Love, A Prayer for Such a Time as This

God,
I know what it is
to love
And have nothing else.

I know what it is to be sick
for a week, a month,
a year
and pray and hope for treatment
And be stuck with nothing but waiting
And illnesses wash over you–and you are stuck with surviving
at such a time as this

I know what it is to see your beloved stuck in the throes of psychosis
Screaming for you to help them
And you are right there
But they can’t hear or see your love
at such a time as this

I know what it is to be the one talking to estranged family members
hearing both sides of the story
Knowing that both sides are right in their own way
seeing the irony of how similar they
and bearing the sadness of their loneliness and hurt during the holidays
at such a time as this

I know what it is to worry about your kids getting sick
And the dangers of gun violence that seem to be around every corner
but that society has deemed that the economy is important, so you send them
To school, to the theater, to the shopping center, to activities
at such a time as this

I know what it is to act in love
To make the best choice one can
When there is not right choice
Only the best choice at hand-
After years of “once in lifetimes” wars, violences, protests, recessions and pandemics, until we learn the truth God
at such a time as this

We are in an apocalyptic times: a great revealing of truths.
In such a time as this
I keep learning the authentic sacrifices of love:
communication, doing one’s best, forgiveness, boundaries
God, you don’t have to be Queen Esther to live in this advent world
at such a time as this

We are all holding each other’s hands
And walking each other home
In such a time as this–
God, I know you understand too
I’m hanging onto that with both hands
this advent, as I’m waiting
at such a time as this

Let’s light a candle of love,
especially at such a time as this,
light this candle with us I pray
Amen

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

Full Advent Resources

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Justice, Mercy & Light Extended Advent

Please Support my Writing, I am Funding some of my Doctorate in Creative Writing as a Public Theologian through donations https://gofund.me/554d36e3 Thank you to all those who have donated, I have successfully completed 2 years thanks to your support.

If you need a doc version of these resources-please email and I will get it to you as much as I have completed* (I have medical leave so things may slow a bit)

Advent Readings Calendar: If you have Canva

Advent Readings Calendar: Pdf Link

Expanded Advent Daily Suggested Reading Calendar by Rev. Dr. Barb Hedges-Goettl (expanded for full story) with Hymn Suggestions Goettl https://bjhlog.wordpress.com/2022/11/27/daily-readings-for-advent-and-songs-through-january-7/?fbclid=IwAR2xFTVltIRayRlsOSy1QI0Z7E6QG5j9ZzH3r1oA4e8hiwuslBZJUGIlWJY

Unfreezing Christmas: A Narnia Christmas Pageant (Easy)

Unfreezing Christmas: No Rehearsal/Pickup Version Narnia

Advent Candles Liturgy

God of Peace: To Silent Night

God the Weaver to Away in the Manger

Magnify the Lord, To O Come All Ye Faithful

Blue Christmas Worship Including Suggested Comfort Candle (also see: Advent Prayer)

Justice, Mercy & Light Extended Advent

Advent Unleashed: https://katyandtheword.com/2022/11/28/advent-unleashed/

Advent Prayer

Messy Hope, A Prayer

Nov 13th Micah: Mercy

November 20th Christ the King Sunday/Swords into Plowshares

November 27th Faith

Dec 4th Love and Justice

Dec 11th Justice & Joy: Magnificat Realized

Dec 18th Jesus as Emmanuel

Advent Candles Year 1 Narrative Lectionary

All Artwork by Katy Stenta on Canvas, feel free to use

Blue Christmas/Longest Night Comfort Candle Suggested: Liturgy Guide

Nov 27 Hope Candle
Faith as a Way of Life
Habakkuk 1:1-7; 2:1-4 3: [3B-6], 17-19 
Prophet grieved by injustice: Faith as a way, not an answer
Matt 26: 36-38 Gethsemane Jesus is grieved, asks Disciples to watch
Hope

God, what does hope taste like?
Does it taste like clear cool water after a faithful run
God says, faith is a path. 
God light our path with Hope
Help us tp the light the Hope candle
So we might find your justice, mercy and light. 

