a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

Transfiguration Invocation

God of the high and low, we come before you this day seeking your Holy presence. We come to sing praises, pray petitions, and listen to the Word at your holy mountain. We come to experience metamorphosis, to be changed into your people. Change us in this hour so we might speak your Spirit of hope and grace to the world. We pray this in the name of Christ, AMEN.


Submitted by Rev. Will Ryan, First Christian Church, Burlington, IA

POP: no other helper

Alleluia! We praise you, O Lord,
with every fiber of our being.
With all our heart, soul, mind, and strength we will sing praises to you.

We earnestly put our trust in you alone,
knowing that there is no other helper but you, the Almighty.

Therefore we call out to you on behalf of all who are hungry or oppressed,
asking you to keep your faithfulness to your beloved creation.

Liberator, set the prisoners free;
Light of the world, open the eyes of those who cannot see;
Strength of the broken, lift up those who long to be healed.
O Lord, hear our prayers for those we lift up before you.

Preserve the righteous by your justice;
care for the stranger in your compassion;
sustain the orphan and the widow in your community of faith;
and save all your world from the hand of the wicked.

You, O Lord, shall reign forever,
and so we join all generations in the prayer your Son taught us, saying:

The Lord’s prayer



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

POP: O Hear Our Cry

Beloved, we lift up prayers before God,
trusting in the mercy of the One who comes to shepherd all people.
Let us sing our prayers together:

O Hear Our Cry, O Lord v. 1-2

Save your people, O Lord,
and be especially present with those whom we have named before you.

O Hear Our Cry, O Lord v. 3-4

Turn your face toward your people,
and restore us in your mercy.

We pray in the name of the coming Christ,
and we join in the prayer he taught, saying:

The Lord’s Prayer


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

POP: God’s Anointed

People of God, Jesus comes to bring God’s mercy to all people.
Therefore we are bold to sing our prayers
to the one whose reign is justice, peace, and joy:

All Hail to God’s Anointed v. 1

We pray for those who are captive to violence, oppression, and sin.
We pray for all who are hungry, sick, sorrowing, or afraid.

All Hail to God’s Anointed v. 2

We pray for everyone who longs for new beginnings.
We pray for those who celebrate and rejoice.
We pray for all who travel to be with families,
and we pray for those who celebrate the birth of the Savior alone.
We pray for the gift of peace, in our hearts and in our world.

All Hail to God’s Anointed v. 3

We pray for those in positions of power,
for those who have more wealth and power than they realize,
and for those whom we are called to serve.

All Hail to God’s Anointed v. 4

Let your kingdom come in this world, O God,
and let our hearts welcome the birth of the Holy Child,
who teaches us to pray as we say together:

The Lord’s Prayer


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

National Donor Sabbath

Prayers for National Donor Sabbath (based on Psalm 65)

We praise you, O God,
and we lift up our hearts to you in prayer.
You hear our prayer, Blessed One,
you blot out our sins,
and you call us to dwell joyfully in your presence!
We give you thanks for the gifts of this life:
for the beauty and strength of our bodies;
for the wonder of minds and hearts;
for the holy love of families and friends.
We stand in awe of your salvation, Righteous One,
for your hope rises even at the ends of the earth
and at the fearsome limits of our own lives.
Your power holds us steady amidst the storms of life.
When tragedy strikes or illness rages,
you quiet our fears and work your deliverance.
You reveal your love in the generous gift of life,
offered with courage by donors and their families;
endings and new beginnings are filled with your joy.
Come, O Lord, and provide abundantly for all who are in need.
Let the river of your grace flow freely,
especially for those who remember and mourn.
Let the life-giving power of your love
be with all those who cry out for your healing.
Let your goodness overflow
in the lives of those who celebrate new beginnings.
We rejoice in your gift of life,
and in the new life you give us each day;
we shout for joy and sing,
in the name of the Living One, the Risen Christ,
in whom we pray together saying:
The Lord’s Prayer


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

POP: grace and compassion

We praise you, O Lord, with all our hearts!
As your people gathered in faith, we call upon you.
We celebrate what you have done for us,
and we love to tell the stories of your grace.

For the sake of your unending righteousness,
we call upon your grace and compassion for your people.
We pray for those who are hungry,
and we seek to use our gifts so they might be fed.
We pray for those who suffer oppression
from enemies within or beyond their homelands,
and we look for justice and peace for all people.
We pray for those who seek to draw closer to you,
that you would open the eyes of every heart
and reveal yourself to all who seek you.

We give you thanks, Holy One,
for you are always faithful to your people;
your promises are always sure.
We pray with the wisdom, and in the name,
of Jesus Christ our Lord, who taught us to pray, saying:

The Lord’s Prayer


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

Litany to Commemorate the Victims of 9/11

On this day we remember the fear and the anger, the shock and the chaos that shrouded our nation 15 years ago.  We cried out that day for answers, for peace, for justice. We shed countless tears for lives lost, for families ripped apart, for people missing and injured.

We will not forget the beauty of each soul that fell that day – the promise that their lives held, the hopes they had for the future.

We remember the 2,606 innocent victims of the Twin Towers. Abide with us, G-d. 

We remember the 125 innocent victims at the Pentagon. Abide with us, G-d.

We remember the 246 innocent victims on the airplanes. Abide with us, G-d.

We remember the first responders – the police and firefighters and paramedics – who faced the chaos with unimaginable courage to save and give hope to all that they could. We remember those who survived and the 411 who perished in the line of duty. Abide with us, G-d.

Holy G-d, we know that you hold their lives in your hands. Though they have fallen here, they are not lost forever. Through your Spirit, you have lifted them up, close to your heart where there is no more death or sorrow or crying or pain.

