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Running

Running away from all of the questions

looking for someway to limit their power

Running toward things that distract from the questions

that keep me away from the pain of my doubts

Running away from all of the questions

give me a “pill” that will make me feel good!

Feeling a thrill, with a mindless abandon

to all that would keep all the questions in play

But, questions, like geysers, erupt with great force

running from questions just delays such outbursts

What’s to be gained through this running from questions?

In questions, it’s true, “Where there’s no pain, no gain.”

Running away from all of life’s questions

questions revealing something deep from within

In quieting, stillness, addressing the questions

only there, I can find out who I am, to be.

 

 
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Posted by on July 29, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Lament for Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church and Charleston

We lament O God, this is not the way it’s supposed to be!

Nine dead – this is not the way it’s supposed to be!

Families broken – this is not the way it’s supposed to be!

Church and community and nation devastated – this is not the way it’s supposed to be!!

Hate, violence, guns and bullets – this is not the way it’s supposed to be!!!

Hear our cry O God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – this is not the way it’s supposed to be!!!

Rise up O God, we have no one to turn to but you.  Take action, Strong and Merciful Father.

Comfort all who mourn in shock, in pain, in suffering.

Feel our pain, collect our anxious hearts and minds.

Come to our aid in every way.

Rise up against the hater, the shooter, the murderer, the unrepentant perpetrators of violence.

Hear our prayers O God, with all our brothers and sisters – this is not the way it’s supposed to be!!!

Rise up, O God, redeem and deliver until “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done” on earth as it is in heaven.” Amen

 
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Posted by on June 18, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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“Lord Have Mercy”

Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on us.

Have mercy, for each and everyone of us has failed to be obedient to Your will and ways. In both our thoughts and actions we have done things that You have told us not to do.

We have neglected your word, chosen our ways over Yours and chosen to serve our own self-centered goals and interests,

We have justified our actions in our own minds and even made You out to be a demanding, grumpy judge scrutinizing our every move to catch us as law-breakers, instead of receiving Your commands as loving truth and guidance to live as we were fully intended to live.

We have sinned most profoundly in believing and acting in ways that blatantly claim that You cannot be trusted to care for us and that we must take care of ourselves and find our own way to satisfying and fulfilling life.

Because of all of this we need Your mercy, so Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on us.

Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on us.

Have mercy, for each and everyone of us has failed to be obedient to Your will and ways. In both our thoughts and actions we have neglected to do those things that You have told us to do.

We have neglected your word and that which is closet to Your heart and given priority and preference to our own concerns, our own success, and our own prosperity and happiness.

We have justified our actions in our own minds and even convinced ourselves that You exist to assure our success and happiness from day to day.

Because of all of this we need Your mercy, so Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on us.

Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on us.

Have mercy, for each and everyone of us has needs that we cannot supply and meet on our own.  Whether physical, emotional, spiritual, financial, or relational, each of us find ourselves needy.  Together we stand as a needy bunch. Despite all our efforts to fix things, earn things, work things out, think on things and act on things to produce what we think would be best, often we find ourselves insufficient for the tasks, confused about direction, frightened by our circumstances, unsure of our future.

There are decisions we are afraid to make, people we find hard to love, relationships we wish were different, service we wish we could engage in, love we wish we could offer, differences we wish we could make.

Because this is true of us we need Your mercy, so Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on us.

Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on us.

Not simply me and my needs, but in Your great lovingkindness and compassion, look upon the needs of all who cry out to You today.

Grant strength to all who need strength, deliverance to those who need deliverance, forgiveness to those who repent and turn to you, health to those who need healing, comfort to those who grieve, Your presence to all who seek You.

All of us need Your mercy, so Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on us.

In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

 
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Posted by on February 27, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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PRAYING THE SCRIPTURES: John 4:1-42

Lord Jesus, as you met with the woman at the well many years ago, so meet with us at this place, in this time here today.  Speak into our lives and cause us to hear your word of truth that brings us true life.

Break through our doubts, our fears, and our resistance to you and transform our lives that we might worship you in Spirit and in truth. Amen.