Suggested Hymn V. 1 Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence or V. 1 O Come, O Come Emmanuel

Dec. 4
Esther Love Candle
Esther 4:1-17
For Such a Time as This, Esther was Made Queen

Salt and Light 

Too often we feel in our souls the meaning of for such a time as this!
We need love candles, to light our way.
God sends the Esthers, to love us in terrible times.
God light our path with Love
Help us to light the Love candle 
So we might find your justice, mercy and light. 

Suggested Hymn V. 2 Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence or V. 3 O Come, O Come Emmanuel

Dec 11 Joy Candle
Light of Nations
Isaiah 42:1-9 Through Spirit bring Release to Prisoners
Matthew 12:15-21 Spirit of justice, fulfilling the prophecy

Light of Nations, how we desire you
We long for the taste of freedom
God sends the Holy Spirit to free all prisoners
God light the path to freedom with Joy
Help us to light the Joy candle
So we might find your justice, mercy and light.

Suggested Hymn V. 3 Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence or V. 2 O Come, O Come Emmanuel

Dec 18th  Peace Candle
Jesus as Immanuel 
Matthew 1:18-25
fPsalm 23:14

Holy Spirit, we cannot even fully conceive your peace
But how we need the fullness of God’s Shalom in our souls
God be with us, our Emmanuel, tell us the story until it lives in us
God light our path to Peace
Help us to light the Peace candle
So we might find your justice, mercy and light.

Suggested Hymn V. 4 Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence or V. 1 O Come, O Come Emmanuel

Dec 24 Christ Candle
Birth of Jesus 
Luke 2:1-14 [15-20]
Psalm 96 (10-13)
God, you are coming to us in Christ
We long to fill your presence here
God what a miracle you become, a baby
a human translation of God’s love
Come let us welcome Christ
Come let us find you in justice, mercy and light

Suggested Hymn It Came Upon A Midnight Clear or O Holy Night

 

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

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Nov 6th Prophecy Truth & Healing: Healing Truths

Full Resource

Nov 6th Healing Truths

Praying for Truth

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2 Kings 5:1-15a Elisha heals Naaman, a foreigner and leper
Matt 8:2-3 Jesus heals a leper
Psalm 41

Call to Worship (based on Psalm 41)
Bless is the Lord, the God of Israel
God is from everlasting to everlasting
God we love to be in your presence
Come let us worship God

Call to Confession: We come to God to confess those things that still hurt and need healing

Confession: God be gracious to me and heal me for I have sinned against you. I know you consider the poor and the sick and care for them. God, I know there is all kinds of healing in the world, and that you are a healing God. Help us to heal and to continue whatever healing you are doing in the world. We pray this in the name of your son Jesus Christ. Amen. 

Assurance of Pardon: God you are gracious and promise to raise us up and to heal all sins, so we know the good news In Jesus Christ we are forgiven. Amen. 

Prayer of the Day/Dedication: God you empower us, like Naaman to pursue healing. We pray this in the name of your son Jesus Christ. Amen. 

Hymns: There is a Balm in Gilead, I’ve Got Peace Like a River, O Christ the Healer, Lord I Want to Be a Christian, Today We All Are Called to Be Disciples, Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing 

Children: Talk about Baptism and how it cleans sin permanently with the help of confession—its kind of like a bath. Talk about Naaman and how he wants to be special but he just needs a bath. The Pigeon Needs a Bath by mo willems or Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day 

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Full Resource

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Narrative Lectionary Fall 2022 Rainbow God, Queer Edition

Rainbow God

If you want a document version of this entire series for easy viewing and formatting just email me at Katyandtheword at gmail and title it Narrative Lectionary and I will be happy to send it to you.

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My Kid is Gay
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Rainbow God

Sept 11

Flood and Promise
Genesis 6:5-22, 8:6-12, 9:8-17 Flood, Promise Rainbow
Matt 8:24-27 Jesus Calms Storm
Psalm 23 Lord is My Shepherd

Call to Worship:

God you are the God of Rainbows

Before we knew, You knew

You painted peace, in diversity

Before we knew, You knew

Come let us praise the God of Peace and Love

Come, Let us Praise our Rainbow God!

