a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

Confession: other powers

O God, our protector, we take refuge in you;
you alone are the source of all our good.
We seek to be counted among the godly and upright,
but we confess that we have run after other powers,
and we have brought trouble upon ourselves and others.

O Lord, our portion and our cup,
you sustain us and lead us in good and pleasant ways.
We confess that we have trusted in false wisdom
and set our hearts on short-sighted desires.

Forgive us, God our life.
Help us set you always before us,
and sustain us in your righteousness.
Let our hearts be glad, our spirits rejoice,
and our bodies rest in hope,
for you do not abandon us to our sin
or let your chosen ones dwell in the pit.
In Christ you show us the path of life;
you welcome us into the joy of your presence;
you feed us with pleasures forevermore. Amen.

 

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

POP: help us care

Let us pray to the Lord, saying:
Healing God, help us care for one another.

We recently acknowledged the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Maria.
We pray for our friends and family in Puerto Rico who are still recovering.
We pray for the estimated 2,975 people who lost their lives because of the storm.
We pray for the people of Puerto Rico who have endured the horrors of colonialism.
We pray for our politicians, that they may give Puerto Ricans as much respect and dignity
as they do those of us who live in the states.
Healing God, help us care for one another.

We pray this day for those who are still recovering from Hurricane Florence,
for friends, family, and strangers in the Carolinas and Georgia,
for those whose businesses had to close during the storm and lost revenue,
for those without homes that had no where to run,
and for those in marginalized communities who are more heavily affected by the destruction.
Healing God, help us care for one another.

Today is a day that the Presbyterian Mission Agency encourages congregations such as ours
to pray especially for the gifts of new immigrants.
We acknowledge this day, Gracious God:
that your scripture, time and time again, tells us to treat the foreigner with compassion,
that your son came into this world on the run from a dangerous political regime,
that he was born in a dirty, dusty manger as a marginalized person,
and that this country is not treating immigrants as justly as you call us to.
We give thanks for the gifts that new immigrants bring to this country
and we choose to remind ourselves of the truth that diversity makes us stronger.
Healing God, help us care for one another.

Gracious and Steadfast God,
we pray this day for those who are sick and in need of your care,
for those who are hospitalized,
for those undergoing treatment for cancer and other illnesses,
for those who cry out to you for health and healing.
We pray especially for those we lift up to you in silence…
Healing God, help us care for one another.

Author of our Lives,
hear us now as we pray as you taught us to pray, saying: Our Father…

 

Submitted by Rev. Stephen M. Fearing, Beaumont Presbyterian Church, Lexington, KY

Prayer: stick with us

Saving God,
you are a God who has made it a habit to stick with us through thick and thin.
Thank you for calling us your own
even in moments when we haven’t been the best investment.
Help us, in our worship of you this day,
to be turned in a direction that pleases you. Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Stephen M. Fearing, Beaumont Presbyterian Church, Lexington, KY

POP: where there is no way

You are a God who leads us, who makes a way when there is no way.
We give you thanks, O Lord, for you are stronger than every foe.
We give you thanks, for your creative Spirit is always at work, making all things new.
We give you thanks, for though we feel scattered or on edge, there is no place we can go beyond the reach of your love.
And so we are bold to lift our voices to you, to admit our need.
We pray this day for your Church, in this community, in this nation, and in the world.
We ask your blessing on your Body, that we may in turn be a blessing to others.
We ask your guidance, strong and sure, for we are not certain of the way forward.
We pray for the gift of discernment, and the courage to follow, even when we feel battered by the waves.
Give us eyes to see and ears to hear…and feet ready to follow…and hands ready to serve.
Take from us any thought that does not glorify you, and lead us on your way.

We pray this day for the nations of this world, and for our leaders, that they too may have the gifts of discernment and courage.
Give them wisdom to seek the good of all, not only some.
Give them compassion, and imagination, and love.

We pray this day for your people near and far who live each day with fear.
Whether they fear someone in their home, or violence in the streets, or the government, or themselves…bring peace, O God.
Bring peace to those in the midst of war, and to those whose greatest enemy is within.
Bring peace that passes all understanding, peace founded on justice, for the people of Syria, and Sudan, and Palestine, and Korea.
And bring us together, to be creators of justice and peace for all your creation.

