”I will complain, yet praise; I will bewail, approve;
And all my sour-sweet days I will lament and love."
-George Herbert (1593-1633)
Prayer of the Bible
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
(Free expression of praise and thanksgiving to God)
Confession of Sin
You, Lord God, are compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving iniquity, transgression and sin
-Exodus 34: 6-7
(Time of silence for confession of sin)
The Words of Jesus
Now when Jesus came, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. So when Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, but Mary remained seated in the house. Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”
(Think deeply on these life-giving words of Jesus)
Prayers for Ourselves and Others
If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
(Time to bring before God our own needs and the needs of others)
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
-I Peter 5: 6-11