Prayers for the 22nd Week after Pentecost (October 21-28, 2018)

The Watchword for the week:

For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many. Mark 10:45

Praise be to you, creator God;
to you be glory and praise forever!
Just as your creative power moved over the face of the waters to bring light and life to your kingdom on earth,
Pour out your Spirit on us this day,
that we may walk as children of light.
By your grace reveal your presence to us,
that we may be reflections of your love for the world. 

Psalm for the Week: Psalm 91:9-16
Because you have made God your refuge, the Most High your dwelling place,
no evil shall befall you,  no scourge come near your tent.
For God will command God’s angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways.
On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.
You will tread on the lion and the adder,
the young lion and the serpent you will trample under foot.
Those who love me, I will deliver;
I will protect those who know my name.
When they call to me, I will answer them;
I will be with them in trouble, I will rescue them and honor them.
With long life I will satisfy them,
and show them my salvation. 

With full assurance of God’s grace we confess our sins.
Gracious Lord and God we confess that we more often seek to be served rather than to serve.  In so doing we bend to the influence of prevailing culture which can lead us to self-centered decisions and separate us from you and our brothers and sisters in Christ. We are sorry for our sins and seek now to turn away from them. For the sake of your Son who died for us, forgive us, cleanse us, and change us. By your Holy Spirit, enable us to seek after the mind of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Hear the comforting words of our Lord: Your sins are forgiven. Go and sin no more.

We praise God by saying: Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. AMEN. 

This now is a time for the reading of a scripture passage.  If you have a copy of the Moravian Daily Texts take time to read them now, but don’t rush over them as a task to be completed. These are the words that God would have you to cherish for this day. These are words that could transform your life if you allow them to.  So read slowly and deliberately.  Pause at words or phrases that happen to catch your spirit, for these are places where God might be speaking to you. When you have finished with your reading of scriptures, take time to pray for the needs that you present today, for the needs of those you love, and for the needs of a hurting world.  May your time of prayer help you to clarify where God would want you to focus your energy. When you are ready continue with this prayer as follows:

Lord, have mercy upon us.
Christ, have mercy upon us.
Lord, have mercy upon us.
Christ, hear us. 

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your Kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins,
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours.
Now and forever. Amen

Living God, you invite us to take on the mind of Christ.
Everyone who follows you in the ways of your love is born of you and knows you well.
Loving Savior, you sacrificed your life as a ransom for many,
You show us how to love in being vulnerable, unconditional, and persistent to the end.
Since you love us so much,
you empower us to love one another.
And if we love one another,
you abide in us, and we in you.
Your love will bear fruit through us,
complete and perfect at the harvest.
Almighty God, unto whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hid;
cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of Your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love You, and worthily magnify Your holy name, through Christ the Lord. Amen.

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Prayers for the 21st Week after Pentecost (October 14-20, 2018)

The Watchword for the Week:

Since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession. Hebrews 4:14

Glory be to you, Lord our God; you have chosen us in Jesus Christ, our Lord, before the founding of the world.
You have given us such love, that we should be called the children of God.
You have redeemed us through Jesus Christ, your Incarnate Son.
For the sake of the great love with which you love us, make us alive in Christ, our Lord.

 Psalm 90:12-17

So teach us to count our days
   that we may gain a wise heart.
Turn, O God! How long?
   Have compassion on your servants!
Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love,
   so that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us,
and for as many years as we have seen evil.
Let your work be manifest to your servants,
and your glorious power to their children.
Let the favor of the Sovereign our God be upon us,
   and prosper for us the work of our hands—
O prosper the work of our hands!

Knowing that through Jesus Christ our sins are forgiven we now lay those sins and their burdens upon the throne of Grace.
Forgive us loving God for the winding path upon which you have to travel to find us. While you remain faithful to us, our commitment to you often wavers. As we bend to the self-centered influences of our culture we lose sight of your intended will for us. Too often we live by fear rather than by faith because we underestimate your power to heal the parts of us that are broken, and to correct the parts of us that have drifted from your influence. Bring us back to you so that we might respond to your Grace by living it each day. Give us the courage to give you unhindered access to all of who we are.

