Lord, you are closer to me than my own breathing, nearer than my hands and feet.
-Teresa of Avila (1515-1582)
Prayer of the Bible
Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds. Your righteousness is like the mountains of God; your judgments are like the great deep; man and beast you save, O Lord. How precious is your steadfast love, O God! The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings. For with you is the fountain of life; in your light do we see light.
-Psalm 36: 5-7, 9
(Free expression of praise and thanksgiving to God)
Confession of Sin
Do you, O God, not see all my ways and number all my steps?
(Time of silence for confession of sin)
The Words of Jesus
I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father's name bear witness about me, but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. I and the Father are one.”
-John 10: 25-30
(Think deeply on these life-giving words of Jesus)
Prayers for Ourselves and Others
O Lord, I cry to you; hasten to me. Hear my voice when I cry to you. Let my prayer be set before you like incense, and the lifting up of my hands like the evening sacrifice.
-Psalm 141: 1-2
(Time to bring before God our own needs and the needs of others)
May God bless us with discomfort at easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships, so that we may live deep within our hearts. May God bless us with anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people, so that we may work for justice, freedom, and peace. May God bless us with tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, hunger, and war, so that we may reach out our hands to comfort them and turn their pain into joy. May God bless us with enough foolishness to believe that we can make a difference in this world, so that we can do what others claim cannot be done, to bring justice and kindness to all our children and the poor.