Monday, March 20, 2017

Sunday Prayers Lent 4 - Mar 26

Approaching God

Welcome & Announcements

Prelude

Call to Worship

Pastor: Loving God, who reconciles the world through Your Word, accept our devotions and worship this day.
People: You have called each of us to be here, so we can celebrate and honor You with our praise.
Pastor:  We do this in the Name of Your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord who reigns for ever and ever. Amen.

First Hymn

Prayers of Adoration and Confession

Guide: Lord of Heaven and Earth, of all that is seen and unseen, we bring to You our joyful praise and personal prayers. You are the God of grace and glory, therefore we lift up Your sacred Name and delight in Your holy ways.
People: Merciful Father, You teach us right from wrong, and offer to guide our decisions and correct our choices. We confess to ignoring Your counsel and going against our faith. We are guilty of being selfish and proud, foolish and vain, as well as sinful and wayward.  Hear us now as we personally ask forgiveness from You.

- Silent Confessions -

Guide: Everlasting God, encourage us to reconsider our ways and help us to reshape our lives according to Christ's teaching, for Jesus is our Holy Savior and only through Him can we be pardoned, reconciled, and restored forevermore. In His sacred words, we continue to pray, saying, “Our Father, Who art in Heaven...THE LORD'S PRAYER” (debts/debtors).

Promise of the Gospel

Guide: Christ invites us to believe in Him, so that we may become His disciples in this world. He forgives all of our faults and absolves completely us from our sinful mistakes. He is our One, True and Only Savior, and we gratefully serve Him, both now and forever. Amen.

Singing of Kyrie

Choir Anthem

Family Sermon (parents and all children, including Elementary school students, come forward)

Encountering God

Prayers for Health and Healing



Pastor:                 O Lord, we declare Your glory and proclaim the healing works of Your hands. Day by day, we speak of Your blessedness; week by week, we praise Your holy Name.
People:                 We rejoice in Your ways, O God, and are refreshed by Your love. We reach out for strength and ask for support. We pray that You will heal us from all that harms us in body, mind, heart, and soul. Hear us now as we ask for healing for ourselves, our loved ones, and all whom we know in need of Your love and grace.  

Silent Prayers for others and ourselves. A candle is lit.

Pastor:                  The compassion of the Lord is our strength and comfort. He alone revives our souls. In Jesus' Name, we thankfully pray. Amen.

Singing of ‘Sanctuary.’

Prayer of Illumination
Reader:                Holy Spirit, You treat us lovingly and seek to bless us with eternal life through Christ's words and deeds. Help us at this time to focus on what Christ has to say from the scriptures, so we may learn from all that He does. In Jesus' Name, we pray.  Amen.

Scripture Readings

The Message

Serving God

Offering & Offertory

Dedication (unison – led by the pastor):               Lord Jesus, You call us to be Your witnesses and disciples. You also challenge our lives and seek to better our ways. We bring our combined offering to You with cheerful hearts and trust that we will make a positive impact in our congregation, our community, and throughout the world. In Your Holy Name, we give and pray. Amen. 

Closing Hymn

Benediction (unison):    May Christ help us to fulfill our plans, so that we may delight in the Lord; may the Father grant us the desires of our heart, so that we may honor and bless Him each day; and may the Holy Spirit teach us to faithfully follow and serve the One, Triune, and Living God, both now and forevermore. Amen.


Doxology & Postlude

Monday, March 6, 2017

Sunday Prayers - Lent 2 - Mar 12

Approaching God

Welcome and announcements

Prelude

Call to worship

Pastor:                 God so loved the world that He gave us His Only Son, who can grant us everlasting life.
People:                 We believe that Christ comes into this holy place to offer us God’s grace and love.
Pastor:                  Jesus is sent to us by God to become our Savior, Lord, and eternal King. Amen.

