Opening Prayers/Prayers of Adoration on Selfishness
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 gave 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.
(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.
Lord – You are good …and Your goodness knows no bounds.
When we were lost, You sought us out,
found us and brought us home.
When we were alone, You came near to us,
and You gave us a new circle of friends and family.
Each breath we take, each sunrise we see,
Each heartbeat we feel and each song we sing or hear –
All are gifts from You.
(Prayer of Confession)
Yet, we’ve grown complacent in Your blessings:
Taking them for granted, rather than as signs of Your grace;
Keeping them for ourselves, rather than using them to bless others.
Forgive our selfish hearts and closed fists.
Forgive our self-importance
that leads us to take ourselves too seriously,
to take You too lightly and to forget others altogether.
Forgive us what we’re too embarrassed to name out loud,
As you hear the silent confessions of our hearts and the whispers of our souls … [Silence] AMEN.