O Lord Jesus, you who came to us to show the compassionate love of your Father, make us, your people know this love with our hearts, minds and souls. So often we feel lonely, unloved, and lost in the valley of tears. We desire to feel affection, tenderness, care, and compassion, but suffer from inner darkness, emptiness, and numbness. Come, Lord Jesus, come. Do not just come to our understanding, but enter our hearts, our passions, emotions, and feelings.
-Henri Nouwen (1932-1996)
Prayer of the Bible
O Lord, how many are my foes! Many are rising against me; many are saying of my soul, there is no salvation for him in God. Selah But you, O Lord, are a a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head. I cried aloud to the Lord, and he answers me from his holy hill. Selah I lay down and slept; I woke again, for the Lord sustained me. I will not be afraid of many thousands of people who have set themselves against me all around. Arise, O Lord! Save me, O my God!
(Free expression of praise and thanksgiving to God)
Confession of Sin
Surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith.
(Time of silence for confession of sin)
The Words of Jesus
“Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn.’ But I say to you, Do not take an oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. And do not take an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.
(Think deeply on these life-giving words of Jesus)
Prayers for Ourselves and Others
Pray to God the Father, through the power of our Master Jesus, through the love of the Spirit
-Romans 15:30 The Message
(Bring before God our own needs and the needs of others)
“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace. ”
(Go now, sent out by the Father into the world
to love and serve in the name of Jesus
and empowered by the Holy Spirit)
photo 1 public domain: 'Statue of Despair'
photo 2 taken in: Barcelona, Spain Jesus statue on top of Tibidabo Church