Save my Soul Good Gardner, a prayer based on the Parable of the Sower (Matthew 13.1-9)

seed-sower-jeremy-sams

Based on Matthew 13:1-9

Save my soul, Good Gardener
Evil flies in wanting to steal my hope
Work piles up, insecure boulders ready to crash, leaving no room to root
My faith begins to wither as does our relationship
Distractions grow, choking my gratitude
my perspective
my spirit

Guard me
Guide me
Deliver me
Clear the land
Weed then seed
Nourish the soil of my soul
I long to blossom and bring forth your fruit, a hundred fold

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Save my Soul Good Gardener © 2017 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution.
Leave a comment for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

Prayer for troubles, sorrow, pain (Matthew 11)

matthew-11_28 come to me weary restBased on Matthew 11:28-30

What to do with the burdens of responsibility?
The weight of trouble, sorrow, pain?

What to do with broken and bloody relationships, bodies, and systems?

What to do with days without ceasing?
Nights without sleep?

What to do?
Come to you, Jesus.

With you there is an ease of company.
All we face is shared, lightened.
With you there is hope and healing.
With you there is rest for our very souls.

Hallelujah! We come.

Prayer- Jesus, I Come (Matthew 11.28-30)

tunnel hall walk light

Based on Matthew 11:28-30

Jesus, I come

Barely bearing the weight
of responsibility
of loss
of troubles
of life

Jesus, I come

I need you
I trust you
For you are gentle
humble

Your yoke is so different
Easy
Light
For you bear the weight with us
and for us

So here, have my weariness
Here, bear and birth my burdened soul
Teach me your ways
School me in grace
in hope
in you
Wrap me in your deep, deep rest
Raise me in strength
and honor
and witness

Jesus, I come

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Jesus, I Come © 2017 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution.
Leave a comment for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

Prayer: Open Our Eyes, Our Hands, Our Lips

Open to the Light, photo by Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia

Open to the Light, photo by Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia

Merciful God, open our eyes
That we may see you at work
In us
Through us
Around us

Prince of Peace, open our hands
That we may release all that weighs us down
The burdens
The critics
The striving in our own strength

Holy Spirit, open our lips
That we may share the story of your saving love
With joy
With authenticity
With a power beyond our capability

All for your glory
All for you glory
All for you glory
Amen

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Prayer: Open our Eyes, Our Hands, Our Lips © 2014 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia.
You are welcome to use this work in a worship or other devotional setting with proper attribution. Contact the Lisa for posting and publication considerations.

God, I Need You

my god… i need you… by Zahra Jafari

Psalm 142:6a NIV
Listen to my cry,
for I am in desperate need

The devout man has Jesus with him everywhere to be his comforter, and to him he says: ‘Be near me, Lord Jesus, always and everywhere.’ – Thomas à Kempis

Prosperous people already know they matter. They are already so secure in their human dignity that they usually don’t give it much thought. It is the poor whose attempts to claim their own dignity — small, but often so costly — need affirming. It is the poor and the weak, who are most aware of the need for comfort and refreshment all of us have. When things are going your way, it’s easy to forget that you depend on God for everything you have. It’s easy to begin thinking you don’t, that your power resides in yourself. The powerlessness of all human beings shows clearly in the lives of the poor. The rich can hide from it — for a time. But there is nobody who will not one day find himself bearing a load too heavy to carry alone. None of us are self-sufficient, however strong or weak or rich or poor we may be. We are all in need of comfort, in need of refreshment. Blessed are those who know their need of it early; they are the ones who will put themselves in the way of the Comforter. – Barbara Cawthorne Crafton, “A Little Refreshment! A Little Comfort!” (www.Day1.org, 7/7/96)

Hearing it so often, I believed for years that I was a failure anytime there was more on me than I could handle. If God doesn’t give us more than we can handle, what is to be said of us when our burdens are more than we can carry? And why does the Lord offer us rest and salvation, if we are only given what we can do just fine on our own? We were never designed to do this alone. We were made for relationship. – Fanci Rosselot

Psalm 116:6 NIV
The LORD protects the simplehearted; when I was in great need, he saved me.

