Freedom and Light – Three Prayers Inspired by John 8

Forgive by Yongsung Kim

No Condemnation by Lisa Degrenia
Jesus straightened up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11 She said, “No one, sir.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go your way, and from now on do not sin again.” – John 8:10-11

Jesus, you do not condem
You reveal
You write the truth on the sands of our souls

We hear our prejudice
We see our hypocrisy

continue with your own prayers of confession

We drop the stones of our deadly traditions
Our blood trappings
We surrender our false supremancy

All have sinned, we have sinned
All fall short, we fall short
All need you and your redeeming love,
We need you and your redeeming love

Shine On by Lisa Degrenia
Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” – John 8:12

Shine on Jesus
Shine on me 
Make me a Child of Light
Being light
Living in light
Bearing the fruit of light

Shine on me and in me  
exposing the works of my darkness to the light
Your healing, redeeming Light

Shine on me, Shine in me, Shine through me
Exposing the works of darkness around me
The oppression, corruption, destruction
Exposing them to the light
Your light
Your truth, your justice
Your mercy, your healing, your love
Your ways
Your Light

Shine on Jesus
Lord of Light
Light of the World
Shine your healing, redeeming Light

Freedom in Christ by Lisa Degrenia
Jesus answered them, “Very truly, I tell you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin.  The slave does not have a permanent place in the household; the son has a place there forever. So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.- John 8:34-36

Come Mighty Savior!
Wield your truth
Release the captives
Release us

Come Mighty Savior!
Shatter the bonds of
Fear and Sin
Shame and Injustice
Falsehood and Death

Come Mighty Savior!
We long for your deliverance
Take our strongholds and give us freedom
Take our numbers and give us names
Take our sentences and give us life

If you make us free
We are free indeed

Continue with your own prayers of deliverance and thanksgiving

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I’ll be posting prayers based on the Gospel of John throughout Lent and Easter this year. Thanks for coming along with me on the journey. – Lisa <><

Three Prayers Inspired by John 8 © 2023 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting without asking permission. It’s always a treat to hear from you if you’re using it. Leave a comment for information and permission to publish this work in a book, blog, etc.

The Visitation- Christmas Reflections for Mary and Elizabeth (Luke 1)

old and young hands

Based on The Visitation, Luke 1:39-56

There They Stand
Mary entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.
– Luke 1:40

There they stand
breathless
belly to belly
the maid and the elder cousin
full of grace and truth

John leaps for joy
Covered in the flesh of Elizabeth
Unborn, yet already at work
In the wilderness of her womb
He will not wait to make the Way known

Elizabeth extends her arthritic hands
One wrapping Mary in welcome
The other in blessing
Encompassing the inexperienced traveler
in affirmation of faith

Worship overwhelms worry
In the sanctuary of her solace
Mary is safe enough to sing

As You Have Said
Mary answered. “May it be to me as you have said… The Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name.” – Luke 1:38, 49

Revel and Rejoice
Praise and Proclaim
Magnify
Glorify
Adore

Our Steadfast Savior
Mindful of our frailty
Looks on our lowliness
and responds with greatness
Great grace and Greater grace
for us and for all

Holy, Holy, Holy Lord
God of power and might
Heaven and earth are full of Your glory
It is as you have said

Your mercy extends
Floods and Flows
Through time and place
Through need and pain
Body and Soul to
Soul to Soul to Soul to…

You show true strength
Bringing down those who bow the knee to no one
Scattering those who set up their own kingdoms
be it castle or corporation
Revealing it to be ashes
and emptiness

You show true strength
Lifting up those bowed low
Face in the dirt
Bearing the weight of excess and greed
Buried beneath crushing injustice

You show true strength
Raising up
Filling up
Faithful, Covenant Keeper
Remembering and
Re-membering

Revel and Rejoice
Praise and Proclaim
Magnify
Glorify
Adore

It is and will be
as You have said
Holy, Holy, Holy Lord

Believe by Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment
of what was spoken to her by God. —Luke 1.45

This time of year we’re told to “believe.”
But what does that mean?
Judging from the movies to believe
means to believe in magic, or Santa, or romance,
to be optimistically wishful and naïve.
In many Christian circles to believe means
to think, as in believing certain doctrines are true.
But the word “believe” comes from old English,
rooted in German, belieben—to love.
In scripture to believe means to give your heart:
to lovingly entrust yourself, not to an idea but to a person.

