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.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Prayers of the People: Back to the Basics, 1st Sunday in Lent, Yr C

For Sunday, February 14, 1st Sunday in Lent, Year C, Readings: Deuteronomy 26:1-11, Ps 91:1-2, 9-16; Romans 10:8b-13, Luke 4:1-13

         Then you, together with the Levites and the aliens who reside among you, shall celebrate with all the bounty that the LORD your God has given to you and your house.
[Deuteronomy 26: 11]

         He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High, abides under the shadow of the Almighty. He shall say to the LORD, "You are my refuge and my stronghold, my God in whom I put my trust.  [Psalm 91:1-2]

         For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all and is generous to all who call on him. For, everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. [Romans 10: 12-13]

         Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil...Jesus answered him..."One does not live by bread alone...Worship the Lord your God and serve only him...Do not put the Lord your God to the test."
[Luke 4:1-2a,4b, 8b, 12b] 

              Temptation. A never-ending human predicament. Many of us face seemingly daunting temptations by food, drink, gambling, sex, drugs, online shopping, and so on, all the time, and while many of us work hard to avoid and overcome them, still as many give up and give way. 
              Jesus was tempted by the Devil with promises of earthly power and authority. But, of course, he was "full of the Holy Spirit" so it must have been much easier for him, yes? Perhaps, yet as fully human, we can assume that it was no picnic in the park for him. 
             Our "forty days" of Lent has begun. It is time for us to clean our spiritual house, examine our sense of purpose, know what gets in the way and what and who can help. Life can be very difficult, especially when we feel lost and alone in a cold and dark wilderness of sadness, pain, or rejection and/or over-indulgence of all that is not necessary for sustenance. Let's get back to the basics - God created me, Jesus loves me, the Holy Spirit is my advocate and there are a variety of like-minded communities providing understanding, empathy, and constructive opportunities for spiritual growth - Church is one of them. We hear from all the Scripture this week the resonating theme that God is always there as Creator, as Jesus, and as the Holy Spirit. Time for me to give up the self-serving petty moan and groan, take on a fresh awareness of the Presence of God, and pray for release of the old junk, and renewal of my faith. Even with all of that it is useful to remember You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you get what you need!   [theology according to the Rolling Stones]

LET US, GOD’S PEOPLE, PRAY

Leader:  ~ O Lord our God, lead us out of the wilderness of earthly temptations, and help us to seek simplicity in life as grace-filled human beings.

                                                O God, our Refuge and our Stronghold
RESPONSE:           Our God in whom we put our trust 

~ O Lord our God, give us voice to be heard among the rulers all the kingdoms, nations, and communities of this world that brings an end to intolerance, injustice, and inhumanity among all the peoples of Your Creation. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                                O God, our Refuge and our Stronghold
Our God in whom we put our trust 

~ O Lord our God, encourage the will and spirits of those with chronic pain in body, mind, or soul to call on Your name and abide in Your shelter. Strengthen and empower all who give them help. We now join our voices to pray aloud for those in need… add your own petitions

                                                O God, our Refuge and our Stronghold
Our God in whom we put our trust 

~ O Lord our God, comfort all who grieve and fill their hearts with the knowing that all who we love, now have new life and joy in the eternal sunshine and glory of heaven. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                                O God, our Refuge and our Stronghold
Our God in whom we put our trust 

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

                                                O God, our Refuge and our Stronghold
Our God in whom we put our trust 

 ~ O Lord our God, renew the energy of those who dedicate their lives to bring Your Word to our hearts in times of sorrow and times of gladness. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                                O God, our Refuge and our Stronghold
Our God in whom we put our trust 
                                                                                                        

The Celebrant adds:  O God Most High, let our first thoughts be of You as we awaken each day to offer our lives to Your service, and to call upon Your name for our salvation. We ask through Jesus, our Redeemer, and the Holy Spirit, our Counselor, who together with You are One God, now and forever.  Amen.



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