A moment of contemplation for yourself or on behalf of others on everything from the life-altering to the mundane.


Prayer: A conversation with The Higher Other who lives within each of us. An invitation to vent, to re-think, to ask, and to rest.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Prayers of the People: Pride of Place, 15th Sunday after Pentecost Yr C

For Sunday, August 28, 2016, 15th Sunday after Pentecost, Year C, Readings: Jeremiah 2:4-13, Ps 81:1, 10-16, Hebrews 13: 1-8, 15-16, Luke 14:1, 7-14

        Be appalled, O heavens, at this, be shocked, be utterly desolate, says the Lord, for my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living water, and dug out cisterns for themselves, cracked cisterns that can hold no water. [Jeremiah 2:12-13]

        Sing with joy to God our strength...I am the Lord your God..."Open your mouth wide and I will fill it." Yet my people did not hear my voice...So I gave them over to the stubbornness of their hearts. Oh that my people would listen to me! that Israel would walk in my ways! Those who hate the Lord would cringe before him, and their punishment would last forever. But Israel would I feed with the finest wheat and satisfy him with honey from the rock. [Ps 81: 1a, 10, 12-13, 15-16]

        Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it...Keep  your lives free from the love of money, and be content with what you have...Remember your leaders, those who spoke the word of God to you, consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Through him, then, let us offer a sacrifice of praise to God... [Hebrews 13:2, 5, 7-8, 15]

        But when you are invited, go and sit at the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he may say to you, "Friend, move up higher"...For all who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted." [ Luke 14:10-11]

        Humility. Love. Hospitality. Contentment. Worship. Simplistic perhaps, but in my mind, these are the basic elements of the readings for this week, the minimal requirements for a life in faith. I place humility first as without true humility, we are not able to honestly embrace and live in and through the others. It is also, I believe, the most difficult to inhabit.
       Who of us doesn't or wouldn't feel proud and pleased with a prestigious invitation, having a beautiful home, or wearing the best clothes? Those things in themselves are not bad at all, but rather, as always, it's how we reflect these kinds of acquisitions in our lives. If, within our attitudes, it places us above any others, then we have wandered away from God's path and dug out cisterns for ourselves. We are perfectly justified to be content with what we have as long as we "Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have..." [Hebrews 13:16] especially among those who cannot repay us.
       But humility is a tricky aspect of character. While philanthropy and generosity are well and fine and necessary, we must take care to be sincere, and genuine. Some of us may have to start small and practice this virtue often until the true spirit of it takes hold. [Yes, let that car in ahead of you in traffic and don't say or even think those words.] Jesus doesn't want us to be proud of our humility!
       Once we are truly humble we won't know it and we will naturally exude the love which will naturally manifest in hospitality to others, contentment with what we have, and show our respect, love, and worship of God in every thought, word, and action. Tough work ahead and, if we do it right, we won't know we've gotten there until we get THERE. Pride of place is a cracked cistern that holds no water. Let us immerse ourselves in God, the fountain of living water.

LET US, GOD’S PEOPLE, PRAY

Leader:  ~ O God, Fount of Living Water, cleanse us from stubbornness of heart and wash away our mortal discontents. Open our ears to hear Your voice and listen to Your words, that we may walk in Your ways in humility, with contrition, and by a continual sacrifice of praise to You.

                                                O Lord, our God
RESPONSE:   Our Help and our Strength

~ O God, Fount of Living Water, immerse the souls of those who wield international, national, and local power in compassion, generosity, and thoughtful justice. Stem the tide of hatred, violence, and misery in our own country and across the globe. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                                O Lord, our God
                                                Our Help and our Strength
                                               
~ O God, Fount of Living Water, refresh the spirits of those laid low by serious illness and all who are in critical life circumstance, and lift the energies of all support providers. We now join our voices to pray aloud for those in need…  add your own petitions


                                                O Lord, our God
                                                Our Help and our Strength
           
~ O God, Fount of Living Water, rescue those drowning in grief with the comfort of knowing that our loved ones are now exalted to a place of honor at Your heavenly and eternal feast. We pray especially for:  add your own petitions