 Comfort, comfort my people says your God. Speak tenderly to them and proclaim that they have suffered long enough, that their penalty is paid, and their sins are forgiven.
We praise God by saying: Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. AMEN.

 This now is a time for the reading of a scripture passage.  If you have a copy of the Moravian Daily Texts take time to read them now, but don’t rush over them as a task to be completed. These are the words that God would have you to cherish for this day. These are words that could transform your life if you allow them to.  So read slowly and deliberately.  Pause at words or phrases that happen to catch your spirit, for these are places where God might be speaking to you. When you have finished with your reading of scriptures, take time to pray for the needs that you present today, for the needs of those you love, and for the needs of a hurting world.  May your time of prayer help you to clarify where God would want you to focus your energy. When you are ready continue with this prayer as follows:

Lord, have mercy upon us.
Christ, have mercy upon us.
Lord, have mercy upon us.
Christ, hear us.

 Our Father in Heaven,
Hallowed be your Name,
Your kingdom come,
Your will be done,
On earth as in Heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
As we forgive those
Who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation
But deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
And the glory are yours
Now and forever. Amen.

 Since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, indeed by all the saints who have gone before us,
Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that easily entangles.
Let us run with perseverance that race marked out for us.
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.
We are filled with the grace, mercy, and peace of God.
We are filled with the love of Jesus Christ. We give thanks that we are blessed, and we commit ourselves to be a blessing to others. Amen.

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Prayers for the 20th Week of Pentecost (October 7-13, 2018)

The watchword for the week:

Let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith. Hebrews 12:2

How wonderful are your ways, loving God.
We look at the wonderful world which you have created, and we are filled with awe.
While we marvel at the complexity of this creation we are even more amazed at the love that you have for all of it, including humanity.
Knowing of your love for us enables us to endure the ups and downs of our lives.

Psalm 82

In the divine council God has taken God’s place;
God holds judgment in the midst of the gods:
“How long will you judge unjustly
and show partiality to the wicked?
“Give justice to the weak and the orphan;
maintain the right of the lowly and the destitute.
Rescue the weak and the needy;
deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”
They have neither knowledge nor understanding,
they walk around in shadows;
all the foundations of the earth are shaken.
I say, “You are gods, children of the Most High, all of you; nevertheless, you shall die like mortals, and fall like any noble.”
Rise up, O God, judge the earth;
for all the nations belong to you!

In truth and honesty, let us drawn near to the throne of grace and confess our sins to God.

God of unending love we come to you with a humble heart and a contrite spirit asking for your grace to be showered upon us. As we consider the pattern of your spirit we feel inadequate to even approach you, but hear us as we ask your forgiveness. We confess that we have not always reflected your compassion to those around us. While we find it easy to be compassionate towards those whom we love, we find that it is harder to do that with those who we consider to be our enemies. We find it easy to keep a score of those who have wronged us, while we ignore the pain that we have inflected on others. Help us to look first at how we can best transform ourselves into a more faithful reflection of your love, instead of how we can change those with whom we have conflicted feelings. We hunger for your grace and love, feed us this day. Amen.

The Lord your Redeemer says: Now your guilt is gone and your sins are forgiven. Let us give praise to God.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

This now is a time for the reading of a scripture passage.  If you have a copy of the Moravian Daily Texts take time to read today’s texts now, but don’t rush over them as a task to be completed. These are the words that God would have you to cherish for this day. These are words that could transform your life if you allow them to.  So read slowly and deliberately.  Pause at words or phrases that happen to catch your spirit, for these are places where God might be speaking to you. When you have finished with your reading of scriptures, take time to pray for the needs that you present today, for the needs of those you love, and for the needs of a hurting world.  May your time of prayer help you to clarify where God would want you to focus your energy. When you are ready continue with this prayer as follows:

O Lord, hear us now as we, brothers and sisters in Christ, pray together.

Creator of us all, we praise your name because you have lovingly made each one of us. May your intended purpose be made real here on earth, even as it is already done in heaven. Feed us today with those things that we truly need, and may we share our abundance with others. Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who have done wrong to us. In times of temptation, may we know of your life giving strength, and keep us from all evil. Gracious God, this is your kingdom, and we acknowledge your power and glory, both now and forever more. AMEN.

