“All the world is God’s own field, fruit unto God’s praise to yield…”
—-Henry Alford, 1844
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 1 Kings 8:23
There is no other like the Lord our God,
keeping covenant and steadfast love.
Prayer World Council of Churches, Vancouver Assembly, 1983
Eternal God, whose image lies in the hearts of all people,
We live among peoples whose ways are different from ours,
whose faiths are foreign to us,
whose tongues are unintelligible to us.
Help us to remember that you love all people with your great love,
that all religion is an attempt to respond to you,
that the yearnings of other hearts are much like our own and are known to you.
Help us to recognize you in words of truth, the things of beauty, the actions of love about us.
We pray through Christ, who is a stranger to no one land more than another, and to every land no less than to another. Amen.
Hymn of the Day
Now Thank We All Our God, choral singing. Listen and pray.
Reading of the Day Psalm 46
1 God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change,
though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;
3 though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble with its tumult.
4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy habitation of the Most High.
5 God is in the midst of the city; it shall not be moved;
God will help it when the morning dawns.
6 The nations are in an uproar, the kingdoms totter;
he utters his voice, the earth melts.
7 The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our refuge.
8 Come, behold the works of the Lord;
see what desolations he has brought on the earth.
9 He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
he breaks the bow, and shatters the spear;
he burns the shields with fire.
10 “Be still, and know that I am God!
I am exalted among the nations,
I am exalted in the earth.”
11 The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our refuge.
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, especially for Mario Berrios, his son Caleb Berrios, and their family; for the Jantzen family upon the loss of Dave’s uncle from the virus; for Cindy Salias and family, some of whom have tested positive; for Becky’s sister’s coworker and her husband Francisco and Denie, both hospitalized with the virus; for Shelby Ardell’s friend Hannah, in Iowa, who has the virus but doesn’t have health insurance to get treatment; for Susan Smith’s brother-in-law John, hospitalized with the virus. As we hear of more friends who are directly affected, or who are working in high risk places, we will list them here. Pray today with thanksgiving for the warmth of your home. 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.