Prayer

Within Our Darkest Night

A Prayer with Sung Refrain for All Affected by Mental Illnesses

Refrain: “Dans nos obscurités/Within Our Darkest Night” Taizé, LUYH 417
God, our Creator,
who spoke light into the darkness,
we gather to offer our sacrifice of praise.
While it is right to give you our thanks and praise,
we acknowledge that there are some in our midst enduring a deep pain
and for whom joy and praise seem impossible.
Wherever we find ourselves today,

While I was planning our Trinity Sunday worship service, I was inspired by my study of 2 Corinthians 13:11–13. In verse 11, the word that is often translated “be perfected” or “put things in order” is the same word used in the gospels to describe the mending of fishing nets. In this prayer, the joys and concerns of the congregation are lifted up to the triune God, who is the mender of our nets and our lives. This idea became a theme for this prayer.

Two Prayer Services

Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication

Here you will find two services based on the same prayer outline: adoration, confession, thanksgiving, and supplication. These services are meant to be fairly simple, with opportunities to pray through Scripture and song. Neither service includes a sermon, but one could easily be added as a reflection on one of the Scripture passages. —JB

Golden Bowls

At Third Christian Reformed Church in Kalamazoo, when planning a series on prayer the imagery of Revelation 5:8 captured our imaginations. The elders were before the Lamb, each holding a harp and “golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.”

A Psalm Prayer and Blessing for Children

Note: Words in bold type indicate congregational response.

Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!

You have set your glory in the heavens.
Through the praise of children and infants
you have established a stronghold
against your enemies,
to silence the foe and the avenger.
(Ps. 8:1b-2)

It’s safe to say that most Christians have memorized the Lord’s Prayer. But when we do so, we often become attached to the wording of a specific Bible version. As a result, some of us find it distressing when we hear a different reading of the Lord’s Prayer. When planning worship you might have been surprised by the strong response of some when you use an unfamiliar version. “What next?” they say. “Is nothing sacred?”

How long O Lord, how long?
How long will our news be filled with reports of violence?
How long will neighbor turn against neighbor with words, and fists, and guns?
Why are people filled with such fear and anger that they desire to kill?
Sovereign God we cry “Lord have mercy!”
 
Sing: Kyrie Eleison (such as Lift Up Your Hearts #637 or another appropriate refrain.)
 
Sovereign God, we pray for comfort and healing.