Lord, you now have set your servant free
to go in peace as you have promised;
for these eyes of mine have seen the Savior,
Whom you have prepared for all the world to see.
A Light to en-lighten the nations,
And the glory of your people Israel.
Send forth your Spirit, Lord,
Renew the face of the earth.
Creator Spirit, come and enable us to have compassion on others.
Feed our hungry hearts.
Lord, hear our prayer,
And let our cry come to You.
Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God! Amen.

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Prayers for the 19th Sunday after Pentecost (September 30-October 6, 2018)

The watchword for the week:
The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is clear, enlightening the eyes. Psalm 19:8

From the busyness that fills our lives.
We gather to fix our attention on God’s way.
From the distractions that re-order our life’s priorities.
We gather to fix our attention on God’s way.
From the slumber into which our faith can sometimes fall.
We gather to fix our attention on God’s way. 

Psalm 19: 7-14 
The law of God is perfect,
reviving the soul;
   the decrees of God are sure,
making wise the simple;
the precepts of God are right,
rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of God is clear,
enlightening the eyes;
the fear of God is pure,
enduring forever;
the ordinances of God are true
and righteous altogether.

More to be desired are they than gold,
even much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey,
and drippings of the honeycomb.
Moreover by them is your servant warned;
in keeping them there is great reward. 
But who can detect their errors?
   Clear me from hidden faults. 
Keep back your servant also
from the insolent;
do not let them have dominion over me.
Then I shall be blameless,
and innocent of great transgression. 
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you,
O God, my rock and my redeemer.

Let us humbly confess our sins.
Gracious God, we affirm that your way is perfect. The Biblical witness and the life of Jesus Christ give us the pattern by which we should live out our faith but we have chosen to walk on our own path. We confess that we have found it all too easy to follow the way of our culture and have made keeping your commandments an option rather than an expectation for our lives. So we humbly ask that you create in us a clean heart, O God, and place within us that understanding that will help us to see your way and to observe it with our whole heart. 

Lord have mercy on us. 

The Lord says to us: I will forgive your iniquity and remember your sin no more. Peace be with you.
With grateful hearts we say: Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. 

This now is a time for the reading of a scripture passage.  If you have a copy of the Moravian Daily Texts take time to read them now, but don’t rush over them as a task to be completed. These are the words that God would have you to cherish for this day. These are words that could transform your life if you allow them to.  So read slowly and deliberately.  Pause at words or phrases that happen to catch your spirit, for these are places where God might be speaking to you. When you have finished with your reading of scriptures, take time to pray for the needs that you present today, for the needs of those you love, and for the needs of a hurting world.  May your time of prayer help you to clarify where God would want you to focus your energy. When you are ready continue with this prayer as follows:

Let us pray together:
Creator of us all, we praise your name because you have lovingly made each one of us. May your intended purpose be made real here on earth, even as it is already done in heaven. Feed us today with those things that we truly need, and may we share our abundance with others. Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who have done wrong to us. In times of temptation, may we know of your life giving strength, and keep us from all evil. Gracious God, this is your kingdom, and we acknowledge your power and glory, both now and forever more. AMEN. 

Just as God created an Eden in which all was made to work together,
God has created a pattern of life which is intended to bring us to wholeness.
That wholeness was shown to us as Jesus brought the law of God into human form.
Jesus showed us a way of grace and forgiveness even though life was made difficult for him by the sin of the world.
We pray that God might awaken in us the desire to follow his path more closely amidst the temptations and difficulties of our lives.
Come, Holy Spirit, show us the way, the truth, and the life.
Whatever we do, therefore, whether in word or deed, let us do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Thanks be to God. Amen.

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Prayers for the 17th Week after Pentecost (September 23-29, 2018)

The watchword for the week:

Jesus says, “Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.” Mark 9:35

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
And also with you.
Praise the Lord and give thanks for all God’s mercies.
In Jesus Christ, God grants us the forgiveness of sin and shows us a new way of living.
We seek to respond to that love by following the way of servanthood.
We will rejoice and worship God with all our heart.  
Hear now the call to draw near to God’s loving embrace.
We will rest ourselves in God and seek to follow God’s will.  

