a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

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

POP: harvest of joy

Lord of glory, Savior of all who call on you,
we pray for your people who are near to our hearts today.
We rejoice with those who rejoice,
whose hopes and dreams have come true today.
Let our mouths be filled with laughter,
and let us sing songs of joy,
for you have done great things for your people.
We give you thanks!
Merciful God, we also weep with those who weep.
We call out on behalf of those whose lives are dry and barren,
for all who long to be restored.
Where there are tears, or suffering, or illness, or grief,
may there be songs of joy once again.
We lift up the prayers of your people
with longing and hope,
trusting that you will bring forth a harvest of joy.
We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

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

Prayers of the People: Christmas Eve

God of our Salvation,
we come to you on this wondrous night to gather in praise,
to lift up your name with friend, family, and stranger.
In the beginning, your creative work began with a word,
and tonight, your creation continues with the Word made flesh.
On this holiest of nights, we join the everlasting chorus saying:
    Glory to God on highest!  Great is your name in all the earth!

Like Mary, we ponder these things in our hearts,
and wonder how you could love us so much
as to actually become one of us, one with us.
We remember these stories this evening
that remind us of your steadfast love,
that affirm that you have never, and will never, give up on your children.
    Thank you for your steadfast presence in our lives!

And yet, even on this night on which we celebrate the fulfillment of love,
we recognize that there are many who are still waiting for fulfillment:
the fulfillment of adequate food and shelter…
the fulfillment of peace and the end of violence…
the fulfillment of reprieve from the fierce grip of grief…
the fulfillment of a restoration of a broken relationship…
the fulfillment of a renewing of heart, mind, or body…
the fulfillment of healing from a chronic illness…
the fulfillment of an end to substance abuse…
Giving God,
        give us the courage to do your work in the world
and to share the peace coming to us in the manger this evening.

We pray this night especially for those who have traveled to be here…
for those who have lost loved ones in the past year…
for those who struggle with mental illness…
for those who fight alcoholism’s onslaught…
for those who will be traveling in the coming days and weeks…
for those who work on Christmas:
especially medical workers, police, and emergency personnel…
for those who cannot make it home for Christmas…
hear us we pray, O God,
    Restore us and make your face to shine that we might be saved.

In all that we do and in all that we are,
send your Spirit to send us forward with the majesty of this night
and to share the grace we find with everyone we encounter.
This we pray in the name of your Son, who taught us to pray saying:

    Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors;
and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil,
for thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever.  Amen.

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

POP: restore and magnify

Let us pray to the Lord our God saying:
“Restore us, O God, and make your face to shine upon us that we might be saved.”:

Our souls magnify you, O Lord, and our Spirits rejoice in you, our Savior!
For you have looked upon the lowliness of your servants,
you have heard our cry and saved your people.
We shall be called blessed because we are called by you to be a blessing to others.
Your mercy is from generation to generation.
Your mercy called Adam and Eve into being.
Your mercy kept vengeance from taking Cain’s life.
Your mercy saved Noah and his family from the flood.
Your mercy caused Sarah’s womb to be fruitful.
Your mercy gave Joseph’s dreams the power to save a nation.
Your mercy heard the Israelites’ cry and called Moses to action.
Your mercy charged Mary with the most special of tasks.
Your mercy strengthened Joseph to care for her.
Your mercy creates Jesus, who has come to save us.
We give you thanks for your mercy; may it continue to shine upon us!

Restore us, O God, and make your face to shine upon us that we might be saved.

We remember this day those upon our hearts that crave your shining face,
who long for the light, who need your power to drive out the darkness:
for those who suffer from depression and other mental illnesses,
for those who cannot bring themselves to forgive others,
for those who cannot forgive themselves,
for those who seek refuge, but have been denied shelter,
for those who seek shelter, but have been denied a home,
for those who have lost loved ones in the past year,
for those who have lost physical and mental abilities,
for those who care for aging spouses and loved ones,
for those who have been living with cancer and other debilitating illnesses.

Restore us, O God, and make your face to shine upon us that we might be saved.

We ask that you would strengthen us as a congregation:
as we seek to be the best stewards of the money with which we’ve been blessed,
as we struggle with the financial burden of an aging building,
as we search for the truth of your word and do our best to live it out in our lives,
as we hold in tension that which we have been with that which you call us to be,
as we serve one another and those with whom you called us into fellowship,
as we continue to grow together as a congregation in a period of transition,
as we wait, watch, and wonder in preparation of the coming of your Son.

Restore us, O God, and make your face to shine upon us that we might be saved.

Gracious God,
as we finish this advent journey,
may we wait with Mary’s joyful anticipation
as we prepare to welcome your Son, our Savior,
into this broken world in need of his redeeming.
Gather us, guide us, and keep us as your people.
Send us into the world that Christ’s hands might be our own,
and his mind one with ours in all that you would have us do.

Restore us, O God, and make your face to shine upon us that we might be saved.  Amen.

 

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

POP: highest joy

God of our Highest Joy,
we come to you this day as your servants,
gathered to worship you and you alone.
As we continue this Advent journey,
help us to focus on you and the coming of your son, Jesus.
Amidst the commercials, the cooking, and the company,
help us to remember the true meaning of this season:
that you would come to us in the flesh and forever live among us.

Even as we share the joy we find in you with one another,
we are mindful of those for whom joy is hard to find,
for those who don’t have enough clothes,
for those who don’t have enough food,
for those who don’t have enough (or any) shelter,
for those who don’t have enough protection and justice.
We confess that there really is “enough” for everyone,
but it is our fault that the “enough” is hoarded by few at the expense of many.
Help us to bear the good fruit that the Baptist called us to bear,
being mindful of those around us without during this season of giving.

