Holy God, we proclaim that you are good, and that for us there is nothing better than to be near you, to hear your voice, and to speak of the wonderful things you have done. We confess that like the psalmist we sometimes are seduced by the lives of people who ignore you and prosper, and we wonder whether we have kept ourselves pure for no reason at all. We ask that you lead us into your sanctuary and remind us of the destiny of the wicked.
Above everything, we desire to belong to you – to cling to your right hand. We declare that we have nothing in heaven but you, and desire you more than naything else on earth.
We pray all of these things in hte name of Jesus, who rules over all powers and principalities, now and forevermore.
May you serve God freely
for no reward
simply because He is the Lord.
May you walk with Him
speak with him
share your life and soul with Him
as a friend speaks with a friend.
And may you cling tightly to God
serving him both through good times and bad
giving him your joys and sorrows
opening your heart and mind
to the one who holds you in his hand.
Lord, God most High, we come before your throne and speak with you as a friend speaks with a friend, knowing that you yourself sit in heaven and speak on our behalf.
We confess that many times the relationship we share is shallow – that we serve you out of selfishness, believing that you bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you.
We look at Job and wonder whether we would react as he did – recognizing your Sovereign right to do what you wish, accepting both good and bad from your hand with grace. We take comfort that you were pleased with Job, and declared that he spoke rightly of you – even in his bitter complaints, and we ask that you teach us to speak honestly with you – that we would approach your throne with honest and sincere hearts.
Teach us to seek your favor, and not only your blessing – your wisdom, and not only your rewards. Make our lives so intertwined with you that we cannot let you go, even in the depths of despair – in the land of darkest shadow.
Remind us that wherever we are, even there your hand will guide us.
We come to you and speak only by the name and the power of Jesus Christ, our advocate and Lord, who reigns with you forever.
May you approach the throne of God with humility,
trusting not in your own righteousness
but in the power of a mighty God.
And may you find the mercy and grace of Christ
delivered to you
given freely to those who earnestly seek him.
May you seek the justice of the Lord
with passion and persistence
trusting his ability to render a fair verdict
in all things.
May you be a voice of change
crying in the desert
speaking for those who have no voice.
And though there are no grapes on the vines
and no cattle in the fields
may we be a people
who beat swords to plowshares
who rejoice in the Lord
who are joyful in the God of salvation.
May you accept with grace the blessings of Christ.
May he heal you –
restore your sight,
cure your sores
soothe your soul.
And as you encounter Jesus,
may your life be transformed
by his healing power –
a new creation in the service of heaven.
Almighty God, with your Holy words you spoke the world into being, and with those same words you enter our lives and offer to be in us a new creation, transforming us not through coercion or force, but by living inside our hearts.
We are ashamed to admit that many times our hearts are not a place we really want you to visit, much less live. We honestly would be much more comfortable if you let us meet you on our own terms, rather than insisting we surrender everything we are to you.
But we pray, O God, that your words and your story would become reality to us, and that as we leave this place today, your story would narrate our lives, so that we will be a part of your unfinished work on Earth.
As we meditate on these Holy Mysteries, may we imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise.
In the Holy Name of Jesus our Savior and Lord we pray.
God, your scripture teaches us that someone who hears your words and then fails to put them into practice is like a person who looks at their face in a mirror but turns away and forgets what they look like. And as we listen to your words we are convicted because that is who we are. We pick and choose among your words like people at a cafeteria buffet, thinking we can have what we want and avoid the things we find unpalatable. But your teaching do not allow us that luxury, and so we repent, and ask that you help us begin to take you seriously.
We are grateful that you offer us
grace, though we don’t deserve it,
hope, though we often ignore it,
peace, though we often refuse it.
You shower blessings on us even when we don’t acknowledge you, and in humility we say thank you.
Teach us to remember who we are.
Teach us to remember who you have made us to be.
Teach us to trust in your promises.
Teach us to believe in you.
And as we meditate on these holy mysteries, may we imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise.
In the holy name of Jesus Christ.
John the Baptist sent disciples to Jesus and asked him
“Are you the one we’re expecting
or should we wait for someone else?”
And Jesus said to them:
Go back and tell John what you see:
the blind see
the lepers are cured
the deaf hear
the dead are raised to life
and the good news is preached to the poor.
May the deeds of your hands,
and the words of your mouth,
and the meditations of your heart
be pleasing in the sight of God.
Holy God, you are the maker and sustainer of all things. You teach us to be good stewards of your generosity, but we confess that we have been dishonest managers of your blessings. You teach us to love our neighbor as ourselves, but most of us are so isolated that we don’t know our neighbor’s name. You teach us that if ew are dishonest in small things, we will be dishonest in greater things, yet we treat your words as if only the big things really matter. We have heard your high and holy standards, and then lowered the bar so low that we can hardly even trip over it. We repent, and know that our only hope is for you to treat us with mercy and favor that we do not in any way deserve.
We are grateful for your patience with us.
We are grateful that you have blessed us in spite of our faithlessness.
We are grateful that you continue to work through us in spite of our selfishness.
We ask, O God, that you change our ways:
Open our minds to understand your purpose in the world around us.
Open our hearts to the hurting world around us.
Open our ears to the cry of the oppressed.
Open our eyes to see the path you would have us walk.
Open our lives that we may fallow you, no matter where you lead.
We place our lives and our futures in your mighty hands. We confess and praise and plead with you in the holy name of Jesus Christ our Lord, who reigns with you and the Holy Spirit forever and ever.