Add to Cart Add to Cart. Add to Wishlist Add to Wishlist. Prayer occurs when God's people, individually or collectively, enter into God's presence. Simple as that sounds, it is rarely simple for authentic prayer to occur in the context of Christian worship. Surrounded by distracting sights and sounds from without, and distracting thoughts and emotions from within, we enter too infrequently into the genuine spirit of prayer in corporate worship. We're sorry, but the selection you have chosen is not available until Saturday, December 1st At this time, we do not allow prerelease orders for items that do not release in the next 90 days.
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Thank You. Speak to our hearts of the things we need to hear, and prepare us for your divine service, through Jesus our Lord, who taught us to pray, saying, Our Father. You are glorious because you care about small things: about tiny flowers and little children and minor hurts and disappointments. It has always been your nature to be present in places where we have not thought to look for you: among the barren rocks, on bustling city streets, in lonely apartment buildings, in the hearts of those going through pain and disillusionment.
Be present to us this morning in all these places, that what was stunted or broken in our lives may begin to heal and become whole again, through Christ Jesus our Lord, who taught us to pray, saying, Our Father. But then we remember the many good people we know, and the kindness in their hearts. We recall the delicacy of feeling expressed in certain poems and songs, and in the best books and movies. And we know that while the world is filled with crime and vileness and disregard, there are many who greatly cherish your name and your presence, and we give thanks for them.
Teach us to care about everything and to spend our lives in pursuit of the goals and values that matter most to your kingdom. Show us love in the smile of a friend, tenderness in the regard of a little child, and glory in the beauty of a single flower. And we shall praise you forever through Christ our Lord, who taught us to pray, saying, Our Father. You have lavished on us outward loveliness and inward peace and delight. You have filled us with a spirit of love and fellowship, and provided a beautiful place for our worship.
You have given us the strength and will to be here.
Our cups overflow, and we suspect that goodness and mercy shall follow us all the days of our lives. We thank you and praise you, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, who taught us to pray, saying, Our Father.
Lost Wonder Love Praise by John Killinger - AbeBooks
One is the beauty of all these faces gathered in worship and expectation this morning. Make us aware of the beauty in one another, a beauty derived from you because you are our Lord, because you have made us and endowed us with your own features, your own desire to love and be loved. Let this be a time of true fellowship and deep meaning for us as we recognize and celebrate your presence in our midst, shining in our hearts and glowing on our faces, a presence that was made known so fully in Christ, who taught us to pray, saying, Our Father. We pray for each person in this sanctuary this morning, those who are in the triumph phase of life and those who are in the other; and we pray for our world, where many are joyful and many are miserable, deprived of the things they need.
Let your spirit be upon all of us, that we may love one another and care for those who need things, and that we may praise your name through Christ our Lord, who taught us to pray, saying, Our Father. We believe that God is Light, and that if we walk in the light we have fellowship with one another.
We believe that God is Love, and that everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. We believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that in him we have life now and forever. We believe that as Christ loves us, so we must love one another. And we believe that salvation and glory and power belong to our God, who reigns forever and ever. We believe that God has given us this nation and blessed us with freedom and plenty.
We believe that freedom and plenty carry certain responsibilities: that we are to love justice and mercy, and walk humbly with our God; that we are to share our gifts with those who have less, both in this nation and in other nations; and that we are to live with gratitude, thanking God for the divine favor we have received. There is no power like the power of God. Glory be to God! I believe that God wants to touch the lives of all people and bring them to a sense of grace and joy, as God has done for me.
And I believe that the best time to begin my witnessing is today, when I remember all that the Lord has done for me! I believe in Christ, whatever the world may say about him; I believe his death atones for sin, and that he lives forevermore, present to all believers. I believe in the Holy Spirit, however hard it is to understand such things; I believe the Spirit teaches, guides, and comforts me, and that it will lead me into the fullness of God. I believe in the Church, whatever others may think about it; I believe it is still the fellowship of the faithful, and that it helps me to be conscious of God in the world.
