Categories
Bidding Prayer liturgy

Bidding Prayer for the Second Sunday of Advent

Image of a white dove in a glass ball, held in a hand. Background is red with faint stars and an outline of a Christmas tree.
Come, let us pray for the people of God here and everywhere.
 (People silently or out loud offer their prayers.)
Bringer of peace and hope, we turn our hearts and minds to you. We see your people in need all around us, all around the world. You frequently remind us that all people are your people, especially when we would separate one from another. Forgive us when we fail to treat any of our neighbors as your beloved children. Show us the way to comfort your people.
 May our voices join the one in the wilderness
 as we prepare the way of the Lord.
 
Come, let us pray for the United Church of Christ and our sister churches.
 (People silently or out loud offer their prayers.)
God of patience and grace, today we pray for our denomination and all those who lead it. Be with John Dorhauer and all the others who work in the national setting. Guide them with your wisdom and strengthen them with the power of the Holy Spirit. Be with Shari Prestemon and the other Minnesota Conference staff, as well as those who lead other conferences. May your renewing Spirit be with all those who lead the UCC, clergy and laity alike. May we be leaders in the way of unity and healing, offering hope in the midst of pandemic and all the injustices it has highlighted.
 May our voices join the one in the wilderness
 as we prepare the way of the Lord.
  
Come, let us pray for all the nations of the world.
 (People silently or out loud offer their prayers.)
Loving God, we long for a world in which “steadfast love and faithfulness meet; and righteousness and peace will kiss each other.” Yet, we often desire only that which will keep those we know and love safe and healthy, forgetting the needs of our neighbors near and far. We thank you for your patience with us and with the whole of humanity. Forgive our reluctance to repent of our self-protective ways and turn our hearts toward your vision of peace and justice.
 May our voices join the one in the wilderness
 as we prepare the way of the Lord.
  
Come, let us pray for all those in need of healing.
 (People silently or out loud offer their prayers.)
God of the past, present, and future, you have witnessed all that has brought us to this moment. You have seen humanity at its best and you have seen us at our worst, and you continue to name us beloved. We know that we are like the grass that withers, and only you last forever. Yet, we are in need of your healing love. We pray for those who have COVID and those who care for them. We also pray for those whose lives have been disrupted by pandemic – those without homes, those without work, those without access to mental health care, those without access to medicine… Shepherd us to new ways of being that allow us to care for the most vulnerable among us.
 May our voices join the one in the wilderness
 as we prepare the way of the Lord.
  
Come, let us pray for all who are grieving.
 (People silently or out loud offer their prayers.)
God of goodness and life, our hearts are breaking as we see the numbers of lives COVID has claimed. While we anxiously wait for a vaccine, keep us mindful of those who are grieving the loss of loved ones. Help us also to remember those who have few resources, those for whom pandemic has created unbearable suffering. As we pray for those in the midst of grief, we also pray for those who struggle with depression and other mental health conditions that can lead to suicidality. Enable us to raise up the valleys and level the mountains to reveal your way of peace and love, inviting all into communities of grace and radical welcome.
 May our voices join the one in the wilderness
 as we prepare the way of the Lord.
  
Come, let us give thanks for God’s steadfast love and faithfulness.
 (People silently or out loud offer their prayers.)
Amazing God, you have been with your people through plagues and pandemics, through oppression and captivity. Your faithfulness has not wavered, and we are grateful. We thank you for the moments of joy, for the reflections of your majesty, for the touch of loving-kindness… and all the ways you reveal your love for us. May our gratitude make us generous and compassionate with all our neighbors as we wait for and prepare for Love to break into the world once again.
 May our voices join the one in the wilderness
 as we prepare the way of the Lord.
 Amen. 

For sermon help, try here.

RCL: Year B Second Sunday of Advent December 6, 2020 Isaiah 40:1-11
Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13
2 Peter 3:8-15a
Mark 1:1-8

Photo: CC0image by Gerd Altmann

Categories
liturgy

Advent Calendar for 2020

An Advent Calendar with suggested activities for each day. The activities emphasize bring hope, peace, joy, or love through caring for self and/or neighbors.
download 2020 Advent Calendar for Care of Self and Neighbor

Download here!

You can download my Advent Calendar for Care of Self and Neighbor from archive.org as a full-page PDF file here.