*This prayer was used in worship to prepare for a message on this passage from John entitled, “What is Worship?”  The message shared from the conversation with Jesus and the Samaritan Woman that real worship:  Begins with God (4:7-8), reveals the life the God offers us through Jesus Christ (4:10-15), reveals the truth about us (4:16-18), demands a response from us (4:19-26 – often our fear, avoidance or denial), and finally, real worship leads to a changed life that points others to Jesus (4:27-30, 39-42).

 
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Posted by on January 26, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Joy to the World: A Christmas Prayer

Joy to the world, the Lord is come!

Father, forgive our foolishness and stubbornness in seeking joy in all the wrong places.

We look for joy in riches, we look for joy in parties and celebrations, we look for joy in successes.

We look for joy in drinks and drugs, in sex, in the victory of sports, in buying and selling, in spiritual experiences that comfort and excite.

Guide us to true Joy, that can only come from You; joy that comes into the world and invites us to receive You as King.

Joy to the earth, the Savior reigns!

Reign in my life, reign in our lives, reign on earth, as it is in heaven, that all Your creation will take joy in You and Your salvation offered to all through Jesus Christ, Your Son. May we truly glorify and enjoy You forever.

No more let sins and sorrows grow…

Replace our anxieties and fears with joyful trust in You and let the latent distrust that leads to sin be conquered through the love of Your reigning Lordship in our lives and in the world.

Replace our sorrows and mourning with praise and gratitude for Your constant Presence, strength and comfort.

He rules the world with truth and grace…

We give thanks O God, that You rule the world.

We give thanks O God, that You rule with truth and that You lead us to the truth that sets us free.

We give thanks O God, that You rule with grace and that we are led by Your love and goodness that we do not deserve and cannot earn.

Amen.

 
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Posted by on December 24, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Confession and Longing after God – (Psalm 139 and 1 John 2:15-17)

Our Father in Heaven, Creator and Sustainer of all that you have made, Savior and Redeemer of our lives; as we have gathered for worship today we have affirmed our joy in your presence and your salvation. We have been reminded through the Psalm (139), that we can go nowhere in which we are not in your presence, we can never take in all that you are and how great your thoughts and your mercies toward us, and we can always trust in you as Creator, Sustainer, and Redeemer of our lives. For all of this we give you thanks and pray that our gratitude would grow and show in the way we live our lives every day.

And yet Father, we are challenged by your Word that calls upon us, “Do not love the world or anything in the world…”   We confess this morning, that each and every one of us have not loved you perfectly. We look around and see things in this world that we want. We have craved worldly and sinful things. We have lusted after things that appeal to our eyes. We have boasted about our own abilities and centered our lives upon ourselves in pride. We pray that you will lead us again to the truth, that the world and its desires pass away; that only those who do your will find life and life eternal.

So this morning Father, whatever has caught our eyes, whatever has captured our attention, whatever has led us away from you, we confess our shortcomings and sin, and pray that you will recreate us anew, that you will save us and redeem us from our sin, in thought and in deed, and empower us to live lives that are holy and pure, lives that conform to your will, through the power of Jesus Christ in his resurrection.   Lead us, transform us, and empower us to live a new life in Christ. In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

 
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Posted by on October 24, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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“The Dance of Home”*

Deep inside every woman and man,

deep inside every child, every teen;

there is a longing, an empty void,

prompting a search for a place to call home.

 

People try, many things, the void to satisfy,

but God alone, has a home, that meets our hearts desire,

quenches a thirst, a fire inside, longing after love.

 

The Father is calling all people,

the Son has opened the doorway to all,

the Spirit sets a place at the table,

for all who will enter the banquet hall.

 

Our longings are filled when we dance with the Father.

Our longings are filled when we dance with the Son.

Our longings are filled when we dance with the Spirit.

Our longings are filled in the Dance of Home.

 

People try, many things, the void to satisfy,

but God alone, has a home, that meets our hearts desire,

quenches a thirst, a fire inside, longing after love.

 

There is a great celebration,

a party with which no other compares.

There will be singing, and there will be joy,

love will be shared in the Dance of Home.

 

Oh, come! Dance with the Father,

Come! Dance with the Son,

Come! And dance with the Spirit,

Come and dance in the Dance of Home.

©1997 Jonathan C. Bratt

*”The Dance of Home” is a song written a number of years ago.  I recently came across the lyrics on an old computer and thought, that should be part of “Groan ups”.

 
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Posted by on October 1, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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