Prayer for Louisiana and Afghanistan

Prayer for Haiti and Cuba (2)As we gather for worship, we recognize the deep pain of our world- Haiti, Cuba, the fires out west, Louisiana, Afghanistan, and so many other places.⁠

We join those who mourn the tremendous loss of life and home ⁠

ALL: Holy One, we trust you weep with us. ⁠Your healing, saving work continues. ⁠

Hear our cry for those who continue to live in destruction, violence, and oppression. Those running to a new home in a new place. And all who are welcoming the refugees ⁠

ALL: Holy One, we trust you welcome them. ⁠Your healing, saving work continues. ⁠

Hear our cry for American and Afghan families as they cry for their loved ones who died in the terror attack on the Kabul airport, as they pray those who remain are safe, as they wonder about 20 years of war and the future of that land.⁠

Hear our cry for those in the path of Hurricane Ida as they cry for the powerful storm to lessen, as they pray those who remain are safe, as they wonder about the destruction to come on the anniversary of Katrina.⁠

ALL: Holy One, we trust you never abandon. Your healing, saving work continues. ⁠

Hear our cry for your work of peace to be fulfilled.⁠
No more war⁠
No more storms⁠

No more tears⁠
No more separation⁠

No more evil⁠
No more devastation⁠
No more death⁠

Jesus, save us from helplessness⁠
Strengthen our minds, our bodies, our resolve. ⁠
We trust we are part of your healing, saving work. ⁠

Jesus, save us from overwhelm⁠
Strengthen our faith, our hope, our calling.⁠
We trust the triumph of your goodness and grace.⁠
For you are the Resurrection and the Life. ⁠
Amen. ⁠
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Prayer for Louisiana and Afghanistan © 2021, 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.

Prayer for the 20th Anniversary of the September 11th Attacks

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Image by David Mark via Pixabay

We come together with persons all over the world to remember the day our world changed. We come together in faith, in hope, in God’s infinite love.

Heavenly Father, we commend to your mercy and grace all who died in the September eleventh attacks and all who have died in the past twenty years while laboring to end terrorism.

In New York City: 2,342 persons
In Arlington, Virginia: 184 persons
In Shanksville, Pennsylvania: 40 persons
411 New York City rescue workers that day plus so many more from the aftereffects
Thousands of military personnel and civilians in the following years of war

Over 70 countries lost loved ones that day: family members, friends, co-workers, neighbors, heroes. In the face of all this loss we claim your grace, your faithfulness, and your power to bring good out of evil.

Compassionate One, it’s been twenty years, yet the pain is fresh and the need is great. Comfort all who continue to mourn the loss of loved ones. Come with assurance and peace for all who remain traumatized, anxious, or fearful for the future. Come with protection and freedom for all who continue to live in the midst of hostility and oppression.

Bring wholeness and hope to every broken place- to broken bodies, broken hearts, and broken spirits. To broken relationships, broken systems, and broken faith.

Draw together leaders of every nation. Give them ears to hear your wisdom and the courage to respond. Inspire them to work together for peace, justice, and freedom. Inspire us, too.

Strengthen all who risk their lives to protect others. Guard and favor all who work to make your world a place of peace. Guard and guide us, too.

God of the Nations, hear our prayer for our enemies and for ourselves. Help us love and pray for those who hate us. We claim your abiding, your humility, and your strength as we strive to fulfill this call.

Save us from revenge, false teaching, and blind suspicion. Help us recognize our contributions to conflict. Help us understand the hurt that feeds the hate.

Change the hearts of all who seek their way by evil and violent means, by coercion and corruption and privilege, including our own. Create in us clean hearts that beat with your unconditional compassion.

Leave no one in the shadows of evil and death, O God.
Fill us all with your light and make us all instruments of your peace.

Our world remains a dangerous place, O God, but with you there is shalom and hope. With you there is persevering and purpose. You are our Rock, our Shield, our Defender forever.
Amen.
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9/11 Anniversary Prayer © 2011, Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia and Nicole Sallee
Updated 2021

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.

Prayer- Make Me Complete (Matthew 5.43-48)

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Based on Matthew 5:43-48

Love your enemies
Pray for those who persecute you
How, oh Lord?

Love your family
Your friends, co-workers, classmates
Your leaders, your neighbors, your competitors…
How, oh Lord?

Love yourself, the Enemy Within
The inner critic, the wounded
The addict, the success, the sinner…
How, oh Lord?

It is beyond me, but nothing is beyond you
In forgiving I reconnect with your forgiveness
In blessing I dive into the deep pool of your provision
In laying down arms I find the war already ended
My heart of peace is your heart beating within me

Jesus, your salvation is wholeness
Make me complete as you are that I may hold and be held
Make me a person of integrity
Molded from my sharp, shattered self
by your everlasting mercy and grace
Amen

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Make Me Complete  © 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- All Lives Matter

2016 summer violence collageThis prayer was offered 7/10/16 during worship at Trinity United Methodist Church, Sarasota Florida in response to a month of overwhelming injustice and violence. 

The vows we make at our baptism, and the vows we renew when we make public commitments to Christ, seem especially poignant given the events of this past week. I remind you of them.

I renounce the spiritual forces of wickedness, reject the evil power of this world, and repent of my sin.

I accept the freedom and power God gives me to resist evil, injustice and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves.

I confess Jesus Christ as my Savior, put my whole trust in his grace, and promise to serve him as my Lord, in union with the church which Christ has opened to people of all ages, nations, and races.

According to the grace given to me, I will remain a faithful member of Christ’s holy church and serve as Christ’s representative in the world.

This week will mark the 1 month anniversary of the Pulse Orlando Massacre. 49 killed, 53 injured. Most young, Latino/Latina, and most from the gay community.

Two weeks after the massacre, Tuesday June 28, a terrorist attack consisting of shootings and suicide bombings occurred at the international terminal of the Atatürk Airport in Istanbul, Turkey. More than 230 people were injured. 45 people were killed in addition to the 3 attackers. The victims were from 11 different countries.

A few days later, last Sunday July 3, at least 298 people were killed and over 246 were injured after a large car bomb explosion in the middle of a busy market in Baghdad. The blast occurred in the Karrada area, the home to many Shia Muslims and a large Christian minority. The attack was part of series of Isis attacks during the holy month of Ramadan.

Two days later, Tuesday July 5, Alton Sterling was fatally shot by police outside a convenience store in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He was a 37 year old black man. The officers were each 28 year old white men.

A day later, Wednesday July 6, Philando Castile was fatally shot by a police officer during a traffic stop. He was a 32 year old black man. The officer is white.

A day later, Thursday July 7, two black snipers ambushed and opened fire at the end of a peaceful protest in Dallas. 7 officers and two civilians are injured. 5 white officers are dead- Lorne Ahrens, Michael Smith, Michael Krol, Patrick Zamarripa, Brent Thompson.

Genesis 1:27
God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

Lord Jesus, help us accept your gift of life
All lives matter
All lives matter because all are made in your image
All lives matter and should be protected and respected
for their worth and dignity are from you
All lives matter and should come home safely to their loved ones
It’s not us and them, it’s just us

Lord Jesus, help us live your gift of love
All lives matter
Yet some are targeted with prejudice and violence
because of the color of their skin
the zip code of their home
their sexuality
what they do for a living

So we speak and pray specifics
Black lives matter
Muslim lives matter
Foreign lives matter
Christian lives matter
Law enforcement lives matter
Latino/Latina lives matter
LGBTQIA lives matter
The Poor, their lives matter
The Young, their lives matter
All lives matter

Break our hearts Jesus that we may weep as you weep
Break our hearts Jesus that we may love as you love
Break our hearts Jesus and raise our voices
that we may speak and act so all may be safe
so all may have opportunity
so all may know belonging

Lord Jesus, take away our fear, our apathy, our silence
Grant us your courage
Grant us your strength
Grant us your perseverance
That we may be your sanctuary, your safe place
That we may live your justice
That we may use your power with wisdom and humility
That we may be your whole and holy people
A people of integrity
That we may speak and act and love again and again and again
Till every dividing wall of hate, fear and mistrust
comes crashing down in your Powerful Name

Lord Jesus, Prince of Peace
Fill us with your hope
Fill us with your salt
Fill us with your light

Lord Jesus, Prince of Peace
Teach us to pray and teach us to live your prayer
Conclude with the Lord’s Prayer

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Prayer- All Lives Matter © 2016 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution.
Contact Lisa for posting and publication considerations.

It would be easy to modify this prayer so different parts could be led by different worship leaders.

Sermon Recording- Giving and Receiving Forgiveness

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Sermon Series: 57 Words That Changed the World
Messages on the Lord’s Prayer from Matthew 6:5-15

Message: Giving and Receiving Forgiveness
Scripture: Matthew 6:5-15
Offered 5/1/16 at Trinity United Methodist Church, Sarasota Florida

The Lord’s Prayer informs, forms, and transforms us and the world. – Lisa Degrenia.

Colossians 2:13-14
And when you were dead in trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive together with him, when he forgave us all our trespasses, erasing the record that stood against us with its legal demands. He set this aside, nailing it to the cross.

Psalm 103:12
as far as the east is from the west so far he removes our transgressions from us

2 Corinthians 5:21
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Biblical stories illustrating forgiveness
Luke 7:36-50 and Matthew 18:23-35

If I’m not willing to forgive others then I’m not asking God to forgive me, no matter what words I use. I am asking God to excuse me, but not asking God to forgive me.
– Darrell Johnson

God forgives the penitent and one of the chief evidences of true penitence is a forgiving spirit. – John Stott

Study Resources for this Message
Lord, Teach Us: The Lord’s Prayer & the Christian Life
by Stanley Hauerwas and William H. Willimon

The Lord and His Prayer by N. T. Wright

Fifty-Seven Words that Change the World: A Journey through the Lord’s Prayer
by Darrell W. Johnson

A Layman Looks at the Lord’s Prayer by W. Phillip Keller

Our Heavenly Father: Sermons on the Lord’s Prayer by Helmut Thielicke
Read it for free online!

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I’m excited to now offer mp3’s of my Sunday messages. A huge thank you to Leon and my brothers and sisters at Trinity United Methodist Church, Sarasota for all their help in making this possible. If you’re ever in Sarasota, please drop by for worship Sundays at 9am or 10:30am, or drop by during the week for a chat or small group. You and those you love are always welcome.

© 2016 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
Contact Lisa for posting and publication considerations.