Prepare the Way- Prayers based on Isaiah 40.3-5 and Mark 1.1-8

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Prayer: Shall, based on Isaiah 40:3-5
A voice cries out: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all people shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

The time is now, for you have called
The place is now, for you have spoken

Yes, it is a wilderness, a desert even
So dry, so rough
So uneven
Yes, the gap is so very wide between the high and the low

But, you have called
You have spoken
Not an if or when or maybe
Not even a try

You have spoken shall

Every valley shall be lifted
Every mountain shall be made low
The uneven shall be made level
The rough shall be made smooth

So we will persevere in this wilderness of preparing
We will not forge a path or blaze a trail but make a highway
A highway for your coming
For your glory, O God shall be revealed in this place
And all shall see it
All shall see it together

Make Your Way, based on Mark 1:1-3
The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. As it is written in the prophet Isaiah, “See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way; the voice of one crying out in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight,'”

How do we prepare the way in this time and place?

I’ve witnessed the modern-day prophets
Dipping your two-edged sword in fear and hate
Divining pure from sin, saved from heretic
Confident in their judgments

There are others, too, who take a different path
Coating your sword with sugar and stories
Tickling our ears with prosperity and self-help

We’ve come so far from Brother John
Your blade in hand
Sharp yet washed in the wilderness of prayer
Dripping with Good News

This is Your Way
Repentance
Integrity
Compassion
Solidarity

Make your way in us, O God
Make your way in us

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Click Here for a powerful prayer by Steve Garnaas Holmes entitled The rough made smooth, also inspired by this passage.

Click here for Comfort Ye by Steve Garnaas Holmes, a word of encouragement to those experiencing horror and abuse and those striving to bring justice and healing.

Be sure to also check out Rev. Magrey deVega’s stunning reflection on this passage in his blog post, Is God on your Christmas List?

Shall © 2018 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
Make Your Way © 2013 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution. (by Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia, http://www.revlisad.com) Please leave a comment for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

Prayers based on Mark 13.24-37

week 12Prayers Based on Mark 13:24-37
The Necessity of Watchfulness

Prayer: Morning by Morning
Morning by morning you waken me
You open my eyes to your presence and desire for this day
You know my weakness, my weariness
You open me to your sustaining

Morning by morning you waken me
Now open my mouth to share what first found me
In every season and circumstance
With every soul along the way

Morning by morning you waken me
My eyes, my ears
My mouth, my heart

Morning by morning you waken me
To You and to all
Find me faithful on your return

Prayer: Break Through
Break through Jesus
Break through the clouds with great power and glory
Break through the earth like tender fig leaves in summer

Break through our overcast eyes
our gravelly heart

Awaken us from apathy and busyness and self-deception
We’re asleep at the wheel of life
On automatic pilot faith

Nothing can keep you in the grave
Nothing can keep you from coming again
Awaken us
Raise us up
Make us alive with expectation and action
For our good and your glory. Amen

______________

For the next few months, I’ll be posting prayers to accompany Bishop Ken Carter’s Bible Study on Facebook. Each week, Bishop Carter will bring in a guest to speak about the passage. We’ll be walking through the last chapters of the Gospel of Matthew. 

You’re most welcome to read along and to join this Facebook discussion group. You don’t need to be a Methodist or attend a Methodist church. All are welcome and all means all.

May the grace of God’s word, the challenge, and the call, inspire us to great faith and great good works in Jesus’ name. – Lisa <

Morning by Morning © 2020 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
Break Through © 2020 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution.
Please leave a comment for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

Like our sister Mary, an Affirmation of Faith for Advent and Christmas

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Like our sister Mary, we say yes

Yes to your favor
Your presence
Your blessing

Yes that we are enough just as we are
Where we are

Yes to your calling
and the power of the Holy Spirit coming upon us to fulfill it

Yes to bearing and birthing
Your Word and your Promises and your Kingdom
in this time and place

Yes to all things being possible with you

Like our sister Mary we say
Here I am, the Lord’s humble servant
As you have said, let it be done to me
in me
through me

Like our sister Mary we sing and celebrate you
Our God, Our Liberator
For though we are your humble servants
You have noticed us

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This affirmation is offered for all, but especially for those who lead God’s people during the holy-days of Christmas. It can be an weary and stressful time. It’s easy to miss the wonder and grace of God’s intimate presence with so much responsibility. The stakes feel sky high. Breathe, trust, receive brothers and sisters. The promises are for you as well.

