Sunday, July 10, 2005

Pastoral Prayer - July 10, 2005

In Psalm 25 we hear the writer proclaim:
The Lord is the friend of those who obey him and he affirms his covenant with them. (14)
I look to the Lord for help at all times and he rescues me from danger.

The writer describes God as his friend and as a friend to all who follow after Him. God, the writer tells us, is always faithful, always true to his promises, always looking after His people. God is the shepherd who doesn’t let down his guard, who is always seeking the best.

With this confidence in God, the writer says that he looks to the Lord at all times; the good times, the rough times, the hard times—all time is to be lived before God.

As the writer shares his confidence with us, he invites us to share in his practice; to share in following after God and in so doing to share in the delight of God hearing us, of God keeping His covenant with us, of knowing that God rescues us. We are invited to join with the Psalmist in the great adventure of a prayerful life, to discover that God is always faithful.

Today we need to give God thanks for the Kids Camp that just ended at Eagle Ridge (our Conference Center), for the Student Ministry yard sale, for Bernice T. who is recovering well from surgery ______________.

We also need to bring before God the needs of this body, our community and our world. Especially,
· The family of Grace P.; her parents, Anthony and Jennifer and the grandparents. They laid Grace to rest this past week.

· Ralph Y.’s family. Ralph’s brother Randy passed away this past Friday.
· Del and Lyn S. —for their continued recovery. Specifically, for pain management for Del and for Lyn, a course of treatment.
· Those undergoing medical procedures this week: Don B., Charlie F., Edna A., and Tim F.
· Those who lead the church; our Supt. Wayne Neeley, and Bishop Snyder.
· Our Missionaries; Especially Jack and Jeanne Munos, serving in Haiti.

We’re going to sing once again. The altar is a good place to come and bring your thanksgiving and petitions to the Lord. As we sing, feel free to come to the altar.

______________________________________________

Let us lift up our hearts to the Lord.

O God of all creation, You are the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. You are our creator, yet you have taken on flesh and walked among us. You placed your spirit within all those who call on your name so that we might know you as our Brother, our Father, our Friend. Your life is a mystery to us—three persons in one unity. We are seldom unified within ourselves, let alone with another person. We tend to live for today and for ourselves; you live forever and for the joy of others.
We have found that our road leads to brokenness, but your to wholeness and kindness and love. Forgive us O God, rescue us from our sins, set us on your path. Teach us to live according to your truth.

With the witness of the Saints we come before you knowing that you listen to us as a friend listens to a friend. We’ve come to listen to you and to share with you our lives.

We’re thankful for the week of Kids Camp that has just been completed. We’re thankful for the work you’re doing in the lives of the campers. We’re thankful for the teens that went as workers. We’re glad to live among young people who are loving you, serving you and serving others.

We’re thankful for bringing new people to our community. You open doors for new friendships, new opportunities to serve you as we serve others. In these new friendships we encounter new windows into your creativity and grace. May we rejoice with those who are joining our community and be your helping hands in their lives.

We thank you for your healing power at work in our lives. Bernice T. is recovering from surgery, Del and Lyn S. are on the mend. We thank you for not only healing the body—but even through loss you mend and heal our souls.

This past week the Powers’ family said farewell to their baby Grace. Ralph Y. lost his brother, yet in the midst of this your Spirit is at work. Your spirit goes to the deep places of our lives, brining your light so that the appalling nature of death is made subject to the Resurrection. Our grief is not the entry way to despair but is met by hope and the Empty tomb.

We want to remember these families to you and all families who mourn today. Grant comfort to their souls and strength to their faith.

We pray for our Bishop and Superintendent. They have been appointed to lead your church. Grant them wisdom for the day in which we live, may they seek your will for your church and hear rightly from You.

We’re thankful for the work of people who go around the world in the name of Jesus and share his love. Those who go are separated from families, the encounter dangerous political environments, and some, like Jack and Jeanne M. face the great storms of nature. Grant courage and encouragement to our missionaries and especially Jack and Jeanne. May you uphold them when they are tired and weary. Keep them from evil, that they may be your agents of grace and wholeness.

We lift up to you need expressed at this altar and the many needs that are among us.
· Jobs, housing
· Wisdom in big decisions
· Family peace
· Lonely
· Poor
· Widows and fatherless

To you O Lord, we offer our prayers, in You O God we trust. Thank you for being our friend and listening to us. May we listen to you this day and walk with you all the days of our lives to the honor and glory of your name, One God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen

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