Thursday, January 12, 2017

Prayers of the day January 3, 2017 and earlier

January 3, 2017
Rock solid God, remind us that it is through trials we reach the steadfast outcome. May we experience the full effect of that outcome and, thru Grace, move a little this day towards perfection. Amen.
James 1:2-4

January 2, 2017
Loving, Grace dispensing God, we believe that through Christ we are created anew. Thus our old self has passed and become new. May that new person love others, and ourselves, with a reflection of Your Grace so that Your new reign where all can belong will be made visible. Amen.
1Cor 5:17

January 1, 2017
Loving God who calls us beloved sisters and brothers, remind us as sisters and brothers to be quick to hear, slow to speak, and tardy in our anger. Amen.

December 31, 2016
God of Grace and direction, guide us so we do not run aimlessly nor fool ourselves by beating the air to simulate progress. Encourage us to lives of discipline, control, and focus so that we may be a living and holy example of Your Grace. Amen.

December 30, 2016
Loving God, you invite us to come to you when we labor and are heavy laden. You promise us rest. Remind us - gently - that in taking upon ourselves your yoke, we hope to learn your ways. Remind us you are gentle and soul filling because your yoke is easy, and your burden is light. Amen.

December 29, 2016
O God of Compassion and Grace, you tell us you will wipe away every tear from our eyes, and there will be a time when death is no more. No mourning, no crying, no pain anymore, because what was, no longer will be. Help us to live till then, Amen.

November 11, 2016

Gracious and loving God, remind us that we are encouraged to "let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger." Gently but firmly, caution us when we are slow to hear, quick to speak, and rapid in our anger. Amen.#James1:19

November 2, 2016
God of truth, honor, justice, purity, commendation and excellence, remind us to think on your attributes and endeavor through your Holy Spirit and our practice to make your attributes - ours. Amen.Drawn from Philippians 4:8-9

November 1, 2016
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God." Amen.2 Corinthians 1:1-4 (ESV)

October 30, 2016
God of truth, way, and life, continue to point us towards abundant life by following the Gospel way to the truth of Grace and Easter. Amen.#gospelofjohn

October 29, 2016
Unseen and seen Divine, challenge us to sharpen our vision of you in faith despite your being unseen but also challenge us to show those we see what love of you looks like. Amen.1John3:18 Hebrews11:1

October 28, 2016Generous God, it is so easy for us to cling to that which we have been given. Remind us in order to reap generously, we must sow generously. Amen.Luke 6:382 Corinthians 9:6

October 27, 2016
O God of both Jeremiah and Paul: one asks 'why' and the other sees opportunity. Remind us 'why' is a worthy question, but in our journeys, also remind us we are not alone. Amen.#whycanbegood #painisrealPhilippians 4: 13Jeremiah 15: 18

October 26, 2016
Loving and ever teaching God, it is a natural element of our human condition to see ourselves as the center of the universe. Gently, but firmly, shake us from this inward stare and move our gaze, our focus, out in loving service to a new horizon that includes others. AmenRomans 12: 3-13

October 25, 2016
O loving and gracious God, sacred scripture says "Everyone should be quick to listen ...." Encourage in us quickness in listening. Remind us that often we listen in order to respond, rather than to learn. O Lord, speak -- your servants are listening. Amen.#James1 #1Samuel1 #DennisThisMeansYou!

October 23, 2016
O God of healing and hope, we pray this morning that your Holy Spirit will indeed aid and guide us to a sacred encounter with your shekinah, your very holy presence. Amen.#Oliveticus #rmcumc #shekinah=presence

October 22, 2016
O God who invites us to harvest self-control, may we joyfully see self-control as fruitfulness growing from a deep relationship with you. Amen.#Galatians5 #fruitsofthespirit #seekfirstthekingdomofgod.

October 21, 2016
God of Grace and Mercy, how often are we like your servant David and ready to see your love for us in terms of some cosmic trade? Chastened, David, and probably many of us, is and are amazed and grateful for your Grace and Mercy and say to you, who am I? But we are confident you know. Amen.#2Samuel7 #Bonhoeffer

October 20, 2016
Quiet Divine, remind us of our need for 'enough silence and solitude' to 'enable our deep inner voice' to be heard. Remind us the crucified and resurrected one sought time to commune with and to hear you. Alone. Amen.#thomasmerton.

