From the Psalms to the Cloud — Prayer for Worship

On Mondays I have been sharing a few prayers from our new book “From the Psalms to the Cloud — Connecting to the Digital Era” (Mankin and Tirabassi, Pilgrim Press).

When Jerry Hebenstreit of Virginia reflects about preparing traditional worship, he says, “I still spend a good deal of time letting scriptures rattle around in my head to see what they say to me. And I try to get a sense of where the congregation is so I can connect to that, too. So I think about individuals in situations and what prayers they might want/need to hear, replaying scripture again and again.”

Jerry’s contributions begin and end this sharing which also includes a Doxology by John Danner of Florida and a Call to Worship by Sharon Benton of Colorado.

PRAYER OF NEED FOR NOW

Even as we learn more about lengthening our lives
we find new ways to kill and destroy.
Help us, O God, to find your peace.

Amid the chatter of e-mails and blogs and tweets,
lead us to the still places
where we can hear your voice, O God.

Faster, ever faster we move,
wanting newer and better and MORE.
Teach us that your love is always
simply enough for our needs.
—Jerry Hebenstreit

DOXOLOGY, ORDINARY TIMES

Praise God, who fills our lives with song,
Praise God, who has us sing along,
Praise God, whose music fills the air,
Praise God, who calls us all to care.
—John H. Danner

CALL TO WORSHIP, FROM PSALM 100

One: Make a joyful noise, all the earth!
Come before God singing!
Many: Singing like leaves in a breeze.
Singing like rain on a hot road.
Singing like uncontrollable sneezes.
One: Enter into worship with thanksgiving and praise!
Many: Thanksgiving for a place to give thanks among others.
Praise for the abundance of God’s blessings.
One: For God is good.
And God’s love lasts longer than anything!
All: So make a joyful noise all people, all nations, all creation!
Make a joyful noise, all the earth!
—Sharon Benton

PRAYER OF CONFESSION
Almighty God, help us to see ourselves as You see us. We pray to You for blessings, but rarely reach out to the poor. We cry to You for safety, but stand mute in the face of oppression and injustice.

We call to You for peace, but take no steps to end war and violence. Help us to see how far we are from where You call us to be. Forgive our blindness, O God.

ASSURANCE OF GRACE:
God heals the retinas of the spirit so that we understand the hopes and sufferings of others. Secular culture calls this “empathy.” We recognize it as “forgiveness,” a wonderful and uncomfortable blessing.
—Jerry Hebenstreit

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