Prayers For Worship January/February 2006

In Psalm 31, the Holy Troubadour sings,
“You are my God,
my time is secure in Your hands.”

We have come to acknowledge, in one voice:
“You are the God of us all. Our time is secure in Your hands.”

Our time belongs to God.
Our New Year 2006, belongs to God.

Penitential Prayer
Heavenly Father, we confess
that we have usurped Your time;
that we have used Your time for our own selfish purposes;
that we have wasted Your time in idle

Therefore, Heavenly Father, in asking Your forgiveness we hasten to reaffirm

that our time belongs to You;
that our time is insecure in our weak hands;
that we come and go in time according to Your Divine Plan;
that our time is secure only in Your hands;
that because Your gift of time is lovingly tendered to us, we must give lovingly of
our time to You Father, and to all our brothers and sisters in Christ.

As the tree trunk supports its branches,
your faith supports you.
As the rain sustains the rivers,
your hope sustains you.
As the Lord God lovingly fulfills His creation,
your love for one another fulfills you.

Happy New Year!
As we worship at the threshold of eternal things, the very doorway of heaven,
let us leave behind everything that would make us stumble, and enter with expectant joy.

Penitential Prayer
Forgive us, Lord, for doing the right things at the wrong time.

When we should have listened, we talked; and when we should have talked, we were silent.
When we should have been strict, we were lenient; and when we should have been lenient, we were strict.
When we should have been firm, we vacillated; and when we should have been gentle, we were harsh.
When we should have been patient, we hurried; and when we should have been prompt, we were slow.

Forgive us, Lord, for doing the right things at the wrong time.

May the Providence of the Father who
hovers over you,
the Presence of the Son who stands
beside you,
and the Power of the Spirit who lives
within you,
be the strength of your life.

PRAYERS FOR WORSHIP January 15, 2006
In Jesus, our Messiah,
God is present among us.

Through Jesus, our Messiah,
God assures us that we are never abandoned;
From Jesus, our Messiah,
we will learn where we are going.

But, in the Name of Jesus, let us all admit
that we need direction.
Speak Lord, Your servants are listening!

Penitential Prayer
We have listened only after deciding in advance what You had to tell us;
We have been guilty of selective tuning,
letting in Your message of comfort and security, but shutting out Your message of responsibility and commitment;
We have refused to recognize Your voice in the cries for help transmitted through throbbing, suffering, living humanity.
We have paid little attention to Your solemn declaration that, “Whatever You do to My brothers, you do to Me.”

Father, for these sins of pride and disbelief, we beg Your mercy.

Go forth now …
Full of joy and the Holy Spirit,
boldly proclaiming the Good News:

Look! There is the Lamb of God
who takes away the sins of the world!

PRAYERS FOR WORSHIP January 22, 2006
This is the time of fulfillment!
The reign of God is at hand!
Reform your lives!
Believe in the Gospel!
Follow Jesus!

Penitential Prayer
God, our Father, we admit that we have failed to be the followers of Christ You want us to be.
We regret our failure to recognize the presence of Jesus Christ in one another.

Liberate us from being further tortured by our failures. Release us from their yoke, so that we can move forward into the future unafraid, knowing that even if we fail, Your help which comes to us through Jesus Christ, is never out of reach.

Each of us is called to follow Jesus in his or her own unique, individual way. Jesus knows our limitations and our capabilities and guides us accordingly. Jesus knows where He is leading us, but we must follow.

Take up His Cross
and follow Him!

PRAYERS FOR WORSHIP January 29, 2006
“Jesus went to the synagogue and began to teach … And His teaching made a deep impression on them because He taught them with authority” (Mk. 1:21,22).

Be alert and attentive so that you also may
become spellbound by His teaching.

