O Lord Jesus, you who came to us to show the compassionate love of your Father, make us, your people know this love with our hearts, minds and souls. So often we feel lonely, unloved, and lost in the valley of tears. We desire to feel affection, tenderness, care, and compassion, but suffer from inner darkness, emptiness, and numbness. Come, Lord Jesus, come. Do not just come to our understanding, but enter our hearts, our passions, emotions, and feelings.
-Henri Nouwen (1932-1996)
Prayer of the Bible
You are my hope, O Lord God; You are my trust from my youth. As for me, I will always have hope; I will praise You more and more.
-Psalm 71: 5,14
(Free expression of praise and thanksgiving to God)
Confession of Sin
Who is like you God, pardoning iniquity and passing over transgression for the remnant of his inheritance? He does not retain his anger forever, because he delights in steadfast love. He will again have compassion on us; he will tread our iniquities underfoot. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.
-Micah 7: 18-19
(Time of silence for confession of sin)
The Words of Jesus
Jesus said, bring him to me.” And they brought the boy to him. And when the spirit saw him, immediately it convulsed the boy, and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth. And Jesus asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. And it has often cast him into fire and into water, to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.”
(Think deeply on the life and words of Jesus)
Prayers for Ourselves and Others
Help us Lord, to rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, and be constant in prayer. Amen
(Time to bring before God our own needs and the needs of others)
You, O Lord, have declared that we must: “Defend the weak and the fatherless; and do justice to the afflicted and destitute. Rescue the poor and the needy and deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”
O Lord, have mercy on us, so that this will become our heart’s desire and empower us through your Holy Spirit to live this. Amen
-Adapted from Psalm 82:3-4