Open my eyes, that I may see glimpses of truth Thou hast for me…
—-Clara H. Scott, 1895
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 66:20
Blessed is God, who hears our prayers,
whose steadfast love endures forever.
Prayer Book of Common Worship, PC(USA)
O God, you have prepared for those who love you
joys beyond understanding.
Pour into our hearts such love for you,
that, loving you above all else,
we may obtain your promises,
which exceed all that we can desire;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever. Amen.
Hymn of the Day
We’ll Understand It Better Bye and Bye, by Sweet Honey in the Rock. Listen and pray.
Reading of the Day: Matthew 6: 1-6
1 “Beware of practicing your piety before others in order to be seen by them; for then you have no reward from your Father in heaven.
2 “So whenever you give alms, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be praised by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. 3 But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your alms may be done in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
5 “And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. 6 But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”
Prayers for self and others
Please pray today for those who are being affected by COVID 19, including Mark Sabala and Marcy Szeliga in their work as nurses, Linda and Mario Berrios and their family, Debbi’s neighbors and all others who are out of work, Star Sims’ family and Donna Ardell’s family, as they grieve the loss of their loved ones, and for Connie’s Aunt Bonnie and her two cousins— Bonnie is hospitalized with the virus. And today let us pray particularly for Mayor Sylvester Turner and Judge Lina Hidalgo as they strive to lead our city and county with wisdom and care. 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 joy and peace in believing,
so that you may abound in hope
by the power of the Holy Spirit.
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.