First Hymn

Prayers of Adoration and Confession

Guide:                  Almighty Lord, You have called us from our homes to draw near to You in this sacred place of praise and prayer. You have blessed us with Your love and have sustained our lives. As we worship today, may we please You with our songs, prayers, and devotion.
People:                 Gracious God, You offer us guidance each day and a purpose for our lives. Your words and ways are mean to direct and encourage us. Sometimes, Lord, we are guilty of taking You for granted. We neglect to give You honor for our successes and are quick to complain to You about our troubles. The good that You want us to do is left undone; the bad things that You want us to avoid are sometimes sinfully embraced by us. Forgive our foolish ways and constant sins. Hear us as we make our personal confessions to You.

- Silent Confessions -

Guide: Thank You, Loving Father, for hearing our prayers and resetting our lives in praise of You. We are grateful for Your Son Jesus who forgives and restores us to Your favor. In His Holy Name, we continue to pray, saying, “Our Father, Who art in heaven...THE LORD'S PRAYER" (debts/debtors).

Promise of the Gospel
Guide: We are born again and regenerated through the mercy, grace, and love of Jesus Christ, our Savior and King. He has the power to reunite our spirits to God, from this day forth and forevermore. Amen.

Gloria Patri (unison): Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. Amen.

Choir Anthem

Family Sermon (parents and all children, including Elementary school students, come forward)

Praise Song

Encountering God

Prayers for Health and Healing



Pastor:                 Loving Lord, when we are needing help or have become distressed, come to us with Your holy power and infinite wisdom. Grant us Your grace and allow to recover from that harms us in body, mind, heart, or soul.
People:                 Gracious God, thank You for watching over us each day and night. You know our worries and concerns, as well as our anxieties and disappointments. We are frail and human, constantly in need of Your reassurance, encouragement, and embrace. As we bring our personal prayers before You, heal us and all our loved ones this day.

Silent Prayers for others and ourselves. A candle is lit.

Pastor:                  The Lord God will continue to offer us His strength, assurance, and love. In Jesus' Name, we confidently pray. Amen.

Singing of “Sanctuary.”

Prayer of Illumination
Reader:                Holy Spirit, open our hearts and minds to these scriptures. As we read them, may we be drawn closer to God. Grant us a better understanding of what they mean for us today, so that we may positively apply and share them with all whom we encounter this week. In Jesus' Name, we humbly pray.  Amen.

Scripture Readings

The Message

Serving God

Offering & Offertory

Dedication (unison – led by the pastor):               Lord Jesus, You have shown us the grace of God and given us eternal promises of love and life. In response, we gratefully bring our tithes and offerings before You and humbly ask that You bless them for the life, work, and ministry of Erin Church in this community and around the world. In Your Holy Name, we cheerfully give and pray. Amen.

Communion (see insert at the back of the hymnal)

Closing Hymn

Benediction (unison):    May Christ strengthen our faith each day; may the Father encourage us to share His love; and may the Holy Spirit keep us dedicated to the One, Triune and Living God, both now and always. Amen.     


Doxology & Postlude

Monday, January 30, 2017

Sunday Prayers for February 5

Approaching God

Welcome and announcements

Prelude

Call to Worship

Pastor:                 May the LORD come to us this day as we seek to praise and glorify Him.
People:                 Our God grants us mercy and grace, so we can approach Him and worship His ways.
Pastor:                  May the LORD bless us as we take delight in lifting up His Sacred and Wonderful Name. Amen.

First Hymn

Prayers of Adoration and Confession

Guide:                  Sovereign Lord, as we gather in Your House of Peace and Prayer, allow us to honor You as the Creator and Sustainer of all life. We hope to please You with our praises and want to serve You with our lives. Open our hearts and minds to receiving Your Holy Spirit and sacred words.
People:                Merciful Father, we are sorry for our constant mistakes, selfish ways, and daily sins. Instead of finding joy in Your salvation, we fret over our hurt feelings and personal disappointments. Instead of trusting Your strength, we weaken our faith through being proud and angry. Forgive us for ignoring Your guidance and casting aside Your influence over our lives. Hear us now as we humbly confess and pray.

