A Prayer for Restoration

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A Prayer for Restoration by Rev. Macon Armistead
God our Creator, who from nothing made all things, You are the source of life and love. In You we find our deepest longing to be re-created, re-formed, and made new. Create in us, O God, a heart for love and grace. May we now lift up to You those in need of love and grace.

Say their names silently or aloud

God our Redeemer, You became flesh in Jesus Christ. You lived among us as one of us, and came near to the hurt and brokenness of our world. Through Your love and grace, You brought us into deeper community with You and with one another by restoring all creation on a cross. Redeem us, O God, so that we might find healing, justice, and forgiveness. May we now lift up to You those in need of healing, justice, and forgiveness.

Say their names silently or aloud

God our Sustainer, You hold together all life through the in-breaking of Your Holy Spirit in us. Through mighty winds and fire, or your still small whisper, Your Spirit is among us, calling us to be a part of Your mission, to continue Your restoration for all the earth. Sustain us, O God, so that we might discover Your purpose and peace for us. May we lift up now to You those in need of purpose and peace.

Say their names silently or aloud

God speak to us now. Reveal to us, Your Church, how we might be with and for another in this world, as You are with and for us. May we be co-agents of Your love and grace, Your healing, justice and forgiveness, Your purpose and peace, so that all the earth might be made new, redeemed and restored, through You — Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

And now, let us pray the prayer Jesus taught us, saying:
Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name.
Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread
and forgive us as our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.
Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the Kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever and ever.
Amen.

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A Prayer for Restoration © 2021 Rev. Macon Armistead
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.

A Prayer for Haiti and Cuba

Cuba_Haiti_LocatorPrince of Peace, hear our cry
For your beloved, and our beloved, in Haiti
For your beloved, and our beloved, in Cuba

The winds of injustice are howling
Hurling them to and fro
They can’t get a footing
They can’t get their bearings
They’re drowning in violence and need

Prince of Peace, hear our cry
Pull them up for air
Hold them together in grace
Anchor them in freedom and provision

We call on you, O Blessed Word
Creating new life from chaos

We call on you, Bright Morning Star
Lighting the way with bright hope

We call on you, Prince of Peace
Our Shelter and Savior, forever
Amen

CLICK HERE to read A Call to Action for the People of Cuba from Methodists United in Prayer.

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A Prayer for Haiti and Cuba © 2021 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.

A Prayer for the Election

Title Cards for PrayersHoly God
One yet Three
Reach into the abundance of your companionship
Bring forth unity and healing in our land

Cover this election with fairness and dignity
Dismantle voter suppression and intimidation
Grant simple, safe, equal access to the polls
Make the way for all voices to be heard
All votes to be counted

Cover this election with grace and integrity
Protect the process from corruption
Strengthen all working for an honorable election
Make the way for all voices to be valued
All results to be trustworthy

Cover this election with compassion and hope
As we await results and move into a new era
Soften and soothe hard, violent hearts
Rain down generosity of spirit and a commitment to the common good
So all may know blessing and opportunity and belonging.
Amen.
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A Prayer for the Election © 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.

Prayer Service Honoring 2020 Loss and Hope

Fill the Table Facebook Event (1)

2020 has been one devastating heartache after another. This prayer gathering seeks to name our individual and communal loss.

For me, writing prayers and liturgy helps me process pain. I need to say it out loud. I need to lament. It also helps me reclaim the promises of God. This reconnects me to hope.

This service was designed with the pandemic in mind- an outdoor gathering, less than 45 minutes, with no singing. We call ours Candles in the Garden because of the location of the service.

This service is also designed to be easy to organize and lead. It could be lead by one or more persons. No programs or projection are needed. The music could be live or prerecorded.

Lastly, this service is designed as a community gathering. Persons with little or no faith, and persons from less liturgical traditions, will be able to participate without jumping through “churchy” hoops.

