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, July 20, 2015

Prayers of the People, Of Land and Sea, 9th Sunday after Pentecost

for Sunday, July 26, 2015, Pentecost 9, Year B  Readings: 2 Samuel 11:1-15, Ps 14, Eph 3:14-21, John 6:1-21 

          The LORD looks down from heaven upon us all, 
to see if there is any who is wise,
if there is one who seeks after God. 
[Psalm 14:2]
          I pray that...you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through his Spirit...that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith...that you may have the power to comprehend...what is the breadth and length and height and depth...[of] the love of Christ...that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.  [Ephesians 3:16-18]
          A large crowd kept following [Jesus]...they sat down, about five thousand in all. Then Jesus took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated; so also the fish, as much as they wanted...When evening came, his disciples got into a boat, and started across the sea...It was now dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them. The sea became rough...[and] they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat, and they were terrified. But he said to them, "It is I; do not be afraid."  [John 6:2,10b,16-20]

            How, when one is the adored King with unlimited power and significant appetites, having everything you want at your fingertips or within finger-snapping distance, does one keep that power in check, the appetites moderated, and the ego from trying to control the world? If you're King David, apparently not very well. But God was watching...And Paul's prayer from prison reminds us, and himself, too, that God has the power to grant us inner strength when we are grounded in the love of Christ through our faith. Although the faith exhibited by the disciples who followed Jesus wasn't always perfect, the people following all of them knew by the signs of his actions who he was. Even as Jesus walked across the water to the boat - he still  had to tell them not to be afraid. 
           All of us fail at faith, ego-moderating, and appetite suppressing. Even Jesus got angry - righteously so, perhaps, but still...And God is watching, knowing our hearts even more than we do at times, and loving us anyway. Stop, breathe, and pray, every now and then, to be rooted and grounded in love, to try and understand in some small way what is the breadth and length and height and depth of our Creator's gift of this life and the next. Whether feeding the 5,000 on the mountainside or strolling across the Sea of Galilee on foot, God through Jesus and the Holy Spirit, by the power of the work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine from the heavens to the universe, on land and at sea.

LET US, GOD’S PEOPLE, PRAY

Leader:  ~ Faithful and Merciful God, You give us the freedom to be all that we are and do all that we do yet You know us deep in our hearts. Strengthen our inner beings that we may be rooted in Your love and reflect the eternal fullness of You in our daily lives.

Most Nurturing Lord
RESPONSE: Make haste to feed our souls and calm our fears
           
~ Faithful and Merciful God, in You lies the strength to enable the deliverance of all Your people from prejudice, poverty, and war. Help us to bring our voices to all who govern on this earth, in our nation, and in our community.  We pray especially for: add your own petitions
Most Nurturing Lord
                                    Make haste to feed our souls and calm our fears

~ Faithful and Merciful God, free the hearts, minds, and bodies of those who suffer from illness, despair, or anxiety and give rest to all who give them care. We now join our voices to pray aloud for those in need: add your own petitions

Most Nurturing Lord
                                    Make haste to feed our souls and calm our fears

~ Faithful and Merciful God, rescue the hearts of all who are lost in the whirlwind of grief as you lift the precious souls of our loved ones to the bliss of life everlasting. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

Most Nurturing Lord
                                    Make haste to feed our souls and calm our fears

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

Most Nurturing Lord
                                    Make haste to feed our souls and calm our fears

~ Faithful and Merciful God, grant unlimited wisdom to all who lead us in Your church, as together we sail the unpredictable waters of life on our journey to You. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

Most Nurturing Lord
                                    Make haste to feed our souls and calm our fears


The Celebrant adds: Gracious, Gracious, Loving God, endow us with spiritual vision to know the miraculous breadth, and length, and height, and depth of Your nourishing presence in our lives. Teach us to see how to bring the world to You. We ask through Christ Jesus, our mystical healer, and the Holy Spirit, our comforter in affliction, who together with You live and reign as One God now and forever.    Amen.




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