wrote about Communion in 1 Corinthians 11:26.  He said, “whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes”.

The meal that Jesus ate with His disciples on the night He was betrayed is known as the Passover meal.

  • When Passover was 1st observed, the Israelites were slaves in Egypt.  God sent Moses to confront Pharaoh, and to bring God’s people out of slavery.
  • Part of the way God “convinced” Pharaoh to release the Israelites, was through the 10 plagues.

The last of those plagues was the death of the firstborn of every household that did not have the blood of a spotless lamb painted on its doorposts.

  • The people of Israel were commanded to slaughter an innocent spotless lamb, paint its blood on their doorposts
    • And eat the meal that would now be known as the “Passover”, because God told His people,
    • That when He saw the blood of the lamb on their homes, He would pass over their homes, and death would not visit their families.
  • They were to eat the Passover meal dressed to leave the next day – BECAUSE on the next day they would leave the land of their slavery and enter into freedom.

Let us Pray:

Gracious and loving Heavenly Father.  A lamb died on that first Passover so that the people of Israel would live.  Our lamb (Jesus Christ) died so that we might live.

A lamb died so that the people of Israel would be freed from the fear of enslavement.  Our Lamb (Jesus, the Lamb of God) died so that we might be freed from the slavery of our fear of death.

Thank you dear Lord, that, in communion, we receive the message of freedom from the grave.

Thank you that this message is not received only at Easter.  Thank you that we receive this message every time we gather around this Table as believers.

Thank you for the message that:  DEATH HAS BEEN CONQUERED!  AMEN!

Offering Prayer/Prayer of Dedication

Heavenly Father,

We give back but a portion of ourselves,

Wishing we could give so much more.

You have made many things out of nothing;

You fed thousands with a basket of bread and fish,

You made wine from mere water,

And You made Saul into Paul.

We have faith that you will magnify these morals.

Allow us to see Your perfect vision,

And to continue your work on Earth.

Gird us up to share with the world; that You sent YOUR Son as

THE ultimate offering and sacrifice.

That by accepting this truth, all would be forgiven

And spend eternity in your presence.

AMEN.

A Link to a Good Friday Liturgy of the Nails http://wp.me/p2rhxZ-25W

More Narrative Lectionary Lenten Themed Prayers  

 

Rich Man and Lazarus: Lenten Links of Prayer for Narrative Lectionary

Invitation to by Rev. Tracy Spencer-Brown

Feel free to use/edit. Credit to the original author (i.e. based on prayer/prayers written by Rev Tracy Spencer-Brown) appreciated.

Luke 16:19-31 and Psalm 41:1-3 or Psalm 41:1

Call to Worship

You call us to you, O God, that we may worship together.

You call us away from our preoccupations and preconceptions,

That we might hear the words of life;

Words that call us to reflect, to repent, and to be replenished.

May we hear your Word to us as we worship.

Prayer of Confession

Compassionate God, we confess that we are a people that ignore that which is around us.  We are so focused on what we have to do and who we have to see, that we pass by those who are suffering.  We choose to turn away.  We ignore those begging for what they need to live.  We neglect those who are in need of healing.  We disregard our sisters and brothers who are oppressed by systems of our own creation.

Forgive us our willful ignorance, O God.  Break through the walls that we have erected to keep us safe and secure.  Open our eyes to those who are in pain.  Open our ears to their cries of injustice.  Compel us to change the systems that imprison so many, so that all your children might live in freedom.  In the name of Jesus, we pray…

Assurance of Pardon

Our God, who is faithful and just, sees us as we are in all our sinfulness.                                 Our God, who is full of grace and glory, forgives us our sin and restores us.                                 Our God, who breathed breath into us, gives us new life through our Lord Jesus Christ.

In gratitude and thanksgiving, we give thanks to God.  Amen.

Communion Prayer

The Lord be with you.

And also with you.

Lift up your hearts.

We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

It is right to give our thanks and praise.

We give you praise, O God, for all that is comes from you.  Creation flowed through your mighty hand, singing your power and praise to the universe.  Through it, you provided all that we could need or want.  For all those who have eyes to see and ears to hear, its beauty proclaims your glory and gives us a glimpse of your eternal love for us.  Throughout the ages, you have continued to provide for us, sending mothers and fathers of the faith to lead us.  Even when we strayed from your way, you sent your prophets to call us to account and to call us back to you.  In your time, you sent your Son, Jesus, that we might be healed and made whole, and reconciled to you forever.