Call to Confession: Come let us confess our Hope in God

Confession: God, we confess that sometimes it is hard to hope for rainbows. We do not believe that every storm will run out of rain, we have trouble remembering that you are not a violent God when people who call themselves Christians scream hate. Stop their hate, Protect us, and help us to see the rainbow we pray. Amen.

Assurance of Pardon: Nothing Can Separate you from the Love of Christ: Not height nor depth nor floods nor hate. Know the truth and affirm it to one another: In Jesus Christ we are always beloved and always forgiven. Amen.  

Prayer of Dedication: God, let us be proud of you as the rainbow God, and stand proud that before we knew, you knew the full meaning of the rainbow. Thank you. Amen. 

Sept 18

Be assured you are all children of God

We are Stardust

You sparkle with the promise of God

We are Stardust

You are the promise of Abraham

We are Stardust, Praise be to God, the Creator of Stars!

Call to Confession: Come, let us confess and sparkle to God

Prayer of Confession: God, we confess that we sparkle and glitter, but sometimes it does not feel like we are wonderfully and fiercely made. Help us when we forget. Show us the stars. Remind us that we are beautiful and everything we do counts, just like every star in the sky counts. Amen

Assurance of Pardon: You loved us into being, just as when you created the magnificent heavens, so we know the truth: In Jesus Christ we are always beloved and always forgiven. Amen.  

Prayer of Dedication: God, remind us that like stars, our sparkles count. Help us to glitter we pray. Amen. 

Sept 25

Joseph in Prison
Genesis 39:1-23 Joseph in Prison, God with Him
Matthew 5:11-12 Blessed when People Revile you
Psalm 146

Call to Worship
God you anoint the outside
The outcast from their family: the queer, gay, nonbinary, lesbian, ace—you will go with them on their journey to find a home.

God, you promise to be with them, no matter what

God be with us

Imprisoned, Abused, Lied about, False witness, You promise, You will still be our God

God be with us

There are no empty footsteps in the Sand for Joseph, You will still be in our dreams, you promise

God, be with us today. 

Call to Confession: God, let us confess and be our full selves with ourselves today. 

Confession: God, we confess that it is hard to be our full selves. We are ignored, mocked, sold into slavery, imprisoned and abused. We confess that even though you know what we go through, we feel ashamed, less, alone. Help us when we are broken. Remind us that we do not need to be forgiven for who we are—that Joseph wore women’s clothes and ran away from sex with a woman way before Jesus was even born, and was beloved, by his father, his brother, the King and you. May safe spaces be formed for all people we pray. Amen.

Assurance of Pardon: Jesus longs for this to be a safe space of forgiveness for all, though we may not have achieved that yet, know that one thing is always true: In Jesus Christ we are always beloved and always forgiven. Amen.  

Prayer of Dedication: Let us go into the world our full selves, proud, loud and beloved children of God. Amen.

Oct 2nd

Exodus 14:5-7, 10-14, 21-29 God parts sea and delivers
(Suggested read Exodus 14:5-29 all)
Matt 2:13-15 Mary, Joseph, Jesus flee to Egypt
Psalm 77

Call to Worship

God will part the Ocean for you

God longs for your safety

God knows it is hard work to get to be safe

God longs for your safety

God wants to rescue you

Come let us find places of sanctuary with God

Call to Confession: Come let us rest with God today

Prayer of Confession: God, we confess that it is hard to believe that you would part the ocean for me. Don’t I complain too much? Is it not too much work? Are you sure that I am worth it? Yet I look at the complaints of the Hebrews, and am reassured that you want not only to rescue me, but to listen to my worries and complaints. Help me when I am troubled an in trouble I pray. Amen. 

Assurance of Pardon: God longs whisper the good news to you, so let us whisper it to one another and be reassured of its truth: In Jesus Christ we are always beloved and always forgiven. Amen.    

Prayer of Dedication: God extend your protection into the world with us as we go we pray. Amen.