                                                O Lord, our God
                                                Our Help and our Strength

~ O God, Fount of Living Water, we pause in this moment to offer You our other heartfelt intentions and petitions, aloud or silently… add your own petitions

                                                O Lord, our God
                                                Our Help and our Strength
           
~ O God, Fount of Living Water, shower Your blessings upon those who lead us in Your church, who speak Your word to us, and teach us, by example, to imitate their faith and thoughtfully consider the outcome of our own way of life. In the name of Jesus our Christ, who is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow, we pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                                O Lord, our God
                                                Our Help and our Strength
                                                                                                        
The Celebrant adds:  O God of Purest Sustenance, nourish our hearts with divine honey from the Rock of our Salvation. Let our place at Your holy table be lower than the place we offer to others, as we entertain angels unaware, and may each facet of our lives reflect our love, and worship of You and all of Your Creation. We ask through Christ our Constant and Eternal Savior, and the Holy Spirit, the Sacred Breath of Heaven, who together with You are One God, from before the beginning to beyond the end. Amen.






Requests for prayers or meditations for this space or private use may be sent to Leeosophy@gmail.com. All compositions remain the property of the owner of this blog but may be used with attribution as long as they are not sold or charged for in any way.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Prayers of the People: All Bent out of Shape, 14th Sunday after Pentecost Yr C

For Sunday, August 21, 2016, 14th Sunday after Pentecost, Year C, Readings: Jeremiah 1:4-10, Ps 71:1-6, Hebrews 12:18-29, Luke 13:10-17


          Before I formed you in the womb I knew you... [Jeremiah 1:4-10]

        In you, O Lord, have I taken refuge...Deliver me and set me free...Be my strong rock...you are my crag and my stronghold...For you are my hope...my confidence since I was young. [Psalm 71:1a, 2a, 3, 5]

        Therefore since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us give thanks, by which we offer to God an acceptable worship with reverence and awe, for indeed our God is a consuming fire. [Hebrews 12:28-29]

        And just then there appeared a woman with a spirit that had crippled her for eighteen years. She was bent over and was quite unable to stand up straight. When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said, "Woman, you are set free from your ailment." When he laid hands on her, immediately she stood up and began praising God. But the leader of the synagogue [was] indignant because Jesus had cured on the Sabbath...[Luke 13: 11-14a]

      Jesus cured a woman on the Sabbath in the synagogue and created a firestorm. Yes, we Christians basically know what "Sabbath" means even if we give it a loose interpretation and practice, but for Jews - especially the Orthodox - then and now, Sabbath is not optional. It is a God-mandate, a requirement given as one of the Ten Commandments, a rich spiritual experience, beyond and within formal worship, filled with meaningful rituals and prayer. Rabbis to this day study the Law regarding Sabbath for their entire lives to understand every nuance, dispensation, and imperative to guide their congregations in strict observance. 
       It is more than difficult for us as non-Jews in this time to understand why that moment in Jesus' ministry was such a big deal - well, that is, unless we encounter the indignance of a parishioner or 3 who are all bent out of shape by updating the language of THE Prayer Book, or who don't want a sermon that is too filled with "God" and suggestions for more Christian activities and behaviors, complain that the service is too long and turn up their noses at the homeless, addicted, and poor, who also want a place at The Table. Is it more important to follow the Rules and "the way it has always been done, the way we do things here" when the Tradition excludes some of God's children? Or perhaps the question really is: when do the rules support and enhance our relationship with God, who formed us in the womb, and when do they become idolatry? And the follow-up might be: when do I choose NOT to follow the rules and why? 
         Paul warns us, "Yet once more..." that God can and will easily remove what can be shaken so that what cannot be shaken may remain...we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken and our acceptable worship with reverence and awe is what God truly requires. Oh there are, no doubt, a thousand ideas of what "acceptable worship is." My best guess, for me, is that I must change the shape of my practice to include more witness of my faith through how I live, think, and act, and especially, more genuine Sabbath observance - not for leisure, but rather to get more in touch with reverence and awe. What shape are you in?  

