Prayers for the 23rd Sunday after Pentecost (November 8-14, 2020)

The Watchword for the week:
Keep awake therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour. Matthew 25:13

Loving God, from the busyness of this day,
Call us into your presence.
From the distractions of our lives,
Call us into your presence.
From the slumber into which our faith can fall,
Call us into your presence.
From the pain present in our lives as well as in the world around us,
Call us into your presence.

Psalm for the Week: Psalm 70

1 Be pleased, O God, to deliver me.
O Lord, make haste to help me!
2 Let those be put to shame and confusion who seek my life.
Let those be turned back and brought to dishonor who desire to hurt me.
3 Let those who say, “Aha, Aha!” turn back because of their shame.
4 Let all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you.
Let those who love your salvation say evermore, “God is great!”
5 But I am poor and needy; hasten to me, O God!
You are my help and my deliverer;
O Lord, do not delay!

If we say that we have no sin, we have deceived ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just and will forgive us our sin and lead us to live a new life.

O Holy One, we call to you and name you as eternal, ever-present, and boundless in love. Yet there are times when we fail to recognize you in the living of our lives. Forgive us for the times when we feel that church activity counts for living a Christian life. Sometimes shame clenches tightly around our hearts, and we hide our true feelings. Sometimes fear makes us small, and we miss the chance to speak from our strength. At times doubt invades our hopefulness; we degrade our own wisdom, then say and do foolish things. Holy God, in the daily round from sunrise to sunset, remind us again of your holy presence hovering near us and in us. Free us from shame and self-doubt. Awaken us so that we might see you in the moment-by-moment possibilities to live honestly, to act courageously, and to speak from our wisdom.

 The Lord says to each of us: “I will be merciful to your sins, and I will not remember them. Peace be unto you.” Standing in the light, let us give praise to the triune God:

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. 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.

 Lord, have mercy upon us.
Christ, have mercy upon us.
Lord, have mercy upon us.
Christ, hear us.

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name.
Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done
on earth as it is in heaven
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, forever and ever. Amen

Lord awaken us,
To see your presence with us in each moment.
Lord awaken us,
To see the suffering of others.
Lord awaken us,
To the ways in which we can serve you this day.
Lord awaken us,
To see the value that we have in your great kingdom on earth.
Lord awaken us,
To accept the grace that you have already extended to us.
Lord awaken us,
To see how we can share grace with those around us.
Lord awaken us,
To live our lives in anticipation of your return or our being called home to you.
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
And whatever we do in word or deed, may we do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father. AMEN.