Called to Listen (Mark 1:21-28)

Gracious God, in today’s world, it can be hard to know who we should listen to.
Who should be our authority in a world that is too black and white?
Help us to discern the truth by listening to all sides.
As we listen to the stories of those around us,
help us to see ourselves in their stories and
help us to see you in their stories.
You should be our authority
but sometimes we allow ourselves to be pulled by the material worl

Gracious God, call us to listen to you
and inspire us to fulfill your plan here on earth.
Open our eyes to the vision you have for us here in this world.
Open our heart to your teachings.
Open our ears to the cries of those around us and
open our arms to share our talents and treasures with those in need.
We are your followers and in your authority, we share your good news.

Call on us, Lord, we are your followers.
We gather here each week in this sacred space.
We are your followers and we support one another as your family.
As we support those who are in pain or in need of healing,
we ask that you be with ___ and fill them your healing presence
and gift of grace.
As your community, we also celebrate and lift up fellow members in joy.
We lift up ___ .

Gracious God, we celebrate your authority in this world.
Remind us always that your word takes precedence over the world around us.
When we face conflicting views in our world today,
grant us the comfort of your never-changing ideals and guidelines.
Our understanding of the material world that surrounds us
may change over time, but your teachings remain constant.
Call us to understand, call us to listen, call us to fulfill your plan here on earth.

As we respond to your call, we use the words your Son taught us,
“Our Father…”

Called as a Gift (Mark 1:14-20)

Now is the time for God’s kingdom here on earth.
Gracious God, we ask for your help in making this so.
We ask that you change our hearts
so that we can change our lives as well as
the lives of those around us.
Open our hearts to your teachings,
and inspire us to follow you.
Fill our hearts with your peace,
but don’t make us complacent.
Mend our broken hearts, damaged by the world around us,
and keep us from becoming cynical.

Now is the time for God’s kingdom here on earth.
We trust in that good news as we gather here each week.
Help us to share the good news with others
by using the gifts you have given to us.
Encourage us to recognize our gifts and
the gifts we see in others.
Remind us our gifts have value
and help us to recognize their worth.
Call on us to use those gifts freely without fear.
Give us the strength and wisdom to use our gifts
to speak for the voiceless,
to lift up the fallen,
to see the plans you have set in place for us,
and to listen for the needs of those around us.
You have called us together to be a family of your believers.
As a family, we support one another and
we ask that you be with those among us who need your healing grace.
We name ____.
As a family, we celebrate our joys and rejoice with one another.
We lift up ___.

You have called us here to this sacred place.
You have given us priceless gifts and talents.
You have loved us and shown us your grace and your mercy.
And now it is time to make this world your kingdom.
We take the first step in our call by using the words that you have taught us, “Our Father..”

Called to Challenge (1 Samuel 3:1-20)

Speak, Eternal One, because we are listening.

Or maybe we only think we are listening.
Maybe we are allowing the world to drown out your message to us.
Maybe we are filtering out what we don’t want to hear,
keeping only the part of your message that fits into our understanding.

Help us to find the quiet, to find a place that allows us to hear you.
Help us to find the courage to truly answer your call.
Help us to have the wisdom to follow your call.

Speak, Eternal One, and help us to truly listen to you.

Hearing your call is not always easy.
You call us when we are not ready.
You call us when we are not expecting your call.
You call us to do things we think are too hard.
Help us to be open to your call.
Help us to be ready to respond to your call.
Help us to be willing to accept your challenge.

Speak, Eternal One, as we remember those who answered your call.

We remember Dr Martin Luther King Jr.
We remember Rosa Parks.
We remember Jackie Robinson.
We remember Rachel Carson.
We remember Eleanor Roosevelt.
We remember Abraham Lincoln.
We remember Martin Luther, John Calvin and Ulrich Zwingli.
We remember all those who fought for social justice,
to make all people equal,
to protect and nurture our environment,
and to bring your words and your teachings to everyone.

Speak, Eterrnal One, and remind us that we are your children.
Open our hearts to your teachings and your guidance.
Open our eyes to the needs of those around us.
As we support one another, we ask that you be with those among us,
who need your healing grace and your peace. We name ___.
And as you speak to us, we lift up our voices to you,
using the words your son taught to us, “Our Father…”

To Act as Your Follower (Matthew 25:31-46)

Gracious God, your teachings have changed our lives.
We can no longer pretend that what happens to others
does not affect us.
We can no longer pretend that our actions and choices
impact only ourselves.
As your followers, we are part of your community
here in this world.
We realize it is our responsibility to make this world,
your world.

