“Then I shall bow in humble adoration, and there proclaim, my God, how great Thou art!”
—Carl Gustav Boberg, 1885
Preparation for worship
Sit in a relaxed position. Take a slow, deep breath (or 2 or 3 or as many as needed) until you feel your body, mind, and soul begin to relax and rest in the Spirit. Take time to reflect as you move through this time of worship…
Opening Sentences Jeremiah 31:8, 13
The Lord will gather the people from exile;
God will turn their sorrow into joy.
Prayer Geneviève Graves, 1981*
You who love this person whom I do not love,
you who read the hearts of others whom I do not understand,
you who know the inmost suffering of those whom I ignore,
you who discern the efforts of each one in attitudes which I perceive as deceitful:
open my eyes and my heart.
You also know me far better than I know myself;
you love me better than I love myself…
Lord! Teach me to love with your love.
Hymn of the Day
I don’t believe I’ve ever repeated a “hymn of the day” before, but this one is good. Woke Up this Morning, by First Presbyterian Church Choir, Brooklyn. Listen and pray.
Reading of the Day Jeremiah 31:31-34
31 The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. 32 It will not be like the covenant that I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt—a covenant that they broke, though I was their husband,[g] says the Lord. 33 But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 No longer shall they teach one another, or say to each other, “Know the Lord,” for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the Lord; for I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more.
Prayers for self and others
Please pray today for those who are being affected by COVID-19 and by its side effects in our world. Pray for the thousands who are still being diagnosed positive in the U.S. each day. Please pray especially for Susan Smith's brother-in-law John Krueger, and his family. John has been in the hospital for six weeks, has suffered organ damage, and is currently intubated. In addition, his wife and daughter have also recently tested positive for the virus and are unable to visit at all. Please pray for peace in parts of the world where, in the midst of the pandemic, there is war, including Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, and Mexico. As we hear of more friends who are directly affected, or who are working in high risk places, we will list them here. Use this time to lift your joys, concerns, and hopes to God.
Proclaim the good news,
be persistent in prayer,
do the work of the gospel,
and carry out the ministry
of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
*Geneviève Graves, In Chapal and Pellegrin, La tradition calvinienne, 81; Editions CLD. 1981. Used by permission in A Book of Reformed Prayers, Louisville, KY, Westminster/John Knox Press, 1998.
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Becky Downs, pastor of John Knox, started writing daily prayers for the congregation at the beginning of the COVID pandemic, to encourage the congregation in their faith during their time of separation from each other. The daily prayers were posted throughout the year. You might want to choose one a day to read, and modify the specific prayers for self and others to fit your life today.