We pray this day for those who are ill, in body, mind, or spirit.
May your healing presence surround and fill them, may your comfort enfold them.
Guide the hands and minds of doctors and nurses and all who care for others, that they may understand and so treat people toward wholeness.

We pray this day for all those who find the news too much to bear—people living with stories they have not been able to tell, with hearts burdened by trauma, with lives upended by choices made by others.
Shield their hearts, O God.
Give them hope, and help, and a listening ear.
Give us courage to hold their stories, their feelings, and their prayers, to be a friend to those who feel alone.

You are a God who makes a way when there is no way, who creates paths in the desert and through the storm. You carry our burdens and lift our spirits, that we may bravely walk this earthly way. Lead and guide us to go forward into your future, with faith, hope, and love.
We pray these and all things in the name of the One who is the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, Jesus the Christ. Amen.

Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson, St. John’s Church of Acotland, Gourock.

POP: god of wisdom

Let us pray to God saying:
God of Wisdom, draw near to us

Ever-present God,
we look around the world and we see places where people cry out to you:
in places torn by the ravages of war,
in countries demolished by natural disasters,
in areas of rural Kentucky where there are no jobs,
in families across our state who have been devastated by opioid addiction.
Help us bear your light into the places in the world that need illumination and healing.
God of Wisdom, draw near to us.

Gracious God,
give us a gentleness born of wisdom
that we might go out into the world and serve as your ambassadors.
In order to do that, bless us with the wisdom needed to do so –
a wisdom that is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield,
full of mercy and good fruits, without a trace of partiality or hypocrisy.
God of Wisdom, draw near to us.

God of all mercy and grace,
give us the courage to seek you out,
to search our hearts for your truth,
and to be guided by the stories of scripture.
Since our hearts do not rest until they rest in you,
lead us to the pastures of your protection,
that we might be faithful members of your flock.
God of Wisdom, draw near to us.

Healing God,
we pray for those among us this day who need your love:
for those who struggle with depression’s grip,
for those who journey with physical disabilities,
for those who are lonely,
for those who are hopeless,
for those who are addicted,
for those who are angry and bitter,
for those who are broken and battered,
and for those we lift up to you in silence this day…
God of Wisdom, draw near to us.

Giver of Hope and Truth,
hear us today as we pray the prayer you taught us to pray, saying: Our Father…

 

Submitted by Rev. Stephen M. Fearing, Beaumont Presbyterian Church, Lexington, KY

Prayer: narrative

Author of our Lives,
we praise you for writing us into your narrative of salvation.
As characters in this chapter of your story of creation,
help us tell the truth of your steadfast love and mercy
to all who have ears to hear. Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Stephen M. Fearing, Beaumont Presbyterian Church, Lexington, KY

POP: theological education sunday

Let us pray to God saying:
Holy and Merciful God, hear our prayer.

Today is a Sunday that many Presbyterian Churches
celebrate and support places of theological education.
We give thanks for the 10 seminaries of our denomination including:
Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary,
Columbia Theological Seminary,
University of Dubuque Theological Seminary,
Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary,
McCormick Theological Seminary,
Pittsburgh Theological Seminary,
Princeton Theological Seminary,
San Francisco Theological Seminary,
Johnson C. Smith Theological Seminary,
and Union Theological Seminary.
We give thanks for the two other seminaries
in covenant relationship with our denomination:
Auburn Theological Seminary and Evangelical Seminary of Puerto Rico.
We also pray for our local seminaries, including:
Lexington Theological Seminary and Asbury Theological Seminary
May these places continue to teach faithfully the future leaders
of our faith families here and abroad.
Holy and Merciful God, hear our prayer.

Gracious God,
today’s scripture reminds us that words matter
and that the way we choose our words
holds within it the capacity to either harm or heal, to wound or welcome.
In this time when words are tossed around so casually,
may our words be used to build up the Body of Christ
and share love and compassion in a broken and battered world.
Holy and Merciful God, hear our prayer.

