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, September 21, 2015

Prayers of the People: Shake, Shake, Shake, 18th Sunday after Pentecost

for Sunday, September 27, 2015, 18 the Sunday after Pentecost , Year B, Readings: Esther 7:1-6, 9-10; 9:20-22; Ps 124, James 5:13-20, Mark 9: 38-50

image from tinychapel.blogspot.com
      Our help is in the name of the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth. [Ps 124:8]

      The prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise them up; and anyone who has sins will be forgiven...pray for one another so that you may be healed. The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective. [James 5:13-15, 16b]

      For everyone will be salted with fire. Salt is good; but if salt has lost its saltiness, how can you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another. [Mark 9:49-50]

      As always there is much that can be said about today's readings, including the one from Esther for which I provided no quote. Esther is a wonderful, romantic story - one of my favorites as I was growing up and one of the few books of the Bible I ever read all the way through until I was an adult. There are fascinating and significant historical and theological differences between its Jewish/Hebrew origins (it is the basis for the feast of Purim) and the later Greek/Christian translations with which we are most familiar. But for me it was a disconnect with the other appointed readings (not an unusual occurrence with the lectionary). 
      There are an array of commentaries, interpretations, explanations, contextual considerations, and perspectives for any part of the Bible that we are given to think about each week. Of course those are the basis for study, discussion, and sermonizing. I am always interested in the thoughts and ideas of others and how I can synthesize and clarify for myself and others. This week was no different and there was much to ponder and reflect upon and yet there was something simpler calling to me from the collective words of the Psalm, James, and Mark.  I found it in the image above: Serve. Act. Love. Teach. And, from James, Pray. Let's just go with the basics this week, shall we? We can shake up our faith, shake up our intentions and shake our prayers over all that we do for, with, and in the Name of the LORD.

LET US, GOD’S PEOPLE, PRAY

Leader:  ~ Holy LORD, Maker of Heaven and Earth, we use Your Name many times in each day in ways great, small, indifferent, irreverent, and in vain. Open our minds and hearts to feel the power of Your presence each time we speak of You, or to You, for ourselves and for the well-being of all Your people.

O God, our Help and our Hope
RESPONSE: Strengthen us to be at peace in You and with one another

~ Holy LORD, Maker of Heaven and Earth, in a world fraught with anger, violence, suspicion, and fear, guide us to seek out and encourage leaders, with earthly political authority, to end war, intolerance, and injustice for all people, from the youngest to the oldest, in every part of this Earth. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

O God, our Help and our Hope
Strengthen us to be at peace in You and with one another

~ Holy LORD, Maker of Heaven and Earth, whisper Your love into the hearts of those longing for release from sickness, injury, or the struggles of life, and give them comfort from the prayers we lift together. We now join our voices to pray aloud for those in need…add your own petitions

O God, our Help and our Hope
Strengthen us to be at peace in You and with one another

~ Holy LORD, Maker of Heaven and Earth, calm the pain of grief for those whose loved ones have departed this life as You celebrate the arrival of those who will live forever in Your joy-filled eternity. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

O God, our Help and our Hope
Strengthen us to be at peace in You and with one another

~ Holy LORD, 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

O God, our Help and our Hope
Strengthen us to be at peace in You and with one another

~ Holy LORD, Maker of Heaven and Earth, we give You thanks for those who have been chosen and who have accepted the challenge of leading us in Your church. Bless them for praying with us and for us, and guiding our spiritual journey in our community of faith.  We pray especially for: add your own petitions

O God, our Help and our Hope
Strengthen us to be at peace in You and with one another


The Celebrant adds: Abiding, Everlasting LORD, salt our souls with the fire of love that we may live and act through the power of Your name, and one day enter, and bring each other into, Your heavenly kingdom. We ask through Jesus, our Teacher and Redeemer, and through the Holy Spirit, Your Sacred Breath, who together with You, are our One God, forever and ever.  Amen.



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