Who am I? These lonely questions of mine mock me, whoever I am, You know. O God, I am thine!
-Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945)
Prayer of the Bible
Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God. My soul is cast down within me; Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.
-Psalm 42: 5-6, 11
(Free expression of praise and thanksgiving to God)
Confession of Sin
Woe to me, for I am undone! Because I have unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen you, the King, the Lord of hosts.
(Time of silence for confession of sin)
The Words of Jesus
Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad.” So the Jews said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?” Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.” So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple.
(Think deeply on these life-giving words of Jesus)
Prayers for Ourselves and Others
Help me Lord to not live out of selfish ambitions or vain conceit, but in humility esteem others as more important than myself. Let me not look out only to my own interested, but also to the interests of others.
(Time to bring before God our own needs and the needs of others)
Dear Father in heaven, we thank you for moving our hearts so that we may know we are your children. Even in the midst of turmoil and evil, fear and pain, you bring us happiness; we can know that you are holding us with your right hand and will finally deliver us from all evil. Let your Spirit be at work everywhere. Give us patience when time is needed in our own hearts and in the hearts of all people, who also belong to you. Continue to strengthen us so that even the heaviest burden does not crush us and we may exult in hope because you right every wrong, to the glory of your name. Amen.
-Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt (1842-1919)