Prayers for the First Week of Advent (December 3-9, 2017)

The watchword for the week:

Then they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in clouds’ with great power and glory. Mark 13:26

Gracious Savior, this week we begin the journey of Advent.
This is a season of expectation and anticipation; a time of preparation and confession.
And so it is that we bring to the Lord a broken and contrite spirit which we know our God will honor.
We take this time to truly prepare for the coming savior.
Rejoice greatly, shout for joy! See, your king is coming to you. He is righteous and brings salvation.
Thanks be to God. 

Psalm 80:1-7,17-19

1 Hear us, O Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph like a flock;
you who sit enthroned between the cherubim, shine forth before Ephraim, Benjamin and Manasseh.
Awaken your might; come and save us.
3 Restore us, O God; make your face shine upon us, that we may be saved.
4 O Lord God Almighty, how long will your anger smolder against the prayers of your people?
5 You have fed them with the bread of tears; you have made them drink tears by the bowlful.
6 You have made us a source of contention to our neighbors, and our enemies mock us.
7 Restore us, O God Almighty; make your face shine upon us, that we may be saved.
17 Let your hand rest on the man at your right hand, the son of man you have raised up for yourself.
18 Then we will not turn away from you; revive us, and we will call on your name.
19 Restore us, O Lord God Almighty;
make your face shine upon us, that we may be saved.

Unto you, O God, in whom all things are known, and from whom nothing is hidden, we draw close by lifting up our prayer of confession.

Gracious Lord Jesus, you come to us with the good news of salvation, but we often fail to notice. You come to us day by day, yet we close the doors of our hearts when it seems convenient to do things our own way. We ignore your presence and your leadership, and have lived as if we have no relationship with you. We have failed to act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with our God. Forgive us, merciful Lord. May we now live so that the world will know that you have come. Amen. (Adapted from the Moravian Book of Worship, page 50)

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 are forgiven, and we praise you Lord. May you lead us to live a new and nobler life today. Thanks be to God.

Take time now for reading the Daily Texts or a passage of Scripture.  Pause to ponder words or phrases that happen to catch your spirit today.  Then spend some time praying for the needs of our hurting world.  When you are ready, continue with the prayer as follows:

Our Father, who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy Name.
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
and the power, and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.

Christ, the Light of the world, empower us to shine as lights in this dark world of sin. Christ, give to our congregations and their members a desire to serve you by seeking out those who need a relationship with you.
O Emmanuel, God with us, Jesus Christ, desire of every nation, Savior of all peoples,
come and dwell within our hearts and lives.
We praise you, for you are good,
And your mercy endures forever. Amen
Come Lord Jesus,
Open our hearts to welcome you, let the Word become flesh in our hearts and in our lives. Amen.

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Prayers for the Reign of Christ (November 26-December 2, 2017)

The watchword for the week:

God says: “I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak.” Ezekiel 34:16

Christ invites us to come to worship
To rest from the things that are troubling us
To pray for the needs of those close us as well as for the needs of the world
To realize what we can offer to others
And so to return into the world to serve.
Let us worship God who reigns over all the earth. 

Psalm 95:1-7
1 O come, let us sing to the Lord;
let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!
2 Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!
3 For the Lord is a great God,
and a great King above all gods.
4
 In his hand are the depths of the earth;
the heights of the mountains are his also.
5 The sea is his, for he made it, and the dry land,
which his hands have formed.
6
 O come, let us worship and bow down,
let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!
7 For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand.
O that today you would listen to his voice! 

Confession of Sin
(from the Liturgy for Lent II, pages78-79)

Lord Jesus, we come before you in humble confession. Help us conform our lives to you as the model for holy and righteous living.
Forgive us for our desire for personal greatness, for our attempts to make gods of ourselves, for our willingness to exalt ourselves at the expense of others, and for our resistance to serving one another as you have served us.
Forgive us for making light of your obedience and sacrifice on the cross by living an undisciplined and indifferent Christian witness; forgive us for yielding to fear rather than relying on your strength to take the risks of discipleship.
Forgive us, dear Jesus, for times we have not looked to you as our Lord, and for allowing the clamoring distractions of the world to become higher priorities than you. Forgive us for yielding more to the temptations of this world than being transformed by your lordship over our lives.
May the Holy Spirit empower us to accept the grace that our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ offers to us today. Hear the words of our Lord, “Your sins are forgiven, go and sin no more.”
Let the peace of Christ rule in our hearts, since as members of one body we were called to peace. And let us be thankful. 