Therefore we join our voices with the voices of the prophets and the apostles, and all the angels of heaven who forever sing to the glory of your name:

Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory, hosanna in the highest.  Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.  Hosanna in the highest.

Blessed are you, O God, and blessed is your Son, Jesus Christ.  You sent Jesus, taking on our human nature, to live among us in truth and grace.  In his life – as he share our joys and sorrows, healed and taught, worked miracles and reconciled sinners, – he showed forth your love and grace.  Through his death and resurrection, he proclaimed victory over death, and reconciled us to you for eternity.  Remembering all that you have done, we take from your creation this bread and this wine, and joyfully offer these gifts to you:

We praise you, we bless you, we give thanks to you, and we pray to you, Lord our God.

Send your Holy Spirit upon us and upon these your gifts of bread and wine, that the bread we break and the cup we bless, may be the communion of the body and the blood of Christ.  Send us out into the world in the power of the Spirit, that we may live for others as Christ lived for us.  By your Spirit, draw us together into the one body of Christ, the church, to be a witness to your work in the world.  Through Christ, with Christ, in Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor are yours, Almighty God, now and forever. Amen.

Prayer of Dedication

Gracious God, you have created all that is for our provision, that we might have all we need and more.  You have entrusted us with the responsibilities of caring for your creation and each other.

Bless these gifts, that through your grace, there might be enough for all.  Bless our lives, that we might be your servants in this time and place, reaching out to those who are suffering, so that your love might be known.

In Jesus’ name, we pray.  Amen.

More Narrative Lectionary Lenten Themed Prayers  

Prayer Station by Rev. Shea Zellweger

Psalm 41:1-3

How blessed is the one who treats the poor properly!
When trouble comes, the Lord delivers them.
2 May the Lord protect them and save their life!
May they be blessed in the land!
Do not turn them over to his enemies!
3 The Lord supports them on their sickbed;
you completely heal them from their illness.

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Guide:

Read the psalm once, and ponder it for a moment.

Pick up a coin and consider its value.

Read the psalm a second time, this time paying special attention to verse 1.

Select a piece of literature on how to aid the poor, either through Kiva or Heifer. Place your coin upright in the sand as a commitment not just to read the information contained therein, but to take action concerning what you read.

Read the psalm a third time as a prayer of offering.

 

 

 

Lost Sheep, Lost Coin, Lost Son: Narrative Lectionary Lenten Links of Prayer

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Invitation to be Found by Mike Williams

Feel free to use/edit. Credit to the original author (i.e. based on prayer/prayers written by Rev Mike Williams) appreciated.

Luke 15:1-32 and Psalm 119:167-176 or Psalm 119:176

Call to Worship (based on Psalm 119:157-176)

The sum of God’s word is truth. The righteous ordinances of our God endure forever.

We rejoice in God’s word like those who find great spoil                                                                               

We come together today to praise God and to find the peace granted to those who love God’s law.                                                                                                                                       

We hope for the Lord’s salvation and love the Lord’s decrees.                                                                                                     

In this time of worship let our supplication come before our Lord, who gives understanding from God’s word.                                                                                                           

Let our lips pour forth praise and let us sing of God’s promise.

Let us live to praise our God and let God’s ordinances help us in our worship.                                           

For we have gone astray like lost sheep, but the Lord has sought us out, and sent us God’s Son so that we might once more remember God’s commandments.

Prayer of Invocation

Holy Father of prodigal children everywhere, as we come into your presence today, we praise you for the assurance of your love. We thank you for gift of your Son who comes to us with stories of redemption and forgiveness. In this time of worship, pour out your Spirit upon us, that we may hear the promise of your grace. Fill us with compassion for your world. Help us to celebrate with those who come to life by finding you. Amen

Call to Confession

No matter how familiar we are with them, the stories of Jesus continually catch us off guard. Whether we think of ourselves as righteous, dutiful children, or as sheep who have gone astray, Christ reminds us of our continuous need for him. Let us now acknowledge our shortcomings, and remind ourselves of God’s grace, by praying together the prayer of confession…

Prayer of Confession

Great Shepherd, we come to you today recognizing that, like lost sheep, we have gone astray. You have given us your word and called us to live by your commandments. Yet, seeking greener pastures, we have squandered the riches you have given us and lived lives focused on ourselves. We have also failed to see the needs of others and refused to offer forgiveness to those who have wronged us. Remind us, O God, of the gift of your Son. Empower us with your grace, and call us to rejoice as sheep who have been returned to your fold. Amen.

