God never ceases to speak to us, but the noise of the world without and the tumult of our passions within bewilder us and prevent us from listening to him. (Francois Fenelon)
This Week’s Scripture
Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,
who alone does wondrous things.
19 Blessed be his glorious name forever;
may the whole earth be filled with his glory!
Amen and Amen!
For the Beauty of the Earth (verse 1)
For the beauty of the earth, for the glory of the skies,
for the love which from our birth over and around us lies;
Lord of all, to thee we raise this our hymn of grateful praise.
(Folliot S. Pierpoint)
Take time now to offer God your praise and worship.
Bear fruit in keeping with repentance. 9 And do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father,’ for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham. 10 Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. (Matthew 3:8-10)
O holy and merciful God, we confess that we have not always taken upon ourselves the yoke of obedience, nor been willing to seek and to do your perfect will. We have not loved you with all our heart and mind and soul and strength, neither have we loved our neighbors as ourselves. You have called to us in the need of our sisters and brothers, and we have passed unheeding on our way. For all of this, we ask you to forgive us of our sins. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen. (United Methodist Book of Worship)
As David did in Psalm 139, ask the Lord to search you and know you through and through. Confess the sins God brings to mind, knowing you are forgiven and that He will cleanse you from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).
God of endurance and encouragement, we thank you for your Word made flesh as well as your written Word. We know that what was written long ago was written for our instruction, so that through our endurance and the encouragement we receive from the Scriptures, we may have hope. We praise you for not leaving us in the dark, groping for something to grasp. Instead, you have given us a lamp for our feet and a light for our path, that we might follow our Lord through this shadowy world. Almighty God, use this hope we have as followers of your Son to enable us live in harmony with fellow Christians so we may raise our voices together to bring you the glory and honor due your name. And we pray that when the rest of the world sees such worship, they too will turn to you and give you praise. For it is in the name of Christ we pray. Amen. (based on Romans 15:4-7)
Spend some time reflecting on the prayer of thanksgiving above and then thank God for who he is and the many ways he has poured out his goodness and grace in your life.
Supplication (Petitions – prayers for yourself)
Supplication (Intercession – prayers for others)
Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever. (Daniel 12:3)