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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

A prayer of confession to share on liturgylink.com

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

Confession: Shiphrah and Puah

Scripture offers us stories of
Heroes who have been
Immoveable in their efforts to inspire
People to stand against evil in the world.
Hatred and violence are too often a
Real problem…and we must wonder:
Are we…actively or inactively…silently or loudly…
Helping to preserve the problem?

Against our deep desire to trust your vision, we often
Neglect our responsibility for one another, failing to
Do justice, live kindness, and be humble.

Prepare us for your work…
Unite us in your purpose…
And
Heal us from our indifference… 

 

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

affirmation: in every place

We believe in God: omnipresent, in every time, and in every place, generating and sustaining all life, nurturing relationship with Creation.

We believe in Jesus, the Christ, who lived and loved, taught and died; the One who conquered death and who surprises us with grace, when we least expect or deserve it.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, who journeys with us and makes our faith possible, in every situation and every circumstance.

We believe that every place we pause to recognize the mystery of our Triune God, is a sacred place, from sanctuaries on North Sixth Street to sunrises over the Atlantic Ocean. Surely, God is with us in every time and in every place, and we are grateful.

 

Submitted by Jerie Lukefahr, Commissioned Ruling Elder (PCUSA)

*Loosely based on Gen 28:10-19 – can be adapted to reflect local elements. 

POP: let us see light

Your love, O Lord, reaches to the heavens,
and your faithfulness soars over us like the clouds.
We call on your righteousness, strong as a mountain,
and your justice, deep as the ocean;
for humans and all that lives on the earth,
we call out for mercy.

Your love is immeasurable,
and we lift up all your people who seek to know you.
Gather us under the shadow of your wings
and unite us with each other by your grace.

We pray for those who count themselves excluded from life’s good things,
that they might feast upon the abundance of your house.
We pray for those who hunger and thirst for righteousness or healing,
that you would give them drink from the river of your delights.
We pray for those whose lives are in danger or at an end,
for with you is the well of life.

In your light let us see light,
and in your loving-kindness let us make you known;
we pray in the name of your Christ, saying together:

The Lord’s Prayer

 

Submitted by Rev. Nathan Williams, Echo Hill Presbyterian Church, Cedar Rapids, IA

Dedication: delight

Lord, you take delight in us
and fill us with every good thing
so that all who hunger may share in our joy.
Receive what we offer as testimony to your goodness,
and let these gifts lead to rejoicing
in your church and all your world;
in Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Nathan Williams, Echo Hill Presbyterian Church, Cedar Rapids, IA

Confession: some other place

Creating and transforming God,
you call us to spread the joy of your kingdom
and live as agents of your renewal in the world.
We confess that we are content to locate your kingdom
in some other place, some other time, some other reality.
We have been unwilling to welcome your ever-present Spirit,
to strive for your justice in this world,
or to recognize the risen Christ in the face of others.
Forgive us.
Open our hearts, our minds, and our lives
to see the truth right in front of us.
Free us from our foolishness,
and teach us to live by your wisdom,
in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Submitted by Rev. Nathan Williams, Echo Hill Presbyterian Church, Cedar Rapids, IA

CTW and Assurance: God is in this place

Call to Worship:
Leader:          Surely, God is in this place,
People:          and calls us to worship in spirit and in truth.
Leader:          Surely, the Lord is in this place
People:          receiving our songs and praise.
All:                 Surely, God is in this place! Let us praise the Lord!

 

Assurance of grace:
Leader:          Surely, God is here, reconciling us through the gift of grace.
People:          Surely, Christ is here, bringing the Good News of our salvation.
Leader:          Surely, the Spirit is here, leading us to share this gift with others.
All:                 Thanks be to God, God is always with us.

 

Submitted by Jerie Lukefahr, Commissioned Ruling Elder (PCUSA)

POP: wailing into dancing

We exalt you, O Lord,
because you have raised us from the grave
and have given us the victory over our enemy Death.
When we called out to you, you raised us up and restored us to life.
We sing praises to you and give you thanks
when we remember the marvelous things you have done.
We pray for your favor, O God,
on those who suffer
and endure the wrath of illness, brokenness, change, or loss.
We pray for those who weep,
that your joy would break forth like the dawn.
We pray for those who are uncertain and insecure,
that you would show your favor, protect your people,
and strengthen those in need.
We pray for those who seek your face,
who have not yet found what they long for,
that you would reveal yourself again.
We pray for those who face death or despair,
that your faithfulness would be known even in the dust.
Hear, O Lord, and have mercy on us.
In Christ’s resurrection
you have turned our wailing into dancing;
you have taken off our mourning clothes and dressed us with joy.
Therefore we trust, and our hearts sing unceasingly,
O Lord our God, in the name of the risen Christ,
who taught us to pray as we say:

The Lord’s Prayer

Submitted by Rev. Nathan Williams, Echo Hill Presbyterian Church, Cedar Rapids, IA