We use this as our Affirmation of Faith during Advent by adding the following
ONE:
God is calling, inviting. Christians, what is your answer?
ALL:
Like our sister Mary, we say yes…

Happy Advent and Merry Christmas! – Lisa <><

Like our Sister Mary © 2017 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in devotional settings with proper attribution.
by Lisa Degrenia (www.revlisad.com)
Please leave a comment for information/permission to publish this work in any form.

Based on Luke 1:26-48, The Voice translation

Prayers based on Matthew 25.31-46

week 11Prayers Based on Matthew 25:31-46
The Sheep and the Goats

Prayer: All Brought to Light
Royal One, grant us strength
to serve and keep on serving
to risk and keep on risking
to love and keep on loving

Holy One, grant us faith
to stand, trusting all will be revealed
to bow, knowing all will be revealed

The hidden will be brought to light
hidden actions of our hands
hidden motives of our hearts
hidden words, hidden thoughts
your hidden presence

Find us gracious
Find us generous
Find us faithful

Lord, have mercy
Christ, have mercy
Lord, have mercy

Prayer: True Love
Merciful Jesus
Give us courage to deny privilege
to lay down favor and safety
in order to take up the cross of opportunity and justice

Merciful Jesus
Give us courage to deny consumerism
to lay down convenience and gratification
in order to take up the cross of sustainability and generosity

Merciful Jesus
Give us courage to deny comfort
to lay down apathy and ease
in order to take up the cross of service and true love

Merciful Jesus
Our King and our Neighbor in Need
Reveal your true love in us and through us
Faith and Works
Prayer and Action
Now and Forever
Amen
______________

For the next few months, I’ll be posting prayers to accompany Bishop Ken Carter’s Bible Study on Facebook. Each week, Bishop Carter will bring in a guest to speak about the passage. We’ll be walking through the last chapters of the Gospel of Matthew. 

You’re most welcome to read along and to join this Facebook discussion group. You don’t need to be a Methodist or attend a Methodist church. All are welcome and all means all.

May the grace of God’s word, the challenge, and the call, inspire us to great faith and great good works in Jesus’ name. – Lisa <

All Brought to Light © 2020 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
True Love © 2010 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution.
Please leave a comment for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

Worship and Sermon Resources for Thanksgiving

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WORSHIP RESOURCES
A Prayer for Thanksgiving- Most Blessed, Most Beautiful Christ
This prayer may be voiced by one person, two persons, or one person and the congregation.

God of Abundance, Provision, and Plenty
A prayer based on Genesis 13

A Steward’s Prayer
A prayer based on Matthew 24:42-51

Your Eternal Goodness
A prayer of thanksgiving and praise based on Psalm 65

Make Us Your Sanctuary
A prayer based on Ezekiel 37:26, “I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them, and I will bless them and multiply them and will set my sanctuary among them forevermore.”

Prayer Litany for Thanksgiving
This worship resource includes verses of the hymn All Creatures of Our God and King plus time for silent reflection and prayer.

Thanksgiving Reflection
For centuries, Christians have been reading scripture, followed by a time of prayer. Thanksgiving Reflection is designed in this way, with readings from Deuteronomy 8 followed by prayer prompts for silent reflection. The sequence could be printed or projected on a screen. The post also includes a beautiful altar table display idea for a Thanksgiving or Harvest themed worship service.

Call to Worship: Way, Truth, Life

Your Eternal Goodness, a prayer of thanksgiving and praise based on Psalm 65

SERMON RESOURCES
Enough, A Thanksgiving Message from Psalm 23

A Thanksgiving Reflection Based on Deuteronomy 8

Gratitude and Glory Sightings, a Thanksgiving Message (Luke 13)

A Reflection on Three Psalms of Thanksgiving (Psalms 75, 106, 136)

Satisfying and Silencing: A Reflection and Prayer for Thanksgiving based on Psalm 65
The prayer in this resource is for a solo voice with a congregational response. It could also be a prayer in two voices.

Daily Bread (Matthew 6)
A sermon from a sermon series on The Lord’s Prayer

Prayers, Quotes, and Reflections on Gratitude

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You are welcome to use any/all of these resources in a worship setting with proper attribution. (by Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia, http://www.revlisad.com) Please leave a comment for information and permission to publish any of these resources in any form.