I believe in the life everlasting, whatever science may think about it; I believe that this life is but the lower school for another, and that knowing this casts everything in a different light. I believe in saying what I believe, however others may feel about it; I believe that knowing what one believes is important in this age, and that it helps me to keep my thinking in order at all times. I believe in the Holy Spirit of God that broods over the face of the deep, claiming this child and that for the service of God in all humanity, through art and music, science and industry, government and church, and a thousand other ways.
It is a rich world, alive with the potential of all its children waiting to transform our lives for the glory of Creator, Child, and Holy Spirit. I believe in Christ, whose resurrection has changed the way we look at life and death. I believe in the Holy Spirit, whose presence enables me to sing and laugh at misfortunes.
I believe that God has manifested himself or herself in these three ways, and in many other ways besides, and that this manifestation continues wherever I am and whatever happens to me, as long as I have eyes to see and ears to hear. And because I believe in God, I believe in prayer, which is the way I listen and hear God speaking, and the way I learn to serve God in the world. I believe that I am expected to live spiritually in the world, dealing justly with all persons and contributing to the care of the poor and needy.
I believe that my own life and the lives of those I love will be blessed by my faithfulness in stewardship and my devotion to spiritual matters, for God rewards those who seek the welfare of others and a greater sense of the heavenly kingdom. I believe that that will be heaven, and, for the time being, that is all I need to know. I believe in the love Mary gave her Son, that caused her to follow him in his ministry and stand by his cross as he died.
I believe in the love of all mothers, and its importance in the lives of the children they bear. It is stronger than steel, softer than down, and more resilient than a green sapling in springtime. It closes wounds, melts disappointments, and enables the weakest child to stand tall and straight in the midst of adversity. I believe that this love, even at its best, is only the shadow love of God, a dark reflection of all that we can expect of the divine, both in this life and the next.
And I believe that one of the most beautiful sights in the world is a mother who lets this greater love flow through her to her child, blessing the world with the tenderness of her touch and the tears of her joy. Thank God for mothers, and thank mothers for God! We believe that God gave the uniquely begotten son, Jesus Christ,for the redemption of this world from sin and bondage and that all who trust and follow him find a quality of life that others are plainly missing.
We believe that the Holy Spirit of Christ is alive and active in the world, calling us to repentance and leading us to deeds of compassion and healing. We believe that God intends us to use our minds and imaginations in the service of the divine kingdom, constructing new possibilities for the poor and offering new hope for the handicapped. We believe there are no hidden clauses in the gospel: God loves us; God wants to love the world through us; and our only happiness as followers of Christ is to lay down our lives for others, that the divine purpose may be accomplished.
I believe that God is the God of time--of the slender moments that slip through the hourglass and of all the incomprehensible eons that constitute eternity. I believe that God has given us the years of our lives as a period of growth and testing, to prove ourselves more worthy of the life that is yet to come. God does not measure worthiness as we do, in terms of wealth and power and the observance of niggling rules; but God measures it in terms of love and grace and generosity, and whether we have thankful spirits that recognize the gifts laid daily at our humble doorsteps.
I believe the gifts are there, and that I must learn to see, and seeing, to respond; for it moves me that the creator of the world would offer gifts to me. If God has time for me, then I must make time for God. It has to be the peace and joy of God! I believe there are gifts more important than the ones under the Christmas tree, such as the things we teach our children, the way we share ourselves with friends, and the industry with which we set about reshaping the world in our time. I believe that the finest carols are often sung by poorest voices, from hearts made warm by the wonder of the season.
I believe in prayer and quietness as a way of appropriating Christmas--that if I wait in silence I will experience the presence of the One born in the stable, for he lives today as surely as he lived then. And I believe God will help me. We believe that he came to save us from our sin and to restore us to the Father.
We believe that he was cruelly treated, put to death on a cross, and buried in a borrowed tomb. We believe that God raised him from the dead, and that he became the first fruits of those who were asleep. We believe that he is present in our midst today, comforting our sorrow, showing us the way to tomorrow, and challenging us to life in the kingdom.
