Oct 26, 2014

Prayer of Repentance: War

Here’s a prayer of repentance from Carol Penner’s Leading in Worship blog.

Prayer of Repentance

Even in the small schemes of our lives
there are times when we come upon the big mess
which we may or may not have caused.
The challenges given,
the first shots fired,
volleys of words thrown like grenades,
the bodies prone,
the revenge promised …
war even on the tiniest scale wreaks havoc
and rejects consolation through the years.
The fog of war never completely lifts
but the casualties are completely clear.
Trust and innocence blown to smithereens,
hope sidelined in the trenches
with bitterness like a rat
gnawing on grudges.
Jesus, make it stop.

Give us imagination
to see relationships restored
forgiveness offered
good will renewed;
give us vision to see this battlefield transformed.

We long for a field of winter wheat
green after the fiercest season,
friends embracing enemies,
an armistice to the cold war –
a white flag in the spring of peace.

~ written by Carol Penner, and posted on Leading in Worship. http://carolpenner.typepad.com/

Oct 23, 2014

Blessing the Talents: Matthew 25:14-20

Here’s a blessing inspired by Matthew 25: 14-20 from Jan Richardson’s The Painted Prayerbook.

Blessing
(inspired by Matthew 25: 14-20)

There are blessings
meant for you
to hold onto

clutched
like a lifeline

carried
like a candle
for a dark way

tucked into a pocket
like a smooth stone
reminding you
that you do not
go alone.

This blessing
is not those.

This blessing
will find its form
only as you
give it away

only as you
release it
into the keeping
of another

only as you
let it
leave you

bearing the shape
the imprint
the grace
it will take

only for having
passed through
your two
particular
hands.

~ written by Jan L. Richardson, and posted on The Painted Prayerbook. http://paintedprayerbook.com/

Offering Prayer: Matthew 25:14-20

Here’s a prayer of dedication inspired by Matthew 25: 14-20.  It was written by Joanna Harader, and posted on Spacious Faith.

Prayer of Dedication
(inspired by Matthew 25: 14-20)

God, whose giving knows no ending,
we offer up the treasure that you have entrusted to us;
we offer up the skills and time that you have graciously given to us;
we offer up ourselves in service and praise.
Receive these gifts by your grace.
Multiply and use them through the power of the Holy Spirit
to accomplish Christ’s work of love in the world. Amen.

~ written by Joanna Harader, and posted on the Spacious Faith blog. http://spaciousfaith.com/

Prayer of Confession: Proper 28 A

Here’s a prayer of confession inspired by 1 Thessalonians 5: 1-11 and Matthew 25: 14-30, two of the suggested scripture readings for Proper 28, Year A.  It was written by Bill Wessner, and posted on Confessional RCL blog.

Prayer of Confession
(inspired by 1 Thessalonians 5: 1-11 and Matthew 25: 14-30)

Lord, Lord,
we know who you are,
we know you bring in the kingdom of heaven.

But when you assign us the job of lighting the way,
we barely announce your divine rule to ourselves.

Our worship hour has solemn times and festivals.
And we celebrate your redemptive action in history
with our calendar - Sundays, seasons, year after year.

Yet we become drowsy: unprepared,
because we are not disciples each day, at all hours.
Those times we live for ourselves.
We do not need you right now.
So we do not want justice, unless we judge for ourselves,
and self-righteousness is easier than right relationship.

Forgive us Lord the sins we can bear to name,
Save us Lord from the sins we will not speak.

(pause for reflection and self-examination)

God redeems.
Our hope lives in the one we call Jesus the Christ.
Time and again we go to this hope, ready or not.
For Christ's sake our sins are forgiven.
May the flood of God's love in Christ Jesus
be poured out in our lives and cease not at this worship's end.
To the glory of the Father, and the Son, + and the Holy Spirit. Amen

~ written by Bill Wessner, on his Confessional RCL blog. http://confessionrcl.blogspot.com/2011/11/cycle-lectionary-32-proper-27.html

Oct 10, 2014

Call to Worship: Matthew 22: 1-14

Here’s a call to worship inspired by Matthew 22: 1-14.  It was written by Rev. Eliza Buchakjian-Tweedy, pastor of the First Church Congregational in Rochester, New Hampshire.

Call to Worship
(inspired by Matthew 22: 1-14)

In the midst of fear and anger;
in the midst of mayhem and destruction, God calls us.
With everything else going on, who has time for a feast? 
We're busy, we'll get around to eating eventually.
In the midst of our anxiety, our worry;
in the midst of bill-paying and appointments, God invites us.
We are tempted to just grab a bite,
a sandwich between errands,
a snack we can eat while driving, or checking email,
or working on today's big project.
The feast is spread!
All are invited, all are welcome!
We are invited.  We are welcome.  We are worthy. 
How will we respond?

~ written by Eliza Buchakjian-Tweedy, Pastor at First Church Congregational, Rochester, NH.  She blogs at http://sermonizing.wordpress.com/