Assurance of Pardon

Sisters and brothers, the promise of Gospel is that we have a shepherd who will never stop looking for us. Christ comes to us and brings us home once more, leading us into the presence of the God who loves us. Jesus assures us that grace is real. Indeed, he tells us “there is joy in the presence of God over one sinner who repents.” Know that you are forgiven and be at peace.

Passing of the Peace

The father of the prodigal son called everyone together to celebrate the return of the child he thought he had lost. In the same way, let us celebrate together the forgiveness we have received through the passing of the peace.

Communion Prayer:

Gracious God, like lost sheep we wander far from your love. We chase after things that do not satisfy and end up far from where you would have us be. We find ourselves spiritually dying from hunger. In your mercy, O God, you have not abandoned us to our own wills. Although we are not worthy to stand before you, you have sent your Son, the good shepherd, to pursue us and call us back to the fold. In this moment we ask you to pour out your Holy Spirit on these elements. Make this sacrament a foretaste of your heavenly kingdom where there is bread enough to spare. You are always with us and have given us everything. Let us now celebrate with you and all the angels of heaven as repentant sinners who once were lost, but now are found. This we ask, trusting in your precious name, Amen.

Offering Prayer/Prayer of Dedication

Generous and giving God, you have reminded us of your prodigal love. You have bestowed upon us blessings beyond measure. We praise you for your kindness and for the chance to return a portion of that back into your service. Take what we have given and let it be a symbol of the compassion that you have for your world. Use it to fill those who have little, and guide those who are lost. Pour out your Holy Spirit on these tithes and offerings, so that your grace might be known throughout the world. Amen.

Prayer Station by Rev. Shea Zellweger

Psalm 119:167-176

167 I keep your rules;
I love them greatly.
168 I keep your precepts and rules,
for you are aware of everything I do.
169 Listen to my cry for help, O Lord!
Give me insight by your word!
170 Listen to my appeal for mercy!
Deliver me, as you promised.
171 May praise flow freely from my lips,
for you teach me your statutes.
172 May my tongue sing about your instructions,
for all your commands are just.
173 May your hand help me,
for I choose to obey your precepts.
174 I long for your deliverance, O Lord;
I find delight in your law.
175 May I live and praise you!
May your regulations help me!
176 I have wandered off like a lost sheep.
Come looking for your servant,
for I do not forget your commands.

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Guide:

Read the psalm once, and ponder it for a moment.

Place a cup in the sand.

Read the psalm a second time, this time paying special attention to verse 171.

Pour water from the pitcher into the cup as you say (aloud or silently) “May praise flow freely from my lips.” Just as freely flowing water quickly fills the cup, so freely flowing praise can quickly fill our lives.

Read the psalm a third time as a song of praise.

More Narrative Lectionary Lenten Themed Prayers  

Lament Over Jerusalem: Narrative Lectionary Lent Links of Prayer

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Invitation to Gather by Rev. Courtney D. Arntzen

Feel free to use/edit. Credit to the original author (i.e. based on prayer/prayers written by Rev Courtney D. Arntzen) appreciated.

Luke 9:1-9, 31-35 and Psalm 122 or Psalm 122:1

Call to Worship

Voice 1: Come

Voice 2: Come stay

Voice 1: Come stay near

Voice 2: Come stay near me

Voice 1: My wings

Voice 2: My wings are broad

Voice 1: My wings are broad enough to keep you

Voice 2: Gather here.

Voice 1: Gather and hear.

Voice 2: There is room for you.

Voice 1: Just as you are

Voice 2: Gather and hear.

Voice 1: Gather here.

Call to Confession
The Pharisees come warning Jesus, “Get out of here! Herod wants to kill you.”
Jesus responds, “Not today!  Today I have lives to heal and people to release.  Today I will tell people again that I am the lifesaver.”  Let us pray:

Prayer of Confession                                                                                                                  

Faithful God, You presented the law to release us from slavery,

and we turn it into a rulebook dictating who is in and who is out.

