God of comfort, envelop us in Your truth. Stop us from pointing fingers and remind us that we are unified by our humanity. Lead our hearts into Your presence. Forgive us when we forget You and each other. Instead, create a community of grace and action. Send us out there, outside of what is familiar, to the places that need grace the most, so that we can be part of building Your kingdom here in this place and in our hearts.
“When something bad happens, we have three choices: we let it define us, we let it destroy us, or we let it strengthen us,” (Frank Langela). Strengthen us, O Lord, to see and hear the needs of Your people. So many lives that we need to see, remember and honor. Don’t let us ever forget. Don’t let us forget.
Great Defender, we come here for sanctuary because “where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom” (2 Corinthians 3:17) and no one is excluded from the grace of God. We’re here because we can’t see what You see, we can’t hear what You hear and we can’t feel what You feel. Open up the depths of our humanity to the awareness of Your compassion. Stop us from pointing fingers. Unite us in the solution of the Gospel of God’s love which “does not delight in evil but rejoices with truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres (and it) never fails” (1 Corinthians 13:6-8).
We have a lot of work to do. Lord, show us today how we can repair the wounds that divide us. “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all” (Galatians 6:9-10) so that it shall be on earth as it is in heaven, just as the Father has always intended it to be.
Memorial of four girls killed in the 16th Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham Alabama on September 15, 1963
Author of life, reconnect us to the human story by anchoring us in Your truth. The truth, that tells that us that we are all beloved children of the most high God. We have been right, we have been wrong, but we have always belonged to You O Lord.
Thank You for Your forgiveness and mercy. Deconstruct our insatiable need to conform to a world that is not our home. Teach us how to unlearn anything that is not of God. Bring us back to where all humanity is one family in the kingdom of God.
Unite our hearts so that we will love and serve all people living in the margins of life. “We will never change the world by going to church. We will only change the world by being the church” (Unfundamentalists Christians). So let us “go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation” (Mark 16:15) using our words only when necessary.
Thank You for awakening us in to a new day that we have never seen. Surrounded by chaos, we enter into Your presence with praise as You enter our circumstances with the power of hope. Remind us, that no matter what pit we have dug ourselves into or that others have left us in, that the love of God is deeper still and envelops us throughout the good days and the bad. For “the will of God will not take us where the grace of God cannot sustain us. “ (Billy Graham) And not matter where we are, “we can never go where God is not.” (Toby Mac)
Through our faith we have a purpose, and because of Jesus Christ we have been appointed to stand by others as God stands by us. So let our words and actions not harm each other. Let our prayers and thoughts uplift one another to build God’s kingdom here on earth, as it is in heaven, so that every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, friend and advocate for all of us.
Almighty Creator, breathe new life onto us. Wash away the ugliness of sin and make a message out of our messes. Let the glory of the Lord walk through us, minister to us and speak to us now by breaking down the walls that cause us to be strangers to each other.
Give us the courage to reach across the room, the street, or whatever stands before us, so that we won’t miss an opportunity to bring people closer to the gospel by letting Your light shine brighter than anything else in our life. Let people see You in us.
Prepare us for the mountains and valleys. Nurture us as we grow in faith. And remind us that no matter where we go that God goes with us always.
Jehovah Jireh, You are the God that provides. The One who sees what we can’t see. You see our heart and who we really are. Although Your footprints are no longer on this earth, the imprint of everything that You stand for lives on in all of us.
Talk to us Lord. Speak to us now and reset our minds so that we can see glimpses of heaven and know the eternal truth of grace: that even as time slips away we will always be in the presence of our Creator. We will always be in the presence of love. We will always be in the presence of mercy and grace.
Lord, don’t let us miss this life and don’t let us work against You. Restore our faith so that we can see that there can be miracles, the miracles of friendship, love, kindness and compassion, which are all just reflections of the love and sacrifice shown to us on the cross.