And we believe that the day will come when the entire world will be his and he will reign in glory as the Restorer of all that was separated from God, receiving our love and praise forever and ever. I believe in the power of Christ, whose presence is felt in every season of the year, but especially now, when life wells up everywhere and folks feel a quickening in their souls because it is spring and summer is on the way.
I believe Christ is somehow responsible for both spring and friendship, and that the excitement I feel today is related to the fact that he was dead but is alive forevermore, not only in our memories but in the truest kind of actuality. Christ is alive, and in this very place! We believe that God sent the Divine Spirit upon the church at Pentecost, causing those who were present to enter a new style of personal relationships and a new way of living in the world. We believe in the importance of remembering these things, that we too may live in daily awareness of whose we are and to what ends we move.
We believe that when we recall the works of God in other times we are helped to serve God in our own time. We believe that when we remember Christ he lives among us today, healing our brokenness, calling us to discipleship, and leading us to victory in the world. We believe that remembering the past is the best guarantee of a meaningful present and a joyful future.
We have been like children who accepted love without knowing its cost. Forgive us, we pray, for every act of betrayal, every failure to be kind, every gratification of self, and every blindness to the needs of others. Come and dwell in us with your spirit of generosity, that we may bless the world with what you have given us.
We have envied the gifts of others and wished for what we do not have. We have eaten our food without tasting it and worn our clothes without noticing them. We have taken baths without remembering those who have no plumbing and greeted friends and loved ones without breathing a prayer for our relationships. We have used the resources of the earth with no thought to replacing them, and taken for granted that they would be there forever.
Help us to live penitently and joyfully, through Jesus Christ our Lord. We have not forgiven our enemies seventy times seven. We have not gladly turned the other cheek when offended. We have not gone the second mile with most people, and with some not even the first. We have not befriended the stranger or spoken kindly of the foolish. Yet you have loved us with a steady and unchanging love.
You have been generous to us far beyond our worth, and merciful when we deserved no mercy. Forgive us, we ask, for seeing the faults of others and not seeing our own. Receive us again as your followers, and teach us anew how to love and be loved. For yours is indeed the kingdom that will be forever. We have said things we ought not to have said and withheld praise when it should have been given.
We have thought that which was unkind, unholy, and unprofitable, and we have failed to think the thoughts of love, peace, and righteousness your Spirit would have given us. We have been busy about many things that should not have occupied our time and have neglected to do those things that would have served others and pleased you. Therefore we condemn ourselves before you and ask that your grace and mercy be upon us, to forgive our sins, heal our brokenness, and return us unto ways that are profitable to your kingdom. Leader: Surely God will forgive our iniquities.
People: God will restore a right spirit within us. We do not pray as regularly as we ought, or meditate on your Word. We think about our own pleasures and are neglectful of the needs of others. We enjoy the bounty of summer gardens and the pleasure of outdoor grills without remembering the starving peoples of the world. Forgive us, O God, and turn us again to things of the Spirit, that we may justify the grace you have shown us in Jesus Christ. Leader: God always hears the honest prayers of the community of faith.
People: God cares for us as parents care for their children. Leader: God will have mercy upon us, and deal with us in loving-kindness. People: God will forgive our sin and restore us to a warm relationship. Then I realize how many things are wrong in my life. I have cared more about a good appearance than a pure heart. I have sought riches and security instead of treasures in heaven. Here in the community of faith, I recognize the emptiness of my life without you. Forgive me, O God, and help me to make it up to you. Let the meditations of my heart and the actions of my daily life become acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.
Leader: God is not a tyrant who desires our suffering and discomfort. People: God is a loving parent who wishes the best for us. People: God hears us when we pray, and restores us to newness of life. People: And give thanks for divine mercy. Give us a true sense of penitence and remorse in order that we may be truly forgiven, and find that your love is great enough to cover all our sin, through Jesus Christ.
We have gone our own ways and sought our own pleasure, instead of adhering to your way and seeking the welfare of others. We know that coming to church and appearing respectable in our community does not make everything all right with you. Forgive us, O God, and help us to be truly penitent. Let our faith be renewed in this hour, and our hearts turned again to your way.
