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Wrestling with God

Like Jacob, I wrestle.

         I wrestle with you the whole night, until that sacred touch upon my joints, the touch that leaves me healed and humble.

         I am healed for all my strivings, all my manipulations come to naught, in the recognition that I cannot win my own life, make my own way, find my own destiny, but can only entrust myself to the love and mercy of the one who loves enough to come and wrestle. 

        And I am left with an eternal reminder, that despite all my axious plans and pursuits, that it is You who creates and sustains.        

        It is You that attends the daily walk of the crippled one that I am.  It is grace that calls me to walk with You.

Like Jacob, I wrestle until I trust the ladder is for real.  

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Posted by on September 27, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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Congregational Responsive Prayer based on 1 Thessalonians 5:14-24

LEADER 1: Brothers and sisters in Christ, we urge not to be lazy in your spiritual life or in you studies in college for God.

ALL:  God will make this happen in us, for he who calls us is faithful.

LEADER 2: Encourage those who are timid and fearful. Take tender care of those who are weak. Be patient with everyone.

ALL:  God will make this happen in us, for he who calls us is faithful.

LEADER 3:  See that no one pays back evil for evil, wrong for wrong, or bad words for bad word, but always try to do good to each other and to all people.

ALL:  God will make this happen in us, for he who calls us is faithful.

LEADER 1:  Always be joyful.  Never stop praying.  Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.

ALL:  God will make this happen in us, for he who calls us is faithful.

LEADER 2:  Do not stifle, quench or hinder the Holy Spirit in His work in your life or that of others.

ALL:  God will make this happen in us, for he who calls us is faithful.

LEADER 3:  Do not scoff at preaching, teaching, and those who share God’s word with you.  Just test everything that is said. Hold on to all that is good. Stay away from all every type of evil.

ALL:  God will make this happen in us, for he who calls us is faithful.

FINAL BLESSING:  (