Licensing

This Advent Calendar, shared in image and pdf formats, is shared under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License. What does this mean? You are free to share it, print it, put it in your newsletter, link to it, post it on social media, download and then email it to people, re-use it as you wish, at no cost to you, for non-commercial use, with attribution, and without changing anything.

Categories
Bidding Prayer liturgy

Bidding Prayer for Thanksgiving Eve

Image of a white pumpkin on a plate with dried sunflowers with “Give Thanks” written in the background.

Note: I’m on vacation this week so this post is not based on the RCL. You are welcome to use this bidding prayer if you wish. If you have virtual services and would like to use my four minute recording of a shorter version of this prayer, with candle lighting, you can find the video on youtube. Download links and attribution are in the video description. You can use it.

Direct video download links are in the video description – click through to YouTube if you want to use my video this in your services, to download and copy the attribution.

Let us pray for all who gather to give thanks and worship God.
(silence or a time for people to quietly give voice to their concerns)
Creator God, you long for unity among all your peoples. On this Thanksgiving Eve, fill our hearts with love for all our neighbors and move us to live lives of compassion and generosity. Our fears and anxiety surrounding some of your peoples do not come from you. We are grateful for you love and pray for the courage to live more fully as your body.
God in your mercy,
Hear our prayers.

Let us pray for the church, gathered here and elsewhere. (silence or a time for people to quietly give voice to their concerns)
God who remains steadfast through all time, we celebrate the awesome diversity of your church. In this season of division, help us to be agents of your healing grace. Enable us to let go of all that keeps us from working side-by-side to bring about your realm here on earth. Forgive our tendency to think we are right and all other ways of worshiping you are incorrect. Be with us now; lead us into better days for all your people.
God in your mercy,
Hear our prayers.

Let us pray for all of Creation – this planet and all who live on it
(silence or a time for people to quietly give voice to their concerns)
Eternal and compassionate God, we are a world in trouble. We have not been good stewards of your Creation, nor have we loved our neighbors as ourselves. In the midst of pandemic we have a tendency to protect our own and not be as concerned with others as you would have us be. Strengthen us for the days ahead. Let us bring hope and healing once more – for Earth and for all your children.
God in your mercy,
Hear our prayers.

Let us pray for all those in need of healing.
(silence or a time for people to quietly give voice to their concerns)
Holy and amazing God, we know we need healing – as individuals, as your church, as a community, as a country, and as a global community. We hold out to you all the broken places in our lives and in our world, asking that you would bring healing and wholeness. We also lift up all those who have COVID and those whose work puts them at higher risk. Be with those who seek to find a vaccine. Grant us courage and hope enough to get through this season of sickness and despair.
God in your mercy,
Hear our prayers.

Let us pray for all those whose hearts are heavy with grief and loss.
(silence or a time for people to quietly give voice to their concerns)
God of hope and new life, there is too much sadness, loss, and grief in the world. We often feel helpless and don’t know how to be in the company of those who suffer. Teach us your compassion that we may bring comfort to those who mourn, that we may trust your light of hope to guide us all. We pray for your healing presence to accompany those whose burden of grief is too heavy to bear, especially those who have lost a loved one to suicide, murder, or sudden death of another kind. May we be gentle and kind and patient in response to the grief in our lives and in the lives of those around us.
God in your mercy,
Hear our prayers.

Let us offer up gratitude and praise to God for the goodness and blessings we experience.
(silence or a time for people to quietly give voice to their concerns)
God of abundant life, we thank you that even in the midst of pandemic we can experience the wonders and mysteries of your blessings. We thank you for the people and prophets who challenge us, awaken us, and call us closer to you. We are grateful for what do have and what we are able to do on this Thanksgiving. Even as we yearn for better days, we continue to praise you for all that is good, and for your love for us which never ends.
God in your mercy,
Hear our prayers. Amen.

Photo: CC0image by Jacksonville

Categories
liturgy Prayer

Prayer Litany for George Floyd

Litany of Prayer for George Floyd originally written for an Interfaith Vigil on 5/28/2020

Based on Psalm 130, Quran Chapter 5, Verses 27-32, Matthew 22:36-40

One:    Out of the depths we cry to you, Holy One. Hear the cries from our lips and from our hearts. As we lament the death of George Floyd, and all the other unarmed black men and women who have died at the hands of police.

All:      Strengthen our commitment to ending lethal white supremacy and the racism it needs to thrive.