Through Jesus Christ, who died for us. Leader: Christ died for us, the just for the unjust. People: In his blood is our peace. Leader: There are mysteries in this beyond understanding. People: God will heal our brokenness and set us in the right direction. We have eaten our bread without concern for the hungry.
We have warmed ourselves without thinking of those who are cold. We have prayed and enjoyed our faith without witnessing to those who do not know you. Forgive us, O God, and bestow upon us the mind of Christ. Let us become sensitive to the needs of your world, and servants of all, through Jesus our Lord. Leader: Christ has sent his spirit upon us to lead us in the way we should go. People: Our sins were forgiven when he died on the cross. Leader: Now we are called to follow him in love and sacrifice. People: God makes a community of those who take up their crosses and follow him.
We have gone our own ways without being mindful of your presence. We have sought our own welfare without thinking of others. We have neglected your kingdom for the pursuit of our own desires in this world. Forgive us, we pray, and turn us again to the remembrance of things that matter. Let our commitment to you become fresh and strong again. I have not struggled to understand the great ideas of the faith, nor have I really attempted to give you the mastery of my life. I have lived selfishly in a world of misery and hunger, and have not sought to be Christ to my neighbor.
Forgive me and help me to begin in this moment to be a new person in Christ. Let the love that is waiting for me in your arms redirect me in all my ways. Leader: God will not fail to fulfill all the divine promises. People: God has promised to hear our prayers and forgive our sins. Leader: Then our prayers are heard and we are forgiven.
People: We can begin again and live for God! Yet when we are confronted by your holiness we know how inadequate we are, and how far short we fall. Forgive us, we pray, and teach us to live in constant remembrance of your glory. That way we shall keep our own lives in order and witness to your love and mercy, through Jesus Christ. Our thoughts are often gloomy when they should be joyous. Our judgments of others are often grudging when they should be generous. Our sharing of self is often minor when it should be major.
Our time for practicing your presence is often splintered when it should be whole. Forgive us for the darkness of our ways, we pray, and let the Light of the World shine in our hearts. For in your kingdom there is no dimness of spirit or shadow of doubt. Leader: God has sent the divine Son to dispel our darkness.
People: In him there is light and life for all people. Leader: He forgives our sin if we earnestly repent. People: He restores us to the light, that we may walk uprightly and love goodness. All: Blessed be the name of the Lord! The affairs of each day have crowded you out, and we have been more concerned with selfish pleasures than with discovering your presence. As a result, we come here in less strength and excitement than we ought to feel.
Lacking the awareness of unseen hosts in our midst, we are often bored with our worship. Forgive us, we pray, and renew our vision of you. Let this be a time of reshaping our lives and thoughts, that we may become the people you have called us to be. Leader: God is faithful and just, if we confess our sins, to forgive us.
People: God has heard us before and will hear us now. Leader: God is ever ready to heal those who are of a broken and contrite heart. People: Blessed are those whose spirits come before God. You have given me so much that I have learned not to notice. Forgive me, and teach me to see with new eyes. Help me to share with others out of my abundance. Then I will understand what it means to be part of the Body of Christ and the human community.
People: It is in changing that we find new life and hope. Leader: It is as we find new life and hope that we are able to change more. People: Thus God give us in Christ the power to become new men and women. We see more easily in others the faults that hinder our own faith. We confuse need with humility, and think we are righteous when we are not really tempted. We feel good about ourselves when we are free from pain and worry.
Forgive us for our indifference to you and to the peoples of the world for whom Christ died. Make us more sensitive to our spiritual shortcomings, that we may be motivated to serve you faithfully. Leader: God has been long-suffering toward the sins of the world. People: God has forgiven us seventy times seven. Leader: God never despises the prayers of a contrite heart. People: God will hear and restore us to the heavenly fellowship, that we may serve that fellowship with newness of spirit!
I have run in a lot of circles because I failed to organize my days in prayer. I have run in loneliness, because I was not running for love of others. I have run with a sense of heaviness, because I was running under my own power. Forgive me, O God, and help me to find the right track for my life. Let running become fun again, and let me praise you as I run. Through Jesus Christ, who is the greatest Runner of all. Leader: God always hears the prayer of a sincere heart.
