a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

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

prayer: you are near

Advent God,
you are near,
so near we can feel it in our hearts and in our bodies.
As the day of your dawning draws close,
keep our minds on your presence during this busy holiday season.
In a world that tells us that we are supposed to find joy in everything else,
remind us that our only true joy is the joy we find in you.  Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Stephen M. Fearing, Shelter Island Presbyterian Church, NY

POP: whatever is true

Gracious God, the words of your apostle Paul ring in our hearts and we pray they are true.  “Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” We pray these words ring true because in the world around us, surrounding us in our daily lives, we are bombarded with the cynicism and hardships of the world.

An epidemic rages on as death tolls rise and healthcare-workers scramble to keep it at bay.  Wars drag on in cycles of power-mongering and violence.  Revenge and retribution are viewed as signs of strength while reconciliation and humility are trampled underfoot.  And, playing politics often takes priority to effective resolutions and meaningful change for the betterment of all. These are the images and stories that we encounter on a daily basis.  These are the stories that fill our screens, these are the stories that burden our minds and our hearts, and these are the stories we comment on with one another because they are our common story.

So, this morning, we pray that our hearts might not be hardened, O God.  We pray that these common stories of destructive happenings in our world do not become the primary narrative we know and share.  May we, in the midst of these stories, lift up a trust in the power of reconciliation and peace and may we dwell in expectation that war can and will end.  May we point to the immeasurable power that grace and resurrection has in this world.  May we remember that we believe in a God whose creative Spirit dwells with and among us – And, it is because of your love for the world, O God, that cynicism will not reign above joy; that gentleness and love will not fall victim to pride and greed; and that forgiveness, justice and peace will be experienced by all.

“Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, [may we] think about these things [, O God].” And live into them boldly. Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. JC Cadwallader, Western Presbyterian Church, Washington DC.