One:    Lord of the worlds, you have told us that to murder one soul is like murdering the whole of humanity. Likewise to save one is to save all of humanity. If we have been silent when police have killed our unarmed black siblings, we share the weight of their deaths. Show us the way to forgiveness.

All:      Strengthen our commitment to ending lethal white supremacy and the racism it needs to thrive.

One:    Almighty One, we have heard your call to love our neighbors as ourselves. Anything that divides us one from another and allows us to dehumanize and devalue any of your children does not come from you; hate and fear always come from our human hearts. Reveal in us the truth of your love.

All:      Strengthen our commitment to ending lethal white supremacy and the racism it needs to thrive.

One:    We call on you, Giver of Mercy, when peaceful protests are invaded by violence and destruction, when calls for justice are buried under rubble created by those who no longer care for the good of all. Teach us your mercy as hope in you guides us to a new morning.

All:      Strengthen our commitment to ending lethal white supremacy and the racism it needs to thrive.

One:    Healer of the World, may we heed your call to change the evil of white supremacy and racism with our hands, our tongues, and our hearts. Awaken us to act with lovingkindness and mercy even as we seek justice for George Floyd and too many others. Guide us in the way of peace.

All:      Strengthen our commitment to ending lethal white supremacy and the racism it needs to thrive.

One:    Faithful God, you continually call us to care for the vulnerable among us, to live with mercy and love. As our tears flow and our anger rises, remind us that we are to love as you love. Unite us in this grief, draw us nearer to one another, and move us to action. Let us hold these moments of unity close to our hearts that we may dismantle systems of injustice and build new systems based on mercy, justice, and love for all people.

All:      Strengthen our commitment to ending lethal white supremacy and the racism it needs to thrive. Unite us in love for you and for all your people as we commit to creating a world where justice becomes a reality for all.

In all your names, we pray. Amen.

These are not words that go with the the Pentecost texts, and yet they must. If you are looking for sermon help, try here where these thoughts came before George Floyd’s murder and the events continuing to unfold in Minneapolis and St. Paul.

RCL – Year A – Pentecost – May 31, 2020
Acts 2:1-21 or Numbers 11:24-30
Psalm 104:24-34, 35b
1 Corinthians 12:3b-13 or Acts 2:1-21
John 20:19-23 or John 7:34-39

Photo: CC0image by Jackson David

Categories
Bidding Prayer liturgy

Bidding Prayer for the Wilderness Journey

Come, let us pray for all those who worship the One who created all that is and loves the whole of the Cosmos.
(silence or time for people to quietly give voice to their concerns
Ever-present, Creator God, hear our prayers for all your people, those who gather in the name of Christ and those who worship by another name. Unite us in our desire to love and serve you by loving and serving all our neighbors. Make us mindful that we are your people and our siblings are numerous. In these days of change, conflict, and war, you call us to leave behind what we have known, and journey to strange places whose customs we have yet to learn or create. Grant us the trust of Abram and the courage of Sarai that we may all follow you into new and life-sustaining ways.
I lift my eyes to the hills from where will my help come?
My help comes from God, who made heaven and earth.

Come, let us pray for the United Church of Christ and our sister denominations throughout the world.
(silence or a time for people to quietly give voice to their concerns)
God of all times and places, hear our prayers for the United Church of Christ and those who lead it. May we hear your call as clearly as Abram did and be willing to leave behind that which no longer serves. May our commitment to following you outweigh our love affair with the past. Grant us the temerity of Nicodemus to come to you, as with the yearning of our hearts. Open us to your call to life and love in new ways, paving the way for change, for growth, for the deepening of our covenant with you and with one another.
I lift my eyes to the hills from where will my help come?
My help comes from God, who made heaven and earth.

Come, let us pray for all the peoples of this world.
(silence or a time for people to quietly give voice to their concerns)
Patient and merciful God, hear our prayers for all the peoples of the world. We lift up to those near and far who do not know they are loved and valued. We acknowledge the ways we have participated in systems of oppression that have caused pain to our neighbors. Teach us your ways of mercy and grace that we may join with protesters rather than complain about the disruption to our days. As we journey through the Lenten wilderness, increase our awareness of the needs of others, especially those who remain willfully unseen. Remind us once more that your love is for the whole of the Cosmos and we are to leave no one out.
I lift my eyes to the hills from where will my help come?
My help comes from God, who made heaven and earth.

