a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

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

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

Christmas Eve Invocation: We Display Anticipation

God of all creation
we display anticipation
as we pray this invocation
on this day of celebration.

Here we offer our ovation
as we sing with jubilation
and we wait with great elation
for your loving incarnation.

We will hear the narration
of your ancient declaration
as we long for liberation
for the world and for each nation.

So we lift up in summation
hearts and minds for your formation
as we long for your salvation
resting on your firm foundation.

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

Blue Christmas prayer

God of comfort, come gently among us this evening; hear our prayers, restore our souls.

Piece together our loose ends; smooth over our rough edges; restore our souls.

When lights and decorations fail to delight our senses, and serve only to deepen our pain and grief, restore our souls.

When we clench our fists in anger, open our hands to receive your grace.

When we are worn out and beat down, surround us with your peace.

When our doubts outweigh our hopes, increase our faith.

When we have no energy left to love, love us all the more.

When we cannot bring ourselves to pray, pray for us, as we remember how Jesus prayed, saying… OUR FATHER…

 

Submitted by Jerie Lukefahr, CRE

Prayers of the People for Advent

O Lord, you are coming to us,
and we wait with eager anticipation!
Our souls are standing on tiptoe,
trying to peer over the horizon
where the morning star is about to rise upon us.
We put our hope in your Word, O Lord,
that your Word might take on flesh among us once again
to reveal your mercy and steadfast love.
We wait, Eternal One,
and we cry out to you on behalf of those who have waited too long:
those who seek your healing,
those who seek your forgiveness,
those who seek your presence.
We wait for you,
for there is plenteous redemption with you,
and you redeem the sinful world according to your promise.

We wait for the coming 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 have been silent

God of Love and Justice,
we know your heart is breaking for us.
You taught us to love our neighbors as ourselves,
but we harbor prejudice and resentment
that leads us to violence.
You taught us that you love us all,
citizen and stranger,
no matter the color of our skin or the sound of our voice,
and yet we persist in defending the actions
of those who demean and threaten people you love.
We confess that we have been silent when we should have stood up to the signs of prejudice and selfishness.
We confess that we have excused racism as ignorance,
when we should have taught awareness and care.
We confess that we are blind to the insidious ways the habits of white supremacy infiltrate our lives, because we are afraid to discover we have been part of the problem too.
Loving God, remind us that you already forgave our sin,
and now call us to sin no more.
Replace our fear with boldness and our anxiety with conviction.
Help us be light in a world that has chosen darkness for too long.

Submitted by Rev. Lisa M López, Christ Presbyterian Church, Hanover Park, IL

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

POP: we call on you

We call on you with thanksgiving, Lord of heaven and earth,
and we come before you with all our heart.
We set you apart as the one deserving of all our praise,
and we call on your love and faithfulness
for the sake of your name.

We call to you, trusting that you will answer.
We pray for all who are sick, suffering, or struggling;
O Lord, increase the strength of those who are weak.

We pray for those who govern nations and hold power in the world;
speak your words of wisdom and justice, and let there be ears to hear.

We pray for those whose gifts of beauty and skill
give glory to your name and joy to others;
guard them my your mercy.

Lord God most high, we pray for those who are weighed down
by injustice, violence, or fear;
lift up the lowly and bring forth justice.

We call on you for ourselves,
in the midst of whatever trouble we may find ourselves in.
Walk along with us and guide us in your service.
O Lord, make good the purposes for which you have called us;
we trust in your enduring love,
made real for us in Jesus Christ,
who taught us to pray, saying:

The Lord’s Prayer

 

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

communion: blow through this place

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them up to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.

We praise you, O Lord, and all the earth with us,
for your Holy Spirit calls all things into being.
The entire created order serves you joyfully,
and your gracious presence is the song of every heart.

We bear witness that you alone are God,
and we give thanks that you have claimed us as your people.
By water and the Word, you make us your own;
by fire and the Spirit, you call us into the world.
Wherever we go, the risen and ascended Christ is our good shepherd.

Therefore we join our voices with all your people
in every time, every place, and every language,
singing praises to your holy name:

Holy, holy, holy…

Holy One, we enter your gates with thanksgiving;
Blessed Christ, we rejoice in your holy presence.
By your gracious invitation,
we gather at this holy meal
where we give thanks and call upon your great name.

Send forth your Holy Spirit once again.
Blow through this place;
reveal yourself in this bread and this cup;
make your dwelling within this congregation.
Join us to one another
and transform us by your presence,
that we may be the sign of your life in this world
for all who are hurting, hungering, and searching.

Reveal your goodness through us, O Lord,
for your mercy is everlasting;
we pray with your faithful ones in every age,
joining our voices in the prayer you taught us, saying:

The Lord’s Prayer

 

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

POP: arise, O God

Arise, O God, and scatter the shadows of enmity and hatred!
In Christ’s resurrection, you drive away sin and death
like smoke before the wind;
in Christ’s ascension, you give glory to the one whose suffering saves us;
therefore we rejoice and sing for joy before you.
Teach us to honor your name above all things
and keep us from being content with anything but your will.

You, O God, defend widows and set orphans in families,
you who dwell on high!
You give a home to the lonely and freedom to the prisoners;
you lead your people through the wilderness
into communities of wholeness and abundance.
Show us your presence once again, Holy One;
shake us from our complacency,
and refresh us in all our thirst.
Make a home for all people,
provide generously for the poor,
and use your church to heal your world.
Make room especially for those we have lifted up by name,
and for those whose names are far from our lips
or deep within our hearts.

We sing to you, O God,
praising you for your glorious creation,
trusting in your mighty power,
and celebrating the wonders of your promise.
Blessed are you, O God,
in Jesus Christ,
who teaches us to pray as we say:

The Lord’s Prayer

 

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