“O Lord my God! When I in awesome wonder consider all the works Thy hands have made…”
—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 Ephesians 1:3
Blessed is the Lord our God,
and blessed ins Jesus Christ our Savior.
Prayer Martin Luther (1483-1546)
Behold, Lord, an empty vessel
that needs to be filled.
My Lord, fill it.
I am weak in the faith; strengthen me.
I am cold in love; warm me and make me fervent,
that my love may go out to my neighbor.
I do not have a strong and firm faith;
at times I doubt
and am unable to trust you altogether.
O Lord, help me.
Strengthen my faith and trust in you.
In you I have sealed the treasure of all i have.
I am poor; you are rich
and came to be merciful to the poor.
I am a sinner; you are upright.
With me, there is an abundance of sin;
in you is the fullness of righteousness.
Therefore I will remain with you,
of whom I can receive,
but to whom I may not give. Amen.
Hymn of the Day
How Great Thou Art, by Willie and Bobbie Nelson. Listen and pray.
Reading of the Day Jeremiah 31: 1-6
1 At that time, says the Lord, I will be the God of all the families of Israel, and they shall be my people.
2 Thus says the Lord:
The people who survived the sword
found grace in the wilderness;
when Israel sought for rest,
3 the Lord appeared to him from far away.
I have loved you with an everlasting love;
therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.
4 Again I will build you, and you shall be built,
O virgin Israel!
Again you shall take your tambourines,
and go forth in the dance of the merrymakers.
5 Again you shall plant vineyards
on the mountains of Samaria;
the planters shall plant,
and shall enjoy the fruit.
6 For there shall be a day when sentinels will call
in the hill country of Ephraim:
“Come, let us go up to Zion,
to the Lord our God.”
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. John has been in the hospital for five weeks, has suffered extensive organ damage, and is currently intubated. No one is sure about whether he will recover from this illness. His family is naturally distraught, especially with the limitations on visiting him. Pray today for members of your family who you’re not able to see. 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.
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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.