a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

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

Prayer: personal, not private

God of Good News,
we are reminded this day
that our faith is always personal but never private.
Bless our worship this day that we might leave this place
to live out our faith in tangible ways that change lives.
In all that we do, may we do it for your Gospel. Amen.

 

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

POP: hearers and doers

Let us pray to God, saying:
Gospel God, help us be hearers and doers of your Word.

We are reminded that the great ends of the Church are: (PCUSA Book of Order F-1.0304)
the proclamation of the gospel for the salvation of humankind,
the shelter, nurture, and spiritual fellowship of the children of God,
the maintenance of divine worship,
the preservation of the truth,
the promotion of social righteousness,
and the exhibition of the Kingdom of Heaven to the world.
We acknowledge that these things don’t happen by themselves
but only by the faithful work that you call us to do.
Help us embrace that work and do it joyfully and faithfully.
Gospel God, help us be hearers and doers of your Word.

God of All Nations,
we lament the times when people have suffered
because of the Church’s silence, complicity, and apathy.
We pray for those who have sought protection but not found it.
We pray for those who have begged for food and water and have left empty handed.
We pray for those who have asked for love and received instead judgment.
Help us remember that how we treat the least of these is how we treat you.
Gospel God, help us be hearers and doers of your Word.

God of All Wisdom,
we pray that we might be a people that live the Christian life
more than one hour a week.
We are reminded that the work of the Gospel is not a part-time job
that we can pick up and put down at our convenience.
Help us heed James’ imperative to be a people of action and truth,
bound by our duty to serve you in all that we are and in all that we do.
Gospel God, help us be hearers and doers of your Word.

Gracious God,
hear us now as we pray silently for those upon our hearts this day…
Gospel God, help us be hearers and doers of your Word.

Heavenly Parent,
hear us now as we pray the prayer you taught us to pray, saying: Our Father…

 

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

A Prayer for Labor Day

God of Creation,
you placed us on this earth to labor
and bring forth its abundant fruits.
You placed Eve and Adam in the garden
to till the land and enjoy your bounty.
Help us that we might use the gifts you’ve given us
to your glory and praise.

We pray this day for all who work:
for those who work jobs that others don’t want to do…
for those who work jobs that others don’t respect…
for those who work in the service industries…
for those who work in jobs that they love…
for those who work in jobs simply to make ends meet…
for those who work multiple jobs to support their families…
for those who cannot take today off…

We pray this day for those who have finished their work:
for those who have retired and moved on to other adventures…
for those who have changed from one job to begin another…
for those who have had to stop working for reasons of health…

We pray this day for those who cannot find work:
for those who have been laid off…
for those who have been fired…
for those who are homeless…
for those who are undocumented…
for those who unemployed because of the color of their skin…

Gracious God, help us to respect each other
and to value the work that we do for your glory. Amen.

 

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

Prayer: embody generosity

Gracious God,
every generous act we embody       (James 1:17)
comes from the grace you bestow upon us.
Bless our worship of you this day
that we may learn and live in your ways. Amen.

 

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

POP: songs of love

Let us pray to the Lord saying:
God of Melody, help us sing songs of love.

God who fills our hearts with song,
we give you thanks for our choir,
our organist, our minister of music,
and all the musicians who gift us with music.
The Psalms implore us to make a joyful noise to the Lord,
and we are grateful for the musical leaders among us.
God of Melody, help us sing songs of love.

God of Songs Old and New,
we give thank for the songs that have been gifted to us
by those who have joined the Church Triumphant,
for the melodies that were taught to us
by our parents and grandparents and great-grandparents.
We thank you for their truth and endurance.
We also give you thanks for new melodies and hymns,
for new hymnals that expand our repertoire of praise,
and address an ever-changing world
with theological language that challenges and compels us.
God of Melody, help us sing songs of love.