The Bible Queer: National Coming Out Day Prayer https://katyandtheword.com/2022/10/11/coming-out-day-a-prayer/

Oct 9 

Exodus 19:3-7; 20:1-17 God bring Israel on Eagle’s Wings; Decalogue
Matt 5:17 Jesus not to abolish law but fulfill it
Psalm 91

Call to Worship

God you are not made of rules

God you are full of grace

God you make wonderful and fierce

God you are full of grace

God let us hear your commands as promises of hope, not hammers or laws

Come, let us feel God’s grace

Call to Confession: Let us confess ourselves to the Graciousness of God

Prayer of Confession: God, you know I don’t like rules—they are weapons of hurt instead of tools of justice. We humans cannot be trusted with them. Grace is but a trickle in my life, and I am still looking for that cup overflowing you promised. I confess, the moment you lift me up on Eagle’s Wings will not be too soon. Please help us to lift each other up, and to treat each other with the grace we long for. Amen.

Assurance of Pardon: God is full of grace, your forgiveness has already been made complete as soon as you confessed yourself. Now we get the opportunity to practice that grace together and say: In Jesus Christ we are always beloved and always forgiven. Amen.  

Prayer of Dedication: God, give us grace as we go. Send it on the wings of your Holy Spirit, touch it to our brows we pray. Amen. 

Oct 16th

Joshua 24:15 [16-26] God delivers, me and my house serve the lord
Matt 4:8-10 Satan offers kingdom; worship only God
Psalm 27

Joshua Renews the Covenant 

Call to Worship

Who does not need Renewal?

Renew our full self here today!

God who knows us and loves us

Give us a renewal today.

God, you are fully God, today, tomorrow and everyday

Come, let us renew our relationship with God.

Call to Confession: It is good to be with God, come let us be present with God today

Confession: God, we confess that sometimes its a lot to be our full selves. It takes time and work to integrate who we are, with the mystery of who you are. Does anyone ever have a full handle on that? Please help us to do this as a community, so that we might have a fuller and richer perspective of your Godhood we pray. Amen.

Assurance of Pardon: God is our God, no matter what, so we know the truth: In Jesus Christ we are always beloved and always forgiven. Amen.  

Prayer of Dedication: God please help us to renew our relationship with you and with ourselves as often as we need to so that we might fully know who we are and who you are as we go about the world. We pray in the name of Jesus Christ who was somehow fully God and fully human. Amen. 

Assurance of Pardon: God longs to wrap you under her wing and assure you that you are safe and forgiven, so know the good news: In Jesus Christ we are always beloved and always forgiven. Amen.  

If you want a document version of this entire series for easy viewing and formatting just email me at Katyandtheword at gmail and title it Narrative Lectionary and I will be happy to send it to you.

If you would like to support my work, please give to my gofundme for my D. Min in Creative Writing or in an exciting new prospect become a Patron for only $3 a month!

Potent Promises: Rescue at Sea

Full Resource

God’s Potent Promise, I will deliver You

Exodus 14:5-7, 10-14, 21-29 God parts sea and delivers
(Suggested read Exodus 14:5-29 all)
Matt 2:13-15 Mary, Joseph, Jesus flee to Egypt
Psalm 77

Call to Worship

God you promise to take care of us.

Even when we question or are uncertain, you are there

God you are our deliverer

Come Let us worship God who promises to save us

Call to Worship (based on Psalm 77)

Come let us meditate on the works of the God

When the waters saw you, O God, they were so afraid, they trembled. 

The crash of your thunder was in your whirlwind, the clouds poured out water, and your arrows flashed out on every side.

Your way was through the sea—your path was through the mighty water. Yet your footprints were unseen.

You led your people like a flock, by the hands of Moses, Aaron and Miriam. 

Come, Let us praise Almighty God, who fulfilled all the promises that God made to both Miriam and Moses. 

Call to Confession: God you promise to listen whatever we have to say, Bend your ear to our troubled hearts today

Confession: God we confess that we are like that Hebrews, even in the midst of our own Deliverance we ask “Why do we have to participate in our own Salvation?” or “Why isn’t this easier?” Or we are so frightened that we are too afraid to try something new. We confess that the journey before us seems too long, dangerous and hard and we sometimes we are not so sure if it is all worth it. Forgive us, comfort us. Remind us that your promises are worth it, justice is worth it, human beings are, in the end, worth it. Teach us how to make the journey together we pray. Amen. 

