Monday, November 30, 2009
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Thank you, O God, for the gift of life.
To see and to hear, to taste, touch and smell.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Beloved God, whom we know in Christ Jesus our LORD.
We are grateful that you have made us a part of Christ, and Christ a part of us.
You have rescued us from the dark side.
You have forgiven us unconditionally through the blood of Christ.
Even as you refashion us into the likeness of Christ.
Be with us today, we pray.
Bless our worship with grace.
And our service with purpose.
Don’t let us drift, O God.
The tides of time sweep in so many directions.
Here and there, we find ourselves being tugged.
Anchor us, we pray, in Christ.
Keep us close to your love.
And close to one another.
We pray, O God, for the families of those who lost their lives at Fort Hood. May your Holy Spirit comfort them with your divine mercy.
We pray for the man who pulled the trigger.
We pray for Muslims in the military, and Muslims in our nation.
We pray that love will prevail over hatred.
That understanding will overcome suspicion.
That love will make a way through the tangled web of human emotion and failure.
We pray, O God, for our Designated Pastor Nominating Committee … and for Sandra Mader from our Presbytery.
We trust that your Holy Spirit will be with them, guiding them in their study and in their work. Keep them looking heavenward, and keep them on their knees.
We thank you, O God, for what has been.
We thank you for here and now.
And in Jesus’ name, we thank for what shall be.
For there is yet more work to be done.
Lives to be won.
Justice to be lived.
And love to be given.
We’re not up to the task all by ourselves, O God!
We need your Holy Spirit.
We need heaven’s help.
We need grace.
We need you, O God!
Help Covenant, dear God, to a beacon of light to the world.
That our light would so shine, that Westchester and Los Angeles and the whole world might see our good works and give glory to you, our Father in heaven.
In the name of our LORD Jesus Christ, who taught us to pray, saying, Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done …
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Draw near to us, O God.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Sunday, November 1, 2009
LORD, help us to see beyond the moment …
Sunday, October 25, 2009
We thank you, O God, for the joys of life:
Ten thousand things and counting …
A million things and more …
A bird singing like crazy outside our bedroom window, on a mission to awaken the world …
The first sip of coffee in the wee morning hours …
Breakfast at Dinah’s with a friend …
Drivers who back off and let us shift lanes …
Fire engines roaring on by, sirens wailing, warning us to get out of their way, because they have important work to do …
O LORD, we thank you, for:
Children who love us …
Parents who guide us …
Teachers to teach us …
Shoes that fit …
A pathway to walk …
Tasks to be done …
A Bible to read …
A church called Covenant …
And Jesus Christ our LORD …
We thank you, O God, for our elders and for our deacons …
For former pastors who taught us your Word …
And today, O God, we begin a season of prayer for our Designated Pastor Nominating Committee …
We will soon place upon their hearts, O God, a great task …
A burden … to find our next pastor.
Help them carry that burden lightly, with a full measure of your Holy Spirit to guide them …
That in the heat of thought and discussion, they will quickly turn to you in prayer … seeking your counsel at every turn of the way.
Remind them, O God, and remind us all, that we live, not by our own devices, but by your divine providence.
Not by our cleverness, but by the power of your Spirit.
Not in the wisdom of the world, but in the ways of faith, hope and love.
Not for our own comfort or personal interests, but for the glory of Jesus Christ and the wellbeing of the world.
We thank you, O God, for the Reformers: Luther, Calvin, Zwingli and Knox … for their determination to reform the church, to awaken the church from a long, dark, slumber … to re-center the church in Jesus Christ and Scripture, and to help every believer discover their place in the kingdom of God on earth – the priesthood of all believers unto one another, standing between heaven and earth, holding up the world to God, and sharing God with the world.
Help us, we pray, to be a part of the Reformation today … to be creative and energetic in our faith, seeking the furthermore, going deeper, stretching higher, reaching wider … daring to think in new ways … never afraid … always courageous, ever bold, unflinching in our love for you and our love of neighbor … guided by Christ in our pursuit of peace and our quest for justice.
We thank you, dear God, for the gospel … your gift to us … a gift of infinite meaning and eternal endurance … a gift forged in Bethlehem’s cradle and on Calvary’s cross … a gift refined in the darkness of the tomb and on a journey to hell … a gift revealed in the resurrection on the Third Day … a gift assured in the Ascension and the testimony of angels … that Christ reigns with the Father, pleads our cause and intercedes for us, and when times are right, Christ shall return, with the blast of a trumpet, to finish the work and turn the kingdom over to you, O God, and to preside with you, in the new heaven and the new earth, where ever tear is wiped away by your very hand, and death will be no more!
