Apr 24, 2018

Prayer for the Promise of New Life

a prayer today
for those who are holding the promise of new life
(of whatever kind)
inside them

tiny cells and a heartbeat,
a barely formed idea,
a story still yet without words

holding already a fingerprint and a soul,
unique and unrepeatable

a beginning too early to speak of

as if the telling – even in a whisper -
would break the fragile membrane that holds it together

hold it fast with fierce passion
hold it gently with holy love 

~ written by Cheryl Lawrie and posted on [hold this space].  http://holdthisspace.org.au/

Apr 22, 2018

Call to Worship: John 15:1-8

Here’s a responsive call to worship inspired by John 15:1-8. It was written by Joanna Harader and posted on Spacious Faith.

Call to Worship
(inspired by John 15:1-8)

We are branches, rooted in the vine of Christ.
We come because we seek to abide in Christ.
The branches that remain in the vine bear much fruit.
We come because we long to be spiritually vibrant, alive, productive.
If we abide in Christ, then Christ’s words will abide in us.
We come because we strive to be faithful disciples.
We gather for worship now to the glory of the One God: 
Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer.
May we grow wildly as God tends us lovingly. 

~ written by Joanna Harader (2011) and posted on Spacious Faith. https://spaciousfaith.com/2011/02/02/wednesday-worship-pieces-3/

Contemporary Call to Worship: John 15

Here’s a contemporary call to worship based on John 15:1-8, the gospel reading for the fifth Sunday of Easter (Year B).  It was written by Katherine Hawker.

Call to Worship
(based on John 15:1-8)

The vine emerges from the earth,
and nourishing.
     Rises without visible connection;
     roots hidden,
     promise unknown.
Strong to withstand storms,
fragile when plucked too soon.
     So it is that we grow…
     nourished by invisible connections to the living God,
     called to nourish that which is seen and that which is yet buried within.

— written by Katherine Hawker for the Evangelical United Church of Christ.  Posted on Liturgy Outside.  

For more calls to worship on this blog, see the Call to Worship Index at the upper right side of the page.

Prayer for Others: Rooted in the Vine

Here’s a prayer of intercession from the Church of Scotland’s Weekly Worship website. It was written by Rev. Fraser Penny, inspired by John 15.

Prayer for Others
(inspired by John 15:1-8)

Jesus Christ, the true vine,
in our need we come to You,
in weakness,
needing Your strength
for we too easily become dry and lifeless
without Your life-giving spirit.

Jesus Christ, the true vine,
teach us to remain in You
and so to find Your life flowing in us
giving strength and vigour to our discipleship.

And as we come closer to You
our lives are drawn closer to others.
Our minds turn to images of violence we have seen on the news
in places of fear and terror,
to where people are at loggerheads,
over race, religion, land, power.

Our thoughts turn to Christians living with persecution
who face danger, simply for being linked to You.
Father, prune back all that stands in the way of peace.

Our thoughts turn to people in leadership and power –
who have decisions to make over the economy
and people whose jobs and livelihood will be affected.
We pray for our nation, and its leaders.
May changes and choices be shaped by the values of the kingdom.

On our hearts are people in need in our church and community.
Wherever hearts are breaking,
   bodies are failing,
   minds are confused
   families are ruptured:
Lord, come with Your help and healing.

Here, too, as Your church gathered today,
we give thanks for the saints of the past
and the fruit they have borne in our community and beyond.
Like them, help us to remain in You
that we may be fruitful and bring glory to Your name.
Through Jesus Christ, the true vine. Amen 

~ written by Rev. Fraser Penny, Minister of Dunkeld Parish Church, and posted on the Church of Scotland’s Weekly Worship website. http://www.churchofscotland.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/48423/A_29_April_Fraser_Penny_5_after_Easter_formatted.pdf

Prayer of Thanksgiving: For Love

Here’s a responsive prayer of thanksgiving for the gift of love. It was written by Bruce Prewer and posted on

Prayer of Thanksgiving: For Love
(inspired by 1 John 4:18 and similar passages)

Let us give thanks for the remarkable gifts
of God’s creating and redeeming love,
 the loving that casts out all fear.

For the love that frees us to ask questions and explore,
to frame doubts and investigate new possibilities,
to build theories and then cross-examine them.
We thank you, God of adventurous love.

For the love that enables us to marvel at our own existence,
to ponder and remember,
recognize our own needs
and affirm our own knowledge and purpose.
We thank you, God of determined love.

For the love that helps us to communicate with one another,
to express trust and respect,
share heartaches and visions,
to convey love and mercy.
We thank you, God of reconciling love.

For the love that inspires us to warmly encourage those around us,
to affirm and build up, comfort and enlighten.
We thank you, God of nurturing love.

For the love that liberates us to celebrate the world around us
 in poetry and song,
to delight in shapes and colours, intricacies and patterns,
awesome forces and deep mysteries.
We thank you God of visionary love.

For the love that encourages us to express something of our faith;
for creeds and prayers, hymns and readings,
discussion groups and sermons.
We thank you, God of creative love.

Above all else we thank you
for the love that allows us to admit
that we have no words in which to adequately describe
the process of faith in Christ,
the awesome worship of our God,
and the holy wonder of the Spirit.
We thank you for that point where
our love becomes wordless adoration.
Through Christ Jesus,
who is the pure glory of your loving. Amen! 

~ written by Bruce Prewer and posted on Bruce Prewer’s Home Page. http://www.bruceprewer.com/