You Call Us to Your Table (Luke 14:16-24)

Lord, you call us to your table
and we accept your invitation.
We come, not because we fully understand,
but because we want to know your truth.
We come, not because we feel worthy,
but because we know you love us anyway.
We come, not because we are at peace,
but because we are in search of your peace.

We ask that you open our ears to your invitation.
Open our eyes to the opportunities you place before us,
chances to make connections in a broken world,
and encounters that open our minds to new possibilities.
Use us to extend your invitation to all that we meet.
Help us to embody your teachings in our words,
our thoughts and our daily activities.
As you have extended love to all,
fill our hearts with an unending love for others
so that we can share your love with others.
Fill us with the desire to be as invitational as you were.
Surround our table with those hungry for your truth
and your peace.

Lord, you called those to your table that others ignored
and overlooked.
You sought peace and justice for those without power.
You healed those who were sick.
We ask that you be with those among us in need of your healing grace.
We name ___ .
We ask that you also be with those who go unnamed,
with those living in fear and uncertainty,
and with those who feel forgotten and ignored.
May they feel your invitation deep within their hearts.
May they emerge from the shadows and take their place
fully in this life, healed and complete,
knowing they are loved and accepted.
And as they step forward, invite us to fully embrace and welcome them.

As we accept your invitation, we lift our hearts in celebration and joy,
and we lift our voices to you, using the words you gave us many years ago,
“Our Father….

Our Sense of Humility (Luke 14:1, 7-14)

Gracious God, we know that when we invite someone
to have a meal with us, that it is a special event.
We don’t have dinner with just anyone.
We give you thanks for always inviting us to your table,
for always making us welcome and
for providing a generous feast.
Sharing food with each other at a common table
sparks conversation and allows us to share ourselves with others
on an equal setting.
Help us to find opportunities to be with one another
and to share our lives with others.

As humans, we compare ourselves to others
and strive to excel, to be seated at the best seat at the table.
Remind us, Creator God, that you have made us in your Image
and that each of us is the child of God, deeply loved and uniquely cherished.
As your children, we sit around the family dinner table
and share the story of our day as equals.
May we be able to tell the story of how we shared the good news of your teachings,
the story of how our voices were raised to speak for those without a voice,
the story of how we stood up for those without power and
the story of how our love changed someone else’s day for the better.

As we join together at your table, we form your community,
the body of Christ.
We come together every week in this sacred place,
to be one with each other, to put others first before ourselves.
We ask that you be with those among us who need your grace and your healing strength.
We name ___.
We support one another and share grace at your table of abundant plenty
regardless of where we sit at the table.
Bring us together in community and in harmony.

We come together to the table set by your Son,
following the teachings of your Son, and
using the words your Son taught us,
“Our Father….”

Our Sense of Being Called (Luke 14:25-33)

The call to follow you, God, is not always easy.
We can feel embarrassed to share our faith openly
with those we don’t know well.
We can feel guilty when we realize we don’t follow
your teachings as closely as we should.
We can feel the pain in our world and
question how a loving God could allow the innocent to suffer.
We can feel the demands of the world
taking our attention away from what is important.
Be with us, Gracious God, and continue to call our name.

Call us to follow you.
Call us to be your disciples.
Help us to prioritize where we spend our time and our attention.
We can feel conflict between the material world and
the spiritual world shown to us by your Son.
Remind us of what is truly important in this world .
As we think about the end of our lives,
what will we have achieved here in this world?
What will have been the flavor of our life?
Will we have followed you by speaking up for those without a voice?
Will we have followed you by feeding the hungry?
Will we have followed you by raising up
those among us who have stumbled?
Will we have followed you by seeking to understand those with whom we disagree?
Will we have followed you by sharing our gifts freely with others?
Will we have tasted the fullness of your grace or
the bland and unfulfilling taste of the material world?

The call to follow you, God, is not always easy.
But we are your followers and we have heard your call.
We answer your call today and always,
knowing that you, in turn, are always with us.
Your love and grace seasons our lives and provides us strength.
We ask that you be with ___.
And using the words your Son taught us, we lift our voices to you,
“Our Father…”