Be With Our Children (Romans 8:22-27 and Acts 2:1-21)

Heavenly Mother, we are your children.
You gave us the gift of life.
You knew us before we were created and you formed us in your image.
You surrounded us with grace as we struggled to understand how to live
and how to follow your teachings.
You nurtured us and comforted us when we fell short.
You taught us what it means to be in a family.
We especially thank you for the young adults
who have spent the last year learning about their faith
and who have chosen to join us as part of this family of believers.

Holy Spirit, intercede on their behalf.
You alone know their deepest needs, their biggest dreams,
and their unique talents and abilities.
Fill their hearts with the passion of their faith.
Strengthen them when they begin to despair.
Open their eyes to how they can make a difference in this world.
Guide them through the temptations of this world and
keep their focus on following Christ and his teachings.
As your children, we want to follow your will and your teachings.
Help us to instill this same desire in our children.
Help them to instill this same desire in their own children
in the years to come.

Heavenly Father, you declared you would pour out your Spirit onto us.
You gave us your Son to show us the way.
Fill us with your Spirit, show us your signs.
As your early church did, help us to create a community of believers.
Help us to support one another.
We lift up to you, those among us we know are in need.
We name ___
We also lift up to you those who are unnamed.
Help us to be your people and to follow your ways.

As your people, we lift up our voices using the words your Son taught us,
so many years ago, “Our Father…”

Transformation: The Places We Will Go (Acts 2:1-6, 12-21)

Pour out your spirit upon us, Lord.
Fill us with your promise,
with your grace and
with the joy of your teachings.
Remind us as we watch the baptism of ___and ___
of our own baptism.
Remind us that we are your community, your children,
baptized in the living water and
sealed with the participation of God’s grace and forgiveness.
We state today we are your children and we thank you.

Be with us in our daily lives.
Help us to see your active participation in our interactions with others,
in the mundane and in the significant.
Encourage us to spend time with you in silent reflection,
allow us to hear your guidance and your direction in that silence,
open our hearts to better understand your plan here on earth.
As your children, we long for your embrace and are comforted by your love.
We are loved, help us to feel that love and to accept that love.
Be with those among us who need an extra level of support. We name ___.

We have been cleansed by the act of baptism.
We have been filled with Holy Spirit.
Open our eyes to the signs of your involvement in our lives,
and in our future.
Help us to share those signs and your teachings with others.
As your children, we bring our own children to you
and promise to raise them in your teachings.
We pledge our children to you and as a community,
we pledge to support these children and their families.
As we look at ___and ___, remind us of our time of innocence.
Take us back to that time.
Take us back to the age of childish wonder and amazement
and fill our hearts again with that wonder.

As your children, we lift up the words you taught us and
we embrace that feeling of wonder and amazement as we do so,
“Our Father…”

Let Us Achieve New Heights as Followers of Christ (Acts 1:6-14)

Gracious God
Sometimes the world and its problems seem to be too much for us.
We may find ourselves waiting and unsure what to do.
Sometimes we ask you for signs of what will come,
forgetting that we are to act as your witnesses here on earth.

Jesus was taken into Heaven and until he returns, we ask,
Spirit, come to us and call us to action.

Remind us that you have given us all we need to act in your name,
to be your disciples here on earth.
Fill us with the courage we need to stand up for truth and justice.
Open our hearts with compassion for those in need.
Give us the wisdom to see your vision for this world and then
use our thoughts and energy to fulfill your plan here on earth.
Unclench our fists and replace anger and frustration
with a deep sense of peace.
Remind us that we are your children and that we are loved.

Jesus was taken into Heaven and until he returns, we ask,
Spirit, come to us and call us to action.

We are your disciples now.
Help us to be like the disciples of the early church.
Help us to feel your interaction as we pray and
help us to see you in the ordinary moments of our lives.
As we experience the joy in your teachings,
help us to share that joy with others.
Use us to bring peace to this world, one person at a time.
As we support one another, we ask that you be with those among us
who are in pain or in need of healing. We name ___
We ask that you help us become better students of your teachings,
better disciples in this world.

Jesus was taken into Heaven and until he returns, we ask,
Spirit, come to us and call us to action.

