Aug 28, 2014

Call to Worship: Faith and Work

Here’s a call to worship and opening prayer.  It was written by Rev. Gord and posted on Worship Offerings.

Call to Worship
(Inspired by Romans 12:2, John 17:14-19)

We are called to be people of faith in the midst of the world,
and so we mix our worship and our work,
our faith and our life.
We gather here as people who live in the world and yet,
we gather as people who have been called to see the world
from a different viewpoint.
God has called us together,
God has called us to be part of a community.
God challenges us to consider questions of priority
as we engage with the world.

In this time together,
may God open our hearts, minds and eyes,
allowing us to see deeper,
helping us to live in the world
while still offering a challenge to the ways of the world.
We pray in Jesus' name. Amen.

~ posted by Rev Gord on his blog, Worship Offerings.

Prayer for Others: Truth, Healing, Compassion, Joy

Here’s a prayer of intercession from Bruce Prewer’s Home Page.

Prayer of Intercession

First of all, let us pray for the world-wide church:
By the inflowing of the Holy Spirit
may we become in practice
more truly what we already are in faith and hope:
the body of Christ and new family God.
Let there be truth, healing, compassion and joy,
God of our salvation.

Now let us pray for our country;
that the values of the kingdom of God
may become less unusual
in the way we care for the weak and the neglected,
the foolish and the disgraced.
Let there be truth, healing, compassion and joy,
God of our salvation.

Let us pray for the strong and the wealthy,
the powerful and the ruthless;
the famous and the idolised;
that they may realise how easy it is to gain the whole world
yet lose the soul.
Let there be truth, healing, compassion and joy,
God of our salvation.

And let us pray for all suffering, broken, and forlorn people
around us in church and community;
that the healing of Christ may reach into the soul’s depths
where no human hand can touch or human word console.
Let there be truth, healing, compassion and joy,
God of our salvation.

And now unto the loving God
who is always doing far better than we can think or pray or do,
be glory in the church through Christ Jesus,
now and beyond the end of time.

~ written by Bruce Prewer, and posted on Bruce Prewer’s Home Page.

Prayer for Teachers

Here’s a prayer of encouragement for teachers at the beginning of a new school year. It was written by Carol Penner, and posted on her Leading in Worship blog.

Prayer for Teachers

God, our Great Teacher:
At the beginning of this new school year,
hear our prayer for teachers!

Give teachers compassion to treat each student with dignity and respect,
remembering that every child has a story to tell.

Give teachers wisdom to be role models,
remembering that children learn more from who we are than what we say.

Give teachers your love that reaches out to children on the margins,
remembering that we see Jesus in the face of the poor, the challenged, the rejected.

Give teachers strength to carry heavy loads with patience and good-humour,
remembering that Jesus also walked an extra mile.

As a community we lift up our teachers to You, O Lord,
knowing that You plan every divine lesson. Amen.

~ written by Carol Penner, posted on Leading in Worship.

Aug 25, 2014

Prayer Litany for Labor Day

Here’s a prayer litany for Labor Day.  It was posted on the Illinois Great Rivers Conference website.

Litany of Labor

Let us pray to the Lord of all creation,
from whom comes life and work and purpose.

Almighty God,
when you formed us lovingly out of the dust of the earth,
you breathed into us the breath of life
and gave us work and purpose for living.
You placed Adam in the garden of Eden to till and keep it.

Through our work,
you made us co-creators with you,
shaping the world in which we live.
You gave dignity to our labor
by sending your Son to labor with us.

By our labor, you enrich the world.
By our labor, we enjoy the fruits of creation.
By our labor, we find direction and purpose.
By our labor, our families are made secure.

For providing varieties of work and for blessing us by our labor:
We give you thanks, O Lord.

For those who plow the field and those who make the plow;
for farmers and farm workers, for steelworkers and machinists;
for those who work with their hands and those who move the earth:
We give you thanks, O Lord.

For those who tend the sick and those who seek new cures;
for doctors and nurses, for scientists and technicians;
for those who keep notes and those who transcribe:
We give you thanks, O Lord.

For those who think and those who create;
for inventors and explorers, for artists and musicians;
for those who write books and those who entertain:
We give you thanks, O Lord.

For those who work in offices and those who work in warehouses;
for secretaries and receptionists, for stockers and bookkeepers;
for those who market products and for those who move them:
We give you thanks, O Lord.

For those who inspire our minds and those who motivate us;
for teachers and preachers, for public servants and religious servants;
those who help the poor and those who work with our children:
We give you thanks, O Lord.

For those whose labor is tidiness and cleanliness;
for janitors and sanitary workers, for drycleaners and maids;
for those who produce cleaning products and those who use them:
We give you thanks, O Lord.

For those who sail the waves and those who fly the skies;
for captains and attendants, for astronauts and deep sea divers;
for those who chart and those who navigate:
We give you thanks, O Lord.

You bless us all with skills and gifts for labor.
You provide us opportunities to use them,
for the benefit of others as well as ourselves.
Guard and protect those who labor in the world.
Bless the work of our hands, O Lord.
Look kindly upon the unemployed and the disabled.
Give health to the sick, hope to the bereaved.
Keep us from laboring only for greed.
Make us loving and responsible in all that we do.

Creator Lord,
you are the source of all wisdom and purpose,
you are the blessing of those who labor.
Be with us in our labor to guide and govern our world.
Give all men and women work that enhances human dignity
and bonds us to one another.
Give us pride in our work, a fair return for our labor,
and joy in knowing that our work finds its source in you;
through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

~ posted on the Illinois Great Rivers Conference website.

Aug 21, 2014

Labor Day: Congregational Prayer

Here’s a congregational prayer for Labour Day from Carol Penner’s Leading in Worship blog.

Congregational Prayer
for Labour Day

On this Sabbath day of rest, dear God, we turn to you,
with thanks for the work that you give us to do.

We work by night, by day,
inside and in the great outdoors,
we work in coveralls or suits or casual clothes,
we work sitting, standing, travelling by car,
we work with tools or books or instruments in our hands,
we work silently, with words, or with technology.
Whatever our work, it’s shape or size,  we do it for you.

Thank you for employment, for salaries and paycheques,
for the chance to labour and do our best.
Help us to remember that the work you give us to do, Lord
is not always work that the world values or pays for.
Bless our unpaid work of caregiving, whether for babies or children,
adults with disabilities, or seniors who need help.
Focus our eyes on the work that you value above all;
loving our neighbour, caring for the lowest and the least.

We ask for your forgiveness for the times we abuse the gift of work.
We give ourselves all the credit,
not acknowledging what we owe to you and to the efforts of others.
We are afraid to take on the work that you give us to do,
we are too lazy or too stubborn.
Sometimes we let work become a dictator.
We let it fill empty spaces in our lives
which should be filled with other things.
We neglect people we love because of our work.
Help us, God, to find you in our work, to look for you in our work.
Help us as we seek a balance of work and play.

Thank you for giving us this Sabbath day where we can rest,
where we can pause and say thank you
to the One whose work we are,
to the One whose work we do.

~ written by Carol Penner, and posted on Leading in Worship.