God of Praise,
we pray for those who are too comfortable among us,
who need to hear songs that confront and challenge;
we pray for those who are sick and weak,
who need to hear songs that heal and give peace;
we pray for those who are uncertain or scared,
who need to hear songs that uplift and empower;
we pray for those who are grieving,
who need to hear songs that give voice to their sorrow;
we pray for those who are happy,
who need to hear songs that exude unabashed joy;
we pray silently for those on our hearts this day
that they may hear and sing whatever song is needed…
God of Melody, help us sing songs of love.

Melodious God,
hear our prayers as we lift them up to you.
Come to us, as we pray the prayer you taught us to pray, saying: Our Father…

 

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

Opening prayer: grace

God of Light and Love,
help us this day to worship you
with all of our hearts, minds, and bodies.
Shower us with the grace of your Spirit
that we might joyfully receive
the message you have for us today. Amen.

 

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

Blessing for teachers

Scripture reminds us that teachers are a gift from Christ himself to the church. Together with apostles, prophets, evangelists, and pastors, our teachers equip God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up, find unity, and mature in faith until we attain ‘the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.’ That’s no small task! Therefore, today we say THANK YOU. Thank you, teachers and leaders, for answering Christ’s call; we honor your service and offer our support, our prayers and our heartfelt gratitude.
Let us pray:

For helping the congregation fulfill our baptismal promises, may God richly bless you.

For sharing your love of Christ with God’s children of all ages –from toddlers to teens to retirees -may God richly bless you.

For inviting your students to dive into Scripture with both head and heart, may God richly bless you.

For preparing lessons that spark curiosity and stimulate discussion, may God richly bless you.

For challenging us to ask the hard questions and have courageous conversations, may God richly bless you.

For crafting activities that spur creativity and allow talents to grow, may God richly bless you.

For late-night lesson plans and last-minute substitute teaching, may God richly bless you.

For lock-ins, mission trips, escape rooms and bounce-house duties, may God sustain you!

For equipping us to be sent out into God’s world to share the love of Christ, may God richly bless you.

For living lives that in and of themselves teach us so much about what it means to be a disciple, may God richly bless you.

Bless you for being just who you are -men and women of faith who teach us to love God, our neighbors and ourselves. We thank you, we love you, we honor you and we pray God’s blessings on you this day and always! And all God’s people said: AMEN!

Submitted by Jerie Lukefahr

Prayers of the People: eternally victorious

We give you praise, O God,
because you are eternally victorious over death.
In faithfulness you have raised up Christ for us,
and your mercy knows no end.

God of life, we pray for those who are bowed down
under the weight of hunger, injustice, uncertainty, or despair.
You who provide every good thing,
uphold your people.
Open your hands wide
and satisfy the needs of every living thing.

God of hope, we trust in your righteousness
and depend on your love.
Be near to those on whose behalf we call upon you;
to those who face sorrow, illness, injury, or death.
Fulfill our longings for wholeness, healing, and new life;
hear and answer all who cry out to you.

Steadfast God, preserve us in your love,
that we might speak your praise
and bless you forever
in the name of the holy one, the Risen Christ,
who teaches us to pray as we say:
The Lord’s Prayer

 

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

POP: creative grace

O Lord, you are our shepherd;

we shall not be in want.

Your creative grace is visible in lush green pastures

and revealed in still, clear waters.

Your restoring resurrecting Spirit revives our souls and our communities,

and you guide us in ways of righteousness for the sake of your earth.

We pray for the earth you create and love:

for people, families, nations, and species that dwell in the valley of the shadow of death;

for all who fear the evils of pollution, violence, depredation, and illness;

for those whose suffering is on our hearts this morning, and for those whom we will never meet.

Shepherding God, be with your people;

with your rod and your staff, restore us and lead us.

Spread your table of abundance before those who hunger and thirst;

set us free from enmity and division.

Anoint us with your calling to reconciliation,

and let the cup of our life overflow

with justice and life for all your creation.

Let your goodness and mercy follow us all the days of our life,

and make this earth your home forever,

in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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