LET US, GOD’S PEOPLE, PRAY

Leader:  ~ O God of All, our Stronghold and our Rock, stand us straight up in Your sight, and reshape the direction of our lives. Free us from the bondage of earthly attachments, and set our daily course for the Kingdom that cannot be shaken.

                                             Saving Lord
RESPONSE:         Our hope, our confidence, our refuge

~ O God of All, our Stronghold and our Rock, deliver us from the clutches of evildoers and oppressors, and bestow blessings upon the builders and planters of honorable, trustworthy nations and communities. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                                Saving Lord
                                                Our hope, our confidence, our refuge
                                               
~ O God of All, our Stronghold and our Rock, return to health all who are afflicted in body, soul, or life, and revive the spirits of those who tend to their comfort. We now join our voices to pray aloud for those in need… add your own petitions

                                                Saving Lord
                                                Our hope, our confidence, our refuge
           
~ O God of All, our Stronghold and our Rock, gather the festive chorus of innumerable angels for the glorious return of those we love, who now rise to life in the vibrance of Your Heavenly City. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                                Saving Lord
                                                Our hope, our confidence, our refuge

~ O God of All, our Stronghold and our Rock, we pause in this moment to offer You our other heartfelt intentions and petitions, aloud or silently… add your own petitions

                                                Saving Lord
                                                Our hope, our confidence, our refuge
           
~ O God of All, our Stronghold and our Rock, we give You thanksgiving for the vocations of all Deacons, Priests, and Bishops, for their humanity, guidance, and devotion to Your work. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                                Saving Lord
                                                Our hope, our confidence, our refuge
                                                                                                        
The Celebrant adds: Lord God Almighty, burnish our souls in the fires of this temporal life that You, who formed us in our mothers’ wombs, will shine within us and transform our thoughts, words, and actions into continual, awe-filled, living worship. We ask through Jesus, the Mediator of the New Covenant, and the Holy Spirit, our Divine Sanctifier, who together with You, reign as One God, now and forever. Amen.




Requests for prayers or meditations for this space or private use may be sent to Leeosophy@gmail.com. All compositions remain the property of the owner of this blog but may be used with attribution as long as they are not sold or charged for in any way.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Prayers of the People: The Race is ON! Run, Walk, Ride... 13th Sunday after Pentecost Yr C

For Sunday, August 14, 2016, 13th Sunday after Pentecost, Year C, Readings: Isaiah 5:1-7, Ps 80:1-2, 8-18; Hebrews 11:29-12:2; Luke 12:49-56

        Turn now, O God of hosts, look down from heaven; behold and tend this vine; preserve what your right hand has planted...Restore us, O Lord God of hosts,; show the light of your countenance, and we shall be saved. [Ps 80:14, 18]

          Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith... [Hebrews 12:1-2a]

           Do you think that I have come to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division! From now on five in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three...You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky, but why do you not know how to interpret the present time? [Luke 12:51-52, 56]

        Have you been to a large family dinner or gathering recently? Think Christmas, Easter, a baptism or funeral reception, or a backyard barbecue in a highly-charged election year. Division? Oh yeah, there's lots of that! Of course, depending on the moment, we can manage to be smiling and civil, even loving, but sometimes there's a slow burn, a little seething, a bitten lip when [fill-in-the-blank] says, does, or merely shows up. It's so easy to point fingers and talk behind hands and let the anger and rage build to boiling over because we have the right truth on our side and he, she or they, of course, do not.  And yet, each of us is called to discover ourselves - what beliefs and values are authentically my own based on my experience, observation, even research; and, what I have blindly accepted as truth based on what I've been told by those I trust and admire without question, especially when it is an opinion or line of thought that I want to hear and believe.
       Jesus tells us that when the clouds gather and the sky darkens we expect rain, and when the temperature and wind increases we easily predict a heat wave, yet we cannot seem to interpret the present time. I don't always want to look at the human-made tragedy and despair in the world and here at home. Rather than think about the uncomfortable, I much prefer the illusion that I'm in control of my life and that there is plenty of time left in it to lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely.  Clearly the time is NOW to re-discover, re-interpret, and live through my faith, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of all that I believe. Life is a race to the finish, and finish it will at a time unknown and unexpected. So rather than a "rat race," let me run with perseverance the race that is set before us, the life God has given me to live, in faithfulness, surrounded and supported by the Communion of Saints and Christ at work in the world.  Let me Run, Walk, or Ride as the living embodiment of the Gospel of Christ. This Race is ON!
        
