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Sunday
Mar102019

Call to Worship – March 14, 2019

For Jesus, the road to Jerusalem was a long and arduous road, which eventually and inevitably turned into Holy Week and the Via Dolorosa, the Way of Sorrows.  Each Lent we walk along with Jesus, pondering what he faced as he went along, and what we too must face as we go along.  We do not go alone, however; God travels with us, and for that we are grateful.  Therefore let us, with confidence, worship God.

 

Pastoral Prayer

 

            We thank Thee, O God, that we feel sufficiently confident to come to Thee in prayer.  But we also confess that we have some ambivalence over what we even should pray for.  Our inclination is to request things we want more than things we need, to focus on our own welfare more than the welfare of others, and to seek our own good ahead of the benefits others need far more than we do.  Even our praying can be self-centered and sinful, Lord God, and we acknowledge that before Thee with both shame and dismay.  Forgive us for being so focused on our own situations that we overlook the situations of others whose needs are far greater than our own.

 

            We pray for people who have lived so long with illness or pain or sadness that they have given up hope of ever feeling normal again.  Grant them continued strength for their journey, however long it lasts and however difficult it may be.  We pray for people who refuse to pray for themselves, either because they think there is no one who hears prayers or because they think it would be a waste of their time or Thine to ask Thine assistance for anything.  We pray for people who have long offered prayers professionally but who have given up on prayer personally.  Enable them to see Thy hand in their own lives even as publicly they implore Thy guidance in the lives of others.

 

            Loving Father, we ask Thee to be with anyone whose decisions affect the lives of millions or even billions, especially when they feel stymied in coming to any good decisions.  Bless all those who have extraordinary power, influence, and authority, that they may use whatever powers have been invested in them to the greatest advantage of the greatest number.  Bless the pastors of troubled churches, churches whose primary troubles are centered in their pastors, and denominations which are being torn apart over issues where extremists on various sides of various concerns demand total victory and no compromise with anyone.  Also bless those who either never became part of any church or who gave up on all churches and have chosen to go it alone.  Whether we know it or not or believe it or not, we need Thee every hour.  Therefore stay with us, even if we fail to stay with Thee.  These things we pray in the name of Jesus, through whom we have come to know Thee the most fully.  Now we pray as he taught us, saying, Our Father….  

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