SILENCE AND CENTERING (2 MINUTES)
Psalm 46:10 (NLT)
“Be still, and know that I am God I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.”
Eternal and Almighty God, You love us profoundly and deeply. As the richest and clearest sign of Your love, You gave Your Son, Jesus Christ, to provide new and eternal life for all who trust in Him. Your gracious desire is to save. Praise be Your Name! Yet we intentionally reject Your gift of love. Instead we choose actions, thoughts, and words rooted in spiritual darkness, not in Your light. We live as though we can save ourselves. We elevate a multitude of different possibilities for life though only You should be in our hearts, minds, and souls. Therefore we agree with Your Word when it states we often love the darkness more than the light. Convict us of our folly. Forgive us for our rebellion. Remind us of Your grace. Help our lives to be centered on Jesus Christ, our Savior and King, and His Good News for sinners like us. We pray in His Name. Amen.
Amos 5:6-7, 10-15
6 Seek the Lord and live, or he will break out against the house of Joseph like fire, and it will devour Bethel, with no one to quench it. 7 Ah, you that turn justice to wormwood, and bring righteousness to the ground!
10 They hate the one who reproves in the gate, and they abhor the one who speaks the truth. 11 Therefore because you trample on the poor and take from them levies of grain, you have built houses of hewn stone, but you shall not live in them; you have planted pleasant vineyards, but you shall not drink their wine. 12 For I know how many are your transgressions, and how great are your sins— you who afflict the righteous, who take a bribe, and push aside the needy in the gate. 13 Therefore the prudent will keep silent in such a time; for it is an evil time. 14 Seek good and not evil, that you may live; and so the Lord, the God of hosts, will be with you, just as you have said. 15 Hate evil and love good, and establish justice in the gate; it may be that the Lord, the God of hosts, will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.
Let us pray for the whole Church of God in Christ Jesus and for all people according to their needs.
Heavenly Father, look with compassion on Your Church. Protect all Your children from an evil, unbelieving heart that would lead us away from You into the deceitfulness of sin. By Your Spirit’s power, enable us to hold our original confidence firm to the end. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.
Into Your hands, we commend all ministers and servants of the Word. Help them to proclaim with boldness that none is good save Your Son alone, who came as true God and true man to fulfill for us all Your will and make us heirs of heavenly treasure. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.
Raise up among us those who will continue to serve as pastors and teachers, deaconesses and other workers in Your Church, that Your Word may have free course among us and be our joy. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.
In kindness, remember all who bear office in this land. Protect them from the temptations of power and wealth that would lead them away from their calling, and make them a blessing of Yours in their service. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.
Holy One, Your Son always warns of the danger that attachment to wealth and earthly goods poses to us. Give us hearts that are content with His promises and hands that are generous with this world’s goods. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.
Only Good One, we place into Your hands this day those we know and love [especially Your servants ________________] together with those known only to You who are passing through difficult and trying days, asking for each a share in Your healing and peace, hope and joy. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.
Heavenly Father, Your Son has prepared for us an eternal home, and He invites us even now to taste its joys at the table He spreads before us. Strengthen all who come to the altar this day, that they may welcome Him in His true body and blood with repentance and faith, and that, receiving forgiveness for all their sin and being united to Him, they may grow in His love and service. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.
Receive our thanks and praise for Your faithful of every time and place who, hearing Your Word, held their confidence firm to the end. May we with them have our share in the promised eternal inheritance through Christ, our Lord. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.
Into Your hands, O Lord, we commend all for whom we pray, trusting in Your mercy, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
17 As he was setting out on a journey, a man ran up and knelt before him, and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 18 Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. 19 You know the commandments: “You shall not murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; You shall not defraud; Honor your father and mother.’ ” 20 He said to him, “Teacher, I have kept all these since my youth.” 21 Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said, “You lack one thing; go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” 22 When he heard this, he was shocked and went away grieving, for he had many possessions. 23 Then Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” 24 And the disciples were perplexed at these words. But Jesus said to them again, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” 26 They were greatly astounded and said to one another, “Then who can be saved?” 27 Jesus looked at them and said, “For mortals it is impossible, but not for God; for God all things are possible.” 28 Peter began to say to him, “Look, we have left everything and followed you.” 29 Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields, for my sake and for the sake of the good news, 30 who will not receive a hundredfold now in this age—houses, brothers and sisters, mothers and children, and fields, with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.”
<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/263889339″>2018_04_08 The Prayer Paradigm</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/mdpchurch”>Memorial Drive Presbyterian</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>.</p>
PAUSE FOR 2 MINUTES OF SILENCE
Pray The Our Father – Slowly
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy Name,
thy kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those
who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
and the power, and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.