“For the joy of ear and eye, for the heart and mind’s delight, for the mystic harmony linking sense to sound and sight.…”
—Folliott Sandford Pierpoint, 1864
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 Matthew 4:10
Tested by the devil in the wilderness, Jesus said:
You shall worship the Lord your God alone.
Prayer St. Ephrem the Syrian, c. 306-373
O Lord and Master of my life!
Take from me the spirit of laziness,
faint-heartedness, desire for power, and idle talk.
But give your servant
the spirit of chastity,
humility, patience, and love.
Yes, Lord and King!
Grant me to see my own errors
and not to unjustly or hastily judge my brother,
for you are blessed, now and forever. Amen.
Hymn of the Day
What Wondrous Love is This, by Anthony Ferreira, First Presbyterian Church, Bedford, Indiana. Listen and pray.
Reading of the Day Psalm 32
1Happy are those whose transgression is forgiven,
whose sin is covered.
2 Happy are those to whom the Lord imputes no iniquity,
and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
3 While I kept silence, my body wasted away
through my groaning all day long.
4 For day and night your hand was heavy upon me;
my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer.
5 Then I acknowledged my sin to you,
and I did not hide my iniquity;
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,”
and you forgave the guilt of my sin.
6 Therefore let all who are faithful
offer prayer to you;
at a time of distress, the rush of mighty waters
shall not reach them.
7 You are a hiding place for me;
you preserve me from trouble;
you surround me with glad cries of deliverance.
8 I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go;
I will counsel you with my eye upon you.
9 Do not be like a horse or a mule, without understanding,
whose temper must be curbed with bit and bridle,
else it will not stay near you.
10 Many are the torments of the wicked,
but steadfast love surrounds those who trust in the Lord.
11 Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, O righteous,
and shout for joy, all you upright in heart.
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 for hospitalized patients, that they may heal and be well again. 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 Spirit of the triune God
strengthen and sustain you,
all throughout these forty days
and into the life that is to come. Amen.
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.