LET US, GOD’S PEOPLE, PRAY

Leader:  ~ Holy God, Maker of Heaven and Earth, preserve what Your right hand has planted, and encourage us, despite our earthly divisions, grievances, and disunity, to know Your Presence at work among us all. Help us to persevere in the way of Christ set before us.

                                                  Restore us, Lord God
RESPONSE:               Make us instruments of Peace

~ Holy God, Maker of Heaven and Earth, with the courage and wisdom of the celestial Cloud of Witnesses around us, let our voices and presence speak and be heard by the leaders of our Earth, our Country, and our Community, to lay aside the sins that cling so closely to destructive and unholy words and actions. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                                Restore us, Lord God
                                    Make us instruments of Peace
                                               
~ Holy God, Maker of Heaven and Earth, sustain the endurance and will to overcome for all who suffer physically, emotionally, or spiritually, and fortify all who offer supportive care. We now join our voices to pray aloud for those in need… add your own petitions 

                                                Restore us, Lord God
                                    Make us instruments of Peace
           
~ Holy God, Maker of Heaven and Earth, accompany the mournful through the trial of loss, as the choirs of Heaven raise great jubilant hymns for those we love now arrived in the majesty and splendor of Your Kingdom.   We pray especially for: add your own petitions 

                                                Restore us, Lord God
                                    Make us instruments of Peace

~ Holy God, Maker of Heaven and Earth, we pause in this moment to offer You our other heartfelt intentions and petitions, aloud or silently… add your own petitions

                                                Restore us, Lord God
                                    Make us instruments of Peace
           
~ Holy God, Maker of Heaven and Earth, grant us fortitude, prudence, and persistence to go the distance, sifting through the noise and distortions of forces competing for the banner of Truth. Help us discover authenticity in those we choose to guide us to interpret Your Word and understand the responsibility for living the Gospel of Christ. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                                Restore us, Lord God
                                    Make us instruments of Peace
                                                                                                        
The Celebrant adds: O God Omnipotent, may the fires of discord, violence, and hate that rage across this planet be as cleansing as the waters of Baptism, to reveal the glory of Salvation beneath the dross of human excess, and the eternal beauty of the Gospel message. We ask through Jesus, the Pioneer and Perfecter of Faith, and the Holy Spirit, the Fire of Wisdom, who together with You are One God, in the blaze of Mercy, Justice, and Everlasting Peace, forever and ever. Amen.









Requests for prayers or meditations for this space or private use may be sent to Leeosophy@gmail.com. All compositions remain the property of the owner of this blog but may be used with attribution as long as they are not sold or charged for in any way.


Monday, August 1, 2016

Prayers of the People: The Unexpected Hour, 12th Sunday after Pentecost Yr C

For Sunday, August 7, 2016, 12th Sunday after Pentecost, Year C, Readings: Isaiah 1:1, 10-20; Ps 50: 1-8, 23-24; Hebs 11:1-3, 8-16; Lk 12:32-40

...seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow. [Isaiah 1:17]

...for I am God, your God...Whoever offers me the sacrifice of thanksgiving honors me; but to those who keep in my way will I show the salvation of God. [Ps 50:7b, 24]

      Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen...For he looked forward to the city that has foundations; whose architect and builder is God...they desire a better country, that is a heavenly one. [Hebrews 11: 1,10, 16a]

       Make purses for yourselves that do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven...For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also...Be dressed for action and have your lamps lit...You must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour. [Luke 12: 33b-35, 40]