We ask for your wisdom to know what and when to act.
We ask for your strength to take action.
We ask for your peace as we reflect on what we cannot change.
We ask for your grace as we fall short in our efforts.

Gracious God, your teachings have changed our lives.
Help us to share your love with those around us.
Help us to freely welcome others as you have welcomed us.
Help us to share our gifts and talents to change the lives of those around us.
Help us to stand up for those who are powerless and
to speak for those without a voice.
Help us to act out your teachings and to live as you did.

We ask for your wisdom to recognize the truths of your teachings.
We ask for your strength to follow your teachings.
We ask for your peace as we choose to focus on spiritual rather than material.
We ask for your grace as we fall short as your followers.

Gracious God, you sent us your son to be our teacher.
Today, we lift up our voices to use the words that he taught us,
“Our Father…”

Riches in Our Lives (2 Corinthians 9:6-15; Luke 17:11-19)

Gracious and Giving God, you have given us so much.
Help us to truly see the riches in our lives.
You have placed people in our lives,
people that love us, people that challenge us,
people that nurture us, and people that test us.
Help us to see how our interactions with others
make a difference in this world and with one another.
We can choose to act in love or with indifference.
Help us to choose love.

Help us to truly see the riches in our lives.
You have given us treasures in terms of money, time and talents.
We live in a world that judges people
based on their wealth, education and skills.
Help us to truly see one another, to see your image on their faces.
Help us to accept others as they truly are
and help us to share ourselves with those around us.
Help us to come together as your family of believers and
help us to act in your image in our broken world.
Open our hearts and
give us the courage to share our hopes and fears with each other.
As we support one another, we ask that you be with those among us
who need your strength and healing grace. We name ___.
And as we look around at those who are with us today,
we lift up our thanks and praise for this community of believers.
We can choose to share our money, time and talents with love
or we can choose not to share.
Help us to choose love.

Gracious God, you have been more generous to us than we deserve.
Open our eyes to the riches you have given freely to us.
And as we lift up our voices in thanksgiving,
we remember that you gave your Son to us and we use the words he taught us,
“Our Father…”

Made in God’s Image (Romans 12:1-8)

Creator God, you have made us in your image.
To each of us, you have given special gifts and talents.
We may not feel special, but we are uniquely made
for your purpose.
Help us to understand that purpose.
Help us to fulfill that purpose.
Help us to use our gifts and talents to their fullest.

Giving God, you have given much to us.
Remind us that our gifts are not only for ourselves,
but are meant to be shared.
Our world is full of plenty,
even when we feel in need.
Help us to recognize and to appreciate all that we have.
Open our hands and hearts to others.
Encourage us to share freely and to accept the gifts of others.
Help us to celebrate our gifts and to use them in joy.
Help us to worship you with full hearts, minds and bodies.

Loving God, you have brought us here together in this sacred space.
Remind us to continue acting in community with one another
during the week.
Help us to share your love and your teachings with others.
As we support one another, we ask that you be with those among us
who need your healing touch and your strength.
We name ___.
As we celebrate joys with each other, we thank you for ___.
Encourage us to continue to build relationship with one another,
to make friends of those who used to be acquaintances,
to make peace with those who used to unsettle us,
to comfort those who are grieving, and
to recognize and appreciate the differences of others.

As your children, we lift up our voices, using the words your Son taught us,
“Our Father…”

Joyful for Your Gifts (2 Corinthians 8:1-15)

Lord, because we have come to know you, we are a joyful people.
Because we have come to know you, we are a thankful people.
And because we have come to know you, we are a blessed people.

We shout with joy and lift up your praises to the world.
As we know joy in your teachings,
we ask that you help us share that joy with others.

We thank you for the many gifts you have bestowed upon us.
As we celebrate these gifts,
we ask that you help us use those gifts to make this world
your heaven on earth.

We thank you for the grace you have shared with us.
As we feel your grace upon us,
we ask that you help us become agents of change and
forgiveness in this world.

We know we are your children and that we are deeply loved by you.
As we feel your love,
we ask that you help us share that love with others,
with those we know and with those we will come to know.

As we support those among us,
we ask that you be with our brothers and sisters in need of your healing touch. We name ___.

Holy Spirit, come to us.
Holy Spirit, blow through this holy place and sweep away our fears,
our hesitations, and our selfishness.
Come to us and open our eyes so that we can see God’s plan before us.
Open our hearts so that we want to do more in Christ’s name.
Open our hands so that we share freely with others.
Open our ears so that we hear the needs of others.
Holy Spirit, give us the strength and courage to support those among us.
We ask that you be with your Church, here in this holy place,
and with the wider Church.
As Luther transformed the church 500 years ago,
we ask that you give us the strength to truly be your disciples
as we seek change, justice and peace.

