Opening Prayers/Prayers of Adoration on Grace

Sermon Illustrations on Grace

O God, we thank you that you have not treated us as we deserve.

We thank you that, though you are Creator, Judge and King, you are also Father, so that, though we are wandering children, there is always a road back to our Father’s house.

         You have spoken to us,

In the voice of conscience,

In the words of your Book,

In the promptings of your Holy Spirit,

And yet we have not obeyed your voice

         You have shown us the best,

         In the ideals which still haunt us,

         In the life and example of Godly men [and women]

         In the pattern of Jesus,

                     And yet we have not followed it.

         You have tried to teach us,

         In the events of history,

         In the experiences of life,

Those who sing and those who make music,

         So that their work may not be a performance but an act of worship.

Those whose duty is to administer the affairs of the Church,

         That they may faithfully, wisely, and lovingly

         Care for the things of your house and your household.

Those whose task it is to keep clean and fresh and tidy the church and its premises,

         That they may find joy even in the common tasks;

         And make others thoughtful enough not to make the work of all such harder than it need be.

All who come to worship and to learn each Sunday,

And to be happy in fellowship in the days of the week;

And grant that every congregation of Christian people may be a place where people find each other and find you.

All this we ask for your love’s sake. Amen.

William Barclay, Prayers for the Christian Year, Harper Chapel Books, 1965

 Opening Prayer for Reformation Sunday

Heavenly Father, thank you for a spiritual home

For the legacy of those who have gone before us and welcomed us

Lord Jesus, thank you for your church

For the legacy of your word and witness across the world

Holy Spirit, thank you for renewing your church in every age

Unify us and renew us

We long to be true to you and your ways

Reform us now

Make us courageous and steadfast and persevering

in sharing your grace and Good News

in living your merciful, transforming love

in the building of your kingdom on earth as it is in heaven

Inspire us and defend us and send us out again, Holy One

For the honor and glory of your name alone, Amen

Reformation Day is celebrated annually on October 31. Some congregations choose to acknowledge this day on the Sunday closest to October 31.

Opening Prayer for Reformation Sunday © 2017 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia, www.revlisad.com

God of the Impossible – Father, Son and Holy Spirit:

There’s nothing too hard for you to do, 

Nothing too complex for You to understand, 

No place we go that You’re not there, 

No sin too heinous that You’ll not forgive, 

And no time when You cease to love Your own. 

You amaze us with Your power and creativity; 

You overwhelm us with Your grace and love. 

Thank You! 

Thank You for inviting us to come as we are, not as we aren’t; 

upheld by your compassion and grace 

so we can freely confess to you our sin,  

duplicity and self-absorption. 

In the quiet, Lord, now hear our whispered confessions 

of what we’re too ashamed to say aloud to anyone but You, 

for You know us intimately – and still loves us immensely. 

 Richard Herman

Wondrous God


Your joy is our strength

Nothing more

Nothing less

Nothing else


Grant us grace to receive you and your joy

Grant us grace to trust it above all other powers and plans

Grant us grace to bear it and share it as generously as you


For the honor is yours

The majesty is yours

and Your kingdom is at hand


Your Joy is Our Strength © 2019 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia, www.revlisad.com

Faithful God, our Father, Lord and Counselor:

By your grace you know our names before we are even born. 

By your grace you call us your own sons and daughters. 

By your grace you give us an eternal purpose.  And, 

By your grace give us everything necessary to fulfill that calling: 

Your very own self before us, beside us, inside us, with us. 

 You invite us to open our hearts to your love and power; 

And so we do. 

Richard Herman

God of grace who knows us intimately and wholly;

Who listens intently and persistently: We praise You. 

You hear the prayers of our lips and our hearts. 

You know our innermost thoughts and intentions. 

And when we can’t pray, you even pray perfectly for us. 

We’re amazed how well you know us and still love us, 

that you want us to know you and want us near you.  

Would that we should be so loving and gracious – with ourselves and others. 

So wanting to be more like you and your Son, Jesus, we come acknowledging our sin, seeking your cleansing and forgiveness, as together we confess our sins saying …    

Richard Herman

 No Record of Wrongs, an opening prayer

 Inspired by 1 Corinthians 13:5 NRSV


Love keeps no record of wrongs.

We keep to-do lists so we don’t forget

We check them twice

We carry them in our pockets

Holding on to the pain

The disappointment

The failure

Re-viewing the wrong

Point by point by point

Plotting revenge on ourselves and others


We carry them

They keep us cross

Wounded and bleeding

Divided and dying


You take our lists

Crossing out

Crossing off

Nailing them to your tree

Burying them in a blaze of love

So we may rise free


You keep no record of wrong

Instead, you write our names on your palm

A life list on your lifeline

A love list by your scar



Time of silent prayer

No Record of Wrongs © 2014 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia, www.revlisad.com

Prayer: You Are Near

Inspired by Matthew 1:18-25


Holy Comforter,

You are near when my dream dies.

You are near the brokenhearted.

Thanks be to you for a new dream and a future beyond my imagining.


Maker of Miracle,

You are near when I cannot see your will.

When a good choice, even a merciful choice, is not your choice.

Thanks be to you for correction and clarity.


Divine One,

You are near when I dismiss the holy.

When I say no to your call.

Thanks be to you for your patience, your persevering grace, and second chances.


O come, O come Emmanuel,

strengthen me with the promise of your steadfast presence and saving love,

set my heart and step to your righteousness end. Amen



You are near © 2016 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia, www.revlisad.com

 Wilderness Prayer 

 Inspired by Deuteronomy 8:2-3,14-16

God of the Ages

Our Deliverer and Provider

We bow in humility before your grace

You feed us with the divine

Your word

Your body

You quench our thirst with living water

A stream in the desert

You guide our feet through snares and snakes

You free us from slavery to sin and self and shame and death

You lead us the long way to holiness and home

Grow in us wholehearted allegiance

that our blessing and devotion may never waver

that we may always recognize and trust your desire to do us good


Wilderness Prayer © 2017 by Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia, www.revlisad.com