We pray this day for those longing for spiritual renewal.
We would ask that your Holy Spirit invigorate us
that we may provide for others first
before expecting them to provide for us.
Come to this place and encourage us to do the work
to which we were baptized.
Help us to proclaim the Good News in word and in deed.

We pray this day for the hope we have found,
the peace we seek,
and the joy we will receive in your Holy name.
May we bring hope to the hopeless,
peace to the restless,
and joy to those who crave it.
We pray this day, either out loud or in our hearts, for those dear to us…

Gracious God, may the joy we find not be a commodity to be hoarded
but a gift to be shared with one another.
We thank you for your presence among us,
your creation around us,
and your providence within us,
as we continue this blessed journey.  Amen.

 

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

POP–Advent 2

God of all Grace and Peace,
as we continue this advent journey,
we come to you in all honesty and courage
to lift up to you our souls that we might be heard
and your good works proclaimed.

We pray to you especially this day for those who find this season difficult,
for those for whom “’tis the season” rings empty in broken hearts,
for those who have lost loved ones and for those whose loved ones suffer.

We pray to you for those, like Joseph and Mary, who are social outcasts.
We acknowledge that we often do not recognize many in this world
because they don’t look like us,
because they don’t have money like us,
because they don’t act like us,
because they don’t believe like us.
We ask your help to acknowledge the humanity in all persons
so that, unlike Joseph and Mary, they might have a place to stay,
a place to call home, a place to spend the night.

We pray for pastors, choir directors, church workers,
and all others for whom this is not always a season of sabbath,
but a season of increased work.
May the work they do be blessed and be given as an offering to your holy name.

We pray for those who suffer from physical and mental illnesses,
for those who suffer from depression, PTSD, schizophrenia, and bi-polar disorder,
for those who have been diagnosed with cancer and other ailments,
for those whose physical disabilities keep them isolated from others.

We pray for those who need your light the most.
We pray especially for those in our hearts,
which we name before you in silence or out loud…

In all goodness and mercy,
hear our prayers this day, O Lord,
and remember your promise to keep us and to save us.

Through the reign of your Son, and the power of your Holy Spirit,
lead us with joy, in the light of your glory,
with the mercy and righteousness that comes only from you. Amen.

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

prayers of the people: lifting us up

We give you praise, O Lord, for lifting us up
from the waters of despair into the dawning of hope.
In Jesus Christ, you have triumphed over all life’s foes;
in his love, we have been healed.

Raise up those who dwell in the pit today,
who face illness or adversity,
those who long for health and success,
especially ______.
Hear us, gracious Lord: come and be our help!

Hear the voices of your faithful ones
who acknowledge your favor in their lives,
and receive our praises for your gifts to your people,
(especially _____).
Sustain those who rejoice today.
Hear us, gracious Lord: come and be our help!

Come especially to those who face death today,
and give your comfort to all who mourn.
You who raised Jesus Christ from the grave,
work your healing even in the midst of loss and grief.
(We pray especially for _____.)
Hear us, gracious Lord: come and be our help!

Open our eyes, transform our vision;
turn our mourning into dancing;
take off our mourning and clothe us again with joy,
that everything we do might become your praise,
now and forever.
Hear us, gracious Lord: come and be our help!

Hear us, Holy One, for we pray in the name of the risen Christ, as we say now together…

Submitted by Rev. Nathan Williams, Echo Hill Presbyterian Church, Marion, Iowa

POP: the body of Christ

1 – Most gracious God, you sent forth your faithful and true witness out into the world who beckoned us to follow and believe. And now we are bold to pray as Christ’s body out into the world. We thank you for every service that proclaims your love,
2 – When we see the work of mission beginning inside the walls of this church,
3 – When we serve with people committed to making a difference in this community and beyond, 1 – When we grow, and love and serve and pray, we stand out and faith and remember…
All – We are the body of Christ.
2 – When we witness the work of those gifted with talents of teaching and healing
3 – When we gratefully rally for people in power who are committed to your love and service
1 – When we can translate and interpret scripture for the sake of those longing to hear the good news 2 – When we use the gifts you have granted us with grateful hearts, we remember…
All – We are the body of Christ.
3 – Mighty God, as your body commissioned to serve out in the world, we also ache for the people you love who are suffering.
1 – When violence and unrest rips through nations,
2 – When children are fitted for war and starving on street sides,
3 – When abuse and neglect cause chaos in your good creation.
1 – When we are bombarded with news of lives lost, corrupt systems, and feelings of hopelessness, we remember our cause to cry out with the people suffering because we know….
All – We are the body of Christ.
2 – When racism and classism continues to influence our decisions,
3 – When the dull ache of loss continues long after loved ones have passed,
1 – When sickness wears at the best of our energies to fight
2 – When we are overwhelmed by the pain that seeps into your creation, we cling to one another as we boldly demand your kindom come. We pray in the confidence that you hear our prayers because…
All – We are the body of Christ.
3 – So as your people, fashioned for your good work in the world, we pray boldly that your Holy Spirit move through us
1 – As we work peacefully for justice
2 – As we worship and pray and praise
3 – As we beckon for your ear and lift up our prayers to you in the name of Christ, for… All – We are the body of Christ.
1 – And we are bold to pray as he taught us:
Our Father, who art in Heaven…

 

Submitted by Rev. Lindsay Conrad, First Presbyterian Church, Ann Arbor, MI.