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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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“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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Fragile, Broken, Pieces

Fragile.

Sometimes I feel so fragile Father, as if I am one of those pieces of glassware mother never allowed us to play with or get near or touch.  Fragile, so easy to slip, to fall, to break. Fragile from the hand to the floor where I break into a thousand pieces.

Broken.

Sometimes I feel so broken Father, as if the slip and the fall are all that are in my past, all that define me, all that I have to claim as who I am.  Broken. Shattered. Smashed against the hardness of the surfaces that I can no longer bounce from. Far from the hands from which I slipped and fell. Far from the soft and gentle touch that created, shaped, and held. Broken. Pieces.

Pieces.

Sometimes I feel so disjointed, so fragmented, so divided; like so many pieces. Like the stories I heard as a child, of the egg that fell off the wall.  And sometimes it seems Father, that there is no way to even think about getting back on the wall, because there are so many pieces to gather, to repair, to mend with no hands, no glue, no way to put me all back together again.

Fragile, Broken, Pieces.

But then you Father, are the Potter.  Help me trust in your hands. To bring together fragile, broken pieces to hold in Your hands, never to be so fragile and broken and pieced up again.

 
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Posted by on September 19, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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One word prayers

Lord.

Lord!

Lord?

Help!

Ouch!

Please.

What?

Who?

Why?

How?

Really?

Wow!

Thanks!

HALLELUIAH!

AMEN!

 
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Posted by on September 19, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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“May God bless all the earth” – A communal prayer based on Psalm 67

ONE:  Almighty and Merciful God, you have been gracious to us and blessed us in every way.

ALL:   Surely you have made your face to shine upon us.

ONE:   Forgive us for our limited view of your blessings; for hoarding and enjoying your mercies selfishly, with no concern to share with others.

ALL:   You have blessed us to share gracious with others, that your way may be known upon the earth.

ONE:   We pray that your saving power will be known among all nations.

ALL:   Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you. Let the nations be glad and sing for joy,

ONE:   For you, O God, judge the peoples with equity and guide the nations upon earth.

ALL:   Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you. Let the nations be glad and sing for joy,

ONE:   The earth has yielded its increase; You, O God have blessed us.

ALL:  May God continue to bless us; let all the ends of the earth honor him.

ONE:  May your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

ALL:  Amen.

 
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Posted by on October 17, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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A Prayer of the Gathered Congregation

All of creation wakes to meet you with praise, O God.

The rivers and waters, the trees of the fields, the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea,

greet you with sounds and motions of joyful praise.

The sun gives witness to your light, the stars shine forth your glory, the universe declares your works.

 

We, your people, join our hearts, our minds, our hands and our voices, our whole beings with all of creation to worship and adore you, to thank you and praise you, O Christ, our creator, our Savior, and our God.

 

Let your glory, indeed, be over all the earth.

 

Today as we worship You, as we hear your voice and feel your presence, lift us from the pettiness of life that so often keeps our attention, our concern, and our hearts.  In all of life may we seek and find you, and be humble and thankful before you.  Lift our minds and our hearts to greater vision, greater purpose, greater life in you.  Transform us, change us, till we feel what you feel, see as you see, love what you love, will what you will, think and act more like you each day.

 

As a congregation of your people today, transform us.  May we be more passionate about what you are passionate about.  Deepen us in reflection on you, your Word, and your creation.  Deepen our prayer lives both as a congregation and as individuals of it.  Let us stand boldly with you and for you O Christ, let your church give witness to you always.

 

We pray for the nations of the world, for the leaders of the world.  We know Your will is peace, yet our world is so torn, so broken by greed, hate, and evil.  May your kingdom come, and your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

 

We pray today for those who love you and serve you, may they grow in grace and experience the joy that comes from you alone.

We pray today for those who are seeking you, may they continue and may they find.

We pray today for those who are struggling, be near, O Christ.

We pray today for those who are far from you, those who resist you, those who oppose you, may your grace draw them to you forever.

We pray today for those who celebrate, for those who are mourning, for those who face illness, cancer, and diseases of all kinds.  We pray for those who are recovering, for those facing tests, for all those who like us are standing in the need of prayer.

 

We come to you today O Christ, because you alone are our Rock, our strength, our hope, our vision, our love.  And your love is touching us and healing us.  For this we lift up our voices to lift your name on high.  For this we praise you forever.  Amen.  Amen.

 
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Posted by on January 7, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Psalm 103

Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.

Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.

We lift our hearts, our minds, our voices, and our lives to you, O God, our Father and our Savior.  We praise      you from our inmost being. And as we are gathered to worship you, we do not forget all your benefits.

You, O God, forgive all our sins. And we need forgiveness.

You, O God, heal all our diseases.  And we need your healing.

You, O God, redeem our lives from the pit and you crown us with love and compassion. And this we need.

You, O God, satisfy our desires with good things, so that we are renewed over and over. And yes,                  Lord, we need to be renewed.

We give thanks to You, for you have made known your ways to us and have shown us in Christ how to live a holy and good life.

We give thanks to You, for you are compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.

We give thanks to You, for you do not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according the wrongs we have done.  For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is you love for all who fear you.  And as far as the east is from the west, so far have you removed our great sin from us.

As a father has compassion on his children, so You, o Lord, have compassion upon us.  You know how we are made, and remember that we are dust, that our days are limited and that all of us will face death.  But, You O Lord, are eternal, and your love is from everlasting to everlasting.  And your goodness is with our children’s children.

Because of you great love and your many mercies, we trust in you God.  Hear our prayers today for:

  • family members and marriages
  • friends and loved ones
  • the poor and those in need
  • Christian witness throughout the world
  • the needs of the world

Therefore we join all the angels and heavenly hosts and all your servants everywhere, with all that you have made to praise and worship you this day.  Praise the Lord, O my soul.  Hear us O Lord, we praise you!   Amen.

 
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Posted by on December 8, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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