Heavenly Father, what a joy it is to be together as brothers and sisters to remind one another of the precious gift we share in Christ. To celebrate a Savior more perfect and worthy than anything we can seek to put in his place. And as true as that is, it doesn't stop us from seeking to put things in his place in our lives that simply cannot measure up. And if we're pulling that thread just a little bit more: sometimes we even see Jesus as an obstacle to the things we actually want in our lives rather than the object of our affection. We craft these idols in our minds and the consistent outcome they produce is vapor. We give them our time, our resources, our devotion, Father, we give them our worship and simply put: they're not it. Forgive us. Forgive us for giving our worship to anything other than your son, Jesus. Forgive us for believing that idols can give us satisfaction that is found only in Jesus. And Spirit, help us to see the idols in our lives and demolish them. Help us to know what we're giving our hearts to other than Jesus. And, Spirit, help us to give our hearts and our worship to Jesus alone, not to the tiny little idols we fashion for ourselves. It's in the wonderful name of Christ that we have gathered, and in his name we pray, Amen.
You are so good. You are merciful and just. Righteous and truthful. Powerful and kind. You’ve been the same from eternity past and will be the same forever more.
You chose us to be your people. That was your plan from the beginning. When you created us, things were so good. We were so close to you.
But God, our hearts were weak, and we chose the dark ways of this world over what you told us. From that original sin in Adam onward, a deep chasm was created between you and us. There was no way to have that same close relationship with you. Our sin tainted us.
But because you loved us so much, you sent your one and only son Jesus to come to earth from his rightful place at your right hand to come to this broken world and to live the perfect life that we could not. He was perfect yet was murdered on our behalf, the only way to make us right with you forever.
But death would not have the final say for he was raised from the dead on the third day, once and for all defeating Satan, sin, and death and being the only way for that chasm to be closed between us and you.
Thank you for sending your son, Jesus. Thank you for this place to gather and worship you. May our hearts and minds be opened to your truth today.
In Jesus’ saving name, Amen.
We love you and we gather this morning to praise your name above all other names. You created the blazing stars and our beating hearts out of the very same dust. You knit together the cells of each of us inside our mother’s wombs, and created us each for a purpose. You have gone to such great lengths to show us your love- yet we admit that we so often disregard your holiness and your gift of grace that you so lovingly offer us. We allow ourselves to be caught up in the trappings of time, of busyness, of routine, and deprive ourselves of the gift of taking time. Taking time to sit in your presence, to rise and pray, to cherish the ones we love, to be captivated by the multitude of answered prayers that surround us each day.
Jesus, we pray that you would help us to change the rhythms of our lives and open our eyes to your holy presence surrounding us. Help our rhythms to become our everyday liturgies that pull our souls close to you. To savor you, commune with you, and live joyfully for you so that we can be your light to others in this world.
And Spirit, we pray that you would work in our hearts and help us to rest in your love and truth. Help us to rehearse the truths of your Word and to trust in your faithfulness; knowing that you are working all things together for our good and your glory.
We ask all of these things in your beautiful name, Amen.
Almighty Lord, We sing songs to you and we offer up our hearts to you for you are merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.
Forgive us Lord for we have rejected you. Deep inside us is a desire to live according to our own wants and what seems best in our own eyes. We want me time. We want a better job, better health, more money, we want to be married or not married anymore, we want perfect kids and though none of these desires are wrong, we make them our deepest desire, believing that we won't be happy if we don't have them for we have misdirected our longings. All of these things are merely hints at how you satisfy us. So fill us up to overflowing with your presence so that we see you are the one that we should love with our whole heart, soul and might. And from that Lord, that we would love others as we should. Putting aside our wants because we know that you will supply, and instead seeking after the good of our neighbor. We know we are not able to this perfectly and so we rely completely on the finished work of your Son, who did this for us, perfectly. For this we thank you. Speak to us now through your Word. We love you Lord.
God you are our holy, almighty, merciful and good father. We adore you and worship your name this morning. There has never been, nor is, nor ever will be any other above you. You are God alone.
Father, we confess that we often feel distant from you. We question whether you hear us when we pray. At times, we doubt that you even care for us. We cry out to you in desperation and wonder, where is God in all of this? Why is this happening to me? How can any good come out of this situation?
Lord, why do we so often forget how infinitely wise and powerful you are? For you alone are the creator of all things and you alone know us better than we know ourselves.
Father, remind us that we are not alone in this world. You have sent your Holy Spirit to live in us and walk with us through this journey we call life. We are merely sojourners in this present life, for one day we will finally be home with you for eternity. But, while we are here, help us to seek the truth spoken by the Holy Spirit. Help us to seek his guidance and to be sensitive to his promptings. Help us to recognize and be aware of the Holy Spirit fire that burns brightly inside of us and connects us to you and to other Christ-followers.
Lord, we love you and we thank you . . . for your Son you sent to save us, for your word you sent to speak to us and for your Spirit you sent to walk with us. In your powerful name we pray, Amen.
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