Take time now for reading the Daily Texts or a passage of Scripture.  Pause to ponder words or phrases that happen to catch your spirit today.  Then spend some time praying for the needs of our hurting world.  When you are ready, please continue with the prayer as follows:

As you taught your disciples to pray, so we pray together:
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 for ever. Amen

And now, most merciful God, we ask you to continue extending your grace and favor towards us;
Let the sun of your gospel never go down out of our hearts;
Let your truth abide and be established among us forever.
Help our unbelief, increase our faith, give us hearts to consider your many gifts to us.
In faith clothe us with Christ, that he may live in us,
And your name may be glorified in us in the sight of all the world.
Christ, and him crucified,
Remain our confession of faith. Amen.

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Prayers for the 24th Week after Pentecost (November 19-25, 2017)

The Watchword for the week:
So teach us, O God, to count our days that we may gain a wise heart.                                 Psalm 90:12

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,
Today may we perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name,
And now visit us with your Holy Spirit as we open our hearts to you. Amen.

Psalm for the Week: Psalm 90:1-9, 12

1 Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations.
2 Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
3 You turn us back to dust, and say, “Turn back, you mortals.”
4 For a thousand years in your sight are like yesterday when it is past, or like a watch in the night.
5 You sweep them away; they are like a dream, like grass that is renewed in the morning;
6 in the morning it flourishes and is renewed; in the evening it fades and withers.
7 For we are consumed by your anger; by your wrath we are overwhelmed.
8 You have set our iniquities before you, our secret sins in the light of your countenance.
9 For all our days pass away under your wrath; our years come to an end like a sigh.
12 So teach us to count our days that we may gain a wise heart.

We come before the throne of grace to unburden our hearts and to receive forgiveness. Let us confess our sin. 

Gracious God, we affirm you as our creator, our redeemer, and the sustainer of our lives. You love us so very much that you have reached into our lives to claim us as your own. We confess however that we take your love for granted, and your grace is often forgotten. We allow our lives to become so cluttered that we forget to stop and count the steps that we have taken on any given day and ponder whether those steps have moved us closer or farther away from you. In so doing we often lose count of our days and the wisdom that we can gain from observing them. When these uncounted days mount up, we can find ourselves in places where we thought we would never be. We humbly ask that you would hear our prayer, know our hearts, and forgive us our sin.

The Lord says to each of us: “I will be merciful to your sins, and I will not remember them. Peace be unto you.” Let us give praise to the triune 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.

Take time now for reading the Daily Texts or a passage of Scripture. Pause to ponder words or phrases that happen to catch your spirit today. Then spend some time praying for the needs of our hurting world. When you are ready, please continue with the prayer as follows:time now for reading the Daily Texts or a passage of Scripture.  Pause to ponder words or phrases that happen to catch your spirit today.  Then spend some time praying for the needs of our hurting world.  When you are ready, please continue with the prayer as follows: Lord, have mercy upon us.

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

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.

Empowering God, just as you created the heavens and the earth,
May you create within us a new life.
Open the eyes of our heart
To see the impact that our every word and action can have on the lives around us.
You give us each day as a blessed gift.
Guide us and lead us to not only count this day, but to make this day count for the kingdom of God.
May the love of God, the grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit,
Be and abide with us now and forever. AMEN.

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Prayers for the 23rd Week after Pentecost (November 12-18, 2017)

Special note: I am currently sending out a daily text message called “Wake up with God”.  I send this out each evening to be used the following morning.  It usually contains one of the texts included in our Moravian Daily Text for that day, a very short reflection and the Daily Text prayer.  It could be used with or without this prayer form.  If you would like to receive this text please just send me a text to 484-221-5489 and indicated that you would like to receive “Wake up with God”.  May God bless your continued journey with Christ.

The Watchword for the week:
Keep awake therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour. Matthew 25:13

Loving God, from the busyness of this day,
Call us into your presence.
From the distractions of our lives,
Call us into your presence.
From the slumber into which our faith can fall,
Call us into your presence.
From the pain present in our lives as well as in the world around us,
Call us into your presence.

Psalm for the Week: Psalm 70

1 Be pleased, O God, to deliver me.
O Lord, make haste to help me!
2 Let those be put to shame and confusion who seek my life.
Let those be turned back and brought to dishonor who desire to hurt me.
3 Let those who say, “Aha, Aha!” turn back because of their shame.
4 Let all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you.
Let those who love your salvation say evermore, “God is great!”
5 But I am poor and needy; hasten to me, O God!
You are my help and my deliverer;
O Lord, do not delay!

