Prayers for the 21st Sunday after Pentecost (October 25-31, 2020)

(Editor’s note:  Those of you reading this in the USA might be voting this week or are preparing to vote on November 3.  I hope this prayer will help to focus your priorities on God’s will rather than ours.  Together let us help to make the will of God known here as it is in heaven.)

The watchword for the week:
You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am Holy. Leviticus 19:2

In the midst of this day, we pause to place God at the center of all that we are.
We lay aside the menial tasks and the important decisions for just a moment as we focus our attention on God’s grace.
Holy God, hear us now,
Listen to us as we lift the prayers and petitions of our hearts, and may you open our ears so that we might hear your voice speaking to us.

Psalm 1
Happy are those
   who do not follow the advice of the wicked,
or take the path that sinners tread,
or sit in the seat of scoffers;
but their delight is in the law of God,
and on God’s law they meditate day and night.
They are like trees
planted by streams of water,
which yield their fruit in its season, and their leaves do not wither.
   In all that they do, they prosper.
The wicked are not so,
but are like chaff that the wind drives away.
Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
   nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
for God watches over the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked will perish.

Let us humbly confess our sins.

Gracious Savior, we bow our heads before you and confess that too often we have forgotten that we are yours. Sometimes we so closely conform ourselves to the world around us that we begin to think that you are not aware of the choices that we make with our lives. We confess that too often, our first thought is financial security rather than sacrifice for your kingdom. We confess that we often hold being right as a higher virtue than being compassionate. We confess that too often we accept the notion that immediate gratification of our needs and wants is more satisfying than seeing your will be known and done. For these things, we ask your forgiveness, and we also ask for your strength. Give us clear minds and open hearts so we may choose what is good and acceptable and perfect. Remind us to be who you would have us to be regardless of what we are doing or who we are with. Enfold us in your arms so that we might feel your love for us and the world.

Christ died, Christ is risen, and Christ will come again that we might live in newness of life; new life both here and in the world yet to come. Let us give thanks to God.

Today we praise the God who created us, the God who is redeeming us, and the God who is sustaining us. Glory be to God. Amen.

Take time to read today’s Daily Texts.  Remember that God speaks to us through the inspiration of scripture, so approach the opportunity to read the texts as a privilege, eagerly anticipating what might be spoken to you today. How might today’s Word make a part of your life new again? If you do not have a copy of the Daily Texts, you will find today’s texts posted in the margin on the right of your page (at the bottom of the page if you are on a mobile phone). When you have finished praying, continue as follows. 

 O Lord, hear us now as we, sisters and brothers in Christ, pray together.

Our Father in heaven, praise be your name; your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and forever. Amen.

The Apostle Paul writes:
I appeal to you, therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.
For by the grace given to me, I say to everyone among you not to think of yourself more highly than you ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.
For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another.  (Romans 12:1-5)

 As one body then let us together go in peace to love and serve the Lord.
Thanks be to God. Amen.