As the disciples devoted themselves to prayer, we use the same words,
the words that Jesus taught them, “Our Father…”

**Words in bold can be said by congregation

Called to New Heights (Acts 17:22-31)

Creator God, in the story of our creation,
you walked with us in the garden.
Throughout time, you walked with your people,
providing manna,
providing laws and guidance,
and then providing your son.
You have been with us always.

We are your children.
We know that you are with us and
yet we confess that we may not always know you.
We may not always see you when we search for you.
You are bigger than we can comprehend.
You call us to be better than ourselves.
We ask that you be with us.
Remind us that in you, we live
and in you, we have our being.
Open our hearts to you and
open our eyes to your plan here on earth.

We are your children and you are with us,
even when we pull away and focus on other things.
You are still with us.
We ask that you be with those among us who are hurting
or are in need of healing. We name ___.
In you, we live and in you, we have our being.
You have given us hope.
You have given us grace.

And using the words your Son taught us,
we lift up our voices to you,
“Our Father…”

Be With Us in Relationship (Acts 2:42-47)

Fill us with the excitement of a new relationship, Loving God.
Bring us into a new relationship with you.
We all remember the feelings of a new love.
Help us to fall in love with you all over again.
Remind us what it feels like to be excited and energized
by life again.

Fill us with the comfort and ease of a long-lasting friendship, Lord.
Remind us how easy it is to talk to someone who can finish our sentences
and knows all of our old stories.
We know even if we spend time apart, that you will always be there,
waiting for us.
Like a close friend, you offer comfort, healing, and acceptance.
Remind us what it feels like to be supported and encouraged
by life again.

The early church was energized by their relationship with each other
and their new faith.
Over the years, maybe we have become more complacent.
Fill our hearts with the excitement of your teachings.
Open our eyes to the plans you have for us here on earth.
Use us to fulfill those plans here.
Help us to create a community of believers here in this place.

As a community of believers, we gather here each week.
We pledge to support one another and to work for the common good.
We ask that you be with those among us who need your healing grace.
We name ___.

As you are with us now, you were with us when you taught us to say,
“Our Father…”

Be With Us (Acts 15: 1-11 )

Be with us, Gracious God.

As we sit here in this sacred place,
with others who believe as we do,
be with us.
As we wake in the morning,
be with us, Gracious God.
Be the voice in the quiet dawn that
reminds us to celebrate the new day
we have been given
Remind us to use our time here
to make the world a better place.

As we meet others in our day to day,
be with us, listening to our conversations,
watching our interactions.
Be with us, Gracious God.
Be the voice in our ear that
reminds us not to judge, but to encourage.
Be the tiny speck in our eye that reminds us
that our control and power are limited and the
smallest, most accidental encounter in life
can send us to our knees in pain and tears.
Be the friend, or the stranger, who helps us to our feet,
and reminds us of the power of the helping hand.
Be the desire in our heart that reminds us
to share your love with others.
Be with us, Gracious God,
remind us that we are all your children,
filled with your grace.

As we walk with you beside us throughout our day,
remind us of what is important in life.
Be with us always, Gracious God.
Remind us to be at one with one another.
Remind us that none of us embody your teachings fully,
no one of us is worthy of your love
and yet, we are your children, filled with your grace.
Be with us, Gracious God.
When as children, we begin to squabble,
remind us again of what is most important.
We ask that you especially be with ___.

As we prepare for the end of the day and the sleep to come,
remind us to think over our day.
Help us to see clearly where and when you were with us.
Be with us, Gracious God.

In this sacred place, we have come together to feel your grace
and to learn of your teachings.
Be with us, Gracious God.

And now, we lift up our voices, using the words your Son taught us,
“Our Father….”

Equip Us With Your Spirit (Acts 2:1-8, 12-21)

Creator God, you equipped those who followed you with the gifts that they needed,
you gave them the words that they needed to share your teachings,
your spirit marked them and filled them with prophecy,
with visions and dreams.
Fill us today with your prophecy.
Mark us as yours and remind us of the gifts you have freely given us.

