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Opening Prayers/Prayers of Adoration on Love

Sermon Illustrations on Love

Adapted from Psalm 92:1-5, 8, NRSV

It is good to praise the Lord

    and make music to your name, O Most High,

proclaiming your love in the morning

    and your faithfulness at night,

to the music of the ten-stringed lyre

    and the melody of the harp.

For you make me glad by your deeds, Lord;

    I sing for joy at what your hands have done.

How great are your works, Lord,

    how profound your thoughts!


Let us love the Lord God with all our heart, all our soul, all our mind, and all our strength. Let us love Him with all our understanding, powers, and fortitude. Let us offer to Him our every effort, our every affection, our every desire, and our every emotion. For He has given to us our body and our soul, our whole life.

But by our pride and ingratitude, we have separated ourselves from our loving Creator and Father and become miserable and rotten.

Yet by His mercy to us through Christ alone, He saved us and continually does only good things for us. All grace and glory, all pardon and peace are from the Lord.

Therefore let us desire nothing else except love our Creator and Savior, the one true God, the all and supreme good. Let nothing else cause us delight except the Lord who alone is holy and just, merciful and gentle, delectable and sweet.

Let nothing hinder or separate us from our precious God who is the fullness of all good. Let us in every place and every hour truly and humbly keep the Lord in our hearts. Let us always appreciate, adore, honor, and serve Him.

Praise God! Give thanks to our Creator and Savior! Magnify Father, Son, and Holy Spirit! Glorify the Trinity and Unity!

The Lord is without beginning and end. His greatness is unfathomable. He alone is worthy of praise.

Most surely He is lovable, delectable, and totally desirable above all else!

Forever and ever. Amen.

(Francis and Clare: The Complete Works, published by Paulist Press in 1982, pp. 132-134. Titled and paraphrased by Bill Gaultiere.)


God of love—Father, Son and Holy Spirit: 

You loved us before we ever knew You.  

Give us such a deep love for You,  

that we can see the world as You see it,  

   feel the compassion You feel,  

and be a people whose lives facilitate Your love to others. 

So open our eyes that we might see what the Good Samaritan saw.  

Grant us the insight to see the need in others,  

the wisdom to know what to do, and the will to do it. 

Richard Herman


How can we praise you

In life’s ordinary moments,

bus, car or train,

pedestrian moments,

at home and employment,

with all those distractions.

How can we praise you?

How can we praise you

when time is so precious,

appointments and targets

distracting our focus,

muddying waters,

made clean for your purpose.

How can we praise you?

How can we praise you?

Through all of our actions,

a smile and a greeting,

a shoulder to lean on,

a word in due season,

love and compassion,

in all situations

John Birch, Faith and Worship


Creator of all things,

Alpha and Omega,

Beginning and End,

Father, Shepherd, Servant,

Brother, Priest and King.

Whose love poured out

mends broken hearts.

Whose wounded hands

reach out to all.

Whose Spirit waits

to enter in.

You are the everything

that we desire.

Be with us now.

Bless us that we might be

a blessing to others.

AMEN

John Birch, Faith and Worship


Gracious and loving God—Father, Son and Holy Spirit:  

We praise you for how wide, how high,  

and how deep is Your vast love for all people.   

Incarnate in Jesus, You offered Your life  

for the healing of the world through the forgiveness of all our sins.  

Your arms outstretched on the cross embrace us all  

as Your love transcends our divisions and differences.   

Breaking out of the tomb, You broke the powers that bind us  

and released us to live new and free.  

Your wide and welcoming love for all challenges us.  

Forgive us when we find it hard to forgive others.  

Teach us how to value and respect one another.   

Give us the necessary strength and courage to reach beyond ourselves  

To those who are unfamiliar, and even those we find disagreeable.   

Make us a safe place in a dangerous world,  

a people in which Your Hope lives,  

Your Love welcomes,  

Your Compassion restores and  

Your Grace lifts all who are downcast.  

Richard Herman


(Prayer of Adoration)

O Lord, Our Lord,  

how excellent is Your Name in all the earth! 

