Now thank we all our God with heart and hands and voices… —-Martin Rinkert, 1636
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 Deut. 32: 11
Like an eagle teaching her young to fly,
catching them safely on her spreading wings,
the Lord kept Israel from falling.
Prayer based on the Liturgy of St. Mark (2nd century)
Almighty God, bless your people.
Give us your peace, your help, and your love,
for we are the sheep of your pasture.
Let us be united in your peace—
one in the Body, one in the Spirit,
and one in the hope of our calling,
all through the gift of your endless grace. Amen.
Hymn of the Day
“Amazing Grace,” #280 (Presbyterian Hymnal), sung live by Aretha Franklin, 1972, with James Cleveland and the Southern California Community Choir. This piece is longer than what I usually suggest. Listen as you pray.
Reading of the Day: Psalm 145: 10-21
10 All your works shall give thanks to you, O Lord,
and all your faithful shall bless you.
11 They shall speak of the glory of your kingdom,
and tell of your power,
12 to make known to all people your mighty deeds,
and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
and your dominion endures throughout all generations.
The Lord is faithful in all his words,
and gracious in all his deeds.
14 The Lord upholds all who are falling,
and raises up all who are bowed down.
15 The eyes of all look to you,
and you give them their food in due season.
16 You open your hand,
satisfying the desire of every living thing.
17 The Lord is just in all his ways,
and kind in all his doings.
18 The Lord is near to all who call on him,
to all who call on him in truth.
19 He fulfills the desire of all who fear him;
he also hears their cry, and saves them.
20 The Lord watches over all who love him,
but all the wicked he will destroy.
21 My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord,
and all flesh will bless his holy name forever and ever.
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. Please pray for food banks, school districts, and charities who are providing food to the hungry during this pandemic. 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.
The Lord bless you and keep you
in your going out
and your coming in
from this time on
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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.