Spirit of the living God, be the Gardner of my soul. For so long I have been waiting silent and still, experiencing the winter of the soul. But now, in the strong name of Jesus Christ, I dare to ask: Clear away the dead growth of the past, break up the hard clods of custom and routine, stir in the rich compost of vision and challenge, bury deep in my soul the implanted Word, cultivate and water and tend my heart, until new life buds and opens and flowers. Amen.
-Richard Foster (1942- )
Prayer of the Bible
Your love, God, is my song, and I'll sing it forever! I'm forever telling everyone how faithful you are. I'll never quit telling the story of your love— how you built the cosmos and guaranteed everything in it. Your love has always been our foundation.
(Free expression of praise and thanksgiving to God)
Confession of Sin
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
-1 John 1:9
(Time of silence for confession of sin)
Words of Jesus
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’
(Think deeply on these life-giving words of Jesus)
Prayer for Ourselves and Others
Hallelujah! Thank God! Pray to him by name!
(Time to bring before God our own needs and the needs of others)
O Lord, make me an instrument of Thy Peace! Where there is hatred, let me sow love. Where there is injury, pardon. Where there is discord, harmony. Where there is doubt, faith. Where there is despair, hope. Where there is darkness, light. Where there is sorrow, joy.
Oh Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love; for it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.
-Francis of Assisi (1181-1226)