Prayers for the 13th Week after Pentecost (August 22-28, 2021)

The watchword for the week:
Jesus says, “The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.” John 6:63

How wonderful are your ways, loving God.
We look at the wonderful world which you have created, and we are filled with awe.
While we marvel at the complexity of this creation, we are even more amazed at the love that you have for all of it, including humanity.
Compassion and steadfast love are what set you apart from all else in this world. How wonderful you are. 

Psalm 34:15-22
The eyes of God are on the righteous,
and God’s ears are open to their cry.
The face of God is against evildoers,
  to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.
When the righteous cry for help, God hears,
and rescues them from all their troubles.
God is near to the brokenhearted,
   and saves the crushed in spirit.
Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
   but God rescues them from them all.
God keeps all their bones;
   not one of them will be broken.
Evil brings death to the wicked,
   and those who hate the righteous will be condemned.
God redeems the life of those who serve God;
   none of those who take refuge in God will be condemned. 

In truth and honesty, let us draw near to the throne of grace and confess our sins to God.

God of spirit and life, we come to you with a humble heart and a contrite spirit, asking for your grace to be showered upon us. As we consider the pattern of your Spirit, we feel inadequate even to approach you, but hear us as we ask your forgiveness. We confess that we have not always reflected your compassion to those around us. While we find it easy to be compassionate towards those we love, it is harder to do that with those we consider to be our enemies. We find it easy to keep a score of those who have wronged us while ignoring the pain we have inflicted on others. Help us to look first at how we can transform ourselves into a more faithful reflection of your love instead of seeking to change others. We hunger for your spirit and life; feed us this day. Amen. 

The Lord, your Redeemer, says: Now your guilt is gone, and your sins are forgiven. Let us give praise to 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. 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.

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

Creator of us all, we praise your name because you have lovingly made each one of us. May your intended purpose be made real here on earth, even as it is already done in heaven. Feed us today with the things we truly need, and may we share our abundance with others. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who have done wrong to us. In times of temptation, may we know of your life-giving strength and keep us from all evil. Gracious God, this is your kingdom, and we acknowledge your power and glory, both now and forevermore. AMEN. 

Lord, you now have set your servant free
to go in peace as you have promised;
for these eyes of mine have seen the Savior,
Whom you have prepared for all the world to see.
A Light to enlighten the nations,
And the glory of your people Israel.
Send forth your Spirit, Lord,
Renew the face of the earth.
Creator Spirit, come and enable us to have compassion on others.
Feed our hungry hearts with spirit and life.
Lord, hear our prayer,
And let our cry come to You.
Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God! Amen.