Come, let us pray for this nation and those who lead it.
(silence or a time for people to quietly give voice to their concerns)

God of our ancestors and God of all our days, hear our prayers for this country and all who live within its borders. In this season of political choosing, be present with us, enveloping us with your mercy and your love. As we participate in primary elections, guide us with your wisdom. Your Spirit blows where it wills, and so it should be with our lives. Let us not resist the power of your Spirit. Rather, let us resist those who would lead us away from justice, compassion, and equity for all those who call this country home. May we seek leaders who will care for the vulnerable among us more than they care for wealth or power.
I lift my eyes to the hills from where will my help come?
My help comes from God, who made heaven and earth.

Come, let us pray for all those in need of healing.
(silence or a time for people to quietly give voice to their concerns)
Healing and compassionate God, hear us as we pray for those who need healing in body, mind, or spirit. We especially lift up those who are wrongfully imprisoned or unjustly sentenced, especially those who are on death row. As we pray for those who struggle with the broken places in their lives, fill us with your compassion that our prayerful words may lead to acts of welcome and inclusion for those the world has pushed to the edges. May your Wisdom guide us to be the Body of Christ needed in the world today.
I lift my eyes to the hills from where will my help come?
strong>My help comes from God, who made heaven and earth.

Come, let us pray for all those who grieve and suffer the pain of loss.
(silence or a time for people to quietly give voice to their concerns)
God of love and joy, hear us as we pray for those who are grieving. We pray for refugees, asylum seekers, and immigrants who, like Abram and Sarai, have left all that they have known to seek a life of safety and peace. We pray for those like Nicodemus who are lost under the cover of night and desperately want new life. As we examine the barren places in our own lives, we come to you, trusting that you are a God of hope and wholeness. Be at work in us and among us that we may be your healing body where grief, sadness, and loss can be held until new life becomes possible.
I lift my eyes to the hills from where will my help come?
My help comes from God, who made heaven and earth.

Come, let us give thanks to God for all that we have and all that we are.
(silence or a time for people to quietly give voice to their concerns)
Generous and forgiving God, hear us as we give thanks for our lives. We often fail to express our gratitude for all that you have given us, focusing overly much on what we do not have or cannot do. As we travel this road to Jerusalem with you, shift our focus to your abundance, your love and grace, that is all around us. Jesus went into the desert with your words of “Beloved” echoing in his spirit; he did not go alone. Open us anew to your presence and our belovedness. We are agents of Love and Grace here and now, and we are grateful for your Love, mercy, and forgiveness which leads us through the wild places into the fullness of life with you.
I lift my eyes to the hills from where will my help come?
My help comes from God, who made heaven and earth. Amen.

RCL – Year A – Second Sunday in Lent – March 8, 2020
Genesis 12:1-4a
Psalm 121
Romans 4:1-5, 13-17
John 3:1-17 or Matthew 17:1-9

Photo: CC0image by Anja

Categories
liturgy Poetry Prayer

A Confessional Prayer

Ever-patient God, 
Jeremiah's ancient words stir within me
You let truth tumble from his lips
down through the ages
to land on my restless spirit
sour grapes are frequently easier to ingest
than the word You would inscribe on my heart
this troubling truth awakens desire in me
yet do I reach for society's sour fruit
or the sweetness of Your words and ways?

Maker of mercy and miracles,
the psalmist sings of Your help and Your hope
while I continue to reach for grapes
knowing my lips will pucker and I will remain hungry
my reluctance to accept the sweet abundance You offer
makes me wonder if I am wrestling with You
or with my own misguided need to be strong and fr
please hold me fast until I hear you calling my name
one more time, breaking the spell woven
by society's deceitful lies
masquerading as nourishing,desirable fruit
though they serve only to sour all
may I have the courage to endure Your grip
and the wisdom to receive Your word (again)


Fierce and gentle God,
how often I have turned from Your ways
let go of Your promises
as if Your word means nothing
as fragile and fleeting as ash in the wind
Your love is endures through all things, all times, all places
when pain is overwhelming, You abide
when I am lost and wandering, You remain
when I insist on eating those deceitful grapes
You wait with honey in hand
for that moment of repentant return
how is it that any of us are worthy of Your love
Your mercy
Your forgiveness
Your eternal patience?

