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.”
Holy and Loving God, You created us in Your image to enjoy You, to love You, to serve You. But our souls have been corrupted by our hard-heartedness, by our self-centeredness, by our pervasive sinfulness. We turn to you in genuine repentance and seek Your forgiveness. We trust Your promise that You will forgive, redeem, and restore. Help us to forgive others as You have forgiven us. We ask for Your mercy in the Name of Jesus, who has come and will come again. Amen.
14 The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah. 15 In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David; and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. 16 In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will live in safety. And this is the name by which it will be called: “The Lord is our righteousness.”
Let us pray for the whole Church of God in Christ Jesus and for all people according to their needs.
Almighty God, we give You thanks for bringing us to the end of one church year and to the beginning of another. As You have kept us in the days that have passed, so do we pray You would keep us in the days to come. Teach us to be faithful in all things, grateful for all Your gifts, urgent in Your work and hopeful for Christ’s coming again. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.
Almighty God, we long for an end to the struggles of this mortal life and for the start of everlasting life with Christ and all the saints in Your presence forevermore. Keep us from becoming contented with this life and from despair over the burdens of the flesh. We pray ever more earnestly to see Your face and to know in full the joy of Your presence. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.
Almighty God, we know how easily the good things You have supplied can be abused and used for harm instead of good. Deliver all who struggle with addiction, restore us when we fall and bring us the strength of Your Word and Sacraments to sustain us. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.
Almighty God, we rejoiced with people who once welcomed Your Son with palms and hosannas, and we pray You to grant us a true faith, that we may welcome Him now as He comes to us in the bread that is His body and the cup that is His blood. Feed and nourish us in Christ, that we may renounce ungodliness and live righteous and holy lives to the praise of Your glory. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.
Almighty God, we enjoy the many and rich blessings You have showered upon our nation. Grant to us wise and faithful leaders who will help us use Your bounty for good. Establish Your peace among the nations, and bring to nothing the plots of those who delight in evil, terror and violence. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our pray Almighty God, we face illness, pain, suffering, grief and death, but not without Your grace to comfort us or Your hope to encourage us. Give grace to each as they have need, that sustained through their afflictions they may rejoice in Your promises [recalling especially before You this day Your servants _______________]. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.
Almighty God, we claim nothing as our own, for all things come from You. Accept the worship of our lips, the service of our lives, and the tithes and offerings we bring in Jesus’ name. Grant that we may use all things for Your glory, for the blessing of those in our care and for the support of Your Church. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.
Almighty God, we pray not as we ought but as we are able, trusting in Your mercy to supply us with all things needful and beneficial. Keep far from us all things harmful, that we may be kept holy and blameless to the day of Christ’s coming; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
9 How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy that we feel before our God because of you? 10 Night and day we pray most earnestly that we may see you face to face and restore whatever is lacking in your faith.
11 Now may our God and Father himself and our Lord Jesus direct our way to you. 12 And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, just as we abound in love for you. 13 And may he so strengthen your hearts in holiness that you may be blameless before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.
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
Silence, Stillness and Centering before God (2 Minutes)
Scripture Reading & Devotional:
He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”
I have never been on a stormy sea. I can only imagine how fierce the storm must have been. Here are seasoned fishermen and they were exceedingly afraid. Now it did not help that they were going across the lake. The deep part of the lake in the center regions was referred to as the “abyss.” Many frightening fishermen stories were based on journeying into the abyss. Add to that the fact that they left in the evening. It was dark! Finally, they were going to the “other side”. Everyone knew what the “other side” was. It was where that horrific demon processed person lived in the caves. Jesus knew where they were going and fell asleep on the back of the boat. The storm was fast, furious and fierce and they cried out to Jesus. What they saw happen next was shocking to them, and they had seen healing miracles! Jesus stood and commanded the sea to be still! And it did. Now I don’t know about storms on the sea, but I know about storms inside the “sea” of my mind. There is an abyss, there is an “other side” that frightens all of us. Dread, fear, worry, remorse, addictions, obsessive thinking; it seems that our ship is going to sink. When you feel all is lost, do what the disciples did — cry out to Jesus. Name your fear, tell Him exactly what it is that you dread; be specific with your doubts. This same Jesus that said to the sea “Be still” says to you, “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.”
Dear Jesus, You calmed the sea; please calm my troubled heart with the peace only You can give. I take the horrific storms of my life and submit them to Your command. You say “peace be still” so I choose not to be troubled or afraid. In Jesus’ name.
Conclude with Silence (2 Minutes)
The Our Father (slowly pray this)
Our Father which 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 the evil one. For yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever, Amen.