a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

POP: you are our light

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE (based on Psalm 27)

O Lord, you are our light and our salvation;
we are not afraid of anyone or anything.
When terrible things happen, we put our trust in you,
and we know you are always with us.
Help us to see you at work in our lives always.

We pray for people who are suffering or frightened today,
and for everybody who is sick or grieving;
wrap your arms around them,
give them healing,
and keep them safe.
We pray that everyone would be able to sing your praises
and tell that you have done wonderful things for them.

Show us how to follow you, O Lord,
and help us live as your disciples
as long as we live.
We pray in Jesus’ name,
who taught us to pray, saying:

The Lord’s Prayer

 

Submitted by Rev. Nathan Williams, Covenant Presbyterian Church, West Des Moines, IA

Communion: reality was thirsty

Our souls long to give you thanks and praise, O God,
just as the deer longs to quench its thirst in springs of water.
When reality itself was thirsty for you, Living God,
you poured out the living water of your presence;
through day and night, you called creation into being.
We join our souls, hearts, and minds
with the multitude of your creation
singing praise and thanksgiving for your good works.
We put our trust in you,
and we give thanks to you, our help and our God.

From the depth of your compassion to the depth of our sin,
you sent your Beloved, Jesus the Christ,
to show your faithfulness every day,
to sing your song of joy every night,
to teach us your ways, O God of our life.
When it appeared that your strength forgot him
and our enemy Death claimed the victory,
you were yet present
and made the grave itself a spring of living water.
We put our trust in you,
and we give thanks to you, our help and our God.

In your righteousness, O God,
pour out your strength upon us again.
As we gather around this meal of bread and cup,
draw us near to you
and lift us up with the lightness of your Breath in us.
Send forth your Spirit of light and truth to lead us,
and bring us to the place you dwell in all people and places.
Then let us worship in joy and gladness,
in spirit and truth,
in song and service,
with all your people in every time and place.
We put our trust in you,
and we give thanks to you, our help and our God.

We pray through Christ, with Christ, in Christ,
who prays with us as we say together:
The Lord’s Prayer

 

Submitted by Rev. Nathan Williams, Covenant Presbyterian Church, West Des Moines, IA

Confession: we don’t know what to confess

Call to Confession
Sometimes we must let go of our nets in order to follow Jesus.
Let us confess our reluctance to follow,
and examine what we must let go of in order to follow Jesus.

Prayer of Confession
We confess that we do not often know what to confess, O Lord. We are so consumed by our own projects that we don’t always hear your voice. We know that you speak through the suffering of others, the curiosity of one who needs to know they are not alone, and the opportunity to demonstrate love and forgiveness. Help us, Lord, to know our faults and turn from them. Hear us now, even as we confess our own unwillingness to hear you.
(silent prayer)
Thank you, Lord, for hearing our prayers.
Guide us in the true way of life as we follow you today. Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Zach Sasser, First Presbyterian Church, Lafayette, Louisiana

POP: flows abundantly

We praise you, O Lord, for your greatness and splendor;
we rejoice in you for the beauty and delight of your presence.
Your goodness flows abundantly in the life of the world,
and you provide enough
not only to sustain life
but to make living a delight.
We pray for all that lives,
and especially today for those creatures
whose lives are filled with suffering or uncertainty
because they cannot find enough
food, shelter, security, love, or hope.
Guide us as we seek to use the gifts you have given us,
and open us to see what wonders you can work in the world through us.
We pray for those who hunger for signs of your love
and who thirst for the gladness of your good news.
Make us vessels of your mercy
and servants at your welcome table,
so we might make room for everyone to find a home in you.
We pray as disciples of Jesus Christ, our Lord,
who teaches us to pray, saying:

The Lord’s Prayer

 

Submitted by Rev. Nathan Williams, Covenant Presbyterian Church, West Des Moines, IA

Benediction: see greater things

Beloved, we have heard and trusted in
the good news of Jesus Christ.
Go now into the world to do and see still greater things,
to open heaven upon earth
and bear witness to eternal life today;
in the name of the Father,
and of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Nathan Williams, Covenant Presbyterian Church, West Des Moines, IA

POP: shines forth

We rejoice in you, O God,
all the earth rejoices and sings glory to your name;
we sing praise and glory to you, O God.
As Christ’s beauty shines forth,
we praise your great salvation
and celebrate the merciful love that reconciles us to you.