“God is still speaking” (My mom’s handwriting in bisaya)
“Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few.” Ecclesiastes 5:2
Lord, be glorified in our hearts today. You are in heaven and we are on earth, so let our words be few as Your truth surrounds us today. Repair what is broken in us so that we can go boldly to Your throne and seize Your Word and never let it go.
Remind us that we were not born with fear. Fears are finite but God is infinite. So even though Your footprints are no longer on this earth, the imprint of Your spirit lives on within us in every moment of our lives.
You see what people can’t see. You see beyond the walls that we build. You see our hearts. You see us. Let us all just have an amazing encounter with You as Your story unfolds before us. The story of love and how love always wins, how love endures beyond the wreckage of time, and how God’s love will bring healing to all things.
Lord of all, thank You for being everything that You say You are. You are the God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob. The One who is, was and will always be in the presence of the world that You so love.
We step into Your presence today so that You can step into our story and interrupt the chaos of our lives. Let Your voice speak the truth that we need to hear right now so that when the world throws our mortality in our face, we can be still and know that God is greater than anything that we could possibly imagine.
Transform us. Change us. Humble us. Mend our every flaw so that we can live fully experiencing the miracle of life with each and every breath that You gift tous. For “if anyone is in Christ, they are a new creation. The old has passed away; and, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 (ESV)
Lord, let’s try it Your way. Let’s live this life Your way. Let us let go and let God. For Your love never changes, it never falters and it will forever be the constant reminder that we never need to give up because the battle has already been won and we have victory now and forever. Amen.
Several years ago my best friends mom made these origami for me. She is no longer with us and I can now return these gifts to my best friend for her wedding.
Loving Creator, You gave each of us a mother that gave us life. No matter what, we must honor our parents by loving them as You, our Heavenly Father, love us. We can lift them up instead of bringing them down. We can be thankful for their contribution to our lives instead of forgetting them. We can also forgive them as we have been forgiven. Each of us has the opportunity to reflect God’s love to all people. So let’s love those that gave us life and give thanks to those who have nurtured, cared for, and taught us even if we were not their children. Let’s watch over every mother who is currently with child. And let us help strengthen their faith and the faith of those around them in the truth of Jesus Christ. And for the child that yearns for a mother that is not there, we pray that the church will rise up for those that cannot help themselves. And for those who grieve for a mother that has left this world, we ask that You keep the memories of love, family and honor ever etched into the memories of their children so that the love of God, that dwells in all of us, will always connect us and bind us together from generation to generation until the end of time. Thank You, Lord, for the gift of life and for the gift of those who raised us. As we honor them, we honor You. To God be the glory.
This was my twist on the popular love song “Bless the Broken Road” by Rascal Flatts that I did at church for Valentines Day weekend as a way to say thank you to Jesus for always being my side through all of the ups and downs of my life.
I believe that everything that we experience, good and bad, simply leads us to His truth for our lives which includes all of the ups and downs and everything else in between. And as I get older, I can see that all of those times, places and people that maybe were not the most pleasant to experience, were merely preparing me to help find my way back to Him. And because of Him, I can forgive others as I have been forgiven because that burden is finally freed from my shoulder, so that I can really live this life in the way that He would want me to live. A life filled with grace that is sufficient for every possibility and circumstance that we will encounter on the road called life..
Yes, the road is broken but the journey always leads us back to confront the reality of the cross and the open arms of Jesus Christ. “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him (John 3:17).” So if we do not have condemnation from a God that could/should condemn us for our mistakes, then how could we condemn others? Can we forgive those who trespass against us as we have been forgiven by Almighty God? Yes, I believe that we can.
We can only share or gift something that we have an abundance of. We have an abundance of amazing grace, love and forgiveness, so let’s share that gift that was given to us on this broken road called life. We can’t run to Him by holding on to the baggage of yesterday, so let’s just let go and let God by following His truth and message; that all people are children of God, who are loved as His unique creation, and need to be treated with dignity, compassion and respect. Amen.