“One with his rising, freed and forgiven, thankfully now God’s praises we sing.”
—Michael A. Saward, 1981
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 Psalm 96:1
Sing to the Lord a new song;
sing to the Lord, all the earth.
Prayer St. Ephraim’s Prayer at Midnight (c. 305-373)
O Lord and Master of my life,
give me not a spirit of sloth,
vain curiosity, lust for power and idle talk.
But give to me, your servant,
a spirit of soberness,
humility, patience and love.
Yea, O Lord and King,
grant me to see my own faults,
and not to condemn my brother;
for blessed are you to the age of ages. Amen.
Hymn of the Day
Family of Love, by Take 6. Listen and pray.
Reading of the Day Matthew 3: 13-17
13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan, to be baptized by him. 14 John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” 15 But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now; for it is proper for us in this way to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented. 16 And when Jesus had been baptized, just as he came up from the water, suddenly the heavens were opened to him and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. 17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.”
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 family upon the death of her brother-in-law John Krueger, after a long battle with the Covid virus. Please pray for our nation, as we struggle with fear, division, violence, and sickness. 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.
May the God of hope
fill you with all peace in believing,
so that you may abound in hope
by the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
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.