Penitential Prayer
Father, we know that Your Son Jesus did not remain a little baby, but grew in wisdom and stature, teaching in the synagogue, asking and answering questions.
As followers of Your Son, we too wish to grow in wisdom, and in the knowledge of Divine Truth.
But we acknowledge that all too quickly after Christmas our enthusiasm for worship and study fades.
We often come to Your house to be
entertained rather than to be challenged.
We find ourselves applying the sermons to other people rather than to ourselves.
We allow ourselves to be slaves of the clock, and the parking lot.
Forgive our inattention to our worship experiences.
Forgive us, Lord, instill in us the desire to learn and to grow, to stretch our minds and our faith, and to grasp more completely the truths of Your Divine revelation.

May you advance
in wisdom.

May you grow
in faith,
in hope,
in love for God and man.

PRAYERS FOR WORSHIP February 5, 2006
Open your hearts to God’s welcome:
He knows the story of our life —
He follows us, step-by-step —
from cradle to grave;
He understands us;
His arms are open to receive us.
What a miracle is God!

Penitential Prayer
Apart from the miraculous, there is
no God,
no Jesus,
no mankind,
no creation,
no love,
no eternal life.
God forgive our disbelief in miracles!

May God be in your mind,
and in your understanding.
May God be in your eyes,
and in your looking.
May God be in your mouth,
and in your speaking.
May God be in your heart,
and in your doing.

PRAYERS FOR WORSHIP February 12, 2006
The chains of sin are broken,
Our faith is not in vain.
Our most extravagant hopes are legitimate.
Our greatest loves are certain.
Our deepest wounds are healed.
Jesus saves!

Penitential Prayer
Lord, we confess that we often cry out
in dismay,

“Look what the world has come to!”
and less often sing out in delight,

“Look what has come to the world!”

Lord, how often we forget that the greatest discovery of our life is that we have a Savior.
Lord, forgive our forgetfulness.

A Christian person is the most free person of all, and subject to no one;

A Christian person is the most dutiful person of all, and subject to everyone.

PRAYERS FOR WORSHIP February 19, 2006
Jesus is accessible — He listens!
Jesus is approachable — He understands!
Jesus is embraceable — He loves!
Because Jesus cares,

He is with us now:
Penitential Prayer
Lord, we confess our contribution to one of the fundamental ills of our time: the lack of human access, people-to-people access.

Perhaps there has never been an Age when one-to-one contact has been so difficult to achieve;

students attempting to reach teachers, and
teachers their students;
patients their doctors;
clients their lawyers;
consumers their producers;
tenants their landlords;
citizens their representatives;
children their parents.

Lord, we have played a part in creating a dehumanizing atmosphere in which we seem to be forever standing in the wrong line.

And even the right line seems to lead us not so much to warm, fleshy human beings as to that mysterious, impersonal, untouchable, inaccessible force people constantly refer to as “they.”

For these failures in human contact and for our own individual lack of approachability and accessibility, have mercy on us, our Heavenly Father!

“Jesus Christ … Son of God … was not alternately ‘Yes’ and ‘No’: He was never anything but ‘Yes'”

Go, and follow His example;
“Yes!” to the Father’s Will;
“Yes!” to the Son’s example;
“Yes!” to the Spirit of Love;
“Yes! Yes! Yes!” to one another!

PRAYERS FOR WORSHIP February 26, 2006
We rejoice in the Presence of our Blessed Bridegroom who exhorts us to reject the evil that is known and to embrace His New Life
without fear of the unknown.

Penitential Prayer
Heavenly Father,
Jesus has come as Your sign of a new creation — yet we continue to look at Your truth through a rear-view mirror.
In the Apostle Paul’s words, “The old has passed away, behold, the new has come!”
The Gospel Truth is that we are asked to trust in the Lord completely and absolutely — yet we continue to view the Gospel as a supermarket where you pick and choose what pleases you most.
Jesus teaches us that our Gospel hope points toward history’s fulfillment in the Kingdom of God — yet we continue to persist in a hope pointing toward history’s fulfillment in some more “practical” way.
Father, for our perverse insistence on putting new wine into old wineskins, we ask Your merciful forgiveness!

Go, in anticipation of the day “When every knee shall bend and every tongue confess
that ‘Jesus Christ is Lord’!”

Go, and make ready for the time when the whole world will be joined in the jubilee of the Beloved Community.

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