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.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Prayers of the People: Facing the Fearsome, 4th Sunday after Pentecost, Yr B

for Sunday, June 21, 2015, 4th Sunday after Pentecost,Year B, Readings: 1 Samuel 17: (1a, 4-11), 19-23; Ps 9:9-20, 2 Cor 6:1-13, Mark 4:35-41    

...And there came out from the camp of the Philistines a champion named Goliath, of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span...When the Philistine drew nearer to meet David, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet the Philistine...
[1 Samuel 17:4, 48]

...A great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. But [Jesus] was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and [the Disciples] woke him up and said to him, "Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?" He woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, "Peace! Be still!" Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm. He said to them, "Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?"... [Mark 4: 37-40]

       We didn't get to the actual fight between David and Goliath in this week's reading but who doesn't know this story? While we - in the Judeo-Christian culture - know it from the Hebrew [or Old] Testament, the story is also found in Islam's Qu'ran. Whatever the myriad interpretations and historical/scriptural/universal significance of this underdog-victory tale, the bottom line for me is who wouldn't be scared facing a heavily-armored 6 foot 9 inch giant with only a slingshot and a couple of stones? But David was clear in his mind that he could do what needed to be done because of God's help.
       Contrasting David's confidence, in Mark's Gospel the Disciples are terrified of the storm on the water. But wait, aren't most of them experienced fishermen? That must have been one whale of a storm to frighten them so much and you can almost hear the translation of Jesus's words to them in today's terms as "REALLY, GUYS?"
       So, where am I in all this? Stepping up like David or cowering like the Disciples? Faith-strong or faith-weak? It depends on the day and the fear. Yet, Paul helps me once again as he says: "See, now is the acceptable time; see, now is the day of salvation!" [2 Cor 6: 2b]  And, we are to open our hearts because God's presence is constant, eternal, unequivocal. Of course it doesn't mean that no terrible things will ever happen to me or those I love. But keeping my faith in God through Christ and the Holy Spirit conscious and active does mean that I may surprise myself with my own strength, resilience, and capacity to face the fearsome foes and woes in life, especially the ones I create for myself. It also means that I can shine as the brightest of suns when the greatest joy arrives. And, with God in my life, everything in between is perfectly, wonderfully, ordinary.  

LET US, GOD’S PEOPLE, PRAY

Leader:  ~ O God, our Refuge and our Strength, in the face of fearsome foes or angry seas, in the smallest and largest moments of everyday life, in joy and in suffering, let us remember to always turn first to You with our faith strong and our hearts wide open.

O Lord of Our Salvation
RESPONSE: Calm our deepest fears; turn our trust toward You

~ O God, our Refuge and our Strength, grant us the courage of Your servant David, that we may speak to the giants of government in our world, our nation, and our community, to urge them to bring justice to the needy and hope to the poor. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

O Lord of Our Salvation
Calm our deepest fears; turn our trust toward You

~ O God, our Refuge and our Strength, restore the health and give comfort to those who suffer in body, mind, or spirit and grant patience to those who tend their needs. We now join our voices to pray aloud for those in need… add your own petitions

O Lord of Our Salvation
Calm our deepest fears; turn our trust toward You

~ O God, our Refuge and our Strength, lighten the burden for those who grieve as You embrace those who now dwell with You for eternity.  We pray especially for: add your own petitions

O Lord of Our Salvation
Calm our deepest fears; turn our trust toward You

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

O Lord of Our Salvation
Calm our deepest fears; turn our trust toward You

~ O God, our Refuge and our Strength, grant wisdom and clarity of purpose for all Deputies, clergy and lay, who begin to gather this day to pray and work over the coming weeks in the General Convention of our Church. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

O Lord of Our Salvation
Calm our deepest fears; turn our trust toward You


The Celebrant adds: Almighty and Most Loving God, we often forget that it is always an acceptable time to bring ourselves into Your presence. Help us to accept Your grace as true and humble servants during the wildest of storms and in the most ordinary life moments. We ask through Jesus, our Savior and the Holy Spirit, our Comforter, who with together with You, are One God for all of time eternal. Amen.




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