       Again this week we are reminded that earthly life is very short, yet there is much to do to be ready for the return of the Son of Man. While it seems on the one hand that we are always being called to give up every thing, on the other, this is more about arranging our lives around what is truly important, placing less emphasis on the material and much more on the spiritual, the unfailing treasure in heaven. There is no difficulty in understanding and recognizing the truth of the statement that where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Paul reminds us of the strength of the faith of Abraham ~ even when he didn't live long enough to receive all that was promised, or, perhaps it was his soul that was gifted and served by God through his faithfulness. 
       This faith work seems especially hard in these days and times with so many delicious and even frustrating distractions that keep us from centering ourselves on our soul's vocation: Full-Time Faithful Followers of Christ. 
       One key is simplicity in reducing the accumulation of unnecessary things, activities, and diversions. Another is to begin and end each day in prayer and find moments throughout the day to offer thanks in between asking for help. Another is genuine, unplugged (electronically and otherwise ) Sabbath time. Let us keep ourselves in God's way. Yes, yes, I know, I'm working on it, I'll get to it as soon as I finish writing this, cleaning that, paying the bills, checking on-line bargains, texting and driving (which may actually bring one quickly to that unexpected hour and encounter with Jesus or cause it for another)... Part-time Christianity isn't what God has in mind. Our Heavenly Broker is all about Vocation Vocation Vocation - using our life's work as preparation for the unexpected hour when we will be called to the City of God. Be dressed for action. Don't let the time to be ready slip by unnoticed.

LET US, GOD’S PEOPLE, PRAY

Leader:  ~ O God, our God, let us continually honor You with our thanksgivings and always keep in Your Way to be worthy of Your eternal Salvation. Guide us to seek our heart's unfailing treasure in You.

                                                O Lord Most High
RESPONSE:             Guide us home to Your Heavenly Country

~ O God, our God, fill us with conviction in faith to stand among all who lead in this world, this nation, and our community, and seek the assurance of things hoped for our neighbors and ourselves - justice, the rescue of the oppressed, and the defense of those made helpless through war, poverty, and greed. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                                O Lord Most High
                                                Guide us to Your Heavenly Country
                                               
~ O God, our God, gather into Your Heart those most vulnerable in sickness and despair, and bring them comfort in the form of loving helpers. We now join our voices to pray aloud for those in need…add your own petitions 

                                                O Lord Most High
                                                Guide us to Your Heavenly Country
                                                           
~ O God, our God, we are blessed in our sorrow by the joyful reunion of those alive again in our glorious Homeland with You. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                                O Lord Most High
                                                Guide us to Your Heavenly Country

~ O God, our God, we pause in this moment to offer You our other heartfelt intentions and petitions, aloud or silently… add your own petitions

                                                O Lord Most High
                                                Guide us to Your Heavenly Country
           
~ O God, our God, delight again the souls of those You have called to gather Your flock, that together we may radiate the impending bliss of divine and unfailing treasure. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                                O Lord Most High
                                                Guide us to Your Heavenly Country
                                                                                                        

The Celebrant adds:  Almighty Creator, you are Architect and Builder of all that is, seen and unseen. Keep us ever mindful of our short sojourn on this temporal planet, and urge us to be prepared for the unexpected hour when the Son of Man returns. We ask in the name of Christ Jesus, the Living Word, and the Holy Spirit, the Revealer of Truth, who together with You are one God, infinitely, eternally, forever.  Amen.




Requests for prayers or meditations for this space or private use may be sent to Leeosophy@gmail.com. All compositions remain the property of the owner of this blog but may be used with attribution as long as they are not sold or charged for in any way.