We pray this in the name of our LORD Jesus Christ 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 …
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Eternal God, whom we know in Jesus the Christ, our LORD and our Savior. By the power of the Holy Spirit …
Honor and glory,
Praise and blessing,
Forever and forever.
Thank you, O God, for bringing us to faith in Jesus.
Sealing his love upon our hearts
With baptism and the LORD's Supper.
Thank you, O God, for the cloud of witnesses surrounding us …
Millions who’ve gone before us …
Parents and grandparents, uncles and aunts … doing their best to
Love Jesus and hold on to the vision of a better world.
Even now, O God, as we gather here at Covenant on the Corner, countless millions who lift up the name of your Son Jesus … and live and love in his name, laboring to bring about your will on earth … A world of justice and peace.
Bless us, we pray, that we might grow deeper into your love, that your love might grow deeper into us.
That we might be a church that really looks and sounds like Jesus.
That we might practice the power of his welcome.
We pray for the young couple in Louisiana denied a marriage license; we’re grateful they found someone to marry them.
We pray for the justice of the peace who turned them down, and for all who harbor ill-will and cannot see it.
We pray for people of good conscience and authentic faith who continue to raise up a good vision - a better world for all.
We pray for people looking for work …
We pray for those suffering ill-health …
We pray for the lonely and the forlorn …
We pray for churches across the land and around the world … soaring cathedrals and tin-roofed sheds … help us all to be more like Jesus …
And thank you, O God, for this day …
A day of joyful baptism,
For Maya and her family.
A day for all of us to remember who we really are …
Followers of Jesus the Christ:
Devoted to you,
Loving toward one another.
Faithful to the vision of a better world.
In the name of our LORD Jesus Christ who taught us to pray, saying, Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, one earth …
Monday, October 12, 2009
O God, our Father …
Sunday, October 4, 2009
LORD Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God,
You are the LORD of this Table.
You break the bread and give it to us;
You bless the cup and share it with us.
You give us the Father’s love:
A vast and wondrous love you carried to Calvary’ cross … into the tomb and back again … all the way to hell, and then to heaven … to claim an immeasurable territory for your Father’s far-reaching love … a love that cannot be deterred … a love greater than anything in life or in death … a love that will not let us go!
Upon this Table, O Christ, names … names written on yellow cards … people we know and people we don’t – life in all of its wonder and with all of its hardship - thanksgiving and sorrow, birth and death, turmoil and pain, healing and hope, tears and laughter, memories and hurt, dreams and confusion, firm convictions and troubling questions … the stories of our lives and those we love … upon this Table, O God … and for them we have prayed, Jesus my LORD.
We pray, O Christ, for those who suffered loss in the earthquakes and tsunamis of the last week … we pray for the good forces of government and charitable organizations around the world - to join together, to materially rebuild what has been shattered, and materially restore what has been lost.
Every life lost, O Christ, we commend to you.
To you, O Christ, every broken heart.
Unto your care, every dream.
Into your hands, every tear.
We give thanks, dear Christ, that we know you.
That our lives are in your good hands.
That our faith counts for something.
That our efforts to live well are important.
It’s a miracle to know you.
You cam to us at some point in time to lift the veil.
You came to some of us when we are but children and we felt your love.
To some of us, a bit later – to some of us, much later.
You come to us in the sweet times, and you come to us in times of horror and failure, when all we want to do is hide from you.
You come to all of us, in some form or fashion …
To awaken our hearts.
To give us assurance and a fresh start.
To challenge our minds with lofty thoughts.
To give us your love that we might love the world.
To call us to lives of justice and peacemaking, as your Father in heaven would want it, that we might do your Father’s will on earth as it is in heaven.
We bless you, O Christ.
We honor you today with heart and mind and soul and strength.
We lift high your cross.
And we take up our cross, with fresh resolve and high gratitude.
Fill us, we pray, with your divine breath.
Help us leave behind what is flawed and foolish.
Receive our lives, such as they are, and return them to us, made anew!
That we might press on to your high calling,
With love as our signature, writ large in our lives!
In the name of our LORD Jesus Christ, 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 …