Are not we all prone to be a little cocky and think we can handle things just fine? But let some trouble come, and how quickly we sense our inadequacy. Trouble is one of God’s great servants because it reminds us how much we continually need the Lord. Otherwise, we tend to forget about entreating him. For some reason we want to carry on by ourselves. – Jim Cymbala, Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire

Thread the needle.
Let go of everything, now, in this moment.
In the perfect poverty of prayer
walk away from it all to God,
poor and naked, alone and without recourse.
Utterly needy and dependent, fall helplessly
into God’s waiting arms,
where you will receive,
Beloved,
you will receive.
– Steve Garnaas-Holmes, The One Thing

Click here for another terrific post by Steve Garnaas- Holmes entitled Lay Your Burdens Down.

Worship Resource: God, I Need You
Instrumental music begins and continues throughout. The scriptures may be read by one voice aloud or projected on a screen for all to read silently. If projected, allow ample time for slower readers and reflection.

Psalm 79:8b NIV
May your mercy come quickly to meet us, for we are in desperate need.

ALL SINGING:
Traditional Setting:
I Need Thee Every Hour
United Methodist Hymnal #397, chorus only

Contemporary Setting:
Breathe as made known by Michael W. Smith
CCLI Song No. 1874117

Psalm 42:1-2 (NRSV)
As a deer longs for flowing streams, so my soul longs for you, O God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When shall I come and behold the face of God?

ALL SINGING:
Traditional Setting:
I Need Thee Every Hour
United Methodist Hymnal #397, chorus only

Contemporary Setting:
Breathe as made known by Michael W. Smith
CCLI Song No. 1874117

ONE SPEAKING: Psalm 50:15 (NRSV)
Children of God, claim God’s promise,
“Call on me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.”

Persons are invited to pray for needs, silently or aloud. Close with the Lord’s Prayer.

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Click here for more excellent work by today’s featured artist, Zahra Jafari of Iran.

God, I Need You compilation © 2012 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution. Please contact Lisa for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

For more information on the scripture translation, art and the use of this devotional in other settings, please refer to the copyright information page.

Day 25: Psalms of Repentance

Repentance by Jody Stephenson

Today’s Reading
Psalms 25, 32, 38, 51

Pastor Lisa’s Journal
Scripture
Happy are those whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. – Psalm 32:1

Observation
Psalm 32:3-4 provides a profound description of the weight of guilt: our bodies waste away under the strain, we grown from the pain, our hearts are heavy, our minds are weighed down, our backs are bent low, our strength is spent in futile management of falsehoods, our souls shrivel like an earthworm on the summer asphalt.

In verse 5, the Psalmist confesses at last: Then I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not hide my iniquity. No more hiding. No more burden bearing. With confession comes forgiveness and release.

Application
Unconfessed sin is an unnecessary burden. Why are we so reluctant to confess our sin? To accept God’s forgiveness? To forgive ourselves? I hear God’s counsel in verse 9, “Do not be like a horse or a mule…” Our reluctance to accept forgiveness and to forgive ourselves is far more than misappropriated martyrdom. It is stubbornness and pride. We pass false judgment upon ourselves and in doing so actually call into question the grace and goodness of God. It is time to trust God and to lay the burden down for good.

Prayer Litany based on Psalm 51
Sing or listen to We Will Run to You by Gungor

Pray Psalm 51:1-3, 7, 10-17 (NIV)
Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion
blot out my transgressions.
Wash away all my iniquity
and cleanse me from my sin.
For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is always before me.
Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
and sinners will turn back to you.
Save me from bloodguilt, O God, the God who saves me,
and my tongue will sing of your righteousness.
O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise.
You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;
you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

Moments of silence

Prayers of personal confession

Sing or listen to Beautiful Things by the group Gungor

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You are invited to join me on a summer adventure through one of the most beloved books in the Bible, Psalms. To download the Summer in the Psalms reading plan, click here Psalms Reading Plan

As you read, you are encouraged to use the SOAP Method for keeping a spiritual journal, as taught at New Hope Christian Fellowship in Hawaii. For more information on this simple and powerful way of engaging the Word of God, please click here or use the simple instructions provided in the reading plan itself.

I look forward to reading your comments and to all that Jesus will do in you and through you as you seek him this summer. – Lisa <><

PS- For more information on the scripture translation, art and the use of this devotional in other settings, please refer to the copyright information page.