When we are faithless – You are faithful. 

When we wander – You come after us. 

When we’re alone – You draw near to us. 

When we are caught up in circumstances  

that seek to undo us –  

You take what we see as evil and work it for good, 

For in Your grace and power, 

You work all things for the good of those who love You 

and are called according to Your purpose.

(Prayer of Confession)

Yet, while Your love is consistent, eternal and strong, 

Our love is fickle, finite and easily swayed. 

So, we confess today  

that we have not loved You as You deserve, 

with our whole selves –  

heart, mind, soul, body and strength. 

Nor have we loved our neighbors as we love ourselves. 

We know Your good will for us, and we shun it. 

We think our ways are better than Your ways,  

and our wisdom wiser than Yours. 

We are wrong!  

So, hear now our silent confession of those things  

we are too ashamed to say aloud 

and too uncomfortable to share with anyone but You …   

(Pause)   …         AMEN. 

Richard Herman


(Prayer of Adoration)

Father: You know us and love us from eternity. 

Jesus: You love us enough to die for us  

and be rise again to give us eternal life. 

Spirit: You pour out love to us every day, in every way, in all places. 

We praise and thank you, God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – for: 

Your love is “patient and kind”. 

Your love laughs when we laugh; 

And Your love weeps when we weep. 

Its endurance has no limit.   

Its trust is endless.  And its hope never fades. 

Your love outlasts anything.   

It’s the one thing left standing when all else has fallen. 

That’s how you love us  …  thank you! 

(Prayer of Confession)

But we fail to love like that. 

Our love shifts with each change in the winds of fortune. 

It’s impatient and selfish; 

Given mostly to ourselves, sometimes to others, 

And if there’s any left over – maybe we love you a little, too. 

Richard Herman


(Prayers of Adoration)

Holy, Holy, Holy – Father, Son and Holy Spirit: three times holy: 

We love you – though we struggle to fully comprehend You. 

We follow you – though we don’t know where you might take us. 

We praise you – though we see only glimpses of your glory and wonder.  

We trust you – because You’re worthy of our belief, trust and faith.  

(Prayers of Confession)

Yet, we admit there are times our love, obedience,  

praise and trust leave much to be desired.  

Too often our love’s only a passing feeling and not a lasting action;  

we obey only when it’s convenient;  

our praise is limited to when things are going well  

and our trust is more in ourselves than in you.   

Forgive us, as in the quiet we tell only you  

what we’re too ashamed to say before anyone else.  (silence…

Richard Herman


(Prayer of Adoration)

Lord, our Lord – How excellent is your name in all the earth. 

Because of who you are – we praise You. 

Because of what you’ve done – we thank You. 

You are a Father to the fatherless. 

the Strength of the weak, 

the Protector of the powerless, 

and an Advocate for the disenfranchised … 

just in all your ways and righteous in all your judgments. 

While those all around us spin facts and lie to us, 

You alone speak clear, unvarnished truth. 

While the love of most comes with small print and strings attached, 

Your love is gracious, unfettered and free. 

(Prayer of Confession)

Yet – when we encounter the light of Your purity, truth and glory, 

we ourselves are revealed for who we are, 

our shadow-sides are unmasked, 

our motives laid bare 

and we must confront what we’d rather hide or hide from.  

However, we know your grace is sufficient for even that, 

and Your mercy is lavish beyond imagination.   

So we humbly come to you confessing our errors, faults and sins –  

all of which are first degree –  

Amen. 

(Assurance of Pardon)

The love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting. 

Nothing you do can make Him love you any less …  

so free and gracious is His love; 

And nothing you do can make Him love you any more …  

so abundant and overwhelming is His love for you. 

Because of His grace, mercy and love for us:  

I declare to you  

that by His grace active in your faith  

in Christ Jesus as Lord and Savior –  

you are forgiven all your sins;  

and you are free  

to live life in the joy and fullness of the Spirit  

now and always.  AMEN!  

 Richard Herman