Assurance of Pardon: Your redemption and forgiveness is already promised. Know the Good News. In Jesus Christ you are forgiven. Amen.

Prayer of Dedication: God who freed us, fed us with manna, and parted the Red Sea for us. Remind us that we are free together, we are fed together, we are safe together, and then teach us how to enact that care for one another we pray. Amen. 

Hymns: God of the Ages, The God of Abraham Praise, Deep in the Shadows of The Past, When Israel Was in Egypt’s Land, We Walk by Faith and Not by Sight, Precious Lord Take My Hand

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Children: Talk about how we believe both in Personal responsibility and participation in what is going on, and that God helps us along the way and how tricky it is to believe in both things. Reference how confusing this was for the Hebrew people who wanted everything handed to them, even as they were being rescued by God. We have to try and not give up, and be ourselves. Book Suggestion: “Whistle for Willie” by Ezra Jack Keats

If you want a document version of this entire series for easy viewing and formatting just email me at Katyandtheword at gmail and title it Narrative Lectionary and I will be happy to send it to you.

If you would like to support my work, please give to my gofundme for my D. Min in Creative Writing or in an exciting new prospect become a Patron for only $3 a month!

Full Resource

Narrative Lectionary Fall 2022

Series 1: 6 Weeks

Queer Edition: Rainbow God Here

Potent Promises

If you want a document version of this entire series for easy viewing and formatting just email me at Katyandtheword at gmail and title it Narrative Lectionary and I will be happy to send it to you.

If you would like to support my work, please give to my gofundme for my D. Min in Creative Writing or in an exciting new prospect become a Patron for only $3 a month!

Sept 11
God’s Potent Promise for Peace
Flood and Promise
Genesis 6:5-22, 8:6-12, 9:8-17 Flood, Promise Rainbow
Matt 8:24-27 Jesus Calms Storm
Psalm 23 Lord is My Shepherd

Sept 18th
God’s Potent Promise for All Generations: Blessings for all
Call of Abraham: Blessed to Be a Blessing
Genesis 12:1-9 Call of Abraham, Blessing of nations
Matthew 28:19-20 Disciples of All Nations
Psalm 33

Sept 25
God’s Potent Promise for the Outsider: God is with You
Joseph in Prison
Genesis 39:1-23 Joseph in Prison, God with Him
Matthew 5:11-12 Blessed when People Revile you
Psalm 146

Oct 2
Rescue at Sea
Exodus 14:5-7, 10-14, 21-29 God parts sea and delivers
(Suggested read Exodus 14:5-29 all)
Matt 2:13-15 Mary, Joseph, Jesus flee to Egypt
Psalm 77

Oct 9 
Covenant and Commandments 
Exodus 19:3-7; 20:1-17 God bring Israel on Eagle’s Wings; Decalogue
Matt 5:17 Jesus not to abolish law but fulfill it
Psalm 91

Oct 16th  Renewal of Baptism Suggested
Joshua Renews the Covenant
Joshua 24:15 [16-26] God delivers, me and my house serve the lord
Matt 4:8-10 Satan offers kingdom; worship only God
Psalm 27

Series II Prophecy: Truth and Healing (Connects from Baptism)
Telling the Truth, Praying for Truth, Healing Truths
Under Construction

Oct 23rd David and Bathsheba: Telling the Truth
2nd Sam 11:1-5, 26-27, 12:1-9 Nathan’s parable indicts David and he repents
Matt 21:33-41 Parable about the Wicked Tenants
Psalm 51:1-9
Psalm 53

Oct 30th Solomon’s Wisdom Praying for Truth
1 Kings 3:4-9 (10-15), 16-28 Solomon prays for wisdom, 2 women and a baby
Matt 6:9-10 Our Father
Psalm 16

Nov 6 Elisha heals Naaman Healing Truths
2 Kings 5:1-15a Elisha heals Naaman, a foreigner and leper
Matt 8:2-3 Jesus heals a leper
Psalm 41

To Be Published Extended Advent
Nov 13

If you want a document version of this entire series for easy viewing and formatting just email me at Katyandtheword at gmail and title it Narrative Lectionary and I will be happy to send it to you.

