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, October 17, 2022

Prayers of the People: The Race of a Lifetime: 20th Sunday after Pentecost '22 Yr C

For Sunday, October 23, 2022; Readings: Jeremiah 14:7-10, 19-22; Psalm 84:1-6, 2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18; 
Luke 18:9-14

   Yet you, O LORD, are in the midst of us, and we are called by your name; do not forsake us...We set our hope on you... [Jeremiah 14:9b, 22b

   How lovely is your dwelling place...Happy are those whose strength is in you...they will climb from height to height... [Ps 84:1, 5-6a]

  I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. [2 Timothy 4:7]

   I tell you, this man went down to his home justified rather than the other; for all who exalt themselves will be humbled, but all who humble themselves will be exalted. [Luke 18:14]

        Jeremiah tries to ease the gloom and doom of our knowing our failures by reminding us that God is in our midst and calls us by name. I want to stay with that image and the resonance of that voice all along the route of my life, as I climb from height to height. Then, when I am finally at the Finish Line of Racing-While-Human, I am promised the full revelation of God’s glory. The lovely dwelling place of God is our ultimate destination and the Psalmist reminds us that we who find our strength in God are happy.
       The Letter to Timothy continues the assurance that the Lord stands by us even though others desert us, and in graciousness, the writer also asks that those who didn't come to his aid not have their rejection counted against them. Oh, to be so humble!
       In Luke, Jesus tells the disciples about those who put themselves above others in the pride of their spiritual accomplishments with contempt for those they deemed beneath them. The self-exalted ones will not be justified as are those who are humbled by awareness of their own sin. The Pharisee revels in his status of being above those he judges of lesser importance including the tax collector, and reports his own fasting and tithing. The tax collector is humble in his prayer for mercy, speaking to God for mercy as a sinner.  Two different prayers, one of pretension and the other of penance.
      Humility is difficult to achieve. When you think have it, you've lost it in that instant! As I continue the sprint through this life, I must relinquish marking milestones and simply keep putting one foot in front of the other, making each breath a prayer. When I listen for the still, small voice that calls my name, I can rest in the knowing that the Lord is with me always, even when I fall. I must be constant in keeping faith, knowing that my hope and strength rests in God. I paradoxically pray two prayers, one for humility and the second to not know if I have achieved it. In attending God in Christ, I’m far more able to resist the petulance that arrives with a false sense of superiority and pride. Jesus doesn't want us to be proud of our humility in this continuous and often contentious race of a lifetime.


Leader:  ~ O Lord in our midst, You call us by name to awaken our souls to Your presence. Keep us from wandering, forget our iniquities, and bring us to You in the time of healing and good. 

                                                         O God of gods
RESPONSE:                 For Your Mercy, we pray

~ O Lord in our midst, as our hope and our strength are set on You, grant us the fortitude to challenge all leaders in governments across this Planet, to work together to achieve the health of our Earth and the peace of living together in unity. We pray especially for:  add your own petitions

                                                       O God of gods
                                                       For Your Mercy, we pray

~ O Lord in our midst, calm all who are in fear and heal all who are suffering in any part of life, as You grant comfort and care for those who serve others. We now join our voices to pray aloud for those in need… add your own petitions

                                                       O God of gods
                                                       For Your Mercy, we pray       

~ O Lord in our midst, free the hearts bowed down in grief, as our loved ones now dwell in the loveliness of Your heavenly house forever. We pray especially for… add your own petitions

                                                       O God of gods
                                                       For Your Mercy, we pray

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

                                                       O God of gods
                                                       For Your Mercy, we pray 
~ O Lord in our midst, we give You thanks for all who are chosen to show us by Word and example how to finish the race of this life, keep the faith, and walk together to our home in You. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                                       O God of gods
                                                       For Your Mercy, we pray                                                                                                        

The Celebrant adds:  Living, Loving Lord, sustain us in our struggle to live humbly in Your sight, to free ourselves from the sin of self-promotion, and to set our hearts on the pilgrim’s way. We ask through Christ Jesus, our Savior; and the Holy Spirit, our Advocate; who together with You are One God in Glory, forever and ever. Amen. 

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