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 28, 2015

Prayers of the People: Testing, Testing, 19th Sunday after Pentecost

for Sunday, October 4, 2015, Year B, 19th Sunday after Pentecost, Readings: Job 1:1, 2:1-10; Ps 126, Hebrews 1:1-2:12, Mark 10:2-16

          The Lord said to Satan, "Very well, he is in your power; only spare his life."...In all this Job did not sin... [Job 2:6, 10b]
          Prove me, O Lord and try me; test my heart and mind. For your steadfast love is before my eyes, and I walk in faithfulness to you. [Ps 26:2-3]
          Therefore we must pay greater attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it. [Hebrews 2:1]
          Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it. [Mark 10:15]

          The Book of Job is far from easy to read, let alone to understand and receive direction. It is at once a debate or dialogue - between God and Satan*, Job and his wife, Job and his friends - it contains poetry, it is partly folk-tale. From the opening of this Book, we can hear the music of doom playing in the background; things will only get worse yet even now we are told In all this Job did not sin... How would we fare against such tribulation? 
          The Psalmist has us asking for the trouble that I have always been advised not to borrow! Do I really want to be tried and tested? I'm not sure that I am ready to be the next Job. If I succeed, how do I refrain from the sin of boasting? If I fail, how do I keep my faith?
          In the reading from the Letter to the Hebrews, we are given some help by the instruction to pay more attention to what God is telling us through all he has done and especially through Jesus - who is the reflection of God's glory and the exact imprint of God's very being. 
          And, even as Jesus is tested by the Pharisees, Jesus teaches the disciples, once again, this time as indignant, to let the children come forward and be welcomed fully and completely and with blessing. He teaches us all to be as these, feeling the peace and security of a child beloved of a parent so that we may receive the kingdom of God as a little child. Let us not drift away and lose the ability to love unconditionally as a child does. To hear and know the love and presence of God, through Jesus and the gifts of the Holy Spirit, will help us to accept and thrive within all that life provides. Whatever the tests may be, the difficult and the good (sometimes, it's easier to blame God when things go wrong; sometimes it's easier to forget God when things go well), whatever the twists and turns in the trials of faith, God is faithful to us, let us be faithful to God.

 *I find that an interesting aside is the concept of Satan, who appears in the texts of Abrahamic traditions (primarily, but not limited to, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) variously translated as "The Adversary", the "Devil", or "The Accuser". [click highlighted terms for more information]


LET US, GOD’S PEOPLE, PRAY

Leader:  ~ O God, our Majesty on High, through Job’s trials and tragedies he stayed faithful and did not sin. Grant us the willingness to have even a small portion of the faith of Job, to pay greater attention to all we know of Your presence and love, and to live each day as Your true and beloved children.

Glorious LORD, through Whom all things exist
RESPONSE: Help us to walk in faithfulness to you

~ O God, our Majesty on High, release all leaders of this Earth, our country, and our community, from any hardness of heart or wicked intent, that through actions of integrity, equity, and generosity, they may find their own power in the well-being of all people. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

Glorious LORD, through Whom all things exist
Help us to walk in faithfulness to You

~ O God, our Majesty on High, give peace and respite to those who try to cope with persistent illness, homelessness, hunger, or fear, and reinvigorate those who provide them with care. We now join our voices to pray aloud for those in need…add your own petitions

Glorious LORD, through Whom all things exist
Help us to walk in faithfulness to You

~ O God, our Majesty on High, let the hearts of the sorrowful know, that even as Jesus, those we love who experienced earthly death, are now crowned with Your celestial glory and honor, forever. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

Glorious LORD, through Whom all things exist
Help us to walk in faithfulness to You

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

Glorious LORD, through Whom all things exist
Help us to walk in faithfulness to You

~ O God, our Majesty on High, give extra grace to our anointed leaders in this congregation, and everywhere in Your Church, as they bring us Your precious Word, tell us of the signs and wonders of Christ, and help us find our own gifts from the Holy Spirit. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

Glorious LORD, through Whom all things exist
Help us to walk in faithfulness to You


The Celebrant adds:  Holy and Sovereign LORD, with Your steadfast love ever before us, kindle and strengthen our hearts to accept all the tests that come to us in life, and remain faith-filled, thankful, and purified of sin,  We ask, with child-like love, through Christ Jesus, the imprint of Your Being, and the Holy Spirit, bestower of gifts great and small, who together with You, are One God, eternal, infinite, and limitless. Amen.





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