Monday, July 25, 2016

Prayers of the People: The Stuff That's Left, 11th Sunday after Pentecost Yr C

For Sunday, July 31, 2016, 11th Sunday after Pentecost, Year C, Readings: Hosea: 11:1-11, Ps 107:1-9, 43; Colossians 3:1-11, Luke 12:13-21

       I led them with cords of human kindness, with bands of love.  [Hosea 11:4a]

       Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, and his mercy endures forever...He put their feet on a straight path...For he satisfies the the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things. Whoever is wise will ponder these things and consider well the mercies of the LORD.  [Psalm 107: 1, 7, 9, 43]

      Set your minds on the things that are above, not on the things that are on earth, for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God...Christ is all and in all!  [Colossians 3:1-11]

       But God said to him, 'You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you. And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?' So it is with those who store up treasures for themselves but are not rich toward God. [ Luke 12:20-21]

       As the saying goes, "You can't take it with you" though heaven, and those left behind, know how hard we try. What we do take with us, is the baggage of sin, error, and, mostly, foolish neglect of God. As we build our un-noble barns to store up earthly materials, we are unaware of the ticking clock and unknowing what hour the chime will toll for us. Be sure to take a look around the world and in our own country and see what treasures others cling to and are desperate for - clean water, food, mosquito nets, basic shelter, health care. Google the after effects of hurricanes such as the infamous Katrina or the Asian tsunamis, tornadoes, catastrophic floods, and wild fires and see the loss of possessions measured against the loss of life.
      Check out a local estate sale and see a lifetime of collections, clothing, furniture, and just plain stuff that's left, offered for sale ~ at a bargain ~ to be collected by others and then ultimately left again for sale or other disposal. The U-Haul won't accompany the hearse. (If you've never heard, or it's been awhile, look up George Carlin's comedy piece on "Stuff" on YouTube - get the censored version if the language might offend, but it is a classic riff on shallow values.)
      How are you prepared this very night? And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?  It's less about downsizing than upsizing - start storing up spiritual treasures with God. Be filled with human kindness and bands of love; life is short and no amount of stuff will make it last longer. Whoever is wise will ponder these things...Set your minds on things that are above... 
      
LET US, GOD’S PEOPLE, PRAY

Leader:  ~ LORD of Enduring Mercy, release us from the human desire for all things unnecessary to a full life in the Spirit. Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts and lead us on the straight pathway to You.

                                                 God of Eternal Life
RESPONSE:               Set our minds on Christ

~ LORD of Enduring Mercy, awaken the souls of all who govern by merit or by force in the nations of this world and in our local communities. Grant them the wisdom to ponder well that no amount of wealth or power determines the length of one’s earthly span. Their good and sincere service to benefit all Your children in this life will also benefit themselves in the next. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                                God of Eternal Life
                                                Set our minds on Christ                                                                                           
~ LORD of Enduring Mercy, free all whose spirits languish in the face of physical or emotional pain, hunger, or fear, and refresh the energy of those who try to help. We now join our voices to pray aloud for those in need… add your own petitions

                                                God of Eternal Life
                                                Set our minds on Christ
           
~ LORD of Enduring Mercy, liberate the hearts that grieve with the joy that all whom we have loved now rise to live again, in the newness and glory of Christ our Lord. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                                God of Eternal Life
                                                Set our minds on Christ                                                                                           
~ LORD of Enduring Mercy, we pause in this moment to offer You our other heartfelt intentions and petitions, aloud or silently…

                                                God of Eternal Life
                                                Set our minds on Christ
           
~ LORD of Enduring Mercy, for all You have called to lead us in Your church with cords of human kindness and bands of love, we give You thanks. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                                God of Eternal Life
                                                Set our minds on Christ


The Celebrant adds:  Compassionate Lord, as the longest life on this Earth is but a moment in Your time, keep us from foolishness that we may present ourselves to You, in our designated time, ready and worthy to ascend to heaven’s highest height. We ask through Jesus, our constant Redeemer, and the Holy Spirit, our eternal Advocate, who together with You are One God, now, always, and forever.  Amen.




Requests for prayers or meditations for this space or private use may be sent to Leeosophy@gmail.com. All compositions remain the property of the owner of this blog but may be used with attribution as long as they are not sold or charged for in any way.