Giver of life and love,
Forgive me for choosing simple, self-serving actions
over the complexity of Your ways
of loving neighbor and self
of serving You and creation
Forgive me when I pester You with trivial concerns
and the sourness of my prayers distances me
from the sweetness of Your love
Forgive me when I fail to turn to you with gratitude
with full recognition for all that is good in my life
Forgive me each time I don't see You
in a neighbor's need
Forgive me for thinking I am on my own in the wilderness
as if You aren't there
along with that immeasurable cloud of witnesses

Gracious God,
write Your word on my heart anew
even knowing that we will wrestle again (and again)
and my pestering prayers
won't always be filled with true need
my deepest desire is to live in Your abundance
build Your kingdom
travel Your holy ways
and embody Your love
always
I am yours

Amen.

RCL – Year C – Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost – October 13, 2019
Jeremiah 31:27-34 with Psalm 119:97-104 or
Genesis 32:22-31 with Psalm 121 and
2 Timothy 3:14-4:5 and
Luke 18:1-8

Photo: CC0image by Elias Sch

Categories
liturgy

Litany of Confession, Isaiah 58

One: God of all people and places, you have shown us how to live peacefully with all our neighbors.

All: We are to serve you rather than ourselves. The only finger of blame we are to point is at ourselves. We should not speak evil to or about those around us. We are to share our food with those who hunger and take care of the vulnerable among us.

One: You tell us that if we do these things, gracious God, gloom will give way to noonday light and you will guide us in all things.

All: If we share our resources and ensure justice for all our neighbors, then our needs will be satisfied. Our thirst will be quenched and we will be strengthened for the days to come. We will flourish like a well-tended garden. We will know abundance.

One: God of hope and healing, we can lament and cry out to you over all that is lost or broken or covered in despair. Or we can let go of our selfish, fearful ways and seek to build your kingdom here and now.

All: As long as we believe the lies of those in power, we will remain divided and we will live in ruins. Yet, if we live in Love, we will give way to generations of peace. If we dismantle fear, ignorance, and hatred, we will be repairers of the breach. We can restore our streets for all who travel on them.

One: You remind us, steadfast God, that we need to rest and be renewed in body, mind, and spirit. If we neglect our own rest, we neglect you.

All: It is to easy for us to deny our need for sabbath. We focus too much on our calendars and forget that spending time with you makes so much more possible. If we come to you in delight rather than out of duty, you nourish us and prepare us for what is to come.

One: Forgive us, Patient God.

All: Forgive us for believing the deceit of today’s Empire. Forgive us for believing division and isolation and independence satisfy our needs.

One: Remind us once again, Holy One, of your promises and open our lives to your way once more.

All: When we take time to be still, to come into your presence, God of all, we recognize the yearning of our hearts. We yearn to be repairers of the breach, to live in your Love. Give us the courage to set aside our fears and foolishness, to accept your forgiveness, and trust in your ways. Hear our gratitude for your eternal call to live as your holy people. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

RCL – Year C – Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost – August 25, 2019
Jeremiah 1:4-10 with Psalm 71:1-6 or
Isaiah 58:9b-14 with Psalm 103:1-8 and
Hebrews 12:18-29 and 
Luke 13:10-17

Photo: CC0 image by 4064462

Categories
liturgy Prayer Uncategorized

A Plumb Line Prayer

lighthouse-1872998_1280.jpg
Amazing and merciful God, how easy it is for us to forget that we are your delight. You we rejoice when we follow your holy ways and envision a future of goodness and grace for all your people. We blame you for divisions and strife. We justify our wars by saying that you are on our side. We rationalize the abuse of our enemies by telling ourselves that they are not your people, that their sinfulness exceeds your tolerance. In truth, you have told us that we are to love our neighbors indiscriminately. Moreover, we are to love those with the greatest need more fiercely and more immediately. Shower us with your mercy, O God, until we live by the plumb line you have repeatedly dropped in our midst.

Patient and steadfast God, you continuously call us to live in peace, leaving none behind. We hear your call. We know that your love endures forever. What you ask of us is not beyond our reach; it is not higher than the heavens or on the outer edges of the sea. For all of Creation to live in justice is not an impossibility you hold up to tease us with what we cannot have. If we trust you, it is possible for us to turn aside from our human ways. It is possible for us to love with your love. Enter our lives anew, Holy One, silence our fears and smother our distrust that we may live in harmony with all.