You provide the prophets with messages of life for all

and we mock their words, abusing their message for our benefit.

Through Jesus you fulfill the release from capture and we choose enslavement. Through Jesus you fulfill the message of life for all and we abuse the message. Over and over we ignore the call to pay attention.(Wake us up!) Over and over again you call us to yourself, longing to gather us, protect us, and save us by your life. (Wake us up!) You call us to life, and we wander aimlessly in the path of death. (Wake us up!) Hear us now as we confess our wandering ways (Silent Confession)…Amen

Assurance of Pardon

Jesus says, unless you turn to me, you will die.  He then describes himself as a sacrificial hen that longs to protect her chicks from the sly fox.

This is the good news: Jesus wings are always spread

There is room, enough room

For you.

For you all.

Turn toward Jesus, nestle under the wings of Jesus, receive the grace and peace that comes alone from him.  In the safety of Jesus’ embrace, let us be sent out to share the news that there is room enough for all.

Offertory Prayer/Prayer of Dedication                                                                        

Receive these offerings as an expression of our desire to place our lives again in your hands.  Multiply these gifts for the expansion of your life saving message to be shared through this community faith, both here and far beyond.  In Jesus name and in expectation of his return, we pray.  Amen

Communion Prayer                                                                                                         

Gracious God, we praise you for your handiwork in creation, the wonders of the mighty mountains and the stillness of the silent snowfall.  We praise you for wooing us into your fold through the life-work and life-saving ministry of Jesus.  We are reminded that a mother hen may extend her wings to hold and protect her young.  On the cross we remember Jesus’ arms extended, that we might come to him as we come to this table and receive all that is offered.  You held nothing back on our behalf, may we hold nothing back as we come.  Let us bring our full selves to the table where we receive once again your fullness.             

Prayer Station by Rev. Shea Zellweger

Psalm 122

1 I was glad because they said to me,
“We will go to the Lord’s temple.”
2 Our feet are standing
inside your gates, O Jerusalem.
3 Jerusalem – built as a city bound firmly together.
4 The tribes go up there,
the tribes of the Lord,
where it is required that Israel
give thanks to the name of the Lord.
5 Indeed, the leaders sit there on thrones and make legal decisions,
on the thrones of the house of David.
6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem!
May those who love her prosper!
7 May there be peace inside your defenses,
and prosperity inside your fortresses!
8 For the sake of my brothers and my neighbors
I will say, “May there be peace in you!”
9 For the sake of the temple of the Lord our God
I will pray for you to prosper.

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Guide:

Read the psalm once, and ponder it for a moment.

Pick up several sticks (at least 3) and hold them.

Read the psalm a second time, this time paying special attention to verse 3.

Using a piece of twine, tie your sticks so that they are “bound firmly together” Place your bound sticks upright in the sand. Remember that God has called the church to be bound together, and that we are the temple of the Lord

Read the psalm a third time as a prayer of thanksgiving.                                                                                                                                                                          

More Narrative Lectionary Lenten Themed Prayers  

Links of Prayer: Narrative Lectionary for Lent

Links of Prayer Resources for Lent.
A broad number of prayers from a variety of pastors/denominations. All variations of theology and kinds of prayers were accepted to show the vast richness of God’s work.
 These prayers are meant for personal spiritual practice or for congregations who follow the narrative lectionary.
They include a Call to Worship/Opening Prayer, Prayer of Confession, Assurance of Pardon, Communion Prayer, Prayer of Dedication/Offering and Some are Paired Psalm-Prayer Station Guide by Rev. Shea Zellweger
Feel free to use/edit. Credit to the original author (i.e. based on prayer written by XXX) appreciated.
March 1st Ash Wednesday by Rev. Mary Austin
March 5th The Good Samaritan by Rev. Dr. Robyn Provis
March 12th The Lament Over Jerusalem by Rev. Courtney D. Arntzen
March 19th Lost Coin, Lost Sheep, Lost Son by Rev. Mike Williams
March 26th Rich Man and Lazarus by Rev. Tracy Spencer-Brown
Apr 2nd Zacchaeus by Rev. Katy Stenta
Apr 11th Triumphal Entry/Palm Sunday by Rev. Jeanne Gay
Apr 13th Last Supper by Rev. Amy Fetterman
Apr 14th Crucifixion by Rev Lee Ann Higgins
      Good Friday Liturgy of the Nails http://wp.me/p2rhxZ-25W
Apr 16th Resurrection/Easter by Rev. Dr. Barb Hedges-Goettl

The Good Samaritan: Narrative Lectionary Lent Prayers

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Invitation to Community by Rev. Dr. Robyn Provis

Feel free to use/edit. Credit to the original author (i.e. based on prayer/prayers written by Rev. Dr. Robyn Provis) appreciated.

