“Could my tears forever flow, could my zeal no languor know, these for sin could not atone…”
—-Augustus M. Toplady, 1762
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 Luke 18:1, 8
Pray always, and do not lose heart.
God will grant justice to the faithful.
Prayer The Worship Sourcebook, 2nd ed., 2013
God of beauty and of justice,
we pray for the earth--
for restoration of soil, air, and water.
We pray for all people you have created--
for restoration of dignity and hope.
We pray for our nation and community--
for restoration of our sense of responsibility in service.
We pray even for ourselves--
for restoration of our resolve to love you and the world you made.
Through Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Hymn of the Day
From This Valley, by the Civil Wars. Listen and pray.
Reading of the Day Ruth 1: 1-14
1 In the days when the judges ruled, there was a famine in the land, and a certain man of Bethlehem in Judah went to live in the country of Moab, he and his wife and two sons. 2 The name of the man was Elimelech and the name of his wife Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Chilion; they were Ephrathites from Bethlehem in Judah. They went into the country of Moab and remained there. 3 But Elimelech, the husband of Naomi, died, and she was left with her two sons. 4 These took Moabite wives; the name of the one was Orpah and the name of the other Ruth. When they had lived there about ten years, 5 both Mahlon and Chilion also died, so that the woman was left without her two sons and her husband.
6 Then she started to return with her daughters-in-law from the country of Moab, for she had heard in the country of Moab that the Lord had considered his people and given them food. 7 So she set out from the place where she had been living, she and her two daughters-in-law, and they went on their way to go back to the land of Judah. 8 But Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go back each of you to your mother’s house. May the Lord deal kindly with you, as you have dealt with the dead and with me. 9 The Lord grant that you may find security, each of you in the house of your husband.” Then she kissed them, and they wept aloud. 10 They said to her, “No, we will return with you to your people.” 11 But Naomi said, “Turn back, my daughters, why will you go with me? Do I still have sons in my womb that they may become your husbands? 12 Turn back, my daughters, go your way, for I am too old to have a husband. Even if I thought there was hope for me, even if I should have a husband tonight and bear sons, 13 would you then wait until they were grown? Would you then refrain from marrying? No, my daughters, it has been far more bitter for me than for you, because the hand of the Lord has turned against me.” 14 Then they wept aloud again. Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth clung to her.
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. 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 for residents of southwest Louisiana, recovering from Hurricane Delta as well as Laura. Use this time to lift your joys, concerns, and hopes to God.
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ
be with your spirit. Alleluia!
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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.