As the new year dawns around us,
we pray for the welfare of the earth:
for the healing of the climate;
for the preservation of the beauty and balance of nature;
for the lives of the creatures whose very being sings your praises.

As Christ calls us into renewed discipleship,
we pray for the needs of your people everywhere:
for the forgiveness and redemption of the sins that bind and wound us;
for the deliverance of those who face chaos, despair, and sorry;
for the comfort and courage of all who mourn or face death.
We pray for the lives of the nations:
keep watch, Sovereign,
and teach us to work for justice and lasting peace.

We bless you, O God,
and we join all peoples in praising you,
in the name of Jesus our Savior, our Lord. Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Nathan Williams, Covenant Presbyterian Church, West Des Moines, IA

Illumination: Lamps of our hearts

Fire of the Holy Spirit, light the lamps of our hearts. Shine with the light of your Truth, that as we read your scriptures, we see your love flowing through everyone we meet. Amen.

Submitted by Rev. Lucus Levy Keppel, Trinity Presbyterian Church in Bixby, Okla.

Confession: Thoughts & Prayers

God of peace…we give thanks
that you are our firm foundation
when the waves of chaos thrash around us,
causing the world to feel out of control. 

We give thanks
that you have empowered us
to speak peace into chaos,
and to take action against injustice. 

But too often, we lack motivation,
we are too afraid to challenge injustice,
or it simply is not in our own interest to act. 

So we stand with the oppressor
instead of kneeling with the oppressed…
we carry torches of anger and hatred
instead of bearing the bright light of your love…
and we offer our “thoughts and prayers”
but render them empty and vain
by our silence and inaction.

Yet, we know you desire so much more from us. 

So draw us away from our apathy…
away from our complicity…
and closer to your hope for the world… 

Submitted by Rev. Scott V. Cervas, Meadowthorpe Presbyterian Church (Lexington, KY)

Approach and confession: idols

God of love and justice, you are alpha and omega, beginning and end…and in between you are the breath of life, the rock on which we stand and the hand that holds us fast. We come into this place, gathered as your people, listening for the voice of your Spirit, still speaking in the wilderness of our hearts. We know your commandments, we can say all the right words…and yet we confess to you that our lives are not always a demonstration of your love. We have looked for loopholes, or created reasons to follow our own way. We admit that we have trusted in other gods—gods of money, security, family, or power. We are on a first name basis with the gods of greed and jealousy, and we are loathe to turn away from the god of privilege. Our everyday actions often proclaim any number of idols, and we come now to ask your forgiveness and help. We cannot leave them behind without your strong hand to guide us in the right way. Give us once again the joy of your grace, and set us on the sure foundation of your word. It is in you, lord, that we live and move and have our being. As you forgive so freely, fill us again with the blessing of creator, redeemer, and sustainer, that we may show your glory in every word, thought, and deed. We pray in the name of Christ, whose faithfulness is our hope and our light, and who taught us to pray together…

 

Submitted by Rev Teri Peterson, Marchmont St Giles parish, Edinburgh Scotland

confession: guiding light

Lord, you are our guiding light.  But when your world grows dim, when tragedy strikes, we confess that we tend to retreat from faith.  We may lose our way, our vision clouded by anger or gloom.  We fall back to our former ways because we may not know any other way to respond.  Help us in our confusion.  By your Holy Spirit, gird us with your holy strength to hold fast to what you have always taught us.  So that, as the world may seem to fall apart around us, we stand strong, one Church, Your People, faithfully facing the darkness together, lit from within by your wisdom and hope.  ~silence~  Amen.

Submitted by Rev. Amy Pospichal, First Presbyterian Tucumcari, New Mexico