Monday, July 18, 2016

Prayers of the People: A.S.K., repeat, A.S.K., repeat... 10th Sunday after Pentecost Yr C

For Sunday, July 24, 2016, 10th Sunday after Pentecost, Year C, Readings: Hosea 1:2-10, Psalm 85, Colossians 2:6-15 (16-19), Luke 11:1-13


       ...and in the place where it was said to them, "You are not my people," it shall be said to them, "Children of the living God."
[Hosea 1:10b]

        Mercy and truth have met together...righteousness shall go before him, and peace shall be a pathway for his feet. [Ps 85:10a, 13]

        See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition...and not according to Christ. [ Colossians 2:8]

        I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, at least because of his persistence he will get up and give him whatever he needs. "So I say to you, ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened....how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?" [Luke 11:9-10, 13b]

     I don't like to ask for things, for favors, or even help, sometimes to my own detriment. I am getting better mostly because there have been moments where I had no choice, but it goes against the in-bred grain of self-sufficiency. I am fortunate to have family and friends nearby who remind me often that they are as available to me as I am to them, in all times, good and bad, and especially in times of need. Yet, more often than not, I cave to my self-imposed notion of "bothering" them. 
    The parable Jesus tells us in this week's reading makes many of us in western culture a bit squirmy and, perhaps silently, critical of the friend who would knock at midnight and be told to go away only to continue until the door is opened and the request fulfilled. RUDE! is what we would say (or worse). But the code of hospitality and community is so strong in other cultures that despite the inconvenience, one asks and the other aids. Jesus explains and reinforces the expectation of God that we are to continually Ask of, Search for, and Knock on God's eternal door to be given, to find, and to have opened. The idea is simple, who of us would even think of feeding a snake or a scorpion to children who ask for fish and eggs, therefore, how much greater will we receive from the Holy Spirit if we but merely ask. It sounds a lot harder than it is, but less difficult if we do it together. Persistence is the key and Ralph Waldo Emerson tells us, "That which we persist in doing becomes easier for us to do; not that the nature of the thing itself is changed but that our power to do is increased." A.S.K, repeat...

LET US, GOD’S PEOPLE, PRAY

Leader:  ~ O LORD of Righteousness and Peace, restore our hearts to the certainty of Your mercy and truth, and protect us from captivity in false teaching and empty deceit.  

                                                  Holy and Living God
RESPONSE:           Deliver us from evil; renew us in hope

~ O LORD of Righteousness and Peace, transform and enlighten the leaders of this Earth, our nation, and our community. Allay our fears and grief for the tragedies in this world, and keep us rooted in the Gospel of Jesus. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

Holy and Living God
Deliver us from evil; renew us through hope
                                               
~ O LORD of Righteousness and Peace, soften the pain and anguish of all who suffer in body, mind, or spirit, and grant patience to all who give care and support. We now join our voices to pray aloud for those in need… add your own petitions

Holy and Living God
Deliver us from evil; renew us through hope
           
~ O LORD of Righteousness and Peace, calm the sorrow and tears of those who mourn as You grant to all of our faithful departed the glory of everlasting life in You. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

Holy and Living God
Deliver us from evil; renew us through hope
                       
~ O LORD of Righteousness and Peace, we pause in this moment to offer You our other heartfelt intentions and petitions, aloud or silently… add your own petitions

Holy and Living God
Deliver us from evil; renew us through hope
           
~ O LORD of Righteousness and Peace, may those ordained and anointed to pastor us in wellness and in ill health, in joy and in sorrow, in preaching and in teaching, be further enriched in wisdom and in grace to Your glory and the salvation of us all. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

Holy and Living God
Deliver us from evil; renew us through hope
                                                                                                        

The Celebrant adds:  Gracious God, endow us with the persistence to ask often for Your Presence in our lives, search for help to forgive others as we are forgiven, and knock constantly on the door to Eternal Life. Turn us from the human pathways of trespass and trial into the fullness of Christ our Savior. We ask through Jesus, the Bread of Life, and the Holy Spirit, our Sanctifier, who together with You are One God, now and forever. Amen.    






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