Incline my heart toward your ways, O Lord.
Turn my heart from worthless distractions.
Pastor: Holy and Loving God, Maker and Sustainer of all life, through your Word and through your son, Jesus Christ you have called us to “love you with all our heart, all our soul, all our mind and all our strength.”
People: Forgive us for holding back on our love and devotion to You.
Pastor: Your word teaches us that our time, our resources, our gifts and our very lives belong to You, yet we have not always used them for your purposes and your glory.
People: Forgive us for giving ourselves to idols and idolatrous desires in heart, soul, mind, and body.
Pastor: You word clearly tells us, that the idols of this world are gods with no ears, with no mouths, with no hands and feet, with no hearts, and with no life at all.
People: Forgive us for seeking life where life cannot be found; for seeking answers where there are none.
Pastor: Your Word has clearly called us as your children, to flee idols and to resist the devil and his temptations.
People: Forgive our foolishness in seeking other loves and our weakness to resist the devil because of our selfish desires.
Pastor: We have fallen prey to the world, the flesh and the devil. We often seek the wealth and approval of the world, the pleasures of the flesh, and the deceitfulness of power that the devil offers.
People: Forgive our foolishness in seeking other loves and set us free from the world, the flesh, and the devil.
Pastor: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, left alone we are powerless to change our hearts, our minds, and our actions; but through the power of the risen Christ and the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives, we offer ourselves wholly to you.
People: Be the one and only love of our hearts today and every day.
Pastor: Be the one and only longing of our soul today and every day.
People: Be the one and only love of our thoughts today and every day.
Pastor: Be the one and only love that motivates all our actions today and every day.
People: By the power of the risen Christ and the Holy Spirit, we will love you with all our being.
Pastor: In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit we pray
Lord, you have examined us and know all about us. You know when we sit down and when we get up. You know our thoughts before we think them. You know where we go and where we lie down.
You know everything we do. Lord, even before we say a word, you already know it.
You are all around us—in front and in back—and have put your hand on us. Where can we go to get away from your Spirit? Where can we run from you? If we go up to the heavens, you are there. If we lie down in the grave, you are there. If we rise with the sun in the east and settle in the west beyond the sea, even there you would guide us.
If we walk through the campus, settle in a classroom, rest in our dorm rooms, or hang in the library, Lord you are there.
As we travel home and back, to clinical or sporting events, on campus and off, Lord you are there. On the soccer field, the lacrosse field, on the court and off, your right hand holds us. In the counseling center, in the dining hall and here in chapel, you, Lord, are always near.
So God, our loving Father, revealed to us fully in Jesus Christ, our Lord:
Examine us and know our hearts; test us and know our anxious thoughts. See if there is any unhealthy, offensive, sinful way in us and lead us in the way everlasting.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord we pray. Amen.
Jesus, in your words and in your actions in the Gospels, you show that you love the children, though many saw them as only an annoyance. As you blessed the children so many years ago reach down in our day and bless the children. Hold the children who are brought to adoption agencies and the foster care system into your loving and protective arms. Protect the innocence of all children. Come alongside of all children who feel alone, insecure, unwanted, or unloved and bring them into the light of your love and goodness, that they may know You as their refuge and strength and find family in Your church and among Christians. Amen.
I am dependent. Dependent on You, dependent on others, dependent on creation.
Even the IRS knows about “dependents.” Those people who cannot or do not live on their own, those people who need help with a place to live, food to eat, provisions for life which they cannot secure for themselves. There are many dependents, we are all dependents. I am a dependent. I am dependent on You, O Lord.
I cannot live on my own. I cannot provide for all I need. I cannot anticipate all that might come my way.
I cannot resist temptations. I cannot love as I ought. I cannot always behave rightly and not behave badly.
I cannot control everything. I cannot control emotions. I cannot control myself.
I cannot save myself. I cannot change my ways alone. I cannot live like You.
In the midst of all “I cannot,” I am forced to recognize what has always been true of humanity since Adam and Eve, what we seem unable or unwilling to admit and embrace.
I am dependent O Lord! I am dependent on You, dependent on others, and dependent on your graciousness in creation.
Lord Jesus, provide for all who are dependent on You. Amen.