Prayers for the 3rd Week of Easter (April 18-24, 2021)

Bishop Sam Gray singing with children

The watchword for the week:
See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are. 1 John 3:1

This is the day the Lord has made,
Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
We pause for these moments to orient our lives to God’s purposes.
May our hearts be open, our minds be receptive, and our souls be vulnerable to God’s presence with us now.

Psalm 4

1 Answer me when I call, O God of my right!
You gave me room when I was in distress. Be gracious to me, and hear my prayer.
How long, you people, shall my honor suffer shame?
How long will you love vain words, and seek after lies?

3 But know that the Lord has set apart the faithful for himself;
the Lord hears when I call to him.
4 When you are disturbed, do not sin;
ponder it on your beds, and be silent.
Offer right sacrifices,
and put your trust in the Lord.
There are many who say, “O that we might see some good!
Let the light of your face shine on us, O Lord!”
7 You have put gladness in my heart more than when their grain and wine abound.
8 I will both lie down and sleep in peace; for you alone, O Lord, make me lie down in safety.

A Confession of Sin
We are deceiving ourselves if we think that we can live apart from God’s protection and influence. We have all been wandering children, let us confess our sins.

Gracious God, we are thankful that you have invited us into your household of faith and called us your children. Despite our shortcomings, you welcome us as we are but love us too much to leave us that way. Forgive us for those times when we have ignored your will for us and when we have forgotten to whom we belong. Forgive us for doubting the power of Easter to transform us into your children, holy and righteous. Help us, O God, to reach beyond ourselves and beyond our comfortable sanctuaries to invite others into your family so that they too might feel your loving embrace through us.

See, God is coming to you, with arms outstretched, ready to welcome you home. Know that in Christ, your sins are forgiven. With a joyful heart, give God praise.

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. 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 your page’s right side (at the bottom of the page if you are on a mobile phone). When you have finished praying, continue as follows.

Our Lord taught his disciples to pray using these words:

Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed 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.

Romans 8:14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.
15 For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, “Abba! Father!”
16 it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God,
17 and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ—if, in fact, we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.
We journey forward knowing that God cares for us as loving parents care for their children. May we go in peace to love and serve the Lord. Amen.