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, October 23, 2018

Prayers of the People: For the Asking ~ 23rd Sunday after Pentecost '18 Yr B

For Sunday, October 28, 2018, 23rd Sunday after Pentecost, Year B, Readings: Job 42:1-6, 10-17; Psalm 34:1-8, 19-22; Hebrews 7:23-26, 
Mark 10:46-52

          Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me that I did not know…I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you…and [I] repent in dust and ashes. [Job 42:3b, 5, 6b]
      Oh how good and pleasant it is when God's people live together in unity! [Ps 133:1]
      [Jesus] holds his priesthood permanently, because he continues forever. Consequently he is able for all time to save those who approach God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them. [Hebrews 7:24-25]

        Jesus said to him, "Go; your faith has made you well." Immediately he regained his sight and followed him on the way. [Mark 10:52]
       A difficult book to interpret at best, Job is a mix of prose, poetry, and folk tale with language that is ambiguous for translators. As it is told he was the unwitting player in a bet between God and Satan. Along for the ride are the equally unwitting friends of Job who harangue him unmercifully in the midst of his severe trials. Although Job questioned God's justice and motives, he never once doubted God's power. In this epilogue, he now realizes that, as with all of us, he was questioning God without having all the information and he's remorseful. He repents of his doubt and says that in the past he had heard God in his ear but now my eye sees you. FINALLY Job is restored and to even greater wealth and health after so many chapters of disaster, scorn, and pain. God pays off after winning the bet. Is the message of Job perseverance? He sought God's answers and help and received both. What is left out of this particular segment is God’s rebuke of Job’s friends [Job 42:7-9] who were not the least supportive throughout his travails and were spared harsher punishment than a ritual sacrifice because of Job’s awakening to the knowledge that we mere mortals cannot know the mind of God.
      The Psalmist sings a song a faith in action that reminds us that God is always present and hears us when we call. We may not have the fairy-tale ending of Job in this life, but our times in affliction will be rewarded if we press on even as we sometimes struggle with our trust and doubts creep in.
      Bartimaeus also withstood the scorn of the crowds, first just generally because he was a beggar (not unlike us today with our impatience with "street" people), and secondly because he was delaying their journey to Jerusalem. He, too, persevered in getting the attention of Jesus. Then all he had to do was ask and he, too, was restored to fullness through his sight.
      Do I seek the LORD first when I'm in trouble? Do I ask for what I really need or only what I really want? Am I specific or vague: just give me…I want…fix the world. For Job and Bartimaeus the afflictions were obvious. Yet it was through their asking that their faith was displayed, however imperfect. Through our questions, through our fears, God is with us and knows our hearts. Our faith will make us well, also, in many and various ways. Restoration to the wellness of our souls is always available. All we have to do is ask.


Leader:  ~ Gracious, Merciful Creator, in these difficult times let us in faith call out Your name to be saved from our troubles, be ransomed by our trust, and forever rejoicing in Your Greatness. May the radiance of Your presence shine upon our faces as a beacon to all who would draw near to You.         

                                                    Most Holy Teacher         
RESPONSE:                 Heal and open the eyes of our souls

~ Gracious, Merciful Creator, empower us to hold fast, to stand strong for truth, mercy, and justice before the leaders of our World, our Country, and our Community. Strengthen us to prod open the eyes of those blinded by self-interest, political machinations, and other oppressive conditions that do not fulfill Your love for all Your people. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                                       Most Holy Teacher
                                                       Heal and open the eyes of our souls

~ Gracious, Merciful Creator, comfort all who are burdened with serious illness, addiction, and/or emotional distress, and grant energy and peace to those who give them care.  We now join our voices to pray aloud for those in need…add your own petitions

                                                       Most Holy Teacher
                                                       Heal and open the eyes of our souls

~ Gracious, Merciful Creator, in the midst of sorrow for our temporary loss, we give joyful thanksgiving for the glorious welcome of our loved ones into Your eternal kingdom. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                                       Most Holy Teacher
                                                       Heal and open the eyes of our souls

~  Gracious, Merciful Creator, we pause in this moment to offer You our other heartfelt thanksgivings, intercessions, petitions, and memorials, aloud or silently…add your own petitions

                                                       Most Holy Teacher
                                                       Heal and open the eyes of our souls
~ Gracious, Merciful Creator, we offer our thanksgivings for all who are anointed to lead us in worship, who tell us of the former things of You that have come to pass, show us by example of prayer and preaching how to live in this life, and walk with us to discover the Word that will lead us to You. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                                       Most Holy Teacher
                                                       Heal and open the eyes of our souls
The Celebrant adds:  Lord of Grace and Goodness, help us to regain our spiritual sight and be made well through the renewal of our faith and by growing our desire to love, serve, and trust You with our whole hearts, minds, and souls. We ask through Jesus, our Teacher and Great High Priest; and the Holy Spirit, our Sanctifier and Wisdom, who with You are One God, now and forevermore. Amen.

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