Ascension Day Pastoral Prayer 5/28/2017

God of holy times, on this Ascension Sunday we ask

where are you going?

Where are we going?

In-between times are hard for we do not like not knowing, or seeing, or holding onto things that are important to us. 

We miss those who have gone before us, and we envy you getting to have those we love who have died, and we so easily forget that we will know them again.

We hurt one another in our fear of the unknown- where are you? who are we?

We hurt one another in our fear of the unknown...where are you? Who are we? How can it all possibly be redeemed?

In a bombing in Manchester, in a racist and xenophobic stabbing in Portland, in a domestic shooting in Mississippi, in political upheaval and marshal law in the Philippines, in individual and massive tragedies in cities and towns and nations all over the world we mourn, we fear, we rage,  and we search for answers. We search for you.

In the ascension of Jesus we have a story, a heritage- not just of who the person of Jesus Christ is for us, but how we are to be as his people. We are to be wholly where we are, to celebrate joy, to pray, and to be with each other. In doing this we will know the Spirit, we will see our call and live it.

Gods kingdom is and will be ours, it will not be easy, it is not easy, but it will be right. We will give and know forgiveness. 

And so, Loving God, help us to keep this enigmatic way, the way of the ascended Christ. Make us participants in your glory- showing your love, sharing our faith, manifesting your hope- here and now and in all the days to come as witnesses to your presence and The Way. We are yours, you are ours, and in you we can know peace that passes understanding if we only reach for it. We know all of these things because of our brother Jesus who taught us to pray...Our Father...

Prayers for Illumination

Prayer of Illumination that I offered and saved in my days as Transitional Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries at Welshire Presbyterian in Denver, CO

7/28/13

Lord who is the Word that dwelt among us and is amongst us, Open our minds and hearts and imaginations to hear you and know you in the reading of scripture today. The power of the Spirit is with us, guiding us, and we pray that it might show us a new thing. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

 

10/6/13

Dear God, May the words read here today, the words preached and the hearing of them be an act of praise, worship, focus and devotion to you. In Jesus' name we pray amen.

 

3/9/2014

Dear lord, May the words we read, and the thoughts they bring, be our offering of praise, understanding and prayer to you this morning. Amen.

Prayers of Call to Confession, Confession, Assurance, and Peace

These are the prayers I offered and saved in my days as Transitional Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries at Welshire Presbyterian in Denver, CO

6/23/13

Call to confession:

Our hearts long for God, and we know we fall short of God’s glory, so let us now confess to God the ways we have individually and collectively fallen short of God’s Grace. Please pray with me...

 Assurance:

The God of David, the father of Jesus knows all that we are. In God’s love and grace we know that we are indeed cleansed from all our sin, and sustained by the Spirit. In the name of Jesus Christ, God’s ultimate sacrifice, we are forgiven. Thanks be to God!

 Peace:

Knowing that we might find peace in God’s presence and love, let us share Christ’s peace with one another…the peace of Christ be with you all.

 

7/21/13

Call to confession:

Knowing that God will protect us, give us strength and love, while we persist in falling short of God’s glory, love and hope for us, let us now join together to offer God those times we need Christ’s help to be the people and the Church we are called to be. Pray with me:

 Assurance:

The mercy of God is unending, the love of God is all encompassing, and the peace we share in Christ is fathomless. Knowing this, know that we are forgiven, today and all days. Thanks be to God!

 Peace:

Knowing the peace of Christ is in each of us, let us share that peace with one another. The peace of Christ be with you all…

 

8/4/13

Confession:

Lord, you know our inmost being. You know all that we are, all that we know, all that we think, and all that we believe. When those thoughts, beliefs, ideas and be-ings turn from you, we long to be placed back on Your path. We pray that our lives might be a never-ending offering to you, and that our sin might lead to more ways to learn and grow closer to your hopes for us. Cleanse us of our sin; turn our thoughts and feet ever toward Your Way. We pray this together in the name of your Son Jesus. Amen.

 

8/18/13

Call to confession:

We come to worship to praise God, but also we remember our own faults and problems. Let us now turn to God in confession together:

 Assurance:

Jesus is the way the truth and the life…acknowledging this we know that in Christ we have grace, love and forgiveness. Thanks be to god!