Psalm 54
Save me, O God, by your name,
and vindicate me by your might.
Hear my prayer, O God;
give ear to the words of my mouth. 
For the insolent have risen against me,
the ruthless seek my life; 
they do not set God before them.
But surely, God is my helper;
God is the upholder of my life.
God will repay my enemies for their evil.
In your faithfulness, put an end to them.
With a freewill offering I will sacrifice to you;
I will give thanks to your name, 
O God, for it is good.
For God has delivered me from every trouble,
and my eye has looked in triumph on my enemies.

Let us humbly confess our sins.

Holy God, as we think of the life of Jesus we are awed by the sacrifice that he made on our behalf. By accepting the way of the cross he took upon himself the sin of the world. With this love fixed in our minds we confess that we have not always lived up to the standard that you have set for us. We have often shunned the way of the cross and a life of integrity for what seemed like an easy path. By what we have both said and done, and by what we have left undone, we have not always been your servants and for that we are truly sorry. Strengthen us as we resolve to live more responsively to your gracious intent toward us and the world. 

My friends, the Biblical message is clear: Christ has died, Christ is risen, and Christ will come again that we might live in newness of life; new life both here and in the world yet to come. Let us give thanks to God.

Praise be to you triune God, for you have lovingly created us, compassionately redeemed us, and graciously empower us to live the life of the cross. Amen. 

This now is a time for the reading of a scripture passage.  If you have a copy of the Moravian Daily Texts take time to read them now, but don’t rush over them as a task to be completed. These are the words that God would have you to cherish for this day. These are words that could transform your life if you allow them to.  So read slowly and deliberately.  Pause at words or phrases that happen to catch your spirit, for these are places where God might be speaking to you. When you have finished with your reading of scriptures, take time to pray for the needs that you present today, for the needs of those you love, and for the needs of a hurting world.  May your time of prayer help you to clarify where God would want you to focus your energy. When you are ready continue with this prayer as follows:

Together let us affirm our faith in the words of the Nicene Creed.

We believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is, seen and unseen. 

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father.
Through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven:
by the power of the Holy Spirit
he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary,
and was made man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end. 

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son.
With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified.
He has spoken through the Prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. Amen. 

Let us go from here to serve the Lord, and live a life that gives witness to that which we believe.
Thanks be to God. Amen.

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Prayers for the 16th Week after Pentecost (September 23-29, 2018)

The watchword for the week:
I will praise the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praises to my God all my life long. Psalm146:2

May the love of the Lord our God be upon us.
Christ, inspire the work of our hands;
May the mercy of the Lord our God be upon us.
Christ, strengthen the work of our hands.
May the grace of the Lord our God be upon us.
Christ, empower the work of our hands.

Psalm 146
Praise be to God!
   Praise God, O my soul! 
I will praise God as long as I live;
I will sing praises to my God 
all my life long.
Do not put your trust in nobles,
in mortals, in whom there is no help.
When their breath departs, they return to the earth;
   on that very day their plans perish.
Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the Sovereign their God,
who made heaven and earth, the sea,
and all that is in them; 
who keeps faith forever;
who executes justice for the oppressed;
who gives food to the hungry.
God sets the prisoners free;
God opens the eyes of those who cannot see.
God lifts up those who are bowed down;
God loves the righteous.
God watches over the strangers
and upholds the orphan and the widow, 
but the way of the wicked God brings to ruin.
The Sovereign will reign forever,
   your God, O Zion, for all generations. 
Praise be to God!

Let us humbly confess our sins unto Almighty God.

Almighty and most merciful Father, like lost sheep we have strayed from your holy ways, we have followed the devices and desires of our own hearts as we have disregarded your holy laws; we have left undone those things which we ought to have done, and we have done those things which we ought not to have done. But you, O Lord, have mercy upon us, as we know that you forgive those who humbly confess their faults, and that you restore those who are penitent. Grant to us, O most merciful God, that from this day forward we live a godly and righteous life, giving praise to the Lord as long as we live. Amen. 

May the almighty and merciful Lord, grant us absolution and remission of all our sins, true repentance, amendment of life, and the grace and consolation of the Holy Spirit. If anyone is in Christ they are a new creation; the old has passed away, behold the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation. Amen.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. 