If you would like to support my work, please give to my gofundme for my D. Min in Creative Writing or in an exciting new prospect become a Patron for only $3 a month!

Pentecost

Acts 2:1-21

Philippians 4:4-7

John 14:16-17

Call to Worship

Do not worry about anything the Lord is near.

Come, Let us approach God with prayer and supplication. 

Rejoice in the Lord, again, I say rejoice

Come, Holy Spirit, Come!

Prayer of Confession: Jesus, we confess that we are full of anxiety and worry about the lack of peace in the world. You promise peace that is beyond understanding, and we confess that yes! we do not yet understand your peace. How can we grasp some of it. Help us to not just pray for peace but to walk the way of it, and speak the words of it. We want to know God. Send your Holy Spirit to guide us we pray.  (Silent Confession). Amen.

Assurance of Pardon: God will guard your hearts and minds, go forth knowing the truth. In Jesus Christ you are forgiven

Hymns: Spirit, Breathe On Me Breath of God, Be Thou My Vision, Spirit Of the Living God, Open My Eyes That I May See

Prayer of Dedication: Let us go into the world full of the Holy Spirit, encouraged and full of the gentleness that God ordains for us. Amen. 

With Children: Discuss the word “Advocate”

May 29th The Christ Hymn

Philippians 2:1-13

Luke 6:43-45

Call to Worship:

Today we praise Christ who emptied himself for us

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow

Today we gather to be consoled by God

Praise God all creatures here below

God will come and make our joy complete

Come, let us praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost!

Invitation to Confession: Let all who long to be of one mind with Christ, come to confess

Prayer of Confession: Jesus, we confess that we are so distracted by your Godliness, that we forget that often miss you–kneeling beside us. And that when we pray, you pray with us. Amen.

Assurance and Pardon: Christ who washed our feet, remind us again that you came to save us, so we can always know the truth: In Jesus Christ we are forgiven

Prayer of the Day/Dedication: God, be at work in us. Stoop to be beside us, teaching us how to serve–and loving us into the kingdom work, we pray. Amen.

Hymns: When I Survey the Wondrous Cross, Christ Jesus Lay in Death’s Strong Hands, Come Ye Faithful Raise the Strain, The Strife is O’er, Of the Father’s Love Begotten, Jesus the Very Thought of Thee, Come Down O Love Divine, Love Divine All Loves Excelling, My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less, O Love that Wilt Not Let Me Go, There’s a Sweet Sweet Spirit

Children: Talk about how parents and older stoop to talk to babies, and that’s how Jesus emptied himself, knelt, became human to talk to us

May 22nd Partnerships in the Gospel

Praying the Gospel

Philippians 1:1-18a

Luke 9:46-48

Call to Worship

God you call every single person here

We are called into community with one another

Help us to pray for one another

Let us thank God for one another

Come let us worship God

Come, let us be called into community together

Call to Confession: God is here, to listen, always. Come let us confess ourselves to God.

Prayer of Confession: God we confess that sometimes we feel like we are in competition with fellow Christians, or that our work is not good enough, or that we do not know how to be evangelists for your faith. In truth, we do not often agree with people who call themselves Christians, and we do not know what to do with that. We confess, that we do not really believe that all good works will somehow be brought into fruition in Christ. Help us: to keep at it, to have courage, to take joy in the work and to keep teaching and praying. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.

Assurance of Pardon: God’s Love is from everlasting to everlasting. Let us live into the assurance of the truth: In Jesus Christ you are forgiven.

Prayer of the Day/Dedication: May we go into the world thanking God every time we think of one another, and knowing that the good works that have begun here will be brought into completion by Jesus Christ. Amen.

Hymns: Every Time I Feel the Spirit, I Love the Lord Who Heard My Cry, Lord I Wanna Be A Christian In My Heart, O God Our Faithful God, If Thou But Trust in God to Guide Me, Just As I Am Without One Plea

With Children: How do you know prayers are answered? Talk through about what praying for another person is, and what to do when prayers are answered and when they aren’t. Talk about God’s perspective versus the human perspective.