As your disciples, we lift up the words your son taught us,
“Our Father….”

Love, Yours and Ours (Matthew 22:34-46)

You told us the greatest commandment is to
Love the Lord your God with all your heart,
with all your soul and with all your mind.
Next, we are to love our neighbor as ourself.
Remind us, Lord, that love is a verb.
We are to love and to love means to act.

It is easy to love you, Lord,
and to love our family and friends.
We can say we love the stranger whom we have never met.
It is not as easy to love the stranger who cuts us off in traffic,
the person who holds a different political viewpoint than ours,
the stranger who is incarcerated,
the co-worker who doesn’t pull their weight,
or the person we think is taking advantage of the system.

Remind us that we don’t have to feel love,
but we need to act with love which means
acting in fairness.
Help us to see the image of God, your image,
in the faces of those we meet.
Help us to treat everyone with fairness.
Help us to act with love in each encounter.
Remind us that each of us is a child of God,
deeply loved and uniquely cherished.
Give us the strength to take action
to protect the powerless,
to speak for those without a voice,
to listen for the needs of those around us,
to lift up those who have stumbled,
and to feed the hungry.

As your children, and acting in your love,
we support those in our community.
We ask that you be with those among us who are in pain
and who need your extra support. We name ___.
But we also celebrate with our community.
We lift up in joy ___.

We thank you for the love you have extended to us,
love that we have not earned but freely accept.
Help us to now freely share that love with others.
As we feel your love, we lift up our voices and our hearts to you,
using the words your Son taught us, “Our Father….”

The Light of the World (1 John 1:1-10)

Our world can be a dark and scary place.
Creation shows us her power with hurricanes and fires.
Oceans rise, storms rage and islands are destroyed.
Nations quarrel and politicians squabble.
Women, children and men are used and abused by others in power.
The poor grow poorer and too many people go hungry.
People of color feel unsafe.

As we look at the pain in our world,
we don’t see ourselves as responsible.
We blame the system and hold ourselves outside of that system.
We confess that we hold others to be accountable
while making excuses for ourselves.
When we do this, we know we are walking in the darkness.

Remind us to follow in your light, to be the light to others.
Remind us that in your light, we are forgiven and made clean.
And help us to share that good news with others.
You have revealed yourself and your love to us.
Help us to share the fellowship we have with you.
Help us to be in fellowship with everyone we meet.

As we let the light that is inside of us shine,
may we see clearly the reality around us,
May we use your light to show your plan here on earth
and to guide our feet.
May we use your light to help us identify the needs of those around us.
May we use your light to identify the inequity in our world
and to help us take steps to create a just and peaceful world.
As your followers, we support each other.
We ask that you be with those among us who need your strength and healing touch.
We name __.
We ask that you be with those among us who are celebrating and
are filled with joy.
We name ___.

As we walk in your light, and as we share your light with others,
we use the words your Son taught us.
“Our Father…”

Living in Community (2 Timothy 3:10-17 and Psalm 119: 97-106)

Gracious God, we thank you for the role models in our lives.
We may not realize it until later, but in every encounter,
we share a lesson.
We are the teacher and we are the student.
Help us to carry the right message to others.
Let them see your love in our actions and in our words.
Help us to see your image in their faces,
and to see your lesson in each encounter.

Creator God, we thank you for the relationships in our lives.
You have created within us a desire for community,
a desire for family and a desire to belong.
Help us to create a world where there are no others,
a world filled instead with our brothers and sisters,
mothers and fathers, children and grandchildren.
One family.
One community.
Your children.

Teacher God, we thank you for Scripture.
Through space and time, your words continue to speak to us.
We thank you for the gift of your Son.
Through space and time, his examples continue to speak to us.
Use our hands to help the poor and sick,
as Jesus did.
Use our voices to speak up for the powerless,
as Jesus did.
Use our eyes to see the world around us clearly, without bias,
as Jesus did.
Use our ears to listen for those in need of help,
as Jesus did.
Open our hearts to follow your teachings,
as Jesus did.
We ask that you continue to speak to us
and to teach us.

Healing God, we thank you for the gift of forgiveness and renewal.
We thank you for the gift of second chances and do-overs.
And as we support one another in our learning process as your disciples,
we also support each other in times of illness and grief.
We ask that you be with those among us who need your strength and peace.
We name ___.
As your students and as your children, we lift up the words your Son taught us,
“Our Father..”