God of wonder and mystery, you love us still. You love us when we are filled with fear. You love us when we are filled with hate. You love us when we are filled with judgment. You love us when we think we are better than our neighbors. You love us when we think are neighbors are better than us. You love us when we blame others for creating the chaos that flows through the world. You love us when we abdicate responsibility for engaging in justice work. You love us through all our foolishness. However, you delight in us when we act with love and seek to bring your realm into the here and now. Flood every corner of our being with the strength of your Spirit that we may have the courage to love with your love, always.

God of near and far places, how foolish we are when we think you are limited to one people, one language, one religion, one way of life. All people are stamped with your image. Every language has many names for you and words of praise for all that you are. At core, each religious tradition seeks to teach your holy ways and encourage us to follow them. You are the giver of all life. If we claim to follow in Christ’s way there is no room for hatred of peoples from other countries, those who speak other languages, those who call you by different names, and those whose culture is not our own. If we belong to Christ, then racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia, misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, and all the other labels that thrive on our fear have no place in us. Heal our brokenness. May we live as one body with many parts.

Living, loving God, we are grateful for your patient love. Over and over again you call us by name, claim us as your beloved, and fill us with your Spirit. Hear our gratitude for your presence among us, your arms that hold us, your vision that sees our wholeness. May we trust in your love, your grace, your forgiveness as we seek to embody Christ more fully. May the praises we sing and the words of gratitude we whisper transform our fear into hope, our hatred into joy, our judgment into grace, and our ambivalence and apathy into action. We are your people. Your Spirit lives and moves in us. Let us trust in you enough to recognize you in ourselves and in all whom we meet.

Amen.

RCL – Year C – Fifth Sunday after Pentecost – July 14, 2019
Amos 7:7-17 with Psalm 82 or
Deuteronomy 30:9-14 with Psalm 25:1-10
Colossians 1:1-14
Luke 10:25-37

Photo: CC0 image by lumix

Categories
liturgy Prayer

Wind & Flame: A Pastoral Prayer for Pentecost

dandelion-463928_1280.jpg

God of wind and flame, come among us once more. Set our lives on fire with a passion for justice. Send winds mighty enough to clear away our fear and apathy. We long to be sure of your presence and power. We desire certainty of your grace, forgiveness, and love. Yet, we are slow to turn to you, to remember the stories of our faith, and to rely on your goodness. On this day of Pentecost, come to us anew. Let us remember with more than words that we are one in you. Each of us gifted, each of us hearing in our own way, each of us created in your image – all of us with the purpose of glorifying you by bringing Divine Love into the world. May this be the mission, the purpose, the passion of all your people.

Ever-speaking, always incarnate God, surprise us out of our complacency and ambivalence. As your Spirit moves among us, may we see our neighbors with new understanding and compassion. May we hear in all the angry words around us the underlying fear and anxiety of being left out, forgotten, misunderstood, abused, neglected, or dismissed. When we would respond to hurt with greater hurt, show us the way of Love, a way that brings healing, wholeness, and hope. When we would hide from the needs of the world, lead us to actions that bring unity, justice, and equality. When we would tell ourselves that our voices don’t matter, remind us that you are the Word-become-flesh for the very purpose of reminding us of the power of words, and the actions that follow. May all of us who call upon you, feel the force of your winds and heat of your flames calling us to more life and love than we can ever imagine.

God of the heights and depths, raise us up! We so easily sink into the muck and mire and messiness of everyday life, seldom lifting even our eyes to the beauty of the world. We also forget that you are in the deepest, most lonely places we can go just as much as you are in the joyous moments of community and connection. There is no place we can go where you are not already there. We are never apart from you. No one is far from you. Raise us up that we may recognize you in every face, in every moment, without exception. Place us all on equal ground that the beauty and wonder of Creation may shine in and through us all. May your Love unite what human beings have divided.

Momentous and amazing God, call to us in the midst of the chaos and the clamor. Shout out your claim on us until we respond to you. We act as if we are each on our own, without connection or responsibility to those around us. Yet, you have shown us what Love looks like – in thought, word, and deed. You have shown us again and again the power you have to transform the least among us to the greatest, and to humble those who think themselves great. We are not alone. We are united in you and through you – individuals connected to neighbors, congregations connected to communities, communities to cities and towns, cities and towns to states, states to this nation, this nation to other nations, all to your Creation. Burn away all our claims to independence. May we grasp the power of interdependence forged in Love.

