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.
Tags: bible, Christ, Christian, Church, ELCA, Frank Langela, God, Gospel, grace, Jesus, lutheran, Prayer, Spiritual
Salt House Church in Seattle, Washington
Lord of all, we are here today because our story intersected with Yours at the cross and in our hearts through the One who changed everything from the inside out. Break open the floodgates of truth so that we can remember who we are: children of God who are forgiven and loved.
Lord, say exactly what you have gathered us to hear today. Speak directly into our hearts and our situations. Dim down the lies of the world so that we can remember where our hope comes from, where our strength comes from, and where love comes from.
“There is no prison so dark, or persecution so great, that can limit the power of God from breaking into and breaking through our circumstances…so there is no need to hide in the shadows of fear and intimidation” (Brenda Salter McNeil). Instead, let us stand up for what is, what was and what will always be the Gospel: the good news that the battle has already been won. “May we know God in His suffering that we might know him in the power of His resurrection” (Brenda Salter Mcneil) and fall in love with the mystery of the Creator, the Christ and the Holy Spirit.
Tags: Brenda Salter McNeil, Christian, Church, ELCA, grace, Jesus, lutheran, Prayer
Lord God, “Your mercy fills the space between our hearts and Yours” (Emilie Kirkpatrick). We’re here because we forget that we are always in Your presence. We’re here because we need the strength of Your word to drown out the noise of this world. Speak the truth that pierces through the darkness of our minds and hearts so that we will know that no matter what happens in this life, we do not need to be afraid to live in the victory of Christ.
Because of You, we can be the change. We don’t have to make the same mistakes that other people made before us. We can step outside of ourselves and see each other, one sinner to another, in need of the same grace, love and forgiveness. We don’t need judgment and we don’t need to judge. We need to love and love is the only way that others will know who and what we are.
Tags: Christian, Church, ELCA, Emilie Kilpatrick, forgiveness, God, grace, Jesus, love, lutheran, Prayer, Spiritual
It is hard to believe that a year has gone by since my church’s 10th anniversary concert last year. This year’s production will focus on reaching out to people beyond the walls of our church building and the confines of our community.
I have been a part-time adjunct faculty member for the Musical Theater department at the local high school for the performing arts for the past 3 years. I work with the most talented students and staff in the district. Two years ago, I was shocked to find out that one of the students that I worked with was homeless. This news forced me to face the reality that this issue affects all of us.
It is easy to say words of faith but it is harder to live by them and to follow the greatest commandment that Jesus gave us “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:36-40)
This year our church is joining forces with a local non profit that supports homeless youth because we stand united as one community to eradicate this problem that plagues our city. As the body of Christ, we have to make a difference in the lives of our children and community because no one else will. This life isn’t meant to be routine, and in the blink of an eye everything can change. But the Son of God reveals to us who we are and whose we are because He makes everything new.
It is through our faith in God, God’s word and God’s grace that we know that God so loved us all that God redefined what love is in the life, death and resurrection of His only Son. Love is sacrifice, messy and painful. But in the end love wins.
So as another year passes, I pray that we will all understand that the way in which we live our lives could be the only bible or church that the people around us will ever experience. So I pray that we will all live a life full of the joy and the hope that comes only from an authentic relationship with the Savior who gives us the gifts of His grace, mercy, forgiveness and love. Through Him all things are possible.
Tags: Christian, Christmas Makes Everything New, ELCA, Faith, God, grace, Homeless Youth, Jesus, Jesus Christ, Love wins, lutheran, Matthew 22: 36-40, Savior, Son of God
All Saints Episcopal, Las Vegas, NV
Lord of all, calm our hearts and minds. Don’t let us doubt You, and don’t let fear rule or feed our thoughts. Interrupt our lives, when we forget the miracle of each breath that You give us, so that we can face these obstacles and not cower or retreat back into the false security of what once was.
Let us let go of our egos and move forward, by faith, into the promise of God so that we can feed the hungry, heal the sick, and be as one body united by the unwavering love of our Creator.
Because of You, our story has been rewritten. So let us dare to know You, to be more like You, to be quick to forgive and slow to anger. Don’t let our own insecurities inhibit ourselves from ministering God’s grace and doing what is right in the eyes of God. We may not “understand the mystery of grace…but grace meets us where we are and does not leave us where it found us.” (Anne Lamott).
Tags: Anne Lamott, bible, Christ, Christian, Church, ELCA, forgiveness, God, grace, Jesus, Prayer
Bridge in Minnesota
Loving God, we come into Your presence seeking a revelation of something greater than ourselves. Give us the wisdom to read, hear and receive Your Word so that we can see our part in Your story: the story of a people that cannot make it on their own and the story of the indestructible love of God.
And “when we feel like we are not good enough to be loved by God, we should remember that God’s love is greater than our doubts. So silence the sounds of condemnation so that we can hear the voice of God, the voice of Grace and the voice of truth. (1 John 3 – The Voice Bible )
Open our eyes to the blessings that we didn’t see before. Help us to recognize the lessons that need to be learned. Illuminate the light of Christ, in all of us, so that we can see that we are all sinners in need of the same forgiveness, grace and love given to all of us at the foot of the cross and the empty tomb.
Tags: 1 John 3, bible, Christ, Christian, Church, ELCA, forgiveness, grace, Jesus, lutheran, Prayer, Revelation, The Voice Bible, voice of truth
All Saints Episcopal, Las Vegas, NV
Almighty God, You spoke everything into motion. Speak to us now and speak us into the motion of Your love. Shield us from the storms and the crashing waves of this life and give us the courage to take a giant leap of faith so that we can hold on to Your word in all that we do.
Remind us that there are no pieces missing from the gospel. There is no exclusion of anyone from the grace and sacrifice that confronts us at the cross. God’s love is for all and even though we run from so many things we cannot escape the truth that we have all been saved and redeemed by the Son of God.
Because of Jesus, our past does not define us. Because of Jesus, we are free to live a life full of love. And when we meet our maker, the only thing that mattered in this life is our relationship with God and with each other.
Tags: Christ, Christian, Church, ELCA, Episcopal, grace, Jesus, love of God, lutheran, Messiah, Prayer, Son of God
Bridge in Minneapolis, MN
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.
Tags: bible, Christian, Church, courage, ELCA, God, Gospel, grace, message, Prayer, Religious, Spiritual
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.
Tags: bible, Christ, Christian, Church, Gospel, grace, heaven, jehovah nissi, Jesus, miracles, Prayer, Spiritual
God shining His light onto our city.
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 to us. 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.
Tags: 2 Corinthians 5:17, Christ, ELCA, Gospel, grace, Holy Spirit, Jesus, love of God, lutheran, mercy, Prayer, Transform, truth, Victory