As the hand is made for holding and the eye for seeing, You have created me for joy, O God. Share with me in finding that joy everywhere: in the violet’s beauty, in the lark’s melody, in the child’s face, in a mother’s love, in the purity of Jesus. Amen
-Traditional Scottish Gaelic Prayer
Prayer of the Bible
O Lord my God. When my life was fainting away, I remembered the Lord, and my prayer came to you, into your holy temple. Those who pay regard to vain idols forsake their hope of steadfast love. But I with the voice of thanksgiving will sacrifice to you; what I have vowed I will pay. Salvation belongs to the Lord!
(Free expression of praise and thanksgiving to God)
Confession of Sin
Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. The troubles of my heart have multiplied; free me from my distresses. Look on my affliction and my pain and forgive all my sins.
(Time of silence for confession of sin)
The Words of Jesus
And Jesus said to them, “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?” But they were silent. And he looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, and said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was restored. The Pharisees went out and immediately held counsel with the Herodians against him, how to destroy him.
(Think deeply on these life-giving words of Jesus)
Prayers for Ourselves and Others
O God, the strength of the weak and the comfort of sufferers: Mercifully accept our prayers and grant to your children the help of your power, that their sickness may be turned into health, and our sorrow into joy; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
-Book of Common Prayer
(Time to bring before God our own needs and the needs of others)
God give me the courage to be revolutionary as your Son Jesus Christ was. Give me the courage to loosen myself from this world. Teach me to stand up free and to shun no criticism. God, it is for your kingdom. Make me free, make me poor in this world. Then will I be rich in the real world, which this life is all about. God thank you for the vision of the future, but make it fact and not theory.
-Henri Nouwen (1932-1996)