Open the door, open the window

 

Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.

 
~ Jesus,  from Revelation 3:20
 


A prayer

O God, You who are always doing a new thing, we confess that we sometimes close windows against the fresh air of new ideas, against the noise of other people’s worries, against the winds of change. God of every place and time, we confess that we often draw the curtains against people who are different, against world news or community concerns. Forgive us our insulation in our locked homes, our shuttered churches, the security systems on our hearts. Open up our lives, and let your Spirit blow through. Amen.

 
~ written by Rev Teri, posted on revgalprayerpals.blogspot.com
 


 
From the blog
Treasure for our times
How good, how pleasant
Embrace the cities and towns
 

In times like these

 

At the height of World War II Albert Camus wrote,

“We must mend what has been torn apart, make justice imaginable again in a world so obviously unjust, give happiness a meaning once more.”

 

Let us keep praying, till justice rolls “on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!” (Amos 5:24)

 


Repenting and lamenting in times like these

You are the God who hears:
hear our prayer today for all who lament or repent.

For those among us who face discrimination every day
because of their skin colour,
we lament.

For those among us with white skin who benefit
from racist systems sometimes even without realizing it,
we repent.

For those among us who have struggled and waited so long
for the Promised Land of freedom and equality,
we lament.

For those among us who have acted in racist ways
and have hurt people of colour,
we repent.

For those protesting injustice who face police brutality
and a justice system rigged against them,
we lament.

For those who think racism is someone else’s problem,
and not a problem for humanity,
we repent.

God of hope, show us how to work for justice together,
standing up for what is right,
stepping in when something’s wrong,
shouldering each other’s burdens,
holding each other accountable,
righting the wrongs we’ve done,
speaking truth to power.

We pray for change, lasting change,
for protection for protesters,
for a de-escalation of violence
and for government leaders who listen.

Deliver us from evil, within and without,
in Jesus’ name we pray, Amen

 
~ written by Carol Penner and posted on Leading in Worship.
 


From the blog
Interpreting the times
Not deserted
Protection for hearts and minds
 

Small talk

 

A prayer of confession by Rev. Christine Sobania to shine a light on how we are relating to God – all small talk or something deeper?


Prayer of confession

Lord, You are only as far away as the sound of our whispers will travel, yet we so often struggle to speak with you intimately. We make small talk sometimes, thanking you for sun and rain, for gentle breezes and low humidity. Though we may be grateful, we know that chatting about the weather is something we do with casual acquaintances and even strangers.

Hear our purposeful prayers.

We maintain substantial vocabularies—collections of words we use for term papers and interoffice memos and for bantering with our buddies. But do we use them to deepen the conversations we have with you?

Hear our purposeful prayers.

Forgive us when we are shallow, seeking a quick blessing or a fast favor from you without being willing to invest fully in a trusting, committed relationship with you. Forgive us when we are one-sided, asking always for mercy and compassion, but not returning the same.

Hear our purposeful prayers.

Forgive us when we approach you begging for guidance and direction, but then neglect to follow your instructions. Forgive us when we cry out with our pressing questions, but then stop listening for your answers.

Hear our purposeful prayers.

May we have another chance to appreciate the fullness of your love? May we try, once again, to shed our self-interest and find joy in serving your interests?

Hear our purposeful prayers.
Amen.

 
~ by Rev. Christine Sobania, from freshlysqueezedliturgy.blogspot.com
 


 
From the blog
Show me the way
Forgiven and forgotten
A new nature
 

Blessed assurance


Graffiti on graffiti  (Photo: Irene Bom)

 
 
Assurance is one of the synonyms for trust (noun).

Searching for assurance on re-worship.blogspot.com I came across many references to Words of Assurance (of forgiveness), often used in the service after a time of confession.

Here are some words of assurance written by John Birch – assurance that goes a lot deeper than feelings alone as it is based on the character and love of God.


Confession and forgiveness

(A moment or two of quiet where we might make our silent confession to God)

‘Blessed are those whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord will never count against him.’
(Romans 4:7-8)

 
For your embracing love
a Father’s love
a Mother’s love
The love that sees our failings
and forgives us
The love that sees our joys
and embraces us
The love that knows no ending
or beginning
The love that could die for us
and did
We bless you.
We bless you!

— written by John Birch, and posted on http://www.faithandworship.com/


From the blog:
Forgiven and forgotten

A new nature


(Photo: Irene Bom)
 

Walking through the Trompenburg Gardens and Arboretum in Rotterdam I came upon this cracked stone table, with moss growing in the grooves, marking the damage and in some way repairing it.

It reminds me of kintsugi, the centuries-old Japanese art of fixing broken pottery, with beautiful seams of gold filling the cracks, visibly incorporating the repair into the new piece instead of disguising it.

Here is a prayer of confession by Cheryl Lawrie that invites us to bring the cracks in our lives and in our world to God for his radical restoration.

This is the first post in the new series, “Nature”.
 

Prayer of Confession

(inspired by Mark 1:21-28)

God,
we thank you for this extraordinary world
and its reminders of resilience, grace, hope and life:
for when grass shoots break through concrete
when the sun emerges after storms
for when people offer laughter in deep sadness
In these moments we see glimpses of who you are –
and we are grateful.

Yet if we reduce you to being like the cycle of nature
or the best of humankind,
we diminish your power to make the impossible real:
to break apart the impenetrable evils of oppression,
to cast out the very real fears that paralyse us
to banish the insidious demons of judgement and worthlessness.

Forgive us God when we do not trust you to deal with the unspeakable awfulness in our lives and world. In the silence we name the parts of our lives and our world that we believe are too broken to ever be made whole.

Cast out our demons, Lord,
Make us new again

Forgive us when we contribute to the brokenness of the world and the lives of people around us. In the silence we name the things we have done that separate us from you and from others.

Cast out our demons, Lord,
Make us new again

Forgive us when we trust darkness more than we trust your light. In the silence we name the things we think we need to keep hidden.

Cast out our demons, Lord,
Make us new again

Scripture says that those who are in Christ are a new creation;
everything old has passed away;
see, the new has come!

Hear then Christ’s word of grace to us:
‘Your sins are forgiven.’

Thanks be to God.

 
~ written by Cheryl Lawrie and posted on [hold this space].


see also
Theme: God makes all things new (Prayer sheet)
3 Prayers for endings and beginnings