- Silent Confessions -

Guide:                  Heavenly Father, thank You for allowing us to confess our sins. You grant us mercy through the blessing of Your Son, Jesus Christ, who is our One, True, and Holy Savior. In His Hands, we place our souls, in His Name, we make our confessions, and in His words we continue to pray, saying, "Our Father…THE LORD’S PRAYER” (debts/debtors).

Promise of the Gospel
Guide:                  The world still questions who Jesus was, but we know that He is all that He ever claimed to be. He is the Holy Son of God, the Savior of our souls, and the Ruler of the Universe. By Him, we are granted forgiveness and through Him, we can receive eternal life. Let us rejoice and worship Christ, both now and forever. Amen.

Gloria Patri (sung in unison): Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. Amen.

Choir Anthem

Family Sermon (parents and all children, including Elementary school students, come forward)

Encountering God

Prayers for Health and Healing



Pastor:                 O Loving God, You know the problems and pain that we experience in our lives. Sometimes we get weary and feel as though we are isolated and vulnerable, uncared for and forgotten. We look to You for compassion and help, as well as strength and healing. Send forth Your Spirit among us today and grant us Your lovingkindness.

People:                 Gracious God, lighten our burdens and save us from despair. When our hope diminishes, heal our hurts. When we are affected by fear, restore our faith. Help us to trust in Your unfailing love, so that we may rejoice in Your salvation. Be near to our loved ones and heal them from all that harms them physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Hear us now as we silently pray.

Silent Prayers for others and ourselves. A candle is lit.

Pastor:                  We will continue to praise the Lord, for He has been merciful and good to us. In Jesus' Name, we pray. Amen.

Singing of ‘Sanctuary.’

Prayer of Illumination
Reader:                Holy Spirit, we come here to learn about the sacred and everlasting truth of Jesus Christ. Let His words and ways come to us across the centuries, from the events and experiences recorded in these scriptures. Open our hearts and minds, as well as our spirits and souls to Christ today. In Jesus' Name, we pray.  Amen.

Scripture Readings

The Message

Serving God

Offering & Offertory

Dedication (unison – led by the pastor) Lord Jesus, You forgive our sins and restore us to God's love. In response, we give our lives to You and ask that You will bless them, so that we may honor God throughout our days. We also bring You our tithes and gifts. Bless these tokens for the continuing life, work, and mission of Your Church at Erin, in this community, and all over the world. In Your Precious Name, we give and pray. Amen.

Communion

Closing Hymn

Benediction (unison):    May Christ continue to strengthen us as He guides us each day; may the Father keep us thankful for His constant favors; and may the Holy Spirit bless us as we serve and glorify the One, Triune, and Living God, both now and forevermore. Amen.                                  


Doxology & Postlude

Monday, January 9, 2017

Sunday Prayers - January 15

Approaching God

Welcome and Announcements

Prelude

Call to Worship

Pastor:                 Come, let us praise the Lord for every good thing He brings into our lives.
People:                 May He open our minds so we can meditate on His glorious deeds; may He open our hearts and allow us to truly worship Him.
Pastor:                  May our souls be filled with His love; may our spirits delight in His presence. Amen.

First Hymn

Prayers of Adoration and Confession

Guide:                  Loving Father, we come here as Your people to worship Your ways and praise Your presence among us. You have granted life to us and a faith which will last forever. We are truly blessed to be known by You, so we are thankful for Your daily grace and everlasting love.

People:                Gracious Lord, we confess that our sins and faults create a barrier between us. We allow pride to stifle our faith and permit greed to overcome our compassion. We fall into temptation and surrender our spirits to selfish ways. Forgive our past mistakes and pardon our foolish notions. Hear us now as we personally pray.

- Silent Confessions -

Guide:                  Everlasting God, we owe everything to You, especially our salvation. You have given Jesus as the joy of our hearts and the Savior of our souls. His grace restores our faith and His mercy renews our devotion. He is our eternal King and we pledge to serve Him all of our days. In Christ’s sacred words, we continue to pray saying, “Our Father...THE LORD'S PRAYER” (debts/debtors).

