A-Part: A Prayer

God, I am tired of being in parts.

My family is scattered in different States

My church is scattered across the city

And the pieces and parts of myself that were for friendships and socialization are hard to find.

And we are all in the parables of the lost–we’ve all lost money, and our flock and family.

We’ve lost a year. A year of birthdays and friendships and fun. A year of school and work and experiences. A year of community. All of it has sucked, and been sucked our of it and we are all left in pieces, in parts.

I am so tired of being apart, God.

And I keep thinking, how we keep trying to be community!

First with the loving works given to us by artists, then with rainbows, then we bells ringing and neighbors singing, and parking lot hangouts and drive by parties. Bubbles and postcards, phone calls and chocolate, zoom calls and google calls and Skype calls and FaceTime calls–all to ad nauseum.

Look how we are all trying to be together while we are a part.

I think of my congregant in Japan who sends us masks and face shields,

I think of my congregant in Western New York who sends us articles and prayers

I think of our friend in Pakistan, or Dubai (depending) who edits our YouTube.

God we are trying, so hard, and I can’t wait to try this community again.

In the midst of being prodigal children, in the midst of being lost, we are trying to find one another!

God, be with us.

Inscribe on our hearts the lessons of essential workers and the inadequacy of disability checks of the skewed value of work over health, and the indelible effects that racism has on every single system we have.

God, I can’t wait until we can be in person together.

Then we will rejoice: we have found our coin, our flock, our family!

And until we are there, help us God, please help us to continue to look for community.

Because Church happens whenever we seek, find and are a community.

Don’t let us give up. Sustain us like the widow, like the shepherd, like the stubborn (and possibly too recalcitrant) prodigal family.

Help us to Find one another we pray.

Amen.

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

Pandemic Prayers & Resources

Lent 3 Topical Prayer

Topical Prayer: God sometimes we feel like the lost coin or the lost sheep or the lost son, wandering and lonely. We are on the journey, and then suddenly we get lost along the way. Other times we feel like the older brother doing all of the right things with little recognition and credit. However, you invite us to be the widow and the shepherd and the parent: ebullient with welcome! You celebrate with those who are celebrating, God for you are there for every step of the journey. Dancing in the streets and striving to include and find every single person who feels lost. You want us to be the living invitation of your love and belonging. Our job is not to judge—thank God—but instead to celebrate and welcome. Help us, grant us your Holy Spirit so we can  be your open door of welcome today and everyday we pray. Amen.

For the Complete List of Narrative Lectionary Lent Resources can be found here including a way to receive a doc copy

Lent 3 Prayers

The Possibility of Journeying Home

March 7

Lent 3

Lost Sheep, Coin, Son

Luke 15:1-32

Psalm 119:167-176

Call to Worship: 

God you call us home

And whenever one of us is missing, you search for us without ceasing

Lord, you are welcoming

When one us is discluded or left out, you immediately welcome us to the table.

Lord, you are the father, running to embrace us and welcome us home!

Come let us celebrate as the children of God today. 

Invitation: God is always inviting us to return home. Come let us bring our full selves home to God.

Prayer of Confession: God I confess that when I feel lost, it is hard to return to you. All my imperfections scream at me, telling me that I am not deserving of your love. And sometimes those fears are confirmed by my experience of human judgement or prejudices. Remind me that you are never prejudiced God, you welcome me home and renew me every single time I ask for forgiveness. Forgive me for all that I did that was wrong and all the things I have not done that I ought to have done. Forgive me for forgetting that nothing can separate me from your love, and help me to return to your loving embrace I pray. Amen. 

Assurance of Pardon: Our God will always leave a light on for us, that light is Jesus Christ. Know the truth: In Jesus Christ we are forgiven

Prayer of the day/Dedication: Lord, every single time someone enters into your presence, you welcome them with a party. Help us to party people into your Kingdom we pray!

Communion Prayer: God, you never forget us or leave us behind. When we seemed lost and alone you sent your only son Jesus, love incarnate to find us, call us by name, love us and teach us. Send your Holy Spirit onto these elements, so that when we feel lost or alone, we might be nourished by Jesus Christ. We pray this in God’s most Holy Name. Amen. 

Hymns: Seek Ye First, Jesus Priceless Treasure, Lord I Want to Be a Christian, Love Divine All Love Excelling, O Love that Wilt Not Let Me Go, O Jesus I Have Promised

Taize: Ubi Caritas: where there is goodness and love there is God

For the Complete List of Narrative Lectionary Lent Resources can be found here including a way to receive a doc copy

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.

water

 

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.

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Shannon A Thompson

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