Prayers for the 16th Week after Pentecost (September 17-23, 2023)

The watchword for the week:
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and do not forget all his benefits.                                                Psalm 103:2

Unto you, O God, we lift our praise.
Your ways are marvelous, and we seek to walk in your path.
This day gives us the chance to honor you,
To share with others your never-ending love.

Psalm 103:1-13
 1 Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and all that is within me, bless his holy name.
2 Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and do not forget all his benefits—
3 who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the Pit,
who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
5 who satisfies you with good as long as you live
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
6 The Lord works vindication and justice for all who are oppressed.
7 He made known his ways to Moses, his acts to the people of Israel.
8 The Lord is merciful and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
9 He will not always accuse,
nor will he keep his anger forever.
10 He does not deal with us according to our sins,
nor repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as the heavens are high above the earth,
so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
so far he removes our transgressions from us.
As a father has compassion for his children,
so the Lord has compassion for those who fear him.

Unto that compassionate God, let us confess our Sins:
In our human frailty, we have a hard time understanding your steadfast love, O God. We confess that too often, our love comes with strings attached and is based on what can be gained rather than sharing it. In our human frailty, we have a hard time understanding how you can be so slow to anger when ours comes so easily.   Gracious God, forgive our lack of steadfastness, forgive our shortsightedness, and forgive our unfaithfulness. Guide us to walk in your ways, to sing your praise, and to share your love freely.  

Thanks be to God that God’s love for us is not based on our faithfulness but on God’s steadfast love. My friends, know that your sins are forgiven; go therefore and walk in the light of the Lord, and give praise:
With joyful hearts, we give praise to God by saying: 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.

O Lord, hear us as we pray together.
Creator of all humanity, we call you Holy and seek to worship you all the days of our lives. We pray that the ways of your heavenly kingdom may be made real in the world that surrounds us. May the bread that we need today be made available for us and all who are hungry. May you forgive us, just as we forgive those who have sinned against us. In the time of moral testing, may we listen first for your voice calling to us, instead of the call of the world, take from us the self-centeredness of our society. This world, and all that is in it, always has been and always will be yours. Help us to lose ourselves to you and your kingdom. Help us to find who we truly are as we walk in your light. Amen.

 And now, most merciful God, we ask you to continue extending your grace and favor towards us;
Let the sun of your gospel never go down out of our hearts;
Let your truth abide and be established among us forever.
Help our unbelief, increase our faith, and give us hearts to consider your many gifts to us.
In faith, clothe us with Christ, that he may live in us, and that your name may be glorified in the sight of all the world.
Keep us mindful of your steadfast love and how we can make that love come alive in the hearts of those we serve and come in contact with this very day.
May Christ and him crucified,
Remain our confession of faith. Amen.