October 19, 2016
Creator of heaven and earth, continue to be the Good Shepherd at our side in all our coming ins and all our going outs. Restore our souls in green pastures and beside still waters. In humble gratitude we sing amen.

October 18, 2016
Ancient, current, future God - three and one in this now. Remind us in our rituals of your presence in this now. Speak lovingly - and boldly - to us in this now. Encourage us to break the chains of nostalgia that imprison us in this now. Amen.

October 17, 2016
All wise and all knowing God, we thank you for the knowledge that tomatoes are a fruit and the wisdom to not include them in fruit salad. Jesus constantly dealt with those who would put knowledge over wisdom. Let us be people of knowledge but especially grant us Grace-filled wisdom. Amen.

October 16, 2016
Courageous God, you send messengers to call us away from fear. Sadly, we often respond to this call to courage by clinging to fear as if our faith in fear will make us whole. Remind us fear is a Golden Calf. Remind us of the courage of Jesus. 'Grant us wisdom, grant us courage, for the hour before us.' Continue to call us, invite us, love us, away from messages defined in fear. Amen.

October 15, 2016
Creating and creative God, early in the creation you call light into being, separate it from the darkness, and pronounce light good. Jesus plays with ideas of light and darkness. Call us to reflect creatively into darkness your good, Grace-filled light. Amen.

October 14, 2016
Creating and creative God, early in the creation you saw the need for us to 'not be alone.' Early in his ministry Jesus created a community of growth and nurture. Remind us 'we are not alone' and we live, in community 'in your world.' 'Create in us a pure heart' celebrating those who cheer us, nurture us, and who, in humility, transform our hubris. And all of your children say ...

October 13, 2016
Grace-filled, love-filled, God -- gently remind us time alone in deep reflection and listening prayer is a blessing. A blessing where we hear your 'small, still, voice' break through the din and roar of life. Bless us lovingly now. Amen.

October 12, 2016
Let us pray:O creating and recreating God. Your sacred breath transformed the primordial soup of creation from chaos into order. That same breath was the animating force to bring the clay of the river bank to life.Continue to breath on us and into us: creating, recreating.Continue to use that divine breath, your very Holy Spirit, to bring order out of chaos.Continue to animate us in our daily endeavors to our role in your creative and re-creative process.Continue to remind us our task is to make your joy complete.Amen.

October 11, 2016
Gracious and Loving God, anoint us today with tranquility and peace that allows us to see this new day as another opportunity to demonstrate your love to those to whom love is a stranger. Amen.

A Prayer for January 12, 2017

O God of the past, present and future ages, we are mindful of your promises to be with us in this world and the next as you have been in the past.  Still our humanness balks at the untimely and early death of Saints.  Be with us in our pain and remind us that there will come a time when the former things do indeed pass away, but until it does, mourning, crying and pain, are still part of this age.  Amen.

Revelation 21: 4
John 3: 16
John 11:26

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

A Prayer for January 11, 2017

O God of excellence, remind us to be models of good works and in all our teaching, demonstrations of integrity and dignity.  Amen

Titus 2:7

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

A Prayer for January 10, 2017

Loving God, you point us towards a hope-filled future.  You tell us your plans for us are for good. Help us to live good, hope-filled, and yes, self-controlled, lives in the present age.  May the lives we lead be worthy of being called Christ-like.  Amen.  

Jeremiah 29:11
Titus 2:12

Monday, January 09, 2017

A Prayer for January 9, 2017

O God, you say 'where your treasure is, there will be your heart.' Let us treasure Justice, Humility and Mercy. Amen. Lk 12:34 Mic 6:8

Saturday, January 07, 2017

A Prayer for January 7, 2017

O God who calls us to shout out your love, remind us that 'the stones of the wall will cry out, and the beams of the woodwork will echo it' should we not proclaim your love, your mercy.  Amen.   

Habakkuk 2:11
Luke 19:40

Friday, January 06, 2017

A Prayer for January 6, 2017

God of community, your vision to focus on the common good is long standing.  Sadly, we often wrestle with what the common good means or what the common good looks like.  Often we are like Jacob wrestling with the Angel on the lonely side of the Jabbok. 

