a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

Prayer: narrative

Author of our Lives,
we praise you for writing us into your narrative of salvation.
As characters in this chapter of your story of creation,
help us tell the truth of your steadfast love and mercy
to all who have ears to hear. Amen.

 

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

Illumination: Discern

Holy Spirit,
you call us to place aside falsehood
and discern the will of the Lord.
Bless our reading of your Word
that we might be attentive to its truth. Amen.

 

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

Confession: cheer at the expense of joy

Word of God, Breath of Life, come and live among us again. Clear away the things that clutter our hearts and lives, making it difficult to see and do your will. And where we have chosen to believe your way is obscure, preferring our way to yours, make your truth shine out. When we have chosen to focus on cheer at the expense of joy, forgive us and cause righteousness and praise to spring up in your world once again. We pray in the name of the coming Christ. Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Teri Peterson

Illumination: nothing but your will

God of love, through these words,
let your Holy Spirit teach us to love you completely.
Let our heart desire nothing but your will.
Let our soul feel nothing but your joy.
Let our mind know nothing but your truth.
Let our strength serve nothing but your peace.
Through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

 

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

Maundy Thursday: Surely Not I?

a prayer to be placed right after the part of the reading where the disciples ask if they are the one to betray, and Jesus answers Judas with “you have said so.”

Surely not I, Lord? Surely not us? Surely not.
Surely I am not the one who will betray you.
Surely we are not the ones.
It’s someone else who denies knowing you,
someone else who uses you for their own gain,
someone else who wants to control you.
Surely not us.

For the times when we protest too much…
For the times we point fingers to cover up our own wrong…
For the times we think of ourselves more highly than we ought…
Forgive us.
For the times we have betrayed you with our words—
speaking thoughtlessly,
hurting someone to get a laugh,
denying that your call extends to the parts of our lives we would rather keep to ourselves…
Forgive us.
For the times we have betrayed you with our actions—
living as if you are confined to the sanctuary, leaving us free when we are not here,
acting as if we have ben given domination over, rather than stewardship of, your creation,
walking away from those in need, literally and politically…
forgive us.
For the times we have betrayed you with our hearts—
putting you far down our priority lists,
loving our ideas about you more than we love you,
longing for our way to be the one you choose…
forgive us.
For the times we have lived contrary to our baptism,
dipping our hand in the bowl but keeping our whole selves out,
believing we can earn grace…and that they should work for it too,
Forgive us.

Surely not I, Lord?
You have said so.
The truth rings in our ears…and it hurts, O God,
to admit it: it is us.
We follow other gods, we are a poor reflection of your glory,
we use our wealth, status, and power in ways contrary to your will,
we imprison you in our understanding of your word,
we refuse to create justice or to love mercy,
and walking humbly with you would mean letting go of our way.
The truth hurts us, Lord, even as we hear you say: you have said so.
And yet we believe—
we believe that you have the power to transform us and through us to transform the world.
We believe that your grace is enough.
We believe that we have received more love than we can imagine.
We believe that you are the Way, the Life, and the Truth—
the truth that sets us free.
Amen.

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

illumination: hush our sure grasp of your truth

Holy God,
in the midst of the loud “Hosannas!”,
as the waving palm leaves rustle in unison,
quiet our pre-conceived notions…
and hush our sure grasp of your truth…
so that we may, perhaps, discover something
about your vision…your hope…your purpose for our life…
that changes the way we think, act, and do.
Amen.

Submitted by Scott Cervas, pastor at Meadowthorpe Presbyterian Church (Lexington, KY)