Lord to turn away from you is to fall. To turn to you is to rise. To stand before you is to abide forever.
-Augustine of Hippo (354-430)
Prayer of the Bible
Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God. You return man to dust and say, “Return, O children of man!” For a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday when it is past, or as a watch in the night.
(Free expression of praise and thanksgiving to God)
Confession of Sin
When I sin against You, Lord, I may be sure that my sin will find me out.
(Time of silence for confession of sin)
The Words of Jesus
And a large crowd was following him, because they saw the signs he was doing on the sick. Jesus went up on the mountain, and there he sat down with his disciples…Lifting up his eyes, then, and seeing that a large crowd was coming toward him. Jesus said to Philip, “Where are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?” He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he would do.
-John 6: 2-6
(Think deeply on these life-giving words of Jesus)
Prayers for Ourselves and Others
Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.
(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 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)