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Please feel free to share/adapt/use with credit to Pastor Katy Stenta
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.
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.
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
In days to come
the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established as the highest of the mountains,
and shall be raised up above the hills.
Many nations shall come and say: ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
to the house of the God of Jacob; that he may teach us his ways
and that we may walk in his paths.’
Come Let us worship the Lord
Come Let us Worship the Lord.
Call to worship: (Luke 1:46-55)
Come let us magnify the Lord
I have heard you, says God
For the Mighty One has done great things for me.
My spirit rejoices in the Lord.
Call to Worship (2 Kings 22)
God calls us to his house
Let the repair work begin!
We are called to turn around so that we might rejoice in God
Come let us hear the word of the Lord
Call to Worship
Lord open our eyes that we mights see
Grant us visions of truth
Open our Hearts so we might know your scripture
Open us to the Holy Spirit!
Prayer of Confession: Lord, too often we are like the kings and people of Israel. We forget your covenant. We don’t keep your commandments within our hearts and within our souls. We fall out of step. Help us to follow you we pray.
Prayer of Confession: Lord I confess, that I have no always magnified you. I have not worked with you to lift up the downtrodden, to feed the hungry good things, and I have forgotten you’re mercy. Help me to fully embrace who you are so we might not live as a people living on scraps of your grace, but instead by a people woven together by your blessings, we pray.
Assurance of Pardon: God’s mercy is to all who fear him from generation to generation, let us tell the good news: In Jesus Christ we are forgiven.
Assurance of Pardon: When God judges–God shall hammer swords into the ploughshares, every time. Hear the Good news: In Jesus Christ we are forgiven.
Prayer of Dedication/the Day: Lord we are thankful whenever we can see your grace dripping down to earth. We are grateful when we can right the wrongs, turn to another path, and encourage one another. Help us to recognize your fire as it burns in our hearts today and everyday we pray.
Eucharist Prayer: Lord grant us the hearts we need to give thanks with a grateful heart. Remind us that your judgement looks less like a sword and more like a tool of planting. As we await the harvest, let us enjoy the fruits of your labor–this covenantal meal. Remind us of your bounty and grace and seal our hearts, once again, with the fire of your Holy Spirit. For whenever we gather from East and West into your House, you promise we will each sit under our own vine, and we will make war no more. Let us practice that peace in communion today, we pray. Amen.
With Children: Cut Out a Puzzle: Put it back together talk about it as a power of forgiveness. Glowsticks/Electric candles: The glow/power of the Holy Spirit. Study the Ten Commandments, Have a Feast: Explain how one can always go home to dinner at God’s house and/or tell the prodigal son story and explain that Josiah is another version of that story.