This now is a time for the reading of a scripture passage.  If you have a copy of the Moravian Daily Texts take time to read them now, but don’t rush over them as a task to be completed. These are the words that God would have you to cherish for this day. These are words that could transform your life if you allow them to.  So read slowly and deliberately.  Pause at words or phrases that happen to catch your spirit, for these are places where God might be speaking to you. When you have finished with your reading of scriptures, take time to pray for the needs that you present today, for the needs of those you love, and for the needs of a hurting world.  May your time of prayer help you to clarify where God would want you to focus your energy. When you are ready continue with this prayer as follows:

O Lord, hear us now as we, brothers and sisters in Christ, pray together.

Our Father in heaven, praise be your name; your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and forever. Amen. 

Lord, keep our Church under your care;
And guide us in the way of justice and truth.
Let your way be known upon earth;
Your saving health among all nations.
Let not the needy, O Lord, be forgotten;
Nor the hope of the poor be taken away.
Create in us clean hearts, O God;
And sustain us by your Holy Spirit.

Shout for joy all people of God, rejoice all the earth! The glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all people together will see it. For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.

Praise be the name of the Lord in whom we live, labor, and love. Amen.

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Prayers for the 17th Week after Pentecost (September 16-22, 2018)

The watchword for the week:
Jesus asks, “But who do you say that I am?” Mark 8:29

In the midst of this busy day we pause to place God at the center of all that we are.
We lay aside the menial tasks as well as the important decisions for just a moment as we focus our attention on God’s grace.
Holy God, hear us now,
Listen to us as we lift up the prayers and petitions of our hearts, and may you open our ears so that we might hear your voice speaking to us. 

Psalm 116:1-9
I love God, because God has heard my voice
and has heard my supplications. 
Because God inclined an ear to me,
therefore I will call on God
as long as I live. 

The snares of death encompassed me;
the pangs of Sheol laid hold on me;
I suffered distress and anguish. 

Then I called on the name of God:
   “O God, I pray, save my life!” 
Gracious is God, and righteous;
our God is merciful.
God protects the simple;
when I was brought low, God saved me. 
Return, O my soul, to your rest,
for God has dealt bountifully with you. 
For you have delivered my soul from death,
   my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling.
I walk before God
in the land of the living.
Let us humbly confess our sins.
Gracious Savior, we bow our heads before you and confess that too often we have forgotten who you are. Sometimes we so closely conform ourselves to the world around us that we begin to think that you are not aware of the choices we make with our lives. We confess that too often our first thought is financial security rather than sacrifice for your kingdom. We confess that we often hold being right as a higher virtue than being compassionate. We confess that too often we accept the notion that immediate gratification of our needs and wants is more satisfying than seeing your will be known and done. For these things we ask your forgiveness. Give us clear minds and open hearts so we may choose what is good and acceptable and perfect. Remind us to be who you would have us to be regardless of what we are doing or who we are with. Enfold us in your arms so that we might feel your love for us and for the world. 

My friends, the Biblical message is clear: Christ died, Christ is risen, and Christ will come again that we might live in newness of life; new life both here and in the world yet to come. Let us give thanks to God.
Today we praise the God who created us, the God who is redeeming us, and the God who is sustaining us. Glory be to the triune God. Amen. 

This now is a time for the reading of a scripture passage.  If you have a copy of the Moravian Daily Texts take time to read them now, but don’t rush over them as a task to be completed. These are the words that God would have you to cherish for this day. These are words that could transform your life if you allow them to.  So read slowly and deliberately.  Pause at words or phrases that happen to catch your spirit, for these are places where God might be speaking to you. When you have finished with your reading of scriptures, take time to pray for the needs that you present today, for the needs of those you love, and for the needs of a hurting world.  May your time of prayer help you to clarify where God would want you to focus your energy. When you are ready continue with this prayer as follows:

O Lord, hear us now as we, sisters and brothers in Christ, pray together.

Our Father in heaven, praise be your name; your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and forever. Amen. 

The Apostle Paul writes:

1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.
3 For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of yourself more highly than you ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.
4 For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, 5 so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another.                                     Romans 12:1-5

Gracious God, guide us today as we seek to not only know you, but together be you to the world as we in the church seek to be your body.

Thanks be to God. Amen.

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