Friday, June 30, 2006

Friday Prayer Blogging - Psalm 13 edition

I came across these prayers based on Psalm 13. I thought they were pretty insightful and did a lot to convey an important message about doing stuff for God rather than focusing on being with God.

Let us pray

Prayer of Confession

Gracious God, you call us to follow Christ by taking up our crosses, but we hold back, hesitating to enter into such a risky venture. We think of sacrifice in terms of giving up an hour or two on Sundays, not in risking the displeasure of others when we hear them speak cruel words or do mean or dishonest things at our work, school, or neighborhood. Forgive us when we give a few dollars to church or charities and think that we have met our obligations to you and to our neighbor. For these and anything else that has separated us from you, our neighbors, and our true selves, we ask your forgiveness, in the name of the One who forgave us from his cross. Amen.

Prayer of Dedication

In the light of Christ’s great sacrifice on the cross we bring our gifts and dedicate them to you, O Lord, with humble hearts, praying that small as the gifts are, you will use them for the glory of Christ and the furtherance of your kingdom. Amen.

Pastoral Prayer

Great and unfathomable God, we come to you because you are the source and the sustainer of our lives. When we hear again the strange story of the father who would have sacrificed his own son to you, we realize how little we understand your word and ways. Help us to struggle continually with the mystery of faith and obedience. There are times when we would domesticate you, using you to fulfill our own desires and wishes, but in the story of Abraham and Sarah you confront us as the Great Mystery, calling forth obedience and to launch out into the unknown, where it is not we, but you who is in control. We thank you for the stories in Genesis and the rest of your written word, and especially for its fulfillment in the life, death and resurrection of your Son, so that we are protected from Abraham’s error of thinking that you would ever will the death of a child.

And yet in Christ we do see that you will a death, the death of the old, corrupt person within us, in order that the new being in Christ might emerge, one that loves enemies by doing good and praying for them. Around us we see the result of living according to the old way of self-centeredness. People lie, cheat, oppress and kill one another in a hundred thousand ways each day, Save us from despairing of this world, because you did not give up on it. Help us to believe and accept the incredible statement of John’s that “God so loved the world that he gave his only son so that whoever believes in him will have eternal life.” We thank you for all who believe and act upon this, those engaged in ministries of healing, teaching, nurturing, passing and enforcing just laws, visiting the lonely and neglected, and bringing good news of your love and justice to the poor. We pray that through such servants you will continue to heal all that is broken in our world, to the end that all might see and accept you as Lord and serve you forever with love and kindness.


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