Promise of the Gospel
Guide:                  Jesus teaches us that when we believe in Him, our sins are forgiven.  Christ has mercifully received our confessions and now restores us to God's favor. Let us rejoice in our Lord, for He is our everlasting Savior and King, both now and forever. Amen.

Gloria Patri (sung in unison): Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. Amen.

Family Sermon (parents and all children, including Elementary school students, come forward)

Choir Anthem

Encountering God

Prayers for Health and Healing



Pastor:                 We take our refuge in the Lord, who lovingly embraces us, giving us the courage to endure and overcome our troubles. He helps us with our issues and leads us beyond our worries. We place our confidence in His mercy and power.

People:                 O Gracious God, You knows us completely and understand all of our fears. You have the power to help us with peace, strength, and love. We humbly ask You for health and healing. Come among us and touch us with Your Holy Spirit. Be with our loved ones and heal them from all that harms them. Hear us now as we pray.

Silent Prayers for others and ourselves. A candle is lit.

Pastor:                  The Lord is righteous and He loves His people. He hears our prayers in Jesus' Name. Amen.

Singing of “Sanctuary.”

Prayer of Illumination
Reader:                Holy Spirit, we know that Christ has the words of eternal life, which makes Him the true source of all that can nourish our souls and spirits. Let His words and ways enter our hearts and minds, so that we may accept His teaching and apply His Gospel each day of our lives. In Jesus' Name, we pray.  Amen.

Scripture Readings

The Message & the Apostles' Creed

Serving God

Offering & Offertory

Dedication (unison – led by the pastor):               Lord Jesus, You built Your church upon the faith and experiences of all Your followers. Today, we are the heirs of Your ways and the messengers of Your words. Take our gifts and bless them for the continuing work of Your church here in this place, this nation, and throughout the world.  In Your Holy Name, we faithfully give and pray. Amen.

Closing Hymn

Benediction (unison):    May Christ strengthen our spirits and encourage us each day; may the Father enable us to faithfully depend upon His blessings; and may the Holy Spirit guide and lead us, so that we may cheerfully, lovingly, and thankfully serve the One, Triune, and Living God, both now and always. Amen.                  


Doxology & Postlude

Friday, January 6, 2017

Church devotion - Great Faith - Matthew 8:10

Matthew 8:10                         When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.”

            When I read Gospel stories like the one about Jesus and the centurion (Matthew 8:5-13), it makes me wonder if the days of ‘great faith’, are well and truly over. A lot of folks that I know, including myself, have faith, but I wouldn’t call it ‘great.’ Some of us have a simple faith – a down-to-earth pragmatic belief system that gets us through each day and encourages us to help our neighbors. Some of us have an historic faith, which is deeply rooted in our traditions and denominational backgrounds. Others have an emergency type of faith which is used to help us overcome setbacks, illnesses, and troubles. But ‘great faith,’ such as Christ saw in the centurion, - that is something which is quite rare indeed.

            The more I think about it, the more I believe that it’s meant to be rare. It’s like finding a diamond in a coal mine or a precious pearl in an oyster. It’s something that when we come across it, it’s meant to inspire us, as well as create a feeling of awe. It connects directly to the mysterious love of God and allows us the knowledge of knowing that we are not alone in the universe. It’s a rare jewel to bring us joy; it’s a priceless gift to give us hope.

            Perhaps you know or have known someone of ‘great faith.’ Celebrate that fact and think about how that person has influenced you or affected your faith. Praise God for such a blessing and keep looking – encountering people of great faith may be a rare experience, but once found, they offer a real glimpse of God’s everlasting love.

Question to ponder

Who has shaped and influenced my faith in Christ?

Prayer:            Lord Jesus, we thank You for the gift of faith and for the people who inspire us to become better Christians. Open our eyes, hearts, and minds, so we may see those who truly have a great faith in You. Allow us opportunities to share our own faith with others today. In Your Holy Name, we pray. Amen.

John Stuart is the pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. The church’s website can be found at this link: www.erinpresbyterian.org


Today’s image is one of John’s latest Epiphany drawings called “Gifts of the Magi.” If you would like to view a larger version, please click this link: Gifts.