We cry out to you once more this day, Almighty G-d. Give us the courage to be peacemakers, to carry on in love, to have hearts uncorrupted by hatred. Speak to those who would be lured by the power and madness, the violence and the evil that is terrorism in our world. Show them that this seeming power is never the final victor. Touch their hearts so that they may see that love is stronger than death, that goodness is stronger than evil, that light casts out all darkness. Give them a way forward so that the world may be a home for all of us.

Gracious G-d, hear our prayer. Amen.


Submitted by Rev. Elana Keppel Levy, Trinity Presbyterian Church in Bixby, OK

**Note from the author: I envisioned a ritual to go along with this litany. We have a large, clear glass jar on the chancel. As each group of victims is listed, we will drop flower petals of different colors into the water. In the prayer following, the water is swirled so that the petals are seen being lifted.

communion: feasting on the word

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 both thanks and praise!

all sing verse 1:
Come, thou Fount of every blessing; tune my heart to sing thy grace;
streams of mercy, never ceasing, call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet, sung by flaming tongues above;
praise the mount! I’m fixed upon it, mount of God’s unchanging love!

Blessed are you, O Lord our God, ruler of the universe,
for your grace overflows in your world,
creating and redeeming and sustaining all things.
Your streams of mercy flow from your glory
bringing living water into every place,
nourishing creation, making it bear fruit that will last,
filling our cup until it runs over, spilling out abundant life.
We give you thanks for your generous providing,
and for your call to be your people.
We have wandered in the desert, we have turned our backs,
we have followed the path, we have walked on ahead,
and still your Spirit calls us, tugging us back to your way,
shining your light and singing your grace
so we might follow in faith.

all sing verse 2:
Here I raise my Ebenezer; hither by thy help I’m come;
and I hope, by thy good pleasure, safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger, wandering from the fold of God;
he, to rescue me from danger, interposed his precious blood.

It is with gratitude, praise, and hearts lifted high that we come to your table,
calling to mind your Son who walked among us,
who ate with sinners and tax collectors and women
the same as he ate with Pharisees and disciples and neighbors.
As he reached out to touch the sick, may we reach out with healing hands.
As he went to the bad neighborhoods and visited the homes of the poor,
may we go out to where your people long for good news.
As he spread health and holiness with every step, every word, every breath,
may we live as if grace is contagious,
sharing your love with people near and far,
those we meet and those we would rather avoid.

As we meet at the feast of your family, O God,
we carry with us those who hunger and thirst,
who cannot imagine the abundance of this table,
who feel excluded or forgotten,
who live with fear and violence,
who wait for justice, who long for peace,
who suffer in body, mind, or spirit.
While we celebrate this day, some in your family see no cause for celebration.
While we have feasted on your word,
some still see reading as an impossible luxury.
While we have learned and spoken and prayed together,
some have been silenced and held aside.
When we break bread together, break our hearts too,
and then by your Spirit bind us together with all your people
to seek your purpose and work your will.
Give us a glimpse of your kingdom, where the whole human family eats together,
and strengthen us with the courage to build your kingdom here on earth.

all sing verse 3:
O to grace how great a debtor daily I’m constrained to be!
Let that grace now, like a fetter, bind my wandering heart to thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I love;
here’s my heart; O take and seal it; seal it for thy courts above.

We offer our hearts and lives to you, O God,
praying that you would use grain and grape
to write your covenant of love within us.
until grace overflows.
We pray in the name of Jesus the Christ, host at this and every table, who taught us to pray together… the Lord’s Prayer


Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson, the Presbyterian Church of Palatine, IL

Prayer for Illum. – Divine Light + Breath

Holy Spirit, bring your divine light into the readings this morning. Help us to see as you see – to hear as you hear – to act in the world as you would have us act. Breathe life into us as you breathe into your living Word, Jesus Christ. Amen.

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

POP: Olympics

In the Olympics this week, O God, we have watched many people gather and compete. We been moved by amazing human achievements, touched by individual stories, and inspired by our neighbors from around the world. We stand in awe, O God, of the miraculous gifts of life, and the human spirit, and the human body. We praise you, recognizing with gratitude that all of us are fearfully and wonderfully made by you.

As we watch swimming and diving… we remember that you hovered over the waters of creation and the waters of our baptism. We give thanks for the gift of abundant access to clean water, and the cleansing power of your spirit. We pray for those who thirst for water, those who suffer either flood or drought, and those who thirst for your spirit.

As we watch running events… we remember that you walked in the garden of Eden, seeking your shamed creatures after they sinned, and that you walked among us as a redeeming Savior. We give thanks for the gift of mobility – our ability to walk and run and bend and move. We pray for those who are disabled, or who have trouble walking or running, and all who suffer due to disease, injury, or age.

As we watch gymnastics… we remember that yours is the Spirit of strength and balance that holds the world together. We give thanks for the way you bend and shape and challenge us. We pray for those who are stiff or stuck, including ourselves – make us more flexible and more open to the movement of your Spirit.

As we watch teams sports… we remember that you made us because of love and for love, and that in your wisdom gave us each other and called us to live in community. We give you thanks for our families and friends, and for the fellowship we find in your church. We pray for those who are lonely, who feel alienated or unwelcome, who are isolated in their grief, fear, or pain. And we pray that you would help us reach out to them with your love and kindness.

As we watch people from all over the world competing with each other, we remember that you are the God of every nation. We give thanks for the gift of our own country, and all the freedoms we enjoy here. We pray for our great country, for its leaders and those seeking office, and for all of us in this challenging season. We also pray for the leaders and citizens of every nation, and for the whole world, praying that your peace would flourish among us.

We pray all of this and much more, in the name of your son, our Savior Jesus Christ, who taught us to pray saying…


Submitted by Rev. Betsy Turner, Luther Hays Presbyterian Church, Hayston, GA