May we -- your children, here, your children now -- emerge from wrestling with you spiritually changed.  

     May we make your vision clear.  

          May we inscribe it on the tablets of our day so that in reading, all creation's children may focus on your vision of common good.  


Habakkuk 2:2

Thursday, January 05, 2017

Encountering Jesus

As a deer longs for flowing streams, so my soul longs for you, O God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When shall I come and behold the face of God?
My tears have been my food day and night,while people say to me continually,“Where is your God?”
Psalm 42, Verses 1-3, NRSV

C.S. Lewis in Mere Christianity suggests we are created with needs for which the means exist in the creation for those needs to be met. Examples are food, water, rest. He suggests that God is just such a need: a need for which the divine encounter fulfills. He posits that we seek the divine, the transcendent, through time and space. Said another way, seeking the divine has been true across time and across cultures. It is a universal constant. That need is for Lewis, and he has persuaded me, a deep inner need for the spiritual.

David in Psalm 42 addresses that fundamental need for God through the image of longing. 
I have heard it suggested that we have a God-sized hole in our souls, and we are incomplete until we allow that hole to be filled. We long to have that hole filled, and the world is ready to provide suggestions on how fill it for us with work, commodities, and self-worship. That is an abbreviated list. The world is far better financed and replete with marketing savvy than faith communities to persuade us to buy their hole filling element du jour

Our theme for the month is Encountering Jesus. I pray that seeking this encounter is our daily, weekly, monthly, annual, and life theme. In December we did a lot of encountering Jesus at the Rescue Mission and we have more opportunities to encounter Jesus this month through Family Promise. 

We do need to be clear that in this encounter, we are expected to walk away from it different. Jacob wrestles with the angel in Genesis 32, and he walks away physically and spiritually changed. His very name is changed: Israel – one who wrestles with God. We are all at some point, Israel: one who wrestles with God. But at the same time, our “soul longs for you, O God.” 

Lewis does not remotely suggest that the hole in our soul is filled in exactly the same way for each of us. If that were true, then we would all find the same kind of music, preaching, service organization, readings, to be filling. I know you know that is not the case. For many, the hole in their soul is not filled with activities inside of Hilltop, but specifically interactions with those like Family Promise and the Rescue Mission:  many gifts, many elements, all together making up “the body of Christ.” 

I observed earlier about Jacob wrestling with God and then arising from that match with a new name: Israel. Immediately after that cosmic wrestling match, he encountered his brother. He was fearful that in that encounter, his brother’s righteous indignation over the way Jacob left years earlier would continue to be present. Instead, the reunion was a happy one, and the one who had wrestled with God said seeing his brother was like seeing “the face of God.” We see the Face of God when we encounter those around us. 

I have no idea what 2017 holds for us. 

But I believe that turning down the volume of the world message, and turning up the volume of the Jesus message comes about when we encounter the sacred. Are we travelers passing through this world or is this world our permanent address? Our biblical message is that we are traveling through, not staying. 

When we buy into the idea of encountering Jesus, we say that we are prepared to take up the values of Jesus, and tell the values of the world to move back a row or two in our pantheon of values. 

Peace be with you and I wish you way more than luck in 2017, I wish you an encounter with the sacred in the form of Jesus. 

Pastor Dennis

A Prayer for January 5, 2017

Creating and Nurturing God, restore to us the joy first experienced when we first answered, "Here I am" to your call in the night.  At that moment our spirit was so willing, so eager, so ready to serve.  We were full of awe -- awe full.  Bring into this now that past sense of awe that led to such clear purpose so that our tomorrows become living portraits of your vision. Amen.

Psalm 8
Psalm 51

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

January 4, 2017

‪Loving and self-emptying God, regularly in your ancient words, humility leaps out as a key, core, guiding, governing principle in our faith walks.

Steer us this day, this week, this month, this year, and, yes, this lifetime, towards the principle of our serving You through regular and sincere examples of humility of demonstrable value.‬

‪      Remind us of the Christ who trod the humble, and sometime stony, path.‬

‪         Remind us when offered the choices of humility or hubris, the ancient words point to humility.  ‬

‪            May our self-emptying embrace of Your Grace make this so.  Amen.‬

‪Phillipians 2:3‬