The parable of the growing seed, which only appears in the Gospel of Mark, reveals how spiritual growth is a continual, gradual process. We have each seen it in our faith community or felt it personally. We’ve seen the results and changes in our friends and fellow servants in Christ, following a week of hard work and service in the heat of Appalachia. It has been evident as we prepare or serve chicken dinners with Chosen 300. A life of faith and spiritual growth has highs like a feeling of standing on a mountaintop, or it can be the low valley of despair, loneliness or doubt. The good news; God has promised that He will not abandon us, no matter where we are in our faith, in our spiritual journey. And we await that day of our own spiritual harvest, when doubts are erased, suffering is ended and the glory is God is fully revealed to us. For your patience and encouragement as we continue our spiritual journeys, we thank you in gratefulness. Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.
In joy and wonder, we pray for the church, those in need, and all of God’s creation. It is with wonder that we contemplate and then believe that you, God, came to live among humans as one of us, as a frail helpless infant born to parents who could not provide a luxurious or even a particularly safe childhood. What more could confront us with the fact that we cannot possibly fully understand the ways of God? Who among us would choose to be helpless or to have a beloved child unprotected ? So we say thank you to the God we worship for this mystery. Hear us O God
Lord God, we begin a new year with no idea what will happen in 2014. The fact that we think we are following your will does not mean we are actually doing so. But we know the desire to please you does please you and we strive to have that desire in all that we do. Hear us O God
- Diane Schueler
TRUSTING THE SPIRITS POWER WE PRAY FOR THE CHURCH, THE WORLD AND ALL OF GODS CREATION.
LORD WE BRING TO YOU THIS MORNING, AS WE DO EVERY WEEK, OUR GIFTS OF LOVE AND SACRIFICE. WE DROP SOME OF THOSE GIFTS IN THE OFFERING PLATES. BUT THE GREATEST OF THE GIFTS WE HAVE FROM YOU ARE THE YOUNG PEOPLE WHO WILL/HAVE STAND/STOOD IN FRONT OF US AND IN FRONT OF YOU THIS DAY. WE GIVE THEM BACK TO YOU WITH GRATITUDE, AND WITH HOPE, WITH FULL HEARTS AND WITH EMPTY HANDS. AND WE TRUST YOU TO CONTINUE THE GOOD WORK YOU HAVE BEGUN IN THEM AND IN US. LORD, IN YOUR MERCY, HEAR OUR PRAYER.
Trusting the Spirit's power, we pray for the church, the world, and all of God's creation.
A brief silence.
O God, we pray for the church, for pastors and prophets, for ministries of forgiveness, for unity as the body of Christ in the world. We pray for safe travels for Pastor Dyan on her journey in Europe. We affirm this well-deserved time of uninterrupted study and time to simply slow down. Hear our prayer.
Righteous King, let us forge ahead in our lives, embolden by the knowledge and power of “Thy will be done” as we can live freely in your mercy. Yet, in doing so, help us to remember that we live as a testament to your forgiveness and that by your grace alone do we continue to exist. Each day we break our bonds with heaven and earn the wrath of heaven, but by Jesus we are forgiven so that “Your will” is something we can praise and embrace rather than fear. Lord, in your mercy.