We come here each week to gain strength from one another,
to learn from one another,
to care for one another.
Mark us as yours, fill us with your dreams and visions,

Your early church was at first afraid and stayed huddled together.
But your Spirit filled them, gave them strength, gave them courage and wisdom.
Your Spirit fills us, draws us here each week.
Strengthen our faith, give us the courage to share your teachings with others,
give us the wisdom to understand your plan for this church,
open our hearts to your desire for us and for this congregation.

The Spirit descended upon your followers in the past,
descend upon us now today and in our future.
Father, Son and Holy Ghost, you are with us always.
You provide the strength we need in today’s chaotic world,
you encourage community and taught us to work together to fulfill your plan.
We ask that you be with ___ and fill them with your healing grace.

Your early church gained strength and spread out across the world, carrying your word.
Give us the strength to open our hearts to those we encounter in our daily lives,
help us to share the story of our faith with others.
Open our minds and hearts to where you are calling Church of the Apostles today and in the future.
We have accomplished much in forty years.
Stir our imagination for what should take place in the next forty years.
Fill us with your Spirit, your visions, your dreams, and your prophecy.

Creator, you equipped those who followed you with the gifts that they needed,
you gave them the words that they needed to share your teachings,
We use the word your Son taught us,
“Our Father…”

Transform Us To Be Easter People (Acts 10:34-43)

The message spread throughout the land, from Galilee through Judea.
The message spread throughout time, growing in strength,
the witnesses growing in numbers over the centuries.
We stand as your witnesses today.
We tell your story to our children and share your love with others.

You taught peace, Jesus.
We hunger for peace in our world today,
a world that is filled with noise, anger and chaos.
Remind us to practice peace in our daily lives.
Remind us to listen for understanding and
to seek out that which we can agree upon
while accepting differences in opinions.
Remind us to adhere to your teachings
and to share your peace with others.

Your message spread throughout the land and through the centuries.
We stand as your witnesses this morning, filled with the joy of your return.
Our hearts beat faster as we allow our celebration
to fill us with hope and with your grace.
The flowers of rebirth surround us, the music embraces us,
and our belief in second chances and a new beginning is strengthened.
We are transformed as your children, as your believers.

Even on your way to the cross, Jesus, your focus did not change.
You still cared about the poor, still continued to teach your disciples,
and still had complete faith in God, the Father.
Fill us with that same strength, with that focus on your teachings.
Help us to be the Easter people, filled with hope and joy!
Help us to transform our lives to truly be your people,
to show your love at all times to all people.
Help us to stand up for those who have no power, no money,
and no voice.
Help us to encourage peace, not anger and hatred.
Help us to always feel the joy of your resurrection,
to keep hope alive in our hearts.
In this time of renewal, we ask that you be with ___
sharing your gift of healing and strength with those who need it the most.

Your message spread throughout the land and throughout the centuries.
We stand as your witnesses this morning, filled with the joy of your return.
Easter is finally here.
You have returned.
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

Now hear us as we pray the way you taught us saying,
“Our Father…”

We Proclaim (Acts 17:22-28)

Creator of Love and Light

We gather here today in your name.
In You, we live and move and have our being.

We proclaim that there is one God, one Son and one Holy Spirit.
The mystery of the Trinity,
but we no longer have the mystery of the unknown God.
We know that you are with us always, we know that we are your children.

Creator of Love and Light
you made all nations.
Remind us that regardless of our race, we are the same.
Remind us that regardless of our fears, we are the same.
Remind us that regardless of our station in life, we are the same.
We are your children, Lord, each of us cherished,
each of us made in your image.

We proclaim that there is one God, one Son and one Holy Spirit.
We proclaim ourselves members of the body of Christ.
As members of your body,
we realize we are the hands that carry the burdens of those among us,
we are the ears that hear the cry of injustice in your world,
we are the eyes that see your plans unfold before us,
and we are the voice to share your teachings with others among us.

Creator of Love and Light,
we know that you are with us always.
Be with those among us who need your healing strength.
We name ___.

We proclaim that there is one God, one Son and one Holy Spirit.
Your Son said, Follow Me, and we have followed.
Your Son taught us the words we still use today,
“Our Father…”