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, August 10, 2015

Prayers of the People: Wise Up! 12th Sunday after Pentecost

for Sunday, August 16, 2015, Year B, 12th Sunday after Pentecost, Readings: 1 Kings 2:10-12, 3:3-14; Ps 111, Eph 5:15-20, John 6:51-58

...[T]he LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream...and God said, "Ask what I should give you." Solomon said..."Give your servant...an understanding mind...able to discern between good and evil..." God said to him, "Because you have asked this, and have not asked for yourself long life or riches, or for the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern what is right, I now do according to your word..." [1 Kings 3:5, 9, 11-12a]

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom;
those who act accordingly have a good understanding;
his praise endures for ever. [Ps 111:10]

Be careful then how you live, not as unwise people but as wise, making the most of the time...So do not be foolish... [Ephesians, 5:15-16a, 17a]

Jesus said, "I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever...This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like that which your ancestors ate, and they died. But the one who eats this bread will live forever." [John 6:51a, 58]

          After David's death, Solomon asked for "an understanding mind" or, in other words, wisdom, rather than great wealth or the death of his enemies, which shows he was already pretty smart! Solomon wasn't always a paragon of virtue but he started out well.
          The psalmist tells us that "the fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom" but "fear" isn't meant as we use it today as "to be frightened of." Rather it meant to have respect for, or, be in awe of.  
          Of course, being intelligent isn't the same as having wisdom. We are told that Solomon asked specifically for "discernment between good and evil" and that is a key element. Following the good is the way of the wise. Following the evil may be the way of the shrewd, but it's only short-term for they will die. If we eat of the Living Bread from Heaven that is Jesus, we will live forever. Let us "make the most of the time" we have and not "be foolish" as Paul says. As my grandmother used to say, "The days may be long but the years are short." The time to begin making the most is now.  Once we remember to be in awe of God again, we are at the beginning of wisdom. Once we know the path of wisdom, once we wise up, integrity will keep us on track. 

 
LET US, GOD’S PEOPLE, PRAY

Leader:  ~ O LORD Most Gracious, grant us the wisdom to discern the right choices in life, and to live knowing that we are filled with Your Spirit. Help us to make every action in our lives in service to You, and in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Merciful and Benevolent God
RESPONSE: Turning to You is the beginning of Wisdom

~ O LORD Most Gracious, guide us to expect and require truth and equity, wisdom and justice, from all who govern in our community, in our nation, and on this earth. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

Merciful and Benevolent God
Turning to You is the beginning of Wisdom

~ O LORD Most Gracious, relieve the suffering of all who are painfully afflicted in body, in spirit, or in life, and bring respite to those entrusted with their care. We now join our voices to pray aloud for those in need:  add your own petitions

Merciful and Benevolent God
Turning to You is the beginning of Wisdom

~ O LORD Most Gracious, lighten the darkness for all who mourn, as You welcome those now arrived into the fullness of Your infinite Majesty and Splendor. We pray especially for:  add your own petitions

Merciful and Benevolent God
Turning to You is the beginning of Wisdom

~ O LORD Most Gracious, we pause in this moment to offer You our other heartfelt intentions and petitions, aloud or silently…

Merciful and Benevolent God
Turning to You is the beginning of Wisdom

~ O LORD Most Gracious, for those You have chosen to inspire us to prayer, to bring us Your Word and consecrate the precious Body and Blood, and to guide us in the work You have given us to do, we offer our whole-hearted thanksgiving. We pray especially for:  add your own petitions

Merciful and Benevolent God
Turning to You is the beginning of Wisdom


The Celebrant adds: Almighty and Righteous God, awaken us from complacency, that we may live wisely, make the most of our time on this earth, and prepare ourselves as worthy to be raised to eternal life on the last day. We ask through Christ Jesus, our Living Bread of Heaven, and the Holy Spirit, our unending Source of Wisdom, who together with You reign as One God, for all time, now and forever. Amen.




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