Breathe on me breath of God, fill me with life anew…
—-Edwin Hatch, 1886
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 2 Corinthians 12: 9-10
God’s grace is sufficient for us;
in Christ, the weak are made strong.
Prayer Basil of Caesarea (329-379)
Steer the ship of my life, good Lord,
to your quiet harbour,
where I can be safe from the storms of sin and conflict.
Show me the course I should take.
Renew in me the gift of discernment,
so that I can always see
the right direction in which I should go.
And give me the strength and the courage
to choose the right course,
even when the sea is rough and the waves are high,
knowing that through enduring
hardship and danger in your name,
we shall find comfort and peace. Amen.
Hymn of the Day
“Jesus,” by Velvet Underground, 1969. Listen to this beautiful prayer, and pray as you listen.
Reading of the Day: Matthew 15: 29-39
29 After Jesus had left that place, he passed along the Sea of Galilee, and he went up the mountain, where he sat down. 30 Great crowds came to him, bringing with them the lame, the maimed, the blind, the mute, and many others. They put them at his feet, and he cured them, 31 so that the crowd was amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the maimed whole, the lame walking, and the blind seeing. And they praised the God of Israel.
32 Then Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I have compassion for the crowd, because they have been with me now for three days and have nothing to eat; and I do not want to send them away hungry, for they might faint on the way.” 33 The disciples said to him, “Where are we to get enough bread in the desert to feed so great a crowd?” 34 Jesus asked them, “How many loaves have you?” They said, “Seven, and a few small fish.” 35 Then ordering the crowd to sit down on the ground, 36 he took the seven loaves and the fish; and after giving thanks he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. 37 And all of them ate and were filled; and they took up the broken pieces left over, seven baskets full. 38 Those who had eaten were four thousand men, besides women and children. 39 After sending away the crowds, he got into the boat and went to the region of Magadan.
Prayers for self and others
Please pray today for those who are being affected by COVID 19. Today please pray for our medical professionals as they bravely face an increase in the number of cases. May they have the strength and confidence and encouragement that they need. 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 blessing of the triune God--
holy, holy, holy Lord--
be with you now and always.
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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.