“We must walk this lonesome valley, we have to walk it by ourselves…”
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 Genesis 15:6
Our ancestor Abraham trusted in the Lord,
and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.
Prayer John Milton (1608-1674)
Holy Spirit of God, who prefers before all temples the upright heart and pure, instruct us in all truth; what is dark, illumine, what is low, raise and support, what is shallow, deepen; that every chapter in our lives may witness to your power and justify the ways of God. In the name of Jesus, giver of all grace. Amen.
Hymn of the Day
Crowded Table, by the Highwomen. Listen and pray.
Reading of the Day Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16
1 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appears to him and said, “I am God Almighty; walk before me faithfully and be blameless. 2 Then I will make my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers.
3 Abram fell facedown, and God said to him, 4 “As for me, this is my covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations. 5 No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations. 6 I will make you very fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you. 7 I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you.”
15 God also said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you are no longer to call her Sarai; her name will be Sarah. 16 I will bless her and will surely give you a son by her. I will bless her so that she will be the mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her.”
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, and of course for all those who have been affected by the devastating winter storms. Please continue to pray for Marcy Szeliga and for Mark Sabala, both working as nurses with Covid patients. Pray that as more vaccines are developed, that there would be greater confidence in handling the virus mutations. 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 road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.
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.