Prayers for the 4th Week of Easter (April 25-May 1, 2021)

The Watchword for the week:
Jesus says, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” John 10:11

The Easter season calls us to celebrate new life.
Loving God, grant that the Holy Spirit may renew us.
Help us to lay aside those things that lead us astray from you,
Help us embrace those things that bring us closer to you and your will for our lives. 

Psalm 23
1 The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures;
he leads me beside still waters;
3 he restores my soul. He leads me in right paths for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
I fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff— they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord my whole life long. 

Confession of Sin

Almighty and most merciful God, we have erred and strayed from your holy ways like lost sheep. We have followed the devices and desires of our own hearts too often, and we have offended your holy laws. This has separated us from you, and we have hurt even those that we love. We have left undone those things which we ought to have done, and we have done things we ought not to have done, and we are truly sorry. O Lord, have mercy on us. Forgive us our sins as we can honestly confess them to you. Restore your image in us, and create in us a clean heart. Make of us a new creation, ready and willing to serve you. 

Grant to your faithful people pardon and peace, that we may be cleansed from our sins, and serve you with a quiet mind, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. 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.

Together as brothers and sisters in Christ, let pray:

Creator of the heavens and earth, we praise your holy name. We pray that the gracious ways of heaven may be made real in the world that we inhabit. We hunger for much more than food today, and we pray that you will satisfy us and all who have need. We are awed by your forgiving nature and pray that you would inspire us to forgive each other in like manner. We know that you have created us to be holy and ask that you keep us from the temptation of living a life that would tarnish your image within us. All that you have created is holy, and your glory and power are displayed in many wonderful ways; we give thanks for the blessings of our lives even as we seek to live into the eternity of yours. Amen. 

Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, the shepherd of our lives, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God.
We thank you, Lord Jesus, not only for the privilege of believing in you but of suffering for you as well so that we may also be glorified with you.

Let the peace of Christ rule in our hearts since we were called to peace as members of the body. And let us be thankful.
Let the word of Christ dwell in us richly as we teach and admonish one another with all wisdom. Whatever we do, therefore, whether in word or deed, let us do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Amen.