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.”
Dear Heavenly Father, we are a world in need. We need hope, forgiveness, and love. We need Jesus. Your Word tells us that Jesus is the One whose birth brings real hope, whose life inspires real love, and whose death and resurrection render us forgiven. We confess we often spin our wheels trying to fix things on our own, doubting Your power to affect change in our homes, our hearts, and our world. We ask for Your forgiveness and for strength to be a people who believe that You are the One with real power to save. In Jesus’ Name we pray. Amen.
5 Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said, “Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body you have prepared for me; 6 in burnt offerings and sin offerings you have taken no pleasure.
7 Then I said, “See, God, I have come to do your will, O God’ (in the scroll of the book it is written of me).” 8 When he said above, “You have neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings” (these are offered according to the law), 9 then he added, “See, I have come to do your will.” He abolishes the first in order to establish the second. 10 And it is by God’s will that we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
Let us pray for the whole Church of God in Christ Jesus and for all people according to their need.
Almighty God, we praise You that by Your Holy Spirit, Elizabeth greeted Mary as “the mother of my Lord” while the unborn John leaped with joy in the presence of Your Son in Mary’s womb. Increase in us Your Spirit, that our faith may bear fruit in abundance. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.
Almighty God, we praise You that, from their conception, You prepared prophets to proclaim Your truth. Even so, we pray that You would prepare servants of the Word today to preach Your saving Gospel with faithfulness and power. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.
Almighty God, we praise You that by Your kind providence, You create new life. Preserve all pregnant women and the children in their wombs. Bring to repentance all who would take the lives of the unborn, and foster the work of crisis pregnancy centers and others who aid and encourage women to keep their babies. Remember in mercy all who serve in public office in our land, granting them wisdom, courage and integrity. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.
Almighty God, we praise You that You are Father to the fatherless and that You provide for the poor when all others have forgotten them. Graciously watch over the hungry, the poor and the unemployed. Move us to serve You in showing mercy to all those in need, near and far. Comfort the grieving, heal the sick and grant faith to the dying. [We pray especially for _______________.] Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.
Almighty God, we praise You that You feed those who hunger and thirst for righteousness with the body and blood of Your dear Son. By Your Holy Spirit, prepare us again to receive His Sacrament in true faith for the forgiveness of sins and the strength for our service to You and one another. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.
Into Your hands, we commend ourselves and all for whom we pray, through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Luke 1:39-45, (46-55)
39 In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, 40 where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit 42 and exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. 43 And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? 44 For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy. 45 And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.”
[46 And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, 47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, 48 for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed; 49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name. 50 His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. 51 He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts. 52 He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly; 53 he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty. 54 He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, 55 according to the promise he made to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”]
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.
PAUSE FOR 2 MINUTES OF SILENCE