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Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!

Lord God, I have read it and heard it so many times.  As a worship leader I have chosen Psalm 150 for a call to worship.  

   “Let everything,  everything that has breath”

Perhaps it is the “thing” that distracted me, thinking of only things like trees and stones, like lions and alligators, you know lord, “things.”  But here at this time and this place* I see that everything with breath, means all people, and people of all different nations, tribes, and groups; people of all different status, personality, and persuasion.  We are all called to praise the Lord.  We are all called to praise You!

Yet, as worship leaders, and as a worship leader at a Christian College, varied and diverse in many different ways, how can worship services become the service and the praise of all the people.   Must we worship in diversity in diverse times and place forever?   How can we who have breath, breathe in the Holy Spirit and give breath to our praise in ways that join our praise together.

Forgive me and forgive us for self-centered needs, ideas, and whims that divide our breath from you into seperate breaths. Grant that we might acknowledge that each and everyone of us live by only the breath you breathe into us, and that Your breath deep inside us seeks to breathe out your praise with every other person the breath that exclaims, “Praise the Lord.” Teach us your ways O Lord!  Amen.

*Prayer on my heart in response to our 1st session at the Calvin College worship symposium and NetVUE Conference in Grand Rapids, MI

 
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Posted by on January 28, 2016 in Scripture prayer

 

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“Armor of God” Responsive Prayer: Ephesians 6:10-17

Pastor/Leader/One: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.

People/All: We will put on the full armor of God, so that we can stand against the devil’s schemes.

Pastor/Leader/One: Know that our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

People/All: We will put on the full armor of God, so that we can stand against the devil’s schemes.

Pastor/Leader/One: Yes, put on the full armor of God then, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

People/All: We will put on the full armor of God, so that we can stand against the devil’s schemes. 

Pastor/Leader/One: Stand firm, with the belt of truth buckled round your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.

People/All: We will put on the full armor of God, so that we can stand against the devil’s schemes.

Pastor/Leader/One: In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

People/All: We will put on the full armor of God, so that we can stand against the devil’s schemes.

Pastor/Leader/One: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Amen.

People/All: Amen.

 
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Posted by on January 26, 2016 in Scripture prayer

 

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Psalm 103 Responsive Prayer for Public Worship

Worship Leader: Let us give praise to the Lord together.

Women:  Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name.

Men: Bless the Lord, O my soul, and do not forget all his benefits—

Worship Leader:   He forgives all your iniquity and heals all your diseases, He redeems your life from the Pit, and crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,

Women:   Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name.

Men:  Bless the Lord, O my soul, and do not forget all his benefits—

Worship Leader: He satisfies you with good as long as you live, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

All:  Bless the Lord, O my soul!

Worship Leader:  The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. He will not always accuse, nor will he keep his anger forever.  He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities.

Women:    For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him,

Men:  as far as the east is from the west, so far he removes our transgressions from us.

Worship Leader: As a father has compassion for his children, so the Lord has compassion for those who fear him. For he knows how we were made; he remembers that we are dust.

Women: Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name.

Men:  Bless the Lord, O my soul, and do not forget all his benefits—

Worship Leader:  The steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children’s children, to those who keep his covenant and remember to do his commandments.

 All:  Bless the Lord, O my soul!

Worship Leader:  The Lord has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all.

Women:  Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name.

Men:   Bless the Lord, O my soul, and do not forget all his benefits—

All:  Bless the Lord, O my soul!

 
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Posted by on January 4, 2016 in Scripture prayer

 

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A Prayer for Building Dedication (Originally prepared for the opening of the Nursing and Science Center at Roberts Wesleyan College – Sept 2015)

Pastor/Leader (with direction): Please join me now in our Prayer of Dedication.  I will lead us in prayer through a number of petitions, each time I say, “we give this building to your work and purposes,”  let our congregational response be, “We dedicate this building to the Glory of God!.”

Pastor/Leader: Almighty God, our Lord and Savior:  We joyfully celebrate the completion of the ________________ (name the building).  We give thanks to all who have given of their resources, their gifts and their labors to make this building possible.  O Lord, with gratitude and thanksgiving we give this building to your work and purposes.

People:   “We dedicate this building to the Glory of God.”

Pastor/Leader:   You are the giver of all good gifts Lord. We believe that you have provided our community with this building and this resource to benefit this campus community and even more so, to fulfill your Kingdom’s purposes in this world. With gratitude and thanksgiving, we give this building to your work and purposes.

People: “We dedicate this building to the Glory of God.”

Pastor/Leader:   Lord, it has been said, “First we form our buildings and then our buildings form us.”  We pray that this building will be a place where lives are formed in mind, body, and spirit so that both those who teach and all those who learn here will become people who reflect your goodness, your excellence, and your compassion and love both here and everywhere they go. To this end O Lord, with gratitude and thanksgiving we give this building to your work and purposes.

People: “We dedicate this building to the Glory of God.”

Pastor/Leader:  In the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit we pray.  Amen.

 
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Posted by on November 13, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Prayer of Samson (Judges 16)

I shall get what I want by playing the game; I shall get what I want for I am strong.

I grow weary of the game, but I shall get what I want. I want and I shall satisfy.

I am tired to death, the game is over, I have lost the heart for it, I’ll tell her my truth.

“I will go out as in others times and set myself free!”  I am strong! I shall be free!

BUT, I did not know that the LORD had LEFT me! 

Why should I have discerned such a thing, have I ever been aware of Your presence Lord?  I have been doing and working and playing and fighting and winning with the strength of my might.  Yet, now I lament as I feel the gouge, the pain, and the limits of my might and my strength. I am alone; the sport of the woman and the men who surround me. I am weak and lost and all alone.

“Lord God, remember me and strengthen me this once more…I am man, not mighty, not god…Come back for I can only find strength and help in the One from who all might is to be found. So remember me and strengthen me this once more O Lord.” Hear my prayer.

 
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Posted by on October 13, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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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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