If we say that we have no sin, we have deceived ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just, and will forgive us our sin, and lead us to live a new life.

O Holy One, we call to you and name you as eternal, ever-present, and boundless in love. Yet there are times when we fail to recognize you in the living of our lives. Forgive us for the times when we feel that church activity counts for living a Christian life. Sometimes shame clenches tightly around our hearts, and we hide our true feelings. Sometimes fear makes us small and we miss the chance to speak from our strength. At times doubt invades our hopefulness, we degrade our own wisdom then say and do foolish things. Holy God, in the daily round from sunrise to sunset, remind us again of your holy presence hovering near us and in us. Free us from shame and self-doubt. Awaken us so that we might see you in the moment-by-moment possibilities to live honestly, to act courageously, and to speak from our wisdom.

 The Lord says to each of us: “I will be merciful to your sins, and I will not remember them. Peace be unto you.” Standing in the light, let us give praise to the triune 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.

 Take time now for reading the Daily Texts or a passage of Scripture. Pause to ponder words or phrases that happen to catch your spirit today. Then spend some time praying for the needs of our hurting world. When you are ready, please continue with the prayer as follows:time now for reading the Daily Texts or a passage of Scripture.  Pause to ponder words or phrases that happen to catch your spirit today.  Then spend some time praying for the needs of our hurting world.  When you are ready, please continue with the prayer as follows: 

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

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name.
Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done
on earth as it is in heaven
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory. for ever and ever. Amen

Lord awaken us,
To see your presence with us in each moment.
Lord awaken us,
To see the suffering of others.
Lord awaken us,
To the ways in which we can serve you this day.
Lord awaken us,
To see the value that we have in your great kingdom on earth.
Lord awaken us,
To accept the grace that you have already extended to us.
Lord awaken us,
To see how we can share grace with those around us.
Lord awaken us,
To live our lives in anticipation of your return or our being called home to you.
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
And whatever we do in word or deed, may we do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father. AMEN.

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Prayers for the Twenty-Second Week after Pentecost (November 5-11, 2017)

The Watchword for the week:
O send out your light and your truth; let them lead me.  Psalm 43:3

Gracious God, gather us into this time and place.
You have been with us throughout the day, but in our busyness we have missed you.
Give us your spirit of reconciliation,
So that with you we may restore lost relationships, and make whole that which is broken.
Guide us to seek your light,
To brighten each dark corner of our souls. 

Psalm for the Week: Psalm 43

1 Vindicate me, O God, and defend my cause against an ungodly people;
from those who are deceitful and unjust deliver me!
2 For you are the God in whom I take refuge; why have you cast me off?
Why must I walk about mournfully because of the oppression of the enemy?
3 O send out your light and your truth; let them lead me;
let them bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling.
4 Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy;
and I will praise you with the harp, O God, my God.
5 Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my help and my God.

If we say that we have no sin, we have deceived ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just, and will forgive us.
Loving God, we want to live in your light, and we want to be people of truth, but we confess that there are times when we find ourselves in darkness. We retreat to dark places because it is here that we fool ourselves into thinking that you won’t see us, and it is here that we separate ourselves from you. This darkness then imprisons us with shame and we withhold truth from even those that we love. May your light shine into our dark corners, banish the shadows, and release the truth so that we might be liberated by your grace. Hold us close and build our relationship with you and those you have given us on earth.
The Lord says to each of us: “I will be merciful to your sins, and I will not remember them. Peace be unto you.” Standing in the light, let us give praise to the triune 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.

 Take time now for reading the Daily Texts or a passage of Scripture. Pause to ponder words or phrases that happen to catch your spirit today. Then spend some time praying for the needs of our hurting world. When you are ready, please continue with the prayer as follows:time now for reading the Daily Texts or a passage of Scripture.  Pause to ponder words or phrases that happen to catch your spirit today.  Then spend some time praying for the needs of our hurting world.  When you are ready, please continue with the 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 it is 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 

Lord, your light is wonderful.
May your light and truth shine forth from our lives.
Lord, your light is marvelous.
May your light and truth shine forth from our lives.
Lord, your light fills this dark world of sin.
May your light and truth shine forth from our lives.
Lord, your light gives us hope for a new day.
May your light and truth shine forth from our lives.
Lord, your Word is a lamp unto our feet, and a light for our path.
May your light and truth shine forth from our lives.