Peace:

Knowing Christ loves us each and every one, let us now share Christ’s peace with one another. The peace of Christ be with you all…

 

9/15/13

Confession:

Ever-present, ever-lasting God,

In you we live and move and have our being. You have made us for yourself so that our hearts are restless until they find rest in you. We attempt to find peace for ourselves and we come up short. But trying to let go and find your peace in relationship with your presence can be perplexingly hard. Bless the effort we make in faith to find your peace, so that we might know your faith within ourselves. In your Son Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

 

Assurance: (A variation on a standard Assurance from the Presbyterian Book of Common Worship)

The love of God, the Peace of God, the Care of God are from everlasting to everlasting. I say to you in the name of Jesus Christ we are all forgiven. Thanks be to God!

 

Peace:

And knowing that God’s peace, and Christ’s peace is within each of us, let us share that peace with one another. The peace of Christ be with you!

 

9/29/13

Call to Confession:

Please pray with me as we confess our faults and failings to God.

Confession:

O God, our source and judge and Destiny. Today we will not hide our wrong doings from you, we confess that we have left vows unfinished, good purposes forgotten, opportunities left unfulfilled, and duties unmet. We have spoken impatiently or unkindly, and done ungenerous things, we have desired what we should not, and lived for things that will die, we have ignored you, who are our life and peace. In your mercy forgive us, show us compassion and heal us. Set us anew on your path, and help us to hear your voice. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Assurance: (A variation on a standard Assurance from the Presbyterian Book of Common Worship)

Who is in a position to condemn, to blame? Only Christ, And Christ died for us, Christ rose for us, Christ advocates for us, and Christ prays for us. Anyone who is in Christ is a new creation. The old life is gone, a new life has begun, here and now, know you are forgiven! Thanks be to God!

 Peace:

And now, since God has forgiven us in Christ let us share Christ’s peace with one another. The peace of Christ be with you all…

 

10/20/13

 Confession:

Listening God,

We often find it easier to talk about you than to you. And when we do talk to you we find it easier to talk than to listen for your still small voice, and we find it easier to listen than to act once we hear your call. Forgive us our failures to talk, to listen and to do. Your love is never ending, and that scares us, pardon our fear, our inattentiveness and our inaction. Move us in your direction and break down our defenses. This we pray through Jesus Christ the ultimate listener and doer. Amen.

 Assurance:

The love of God is indeed from everlasting to everlasting. And because of this I can with full confidence say to you that we are all forgiven. Thanks be to God.

 Peace:

In God’s love let us now share the peace of Christ with one another. The peace of Christ be with you all.

 

12/15/2013

Confession:

As we return again and again to God in need of God’s grace let us now turn to God confessing the ways we fall short of what God hopes for us. Let us offer the unison prayer of confession:

 Assurance:

We know that every moment of our lives is known to God. We know that the coming of Christ into the world set us free of shame and doubt of God’s grace, so let us now share Christ’s peace with one another knowing we are recipients of God’s grace and freedom. May the peace of Christ be with you all.

 

12/22/2013

Call to Confession:

We now come before God to confess our darkest moments, those actions and thoughts we know would not bring God the joy we wish our lives to offer.

 Confession:

God of grace and truth, in Jesus Christ you came among us as light shining in the darkness. We have not welcomed the light or trusted your good news to be good. We have often closed our eyes because your light is too brilliant for us, and then see little hope and expecting less. Forgive us our doubt and our wandering, renew our hope that we might find the fullness of the grace you offer each moment. In the life and grace of Jesus Christ we pray, amen. 

Assurance:

And now knowing that God’s light shines into our darkness, let us now share God’s light in Jesus Christ with one another. The peace of our lord Jesus Christ be with you all…

 

3/30/2014

Confession: (adapted from the PC(USA) Brief Statement of Faith)

In a broken and fearful world the Spirit gives us courage to pray without ceasing, to witness among all peoples to Christ as Lord and Savior, to unmask idolatries in Church and culture, to hear the voices of people long silenced, and to work with others for justice, freedom and peace. We daily fall short of these calls on our lives, and turn against our neighbors and our God in fear in anger or in apathy. May our lives find a way to live into the courage the Spirit provides.

 Assurance:

The grace of God is from everlasting to everlasting. In every situation and shortcoming we can rely on God’s grace. Knowing this, may we find peace. Amen.

a prayer book begun...

In 2013, when I was the Transitional Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry at Welshire Presbyterian Church in Denver CO, I began to hear from those who attended worship that they appreciated the prayer and liturgy I offered there. Since then this has been a common response to my prayer, and as one who has spent my ministry career so far as a director or Associate Pastor, I spend more time in worship praying than preaching. So this response was welcome, but at the time it was a surprise. Some of the prayers from that time that I will post were published to Welshire's website or newsletter, because people asked for them, others I have kept and used in other church or worship contexts. The words included are my own unless I indicate that inspiration began with someone else's writing and cite them.