God of us all, on this Pentecost day, be with us. Rekindle the fires that inspire your people throughout the earth. Ignite in us a Love that cannot be extinguished. We say that there is room for all in your house and at your table. May today be the day when we make this a lived reality. May none be excluded, ignored, overlooked, dismissed, devalued or hated by any who call your name. May the cleansing winds and fires of your Spirit create anew the Body of Christ here and elsewhere. May we honor you by embracing your Spirit of fierce Love and radical inclusion as we seek to embody you for all whom we meet.
We pray in gratitude for your patience, your mercy, your forgiveness, and your love for us that never ends. In the name of the One sent to teach us the ways of Love. Amen.

RCL – Year C -Pentecost – June 9, 2019
Acts 2:1-21 or Genesis 11:1-9
Psalm 104:24-34, 35b
Romans 8:14-17 or Acts 2:1-21
John 14:8-17 [25-27]

Photo: CC0 image by Michael Schwarzenberger

Categories
Bidding Prayer liturgy Prayer

Bidding Prayer for Advent Love

candle-2874569_1280.jpg

With hopes that we, like Mary, may find favor with God, let us join together in praying for all who share the sacred journey to Bethlehem.
People may quietly or silently voice their prayers
God who leads through example, be with all who seek the Christ-child who waits for us. Remind us that road is long and wide enough for all who endeavor to see you. As we prepare to offer our gifts to the newborn king, open our hearts. Open our hearts to make room for the extravagance of your love for us and for the whole of creation. May the love we celebrate this day, flow through us into the world.
Restore us, O God;
Let your face shine that we might be saved.

As we move through these last Advent days, let us pray for those who are in need of shelter, sanctuary, or safety.
People may quietly or silently voice their prayers
Holy One whose light proclaims the way of love for the whole of Creation, guide us to the day when hatred, fear, and oppression have no place in our lives. Mary and Joseph found safe harbor in a stable and Christ was born into these humble surroundings. You tell us to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. May our love for our neighbors be demonstrated in our actions – building homes, welcoming refugees, and protecting children who dream of a life of safety and possibilities.
Restore us, O God;
Let your face shine that we might be saved.

As we remember the joyful meeting between Mary and Elizabeth, let us pray for all who gather in worship this day, near and far.
People may quietly or silently voice their prayers
God who broke into the world to draw us closer to you, unite us in our love for you. While we rush from one holiday activity to another, pass judgement on the celebrations of others, and forget the beauty and wonder of your love, remind us. Remind us that you are more Mystery than we can possibly know. All our traditions may lead us to you, but they separate us from one another. Let us see the gifts others bring and may our hearts leap with joy in recognizing you in everyone we meet.
Restore us, O God;
Let your face shine that we might be saved.

Remembering the promises of old, promises of the One who would bring peace. Let us pray for all who work to bring peace into the world
People may quietly or silently voice their prayers
God of steadfast love, you love us even when we forget to love you, our neighbors, ourselves, or creation. We have heard your call to love and we find it so much harder than it ought to be. We justify our wars, our violent ways, our fear of change, our racism, and all the ways we perpetuate systems built on oppression. You wait for us to remember your holy ways of love and justice. As we enter Bethelem this year, shine your love into our broken fearful places, those in ourselves and our churches, and those in our country and our world. Call us once again into wholeness, peace and love. And may we have the courage to respond.
Restore us, O God;
Let your face shine that we might be saved.

Anticipating, once again, the gift of the Christ-child, let us give thanks for all the blessings we have been given.
People may quietly or silently voice their prayers
God who loves without limits or conditions, we praise you for true gift of your love for us. A Child born so long ago leads us in your holy ways. In our gratitude, may we have the courage to embody your love with joy and faithfulness so that Child may never be forgotten. Hear our prayers of gratitude and praise for all the ways in which you fill our lives with hope, peace, joy, and love.
Restore us, O God;
Let your face shine that we might be saved. Amen.

RCL Year C – Fourth Sunday of Advent – December 23, 2018
Micah 5:2-5a
Luke 1:46b-55 or Psalm 80:1-7
Hebrews 10:5-10
Luke 1:39-45 [46-55]word

Photo: CC0 image by Gerd Altmann