And now may the Lord’s blessing be upon you.
May the Lord’s face shine upon you.
May the Lord’s countenance be lifted upon you, and give you peace.
In the name of Jesus, Amen.

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Prayers for the 21st Week after Pentecost (October 29-November 4, 2017)

The watchword for the week:
You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am Holy. Leviticus 19:2

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 1
Happy are those
   who do not follow the advice of the wicked,
or take the path that sinners tread,
or sit in the seat of scoffers;
but their delight is in the law of the God,
and on God’s law they meditate day and night.
They are like trees
planted by streams of water,
which yield their fruit in its season, and their leaves do not wither.
   In all that they do, they prosper.
The wicked are not so,
but are like chaff that the wind drives away.
Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
   nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
for God watches over the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked will perish.

Let us humbly confess our sins.

Gracious Savior, we bow our heads before you and confess that too often we have forgotten that we are yours. Sometimes we so closely conform ourselves to the world around us that we begin to think that you are not aware of the choices that 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 and we also ask for your strength. 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.

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 God. Amen.

 

 Take time now for reading the Daily Texts or a passage of Scripture. Pause to ponder words or phrases that happen to catch your spirit today. Then spend some time praying for the needs of our hurting world. When you are ready, please continue with the prayer as follows:time now for reading the Daily Texts or a passage of Scripture.  Pause to ponder words or phrases that happen to catch your spirit today.  Then spend some time praying for the needs of our hurting world.  When you are ready, please continue with the 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:
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.
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.
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.
For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another.  (Romans 12:1-5)

 As one body then let us together go in peace to love and serve the Lord.
Thanks be to God. Amen.

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Prayers for the 20th Week after Pentecost (October 22-28, 2017)

The watchword for the week:

Sing to the God, bless God’s name; tell of God’s salvation from day to day.   Psalm 96:2

Let us give thanks for your goodness, dear God, let the people shout their joy.
We praise you for your freely given love, and the gift or your Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ.
May we live our praise through our daily lives.
Gracious God, we love you, and we are thankful that you accept us as we are, but challenge us to become more of who you want us to be.

 

Psalm 96:1-9, 10-13

O sing to God a new song;
sing to God, all the earth.
Sing to the God, bless God’s name;
tell of God’s salvation from day to day.
Declare God’s glory among the nations,
God’s marvelous works among all the peoples.
For great is God, and greatly to be praised;
God is to be revered above all gods.
For all the gods of the peoples are idols,
but God made the heavens.
Honor and majesty are before God;
strength and beauty are in God’s sanctuary.
Ascribe to God, O families of the peoples,
ascribe to God glory and strength.
Ascribe to God the glory due God’s name;
bring an offering, and come into God’s courts.
Worship God in holy splendor;
tremble before him, all the earth.
Say among the nations, “God is ruler!
The world is firmly established; it shall never be moved.
God will judge the peoples
God will judge the people with equity.”
Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice;
let the sea roar, and all that fills it; let the field exult, and everything in it.
Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy before God;
for God is coming, for God is coming to judge the earth.
God will judge the world with righteousness,
and the peoples with God truth.

Let us Confess Your Sins

Gracious God, you call forth from us shouts of praise and thanksgiving, and you call us to respond to your grace with a joyful noise on our lips. But we confess, Lord that we often speak out of anxiety and anger rather than grace; this causes us to utter words either to or about others that cause pain and division rather than unity. At other times our mouths are silent when they should be bearing witness to your greatness. For these our sins we humbly repent.  

Our God is a gracious God and forgives the penitent heart. He forgives you of your sins, so let us therefore give God glorious praise.

Take time now for reading the Daily Texts or a passage of Scripture. Pause to ponder words or phrases that happen to catch your spirit today. Then spend some time praying for the needs of our hurting world. When you are ready, please continue with the prayer as follows:time now for reading the Daily Texts or a passage of Scripture.  Pause to ponder words or phrases that happen to catch your spirit today.  Then spend some time praying for the needs of our hurting world.  When you are ready, please continue with the prayer as follows:

As you taught your disciples to pray, so we pray together:

Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed 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.

 Let those who serve you praise you, O God, let the true of heart give you thanks.
Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Let the whole earth be in awe of you, all the inhabitants of the world greet you with joy. For you spoke, and the wonderful deed was done; you commanded, and it all came to pass.
Praise to the love that moves the stars and stirs the hearts of the people.
God of peace, who brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus Christ, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant,
Make us complete in everything good so that we may do your will, working among us all that is pleasing in your sight; through Jesus Christ. Praise God to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

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