Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Prayer for September 17-23, 2017
Sermon Text: Exodus 14:19-31

That we may be agents of the liberating mercy we have received from You

Liberating God, we rejoice that You are always at work among us. We rejoice that You hear the cry of the oppressed and that You act to counter the powerful forces that control and diminish them and fill their lives with hardship and misery.

You give hope. You topple unjust powers. You act for liberation. You create new structures that generate equity. You replace cries of agony with hymns of praise.

We rejoice that You also hear the cries of those who are bound by addiction and sin, those who do not know how to extricate themselves from habits that they find burdensome and limiting.

In your mercy, You offer forgiveness. By your Spirit, you bring transformation that liberates for faithfulness, compassion, and delight. 

Enable us to live into the life of freedom and fruitfulness that You have created for us. At the same time, enable us to be agents of your liberation for those who suffer injustice and those who are clutched in the talons of sin and addiction. May we walk beside them, suffer with them, and lead them into your Presence. Amen.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Prayer for September 10-16, 2017
Sermon Text: Exodus 12:1-14

That we may live courageously, energetically, and fully into your story

God of glory, we worship and rejoice in You! We rejoice in the wonderful works of salvation and restoration that You have done on behalf of Israel and for followers of Jesus.

We remember the Exodus and the crucifixion of Jesus, especially, as powerful acts of compassion, that generated new life and new hope as You liberated your chosen people from bondage to exploitative powers and ensnaring sins.

Whenever our lives begin to disintegrate and collapse due to our addictions, sins, and acts of injustice, do your work of renewal among us. Let the communion we share together remind us of the judgment and freedom of Passover, as well as Jesus’s generous act of laying down his life for his friends so that they might enjoy abundant life in your presence. 

Enable us to live courageously, energetically, and fully into the lively story that You have enacted for your people. May our faith in You grow deeper each day as we assume the roles and complete the tasks to which You have called us. Amen.
Prayer for September 3-9, 2017
Sermon Text: Romans 12:9-21

That your Spirit will guide us into a pure love expressed through many acts of kindness

God of Glory, as you transform our minds and give us many gifts for service, may your Spirit guide us into a pure love, that is expressed through many acts of kindness as it builds joyful harmony among us.

Demolish our pride and conceit. Teach us how to honor each other above ourselves. Enable us to enter deeply into the mourning and rejoicing of our sisters and brothers.

Open our hearts for generous hospitality. Fill us with spiritual passion. Enable us to cling to truth as we abhor and turn from evil.

Divert us from returning evil for evil, from fantasies of revenge and hatred toward our enemies. Enable us to bless and feed them and to leave revenge or restoration to You. 

We hope in You. We trust in You in times of prosperity and in the midst of affliction and suffering. May everything we do give evidence that You are doing something new among us. Amen.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Prayer for August 27-September 2, 2017 
Sermon Text: Romans 12:1-8

That we may give all that we are to You

God of all life, we adore You. We want to give ourselves completely to You in true worship. We want minds that are transformed and conformed to the mind of Christ. We want to do your will.

But our lives are so enmeshed in the ways of the world that we cannot perceive ourselves clearly, cannot extricate ourselves from practices that put us in competition with our brothers, sisters and neighbors, and cannot undo our idolatry of wealth.

Because we are so fully enmeshed in the “pattern of the world,” we do not know how to love, serve and honor each other as fully and consistently as You call us to. 

Work within our minds and in our relationships. Complete the transformation that we have been unable to complete on our own. Enable us to give all that we are to You and to our many neighbors in joyful love and service. Move us into the unity that You desire for your people and for which You have already given us many gifts. Amen.

Monday, August 21, 2017

August 20-26, 2017 
Sermon Text: Genesis 45:1-15

That we may keep trusting You when we suffer in ways that seem meaningless

God of Grace, it is seldom clear to us that the rejection, alienation, abuse, abandonment, pain, and other troubles that we face have been providential gifts that place us in position to do good for others.

Most of us have neither the foresight nor the hindsight of Joseph. Although we trust in You, many of the things we endure never come to have a clear meaning for us.

We suffer. We trust in You. We endure. We go on with our “whys?” unanswered. 

We know that we are able to endure only because You give us a measure of endurance and courage that we could not simply muster on our own. We believe that You are working for our good in every situation. Enable us to keep trusting You even when the meaning of the things we must endure escapes us. Amen.

NOTE: We had a guest speaker who went a different direction. This prayer was not used in our Sunday worship (but most likely will be in our Tuesday prayer meeting).
Prayer for August 13-19, 2017 
Sermon Text: Genesis 37:1-36

That we may dream and enact your dreams for your people   

Giver of dreams, we rejoice that You occasionally allow us to see more than we can see with our eyes. You give dreams that hint at the way that our future may unfold. You give us glimpses of mysteries that can be embraced, but not easily told. You pull back a corner of the veil that hides your astonishing glory.

Sometimes, those of us who receive dreams act in arrogant ways. Some tremble in terror while others speak too much or build shrines to mark the places of your visitation.

Enable us to be dreamers of the dreams that You have for your people. Then enable us to live into those dreams by humble, but courageous action that is full of faith.  

We know that the dreams You give may unfold in wholly unexpected ways, but we accept such dreams as guidance and wisdom that exceed and eventually expand our understanding. Amen.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Prayer for August 6-12, 2017 
Sermon Text: Genesis 32:22-31

That our wrestling in darkness will heal our fears and enable more complete trust in You

God of all, be our peace!

When we wrestle in the darkness--wrestle our fears, ourselves, or You--bring us to our true selves.

Wound us, if You must, to heal us. Demolish our fears. Transform our deceitful ways. Teach us trust.

Enable us to see your glory even in the ambiguous struggle through which we clutch at something we cannot name and are held by a strength that we cannot escape.

Help us not to give up hope in the midst of struggle. Help us to persevere until we are able to name our relationship with You in a new way, even as You name us as your own. 

Enable us to move forward, then, confident of your enduring promises and your unfailing Presence. Amen.