As a deer craves running water, I thirst for you my God. I thirst for God, the living God. When will I see your face?
Prayer of the Bible
Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done. Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts. Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice. Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always. Remember the wonders he has done.
-Psalm 105: 1-5
(Free expression of praise and thanksgiving to God)
Confession of Sin
O Lord, the house of my soul is narrow; enlarge it that you may enter in. It is ruinous, O repair it! It displeases your sight; I confess it, I know. But who shall cleanse it, or to whom shall I cry but unto you? Cleanse me from my secret faults, O Lord, and spare your servant from intentional sins.
-Saint Augustine of Hippo (354-430)
(Time of silence for confession of sin)
The Words of Jesus
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
(Think deeply on these life-giving words of Jesus)
Prayer for Ourselves and Others
That's why I urge you to pray for absolutely everything, ranging from small to large. Include everything as you embrace this God-life, and you'll get God's everything.
(Time to bring before God our own needs and the needs of others)
Lord, we thank you for your church, founded upon your Word, that challenges us to do more than sing and pray, but go out and work as though the very answer to our prayers depended on us and not upon you. Help us to realize that humanity was created to shine like the stars and live on through all eternity. Keep us, we pray, in perfect peace. Help us to walk together, pray together, sing together, and live together until that day when all God’s children — Black, White, Red, Brown and Yellow — will rejoice in one common band of humanity in the reign of our Lord and of our God, we pray. Amen.
-Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968)
Go, sent by the Father into the world to love & serve in the name of Jesus, empowered by the Holy Spirit
photo 1 public domain: children's hands
photo 2 taken in: Gozo, Malta