Luke 10:25-42 and Psalm 15 or Psalm 15:1

Call to Worship

Good and merciful God, you call us to gather along the road we know as community,

With our neighbors all around, speak to us in these complicated times.

We are people of the covenant, called to care for one another without exception.

Within and beyond our walls, our neighbors are struggling.  Within and beyond these walls, we may be the one who is struggling.

Just as Jesus lived a commitment of coming near, abide in with and through us. Send us. Encourage us to come near in your name.

We are ready to open our hearts to receive new strength and to open our lives to new understanding.  Gather us near.

Invocation

Holy God, as we come together in this house of prayer, we open ourselves to your spirit. Who is our neighbor and who was this Samaritan called good?  Bring fresh understanding to why he alone drew near to danger, unafraid, giving compassion, and bringing hope. Guide us in being open to helping the stranger, the outcast, and the one without community.   Amen.

Call to Confession   

God calls us to relationships of trust and hope. As your children we are drawn to the good and the holy. We come now to confess that we sometimes have too narrow a view of what is good, missing the holy even when we are in its midst.

Prayer of Confession

God we pray, inspire courage and compassion and open us beyond the usual boundaries that come with fear and privilege.  We name that we have failed to see our neighbors unless it is convenient and scheduled.  We know that the Good Samaritan comes near as one who knows the Kin(g)dom is near. And the Kin(g)dom of God comes near when we do the same. But Creator God, coming near is not easy. It’s easier to withdraw and to hide in our homes. The division that plagues our nation will require a new kind of coming together in understanding and love.  Forgive our hesitation and make bold our faith. Make bold our witness. Amen.

Assurance of Pardon                

Be at peace as the people of God who daily find strength in hope. Be at peace knowing that God draws near; that God is omnipresent and walking with us in our struggle to follow boldly.  May we be bold ambassadors of courage and Christ.

Communion Prayer

From these simple gifts of grape and grain, you have consecrated us as your children, called and sent to share your extravagant love with others.  Open our eyes that we might see you near. Open our lives that we might be agents of hope and love for our world. When we forget our holy calling, speak anew to our hearts and draw us back.  This is our prayer in the name of all that is holy. Amen.

Offering Prayer/Prayer of Dedication                                                                                                       Gathered we have given in your name– blessed to be a blessing.  Generous God, bless and consecrate these gifts and use them to bring hope and healing to our community and beyond.  Enliven us to share even ourselves with the world you love. Amen.

Prayers of Intercession

God of love, give us a deep love for you, so that we can see the world as you see it, feel the compassion you feel, and be a people whose lives mediate your love to others. God in your mercy. Hear our prayer

Open our eyes that we might see what the Good Samaritan saw. Grant us the insight to see the need in others, the wisdom to know what to do, and the will to do it. God in your mercy. Hear our prayer

We pray for all those people, who in many and various ways, have been stripped, beaten and left for dead. We pray for children who are growing up in the most awful of circumstances, especially for those starved of love or food, shelter or security. May they receive the future you have planned for them.  God in your mercy.  Hear our prayer                                                                                          

We pray for those we might cross the road to avoid, those who have been excluded socially because of their race, financial status, or history. May the dignity that is theirs be restored to them.  God in your mercy. Hear our prayer                                                                                  

God give us a deep love for you, that we might see your love at work in this world, and that we might go and do likewise. God in your mercy. Hear our prayer    

Prayer Station by Rev. Shea Zellweger
rocks.jpeg

Psalm 15

1 Lord, who may be a guest in your home?

Who may live on your holy hill?

2 Whoever lives a blameless life,

does what is right,

and speaks honestly.

3 They do not slander,

or do harm to others,

or insult their neighbor.

4 They despise a reprobate,

but honor the Lord’s loyal followers.

They make firm commitments and do not renege on their promise.

5 They do not charge interest when they lends their money.

They do not take bribes to testify against the innocent.

