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Sunday
Apr292018

Call to Worship – April 29, 2012

Every week all over the world, people gather in churches and synagogues, in mosques and temples, and they worship God, or what some consider “the gods.”  They are consciously engaged in various forms of religion, many of which have existed for thousands of years.  Each Sunday we too come together in a religious setting to participate in religious rituals.  Does God need religion effectively to be our God?  That is the question we are raising today.  Therefore let us, with confidence, worship God.

 

Pastoral Prayer

 

            O Thou who hast always existed, whose being preceded all else that has ever existed, we who are but tiny specks in the great cosmic order bow before Thee in prayer.  As we do so, we readily confess how limited we are, and how limited is our understanding of Thee and Thy purposes for Thy creation.  We long for more wisdom than we are likely ever to obtain, for insights of which we may be totally incapable, and for knowledge which has eluded us and our ancestors as long as humans have inhabited this planet.  Grant us hope when hope flickers, faith when faith cannot provide us answers, and trust when we cannot trust ourselves because of our many limitations.

 

            We pray for the greatest productivity possible of all religions everywhere, and for all their leaders, adherents, and observers.  We pray also for those who never adopted or were adopted by any religion, and who live in solitude or with others in their chosen secularity.  In the spiritual quest in which everyone is engaged, whether consciously or subconsciously, be Thou our guide.  Help us to find strength and courage, comfort and enlightenment, as we seek to rise above ourselves into Thy presence and on behalf of others.  Enhance our humanity by Thy divinity, even if we may never recognize the process by which that has happened.

 

            We thank Thee for the traditions and the factors which have led us into this particular fellowship, and we pray that by being together we may become more and more the people Thou dost intend us to be.  We pray for those among us who have become ill or debilitated, and now are unable to worship with us.  We pray for others we know, here or elsewhere, who languish in pain and uncertainty, wondering what is to become of them.  Lord God, but for Thee we believe our lives might be hopeless, but with Thee, and in Thee, we have what we trust is an invincible hope.  Help everyone to live with that conviction, until at some point and in some other form we shall see Thee face to face.  All these things we ask in Jesus’ name, now praying together as he instructed his first disciples, saying, Our Father….

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