Opening Prayers/Prayers of Adoration on Jesus
Come to Christ, that living stone,
Rejected by the world, but in God’s sight chosen and precious.
We have responded to Christ’s call,
and seek to be built into a spiritual house,
A living reminder of God’s presence on earth.
Once we were no people, but now we are God’s people,
Called out of the darkness into God’s marvelous light.
Therefore we sing with the Church in all ages:
Blessed be your name, O God, our Redeemer.
By your mercy we have been born anew to a living hope
Through your resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
The United Methodist Book of Worship, United Methodist Publishing House, 1992.
O Merciful God, who came in Jesus Christ with saving power to a world that walked in darkness and in the shadow of death, we praise and bless you for all those your servants who helped prepare the way for his appearing, and for those who received him and grave to him the worship of their hearts and lives.
For prophets who in the face of tyranny declared your truth and your righteousness, for psalmists who in days of gloom still believed in your great goodness and sang praises unto your name, and for innumerable regular saints who waited in patience and unfailing hope for the manifestation of your glory, we raise to you our grateful praise. Grant, we ask you, that we in this time may show forth your salvation. Help us to put away all untruthfulness and all selfishness and greed, all malice and prejudice and cowardice.
Let your Holy Spirit cleanse us from all our sins, and teach us to love one another even as you dost love us, that we may make manifest in our lives what you can do for your faithful people; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Ernest Fremont Tittle, Language modernized by Stuart Strachan Jr.
Jesus, Lord—because you took on flesh,
You know what it’s like to be us.
You know what keeps us awake at night,
or yanks us out of sleep in the early morning.
You know what it’s like to have good days and bad days, too.
You know the feelings of being physically tired,
emotionally exhausted and mentally drained.
We’re grateful for a God who knows what it’s like to be us.
You know the joys of a newborn child in a family.
You care about parents who care for their children
with wisdom, love, grace and faithfulness so that
one day they’ll turn and follow You.
Give them what they need to fulfill their calling to love as You love.
You care about weddings and marriages that follow.
Bless husbands and wives with your love that bears all things,
hopes all things, endures all things, that never fails.
May our homes reflect Your love for us
and ours for You to all who see them.
You also know what happens when the wonder fades
and real life takes its toll on families and marriages—
when relationships get strained, sometimes to the breaking point,
when our own strength is not enough,
when forgiveness and reconciliation is tough.
Lord—come as the One who specializes in reconciliation,
in hope and in persistent love.
Make a way home for those who’ve wandered;
and an open door when they return.
(Prayer of Adoration)
Jesus … Immanuel – our God come in the flesh
so that we might know You and that You might save us:
Thankfully, You watch out for us – help us to watch for You.
Give us eyes to see You on the move, active, alive
in our world every day, everywhere, all the time.
Give us ears to hear the whispers of Your Spirit,
recalling Your Word and guiding our steps each moment.
Give us wills that are responsive to Your will;
hands quick to serve,
feet swift to go where there is a need,
and a longing to taste and see that You are good.
(Prayer of Confession)
Forgive us when we live as if You are not real,
pushing You aside to play god in Your world.
Forgive our impatience
when we plunge ahead rather than wait for You.
Forgive our arrogance when we think we have a better way
than what You show us in Your Word.
Forgive our words used to hurt others rather than encourage them.
Forgive us for loving things too much,
people too little, and You hardly at all.
Forgive, also, what we are too embarrassed to say aloud,
but need You to hear, as we confess our sins in silence.
Gracious and faithful God
– our Creator, Redeemer and Comforter:
When we don’t know the way – You show us the way; and
When we can’t find a way – You make a way.
Thank you for Your gift of a Savior –
not a savior who stays distant and aloof,
but one who enters the warp and woof of our existence
as Emmanuel – God with us; and
who then sanctifies every place and time in which we live.