The one who lives like this will never be upended.

rock-pebbles-sand
Guide:

Read the psalm once, and ponder it for a moment.

Using one of the tools in the sandbox, or your own hands, create a shape in the sand which signifies the Lord’s home.

Read the psalm a second time, this time looking for a single phrase which speaks especially to you.

Select a rock. Allow the rock to represent you. Hold it in your hand as you contemplate the phrase you found.

Place the rock inside the Lord’s home. God has welcomed you home.

Read the psalm a third time as a prayer of thanksgiving.

More Narrative Lectionary Lenten Themed Prayers  

                               

Narrative Lectionary: Ash Wednesday Links of Prayer

Ash Wednesday

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“Invitation to Lent” Author Rev. Mary Austin

Feel free to use/edit. Credit to the original author (i.e. based on prayer/prayers written by Rev Mary Austin) appreciated.

Luke 9:51-62 and Psalm 5:7-8 or Psalm 5:8

Call to Worship
We are dust and ashes,
bone and breath,
full of frailty and limitation.
Lent calls us into reflection and repentance,
drawing closer to God. 
Lent calls us to see ourselves as dust and ash,
alive only with God’s breath.
Lent invites us to be pilgrims,
moving with Jesus toward the truth. 
In Lent, we travel with Jesus,
moving toward an end and a beginning.
Let us worship the God of glory,
with all that is within us.  
 
 
Call to Confession
Keeping up appearances is exhausting. Pretending to be something we are not takes a toll on our spirits.  The illusion of perfection makes us weary.  Lent invites us into a place of freedom.  Let us speak the truth about ourselves, and know the truth about God.Trusting in God’s abundant, living mercy, let us pray. (time for silent reflection)…Amen 
 
Prayer of Confession
God who breathes life into dust,
and fills ash with glory,
we come to you knowing that we are broken,
not by your doing,
but by our own. 
Forgive us for chasing shiny gods,
instead of turning to you.
Forgive us for trusting our own abilities
more than your goodness.
Forgive us for seeing other people as stepping stones,
instead of as your beloved ones. 
Breathe life into our dust again, we pray,
and claim us once more as your own. 
In Jesus’ name, Amen. 
 
Assurance of Grace/Pardon
Who are we, that God is mindful of us?  God’s fingers have shaped us, and God’s breath gives us life.  God’s abundant mercy follows us with each step.  In the life of Jesus Christ, we see a new way to live.  In following him, our lives are redeemed.  Through Jesus Christ, we are all forgiven.  Be at peace in God’s grace. 
 
 
Invitation to Communion
My friends, dust and ash we are, and also God’s beloved people.  Jesus, who knows both death and resurrection, invites us now to the table.  Here, even on this day, we see a glimpse of God’s table.  At the table of God, there is hunger is no more, and all of God’s people feast together.  There death is no more, and we see our beloved ones and God’s people of all the ages.  There tears are no more, and we rejoice in the presence of God’s living grace. 
 
In the name of Jesus our host, Jesus whom we follow into Lent, Jesus who gives us living bread, we are all invited to come and share in the feast. 
 
 
Prayer after Communion
Holy God,
with the taste of ash still in our mouths,
you have fed us with the bread of heaven
and the cup of new beginnings.
Lead us now, we pray,
into a Lent of somber reflection
and committed service,
spreading the taste of your love to all people.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.  
 
 
Offering Prayer / Prayer of Dedication
Merciful God,
our gifts are as limited as our lives,
but we offer them to you with gratitude,
knowing that they really are your gifts,
loaned to us.
We offer them with praise,
that you invite us to share in your work. 
We offer them with hope,
knowing that you can transform them
into instruments of love and justice.
In Jesus name, Amen.

#confession #change #race & #Birth pangs

God of hope, we confess that we are frightened by so many things. We do not like birth pangs of change. Yet we confess the world is not as it should be. Justice is often put off, because changing the way things are structured is hard. Youth is discounted, racial tension is ignored, the patterns of overwork are lauded and certain groups in perpetual need are accepted as normal. Its difficult to be the church sometimes, Lord. It is hard to sound the call on what needs to be changed. Give us the courage and conviction to work towards change, especially when it seems impossible. For we never know when your kingdom will come, but we do know that its already on the way. Help us to do this we pray….

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