My prayer is that this gathering will be honest and safe with all we are experiencing. I trust our good, good God will meet us there with compassion, blessing, and balm. – Lisa <><

Those who gather will bring their own chair and their own candle. The candle should be in a container so it can be placed safely on a flat service during the gathering. If the service is outside, be sure the candle is in a container which will protect it from the wind. 

As persons check in, they are welcome to name losses they would like mentioned in the service on their behalf. They are also welcome to name their own losses at that point in the service. 

Gathering Music

Welcome  

Scripture: Psalm 61:1-5, adapted    
ONE: Hear our cry, O God; listen to our prayer.
From the ends of the earth we call to you, we call as our hearts grow faint;
Lead us to the rock that is higher.
For you have been our refuge, a strong tower against the foe.
We long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings.
For you, God, have heard our vows;
You have given us the heritage of those who revere your name.

Instrumental Meditation   
Transition music as the next speaker moves forward and the microphone is wiped clean.

Mourning the Loss of Life due to COVID-19    
Light a candle. Update the statics for your gathering. 

ONE: We light this candle honoring the loss of life due to COVID-19.
15,595 deaths in our state
216,000 deaths in our nation
1,090,000 deaths in our world

Lord of Life and Light, bring healing and hope. Hear our prayer for
The grieving
The suffering
The isolated
Those who need access to testing and treatment

Bring strength and encouragement to those risking much to help others
Medical professionals and researchers
Health Departments, the CDC, and the WHO
Cleaning crews and sanitation workers

Hear our prayer for an end to the pandemic.
You are good. You are near. You are strong to save.
We trust you hear our prayer.

Instrumental Meditation
Transition music as the last speaker places the candle in the garden and the next speaker moves forward and the microphone is wiped clean.

Mourning Loss due to the Economy   
Light a candle. Update the statics for your gathering. 

ONE: We light this candle honoring the loss due to our struggling economy
Over 1 million persons out of work in our state
Over 12 million persons out of work in our nation
Over 190 million persons out of work in our world

Lord of Life and Light, bring provision and hope. Hear our prayer for
The unemployed and underemployed
Those who need access to relief, training, and technology
Those trying to keep a roof over their head, food on the table,
Their family together, their business open

Bring strength and encouragement to those risking much to help others
Those who work in shelters, soup kitchens, and food pantries
Social Workers, Teachers, and Civil Servants
Frontline workers who face the public everyday

Hear our prayer for an economic recovery for all.
You are good. You are near. You are strong to save.
We trust you hear our prayer.

Instrumental Meditation
Transition music as the last speaker places the candle in the garden and the next speaker moves forward and the microphone is wiped clean.

Mourning the Loss of Life due to Natural Disasters    
Light a candle. Update the statics for your gathering. 

ONE: We light this candle honoring the loss of life due to recent natural disasters
Over 13 million acres burned in our nation this year
25 storms including 9 hurricanes, over $26 billion in damage

Lord of Life and Light, bring home and hope. Hear our prayer for
The devastated and displaced
Broken earth, broken spirits, broken systems
Broken lives, broken communities

Bring strength and encouragement to those risking much to help others
Firefighters and First Responders
UMCOR, FEMA, and other agencies
Generous people opening their homes, their wallets, and their hands to help

Hear our prayer for an end to the destruction.
You are good. You are near. You are strong to save.
We trust you hear our prayer.

Instrumental Meditation
Transition music as the last speaker places the candle in the garden and the next speaker moves forward and the microphone is wiped clean.

Mourning the Loss of Life due to Injustice     
Light a candle. Update the statics for your gathering. 