People: We are sincere, Lord, help our insincerity. Leader: Surely God has forgiven our sins, People: And is moving among us even now to restore in us the true spirit of running. We have experienced envy, hate, and resentment. We have not turned the other cheek or walked the second mile. We have cared for our own interests and forgotten the interests of others. We are not worthy of your love, but we ask your forgiveness. Let the spirit of Christ be renewed in us, that we may be saved from our selfish ways.
Leader: If we are truly repentant, God hears our prayers and forgives our sins. People: God will take away our hearts of stone and give us hearts of flesh. We have lived our lives separately, without a sense of union. We have trusted in our own strength more than in yours. We have cared more about temporal things than about things eternal. We have been more concerned for propriety than for truth, and more anxious for our own welfare than for world justice. We have talked about the cross without suffering, and about love without loving.
Forgive us, O God, and restore us to our mission in the world. Through Jesus our Lord. Leader: Christ loved the church and gave himself for it. People: Therefore God will hear our prayers for ourselves as the church. Leader: God never despises the prayers of the faithful. People: In loving-kindness, God will heal our brokenness and make us into a true and everlasting community.
Our thoughts are not your thoughts and our ways are not your ways. We are more concerned about ourselves than about others. We think more about the economy than about your kingdom. We have not learned to relax in your presence and enjoy praying. In many ways we are still unredeemed, and have not discovered the deep joys of the Spirit. Forgive us, O God, and save us from our own darkness. Let the blood of Christ atone for all our sins, and the Spirit of Christ fall upon us like saving dew.
People: God has promised to redeem us from our sin. Leader: The divine promises are yea and amen. People: Surely God has heard our prayer and will answer us in our need. We confess that we do not always live gratefully, and that we often take the bounty of life for granted. Forgive us, we pray, and make our spirits sensitive to your presence, which enriches everything. Through Jesus Christ. Leader: A truly grateful spirit is also a humble spirit. Leader: God forgives our sin and restores us to new life in Christ. People: Let us give thanks, for our Savior reigns!
We have ignored his living presence and left him to hang on the cross while we have pursued the games and goals that were more attractive to us. We have not followed him in simplicity of life and love, sharing what we have with those less fortunate than ourselves. Forgive us, O God, and make our hearts to be truly penitent, that we may enter into your kingdom and praise you in the name of our Savior.
Leader: God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son to die for our sin. Leader: Surely God will hear us when we pray, and will not send us away empty-handed. People: God will forgive our sin and restore us to heavenly fellowship.
Lost in Wonder, Love & Praise
Blessed be the name of the Lord! After last Christmas I went back to tending flocks, and have forgotten to adore him who was born in a stable. Having followed the star and found the Baby, I have not followed the cross and found the Savior. Teach me to enter into the deep mysteries of the season, and so find meaning and joy for my existence.
Let the spirit of Jesus be born in me, that I may bring glad tidings of great joy to all the people in my life. Leader: Jesus did not come into the world to condemn the world, People: But that the world through him might be saved. Leader: His life was given for the redemption of many. People: His blood atones for all our sin. People: That is our special joy at Christmastime.
There is much I am not prepared to surrender. I do not want to give up home or family or friends to follow him. I cherish my possessions, and do not choose to share them with others. I like being my own master, even though I do not manage it very well, and am reluctant to submit completely to your will. It would be a great favor to me if you would lead me out of my selfishness and into your love.
For yours really is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Leader: It says that God really cares about us and forgives our sins. People: It means that God will answer our prayers and save us from ourselves. My head has been too filled with other things to think of you constantly. Forgive me, Lord, and help me to adore you now.
Receive me as you received the shepherds and wise men, and bless my life forever. Leader: The gift of God is repentance and forgiveness. People: God will forgive the heart that is truly contrite. People: Surely God accepts our prayers and pardons our sins. The divine mercy is forever!
Yet for many of us there is something missing. To the degree that we have not waited before the manger and worshiped you, we feel an emptiness inside. The lights and tinsel and packages are not enough. You are the center of Christmas, O Lord. Help us even now to hurry to Bethlehem , and to remember what it means that you have come in the flesh for our salvation.
Leader: There is no place that Christ may not be found, if we only call upon him. People: He has heard our confession and forgiven our sin. Leader: The song of the angels can still be heard today. People: There is peace among those who walk in his will. We have cared more about ourselves than about your world.
We have sought our own comfort while others suffered. We have transgressed your holy laws. We have prayed too little, rejoiced too seldom, and given thanks too half-heartedly. Forgive us, O God, and help us to be different in the coming year. Let the ministry begun in your Son be continued in us, that the whole world may be converted to your ways. Leader: Christ died for our sins, the godly for the ungodly. People: In him we have forgiveness for all our failures. Leader: God looks on the hearts of those who truly repent. People: God will hear our prayer and restore a right spirit within us.
We have often sought our own welfare and not the welfare of others. We have complained about the state of the world while doing little to change it. We have spent time worrying and talking that should have been spent praying and listening. We have invested energy in our appearances that should have been invested in the renewal of our hearts. Forgive us, we pray, and make new persons of us in Christ Jesus. Let the new year be what the old year should have been. Leader: God invariably hears the prayers of honest hearts.
People: God is always present to those who call on the divine presence. Leader: God will see our humility and accept our repentance. People: God will renew our spirits within us, even as we have been promised. Then we have taken them back again and denied even knowing you. We have turned on you in small ways, choosing what was good for us instead of what was good for the community. We have permitted you to be crucified by refusing to side with the right or speak out in your behalf. Forgive us, O Christ, and visit us again with your Spirit.
Renew our lives by your presence and send us forth once more to live for you. Leader: After the Resurrection, Jesus renewed the discipleship of Peter. People: Peter had failed Jesus even as we have. People: Thus he restores us all, if only we love him. We have been like the disciples, who saw life more in terms of the suffering of Calvary than in terms of the Resurrection that followed. Forgive our doubt and despair, and help us to be more positive about life.
Let the power and radiance of Easter morning transform us into new creatures in Christ, who get up every morning with the feeling that something wonderful is going to happen because our Savior lives!
Leader: As God raised Jesus from the dead, so God lifts us all from the graves of broken dreams. People: God forgives us and translates us from sin to righteousness. Leader: God makes the blind to see and the lame to walk. People: God makes us whole again, and sends us forth to witness to our faith. O God of righteousness, we admit that we often fall short of the goodness we wish we had. O God of all creation, we acknowledge that we often imitate others instead of trying to be creative or original. O God whose ways and thoughts are higher than ours, we bow our heads and confess our need of you.
Forgive us and heal us, and help us to praise you, through Christ our Lord. Leader: It was an act of everlasting mercy that God sent Christ to die on the cross. People: He died for our sins, and by his death we are made whole. Leader: It is a great mystery, but God loves us and forgives us.
People: Now we can praise God with hearts filled with gratitude! Now give us the gift of gratitude, that we may see all your goodness and be moved to share what we have with the poor and broken and neglected of the world, through Christ our Redeemer. Great is the kingdom we have inherited in Christ Jesus. Great is the need of the world around us. Now let us respond to the mercy and the kingdom and the need with the greatest of generosities, that even our own lives will be changed in giving. Through him who loved us, even Christ Jesus our Lord. Therefore we ask that you will receive these gifts of ours as a joy for you, realizing we are but children not yet capable of giving the gifts we shall one day give you, when we are joined with all the saints and angels in heavenly praise.
If there is one thing we learn in worship, let it be not to take any gift for granted, but to remember that it comes from you and to live in perpetual gratitude, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Help us in all our dealings, with other persons as well as with you, to become more and more generous, in order that we may be more like you and honor you by our behavior.
Through Jesus, who was the most generous of men. Forgive us for any times when we have felt deprived or neglected, and remind us of the true immensity of our indebtedness to you, that we may always live as your grateful sons and daughters, through Jesus Christ our Lord. It is also true that a cheerful giver is more likely to love you.