Healing God,
we pray for those who have been hurt by words of late:
for refugees and immigrants with or without documentation,
for women and girls who have endured words of sexism,
for people of color who hear words of racism,
for people with disabilities who are told they are “less than,”
for elderly people who are told they are useless,
for young adults who are told they are entitled, selfish, and irresponsible.
God of the Living Word, help us speak the truth in love
and to care for one another with the words we choose to speak.
Holy and Merciful God, hear our prayer.

God of Healing and Wholeness,
we lift up to you our words of prayer
for the people near and dear to our hearts
as we lift them up silently before you…
Holy and Merciful God, hear our prayer.

Triune God,
we love you for you hear our voice and our supplications.
We lift these prayers to your ears
along with the prayer you taught us to pray, saying: Our Father…

 

Submitted by Stephen M. Fearing, Beaumont Presbyterian Church, Lexington, KY

Prayer: voices of creation

God of Creation,
all of the world proclaims your praise,
from the highest heavens to the deepest recesses of the sea.
Make our voices true and faithful
as we join the voices of all of creation to sing your praise. Amen.

 

Submitted by Stephen M. Fearing, Beaumont Presbyterian Church, Lexington, KY

POP: You are faithful

O Lord, we lift up our souls to you.
We trust in you, because you are always faithful to your covenant.
You never leave your people alone.

So we pray for the people on our hearts who are in need.
We pray for those who are sick,
for those who suffer or struggle,
and especially for those who are lonely or hopeless.
We pray for those we have lifted up by name…
O Lord, we put our hope in you.

Teach us to serve you, loving God,
and make us faithful to your call.
Open our hearts and minds to know your truth,
and shape our actions to live into your covenant.
Hold us gently, in your eternal mercy.
Set us free from sin and look at us only with your love.

We dedicate our efforts, skills, and interests to your work,
in this congregation and everywhere we go.
Let our lives show your good news to the world, O Lord.
Let us feed, serve, and lift up your people in need.
Bind us to each other as your beloved people,
called together in Jesus’ name.
We pray together as he taught us, saying:
The Lord’s Prayer

 

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

POP: awaken our faith

Let us pray to God saying:
Beloved God, awaken our faith and guide our hearts.

Gracious God, we come before your word this day
and are reminded of the strong commands of the author of James.
We are humbled to be reminded that there have been times
when we’ve given preferential treatment to those for whom it is easier to do so.
As your people, we have long struggled to give the same love to a stranger
as to the person who we’ve known for so long.
Help us, as a congregation, speak and act
as ones for whom hospitality is the priority.
Beloved God, awaken our faith and guide our hearts.

Loving God,
we give you thanks for the gift of faith
that is found through Jesus Christ, your son.
Help us bring that gift to life through our living,
that we may be missional servants of your Kingdom.
Beloved God, awaken our faith and guide our hearts.

Where there are those who are naked, may we clothe them.
Where there are those without homes, may we house them.
Where there are those without acceptance, may we welcome them.
Where there are those without family, may we make them our own.
In all things, help us to fulfill your commandment to love one another.
Beloved God, awaken our faith and guide our hearts.

We pray this day for congregations such as ours
who are discerning how to be faithful to your calling
in these tumultuous times.
We trust that you do not abandon us when the going gets rough.
Rather, you walk alongside us as a friend
and hold our hand as a loving parent
to guide us in the path of faithfulness.
Thank you, Gracious God, for your steadfast love.
Beloved God, awaken our faith and guide our hearts.

Be with those whom we love and those who love them,
for those who are undergoing health problems…
for those who are struggling with mental health…
for those who lack health care…
for those who have suffered from the plague of gun violence in this country…
for those who have looked to the Church for comfort and found a closed door…
for those who live from paycheck to paycheck despite being fully employed.
Beloved God, awaken our faith and guide our hearts.

Hear us, Loving God,
as we pray the prayer you taught us to pray, saying: Our Father…

 

Submitted by Stephen M. Fearing, Beaumont Presbyterian Church, Lexington, KY