Jesus, help us to remember that your hands bind and heal, and may we count it all joy to bear fruit for you. Amen
Prayer of the Bible
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust."…He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day.
(Free expression of praise and thanksgiving to God)
Confession of Sin
I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist. Return to me, for I have redeemed you.
(Time of silence for confession of sin)
The Words of Jesus
I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples
-John 15: 5-8
(Think deeply on these life-giving words of Jesus)
Prayers for Ourselves and Others
Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer. From the ends of the earth I call to You.
(Time to bring before God our own needs and the needs of others)
Dear Lord, you are the first of the just. You lived the righteous life. It is because of you that your heavenly Father keeps this world in existence and shows us such mercy to us sinners. who am I, Lord, to expect your love, protection, and mercy? Who am I to deserve a place in your heart, in your house, in your reign? Who am I, Lord, to hope in your forgiveness, your friendship, your embrace? and still this is what I am waiting for, expecting, even counting on! Not because of my own merits, but solely because of your immense mercy. Help me to follow you, to unite my life with yours and to become a mirror of your love
-Henri Nouwen (1932-1996)