Blessed is she who trusts God, and the power of love.
Blessed is she who trusts
that God’s promise will be fulfilled in her.
Blessed is she who trusts
that her love is more powerful than empires.
Blessed is she who entrusts herself
to the One who births her,
and who is in her, and whom she births.
Blessed is she who trusts her worthiness,
that her calling is sure and her gift is needed
and her voice carries weight.
Blessed is she who gives herself over
to the divine work of bearing love into the world.

Blessed are you,
and blessed is the fruit of the womb of your heart.

Praying with Mary by Steve Garnaas-Holmes
God, you have shown strength with your arm;
you have scattered the proud
in the thoughts of their hearts.
You have brought down the powerful from their thrones,
and lifted up the lowly.
——Luke 1:51-52

Oh, Mary, you know perfectly well
how revolutionary this is,
how the power structures fight this,
how the world is opposed to God.
And you know in the fight
you will lose much.
Give me courage, Mother of Love,
to stand against the powers,
that they might be brought down,
to use what I have to lift the lowly,
to find my strength not in my powers
but in your love
that brings us all into one circle,
all your Beloved.
Mary, may your vision be my hope
and my courage.

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There They Stand © 2010 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
As You Have Said © 2014 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution.
by Lisa Degrenia (www.revlisad.com)
Please leave a comment for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

Two Prayers Based on Psalm 19.7-14

grayscale of photo of man

Photo by Luis Quintero on Pexels.com

based on Psalm 19:7-14

Prayer: Words and Ways
Your words and ways are
Perfect
Sure
Right
Clear

Your words and ways are
Pure
True
Righteous
Every one

Their value, beyond price
Their goodness, beyond delight
Their counsel, enduring blessing

Place in me a longing
To desire them
Become them
Every one

Prayer: Rock and Redeemer
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be acceptable to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.
– Psalm 19:14

Revive my soul
Make me wise
Re-joy my heart
Enlighten my eyes

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be acceptable to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.
– Psalm 19:14

Grant me holy reverence
A desire for you
And your goodness, alone

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be acceptable to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.
– Psalm 19:14

Clear me of hidden falsehood
Making way for your ways
Your innocence, reborn

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be acceptable to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.
– Psalm 19:14

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Words and Ways © 2021 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
Rock and Redeemer © 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 Restoration

abstract art artistic autumn

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

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.

Bless Christ, Through Whom All Things are Made

Fresco of Christ creating the sun, moon and stars from the St. Paraskevi Shrine, Greenlawn, NY

This hymn text was born during my seminary days during some quiet time spent with Colossians 1:15-18.

Jesus is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers—all things have been created through him and for him. He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together. He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything. (NRSV)

In this passage, creation is described as an ongoing act. The fullness of Trinity is found: Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer; yet all things are created and are held together through Christ, the Word spoken in creation, the eternal Word made flesh.

I woke up this morning surprised to be reminded of this song. I haven’t thought about it in years, but it wants to accompany me this holy week. I pray it is a welcome companion to you as well. – Lisa <><

Bless Christ Through Whom All Things Are Made
by Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
a hymn text based on Col. 1:15-18
Meter 88.88 (LM)
Suggested Tune- POXON

Bless Christ through whom all things are made.
Join seen and unseen in their praise
of One who both creates, sustains
who goes before, in justice reigns.

Who makes the lion and the lamb
the farthest star, the smallest hand
dominions, rulers, and their pow’rs
the steadfast mount, the fleeting hours?

Who made the ore for blood soaked nails?
Who made the thorns and whipping tails?
Who made the sun that would not shine
and made the tree on which Christ died?

Who makes the waters of our birth?
Who makes the dust where we return?
Who makes the way for us to die
and rise to everlasting life?

Bless Christ though whom all things are made.
Join seen and unseen in their praise
of One who both creates, sustains
who goes before, in justice reigns.

This text was selected to be part of a United Methodist worship resource entitled Worship and Song. Each lyric or liturgy I write feels like a gift. I am excited and thrilled that this gift will be shared with so many.

For a PDF of the hymn as it will appear in the Worship and Song pew edition, click here Bless Christ, Through Whom All Things are Made

© 2000, revised 2009
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.