Liturgy, Reflectionary, The People Pray

Liturgy for September 20

Call to Worship (based on Psalm 145)

One: I will sing the praises of my God; 
Many: We will bless God’s name forever and ever.

One: Every day we will bless God
Many: And praise the name of God forever and ever.

One: God is great, and our praise must be great, too.
Many: God’s greatness is hard for us to understand fully.

One: Our ancestors told our elders, and our elders told us.
Many: We will tell the coming generation about the mighty works of God.

One: God’s abundant and overwhelming goodness is famous.
Many: We will share it with all people. 
All: Let us sing our praise out loud!


Call to Confession

We come to worship carrying both our ordinary burdens and the extraordinary stresses of this difficult time. We add up what others have and subtract what is missing in our lives. We compare and contrast and compete and calculate. Let’s stop doing the math of envy and give it to God.

Prayer of Confession 

Gracious God, sometimes other people seem to get more than we do. They always seem to have the advantage. How will we ever have enough? We bring you our stress and our worries. We bring you our frustration and annoyance. We bring you our resentment and our anger. These are all things that can separate us from you. In this moment, as we come to you in silence, help us to be honest with ourselves and with you. Have mercy on us.

(Allow a time of silence.)

Assurance of Pardon 

One: God does have mercy on us.
Many: We are grateful, because we need it.
One: Beloved Children of God, we are forgiven. This is the Good News that brings new life.
Many: We thank God for it.


You’re welcome to use or adapt the liturgy above and share the image below in whatever way is useful this week. 

Confession, Liturgy, The People Pray

Like children afraid to tell their parents

Call to Confession

The Psalmist wrote, “The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.” God has the compassion of a deeply loving parent. Beloved children of God, whatever troubling us today, let us bring it to God in prayer.

Prayer of Confession (Unison)

Holy One, like children afraid to tell their parents about something they have done wrong, we may hesitate to open our hearts to you.

We have trouble making peace when we disagree.
We have trouble forgiving ourselves for the things we have done and the things we have left undone.
We have trouble forgiving each other for hurts caused and words spoken and things forgotten.

Yet we know nothing is ever truly secret from you,
and so we will stop talking,
and pray you will listen to our hearts
beating the rhythm of repentance.

(Allow a time of silence.)

Assurance of Pardon (Responsive)

One: God’s love for us is great and steadfast. 
Many: God’s love for us is as high as the heavens are above the earth. 
One: Beloved in Christ, we are forgiven. This is the Good News that brings new life.
Many: We thank God for it.


You’re welcome to use the prayer or the image below in whatever way is useful this week. 

Liturgy, Prayer, The People Pray

Maybe we didn’t sleep much

Holy One,

Maybe we didn’t sleep much last night.
It’s a familiar feeling
from the last time,
and all the other times
when the news holds headlines
that shake our comfortable worlds.

We need shaking, Lord.
We need it so we don’t forget.
We need it so we speak up.

We see the sour fruit of violence
when we see the way the strong,
the armed, the militarized,
treat the undefended.

Give us courage
to say the things
that need to be said,
to walk the walk
that needs to be walked,
to live the lives
you call us to live.

Help us, please,
for Christ’s sake. Amen.

Photo by Tito Texidor III on Unsplash

I wrote a version of this prayer during the protests after Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson, Missouri. I wish it didn’t bear repeating. You’re welcome to use the prayer or the image in whatever way is useful this week. 

I will be taking time for professional development and vacation in August.
My weekly Reflectionary email (subscribe here) will move to Tuesdays when it returns on September 8, and these blog posts will push later in the week.