ONE: We light this candle honoring the loss of life due to prejudice and systemic injustice
In 2018, the average black worker earned 62% of the average white worker
Of the 535 voting members of congress, only 57 are black
Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and more, killed by those entrusted to protect them

Lord of Life and Light, bring justice and hope. Hear our prayer for
An end to evil and oppression
An end to hate and discrimination
An end to apathy and silence

Hear our prayer for all who live in constant fear
All who are beaten down, profiled, and held back
All who mourn and rage
All who are called to protect and serve

Bring strength and encouragement to those risking much to help others
The prophets, awakening us to truth
The witnesses, opening our eyes with their stories
The just, working to change hearts and systems

Hear our prayer for peace and dignity for all.
You are good. You are near. You are strong to save.
We trust you hear our prayer

Instrumental Meditation
Transition music as the last speaker places the candle in the garden and the next speaker moves forward and the microphone is wiped clean.

Mourning Loss due to Division 
Light a candle

ONE: We light this candle honoring loss due to our division
Religious division
Racial division
Political division
Economic division

Lord of Life and Light, bring community and hope. Hear our prayer for
Empathy
Understanding
Trust and Grace

Bring strength and encouragement to those risking much to help others
Peacemakers and Artists
Mediators and Neighbors
All who gather and nurture
All those working for an honorable election, no violence or corruption

Hear our prayer for compassion and the common good.
You are good. You are near. You are strong to save.
We trust you hear our prayer

Instrumental Meditation
Transition music as the last speaker places the candle in the garden and the next speaker moves forward and the microphone is wiped clean.

Candles in the Garden  
ONE: Who or what loss have you lit your candle for? Name it as you place your candle in the garden now.

ONE: read the petitions collected as folks check in. Allow folks to name their own petition. 
This moment includes social distancing and musical underscoring. After all persons have placed their candle, the following is read. 

Reading: For Life by Steve Garnaas Holmes
For the empty seat, we hold silence.
Love, have mercy.
For the two hundred thousand, we weep.
Love, have mercy.
For the homes incinerated, we mourn.
Love, have mercy.
For the rule of law, we lament.
Love, have mercy.

For kindness and nonviolence, we pray.
Love, have mercy.
For courage to stand, to speak, to act, we pray.
Love, have mercy.
For faith in one another, that we still hold the future in our hands, we pray.
Love, have mercy.

For justice that dismantles oppression,
hope that overcomes despair,
for faith that overpowers dread,
for love that defeats fear,
for joy that will not be taken from us, we pray.
Love, have mercy.

In the face of all that oppresses,
give us trust in grace unseen;
give us hearts to rise, to serve,
yes, even to sing
for life, for life.

Scripture: Hebrews 10:23-24
ONE: Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who has promised is faithful. And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds.

Closing Blessing

Departure Music

Consider a time of distanced listening following the gathering. Participants may need compassionate persons to listen as they continue to process what they experienced or what the experience revealed.

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Candles in the Garden © 2020 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution.
by Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia (www.revlisad.com)
Please contact Lisa for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

Midweek Devotion- John 17, part 3

SCRIPTURE: John 17:20-26

BREATH PRAYERS:
IN:
OUT: Make us one, Lord

IN:
OUT: Let Your love flow

IN:
OUT: Come, Holy Spirit

You’re encouraged to use the following process as you read scripture.
We use this process together on Wednesdays at 8:00AM EST.
https://www.facebook.com/TrinityUMCSarasota/

STILLNESS: Spend 5-20 minutes in silence looking to God and listening for God.

ATTENTION: Read or listen to the Scripture. What word, phrase, or verse captures your attention? Underline it or copy it onto a piece of paper.

CONNECTION: What connections do you see to other scriptures? To your own experience or current situation? Or, to the character or promises of God?

ACTION: What is God inviting you to trust, say, or do? How will your life be different because of this scripture?

PRAY: Talk to God about what you just experienced or anything else on your heart.

Recorded 9/9/2020

Bind Us Together (CCLI Song # 1228)
Bob Gillman © 1977
Thankyou Music (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing)
CCLI License # 686715

Make Us One (CCLI Song # 695737)
Carol Cymbala
© 1991, 1994 Carol Joy Music (Admin. by ClearBox Rights, LLC)
CCLI License # 686715
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Midweek Devotion- John 17, part 3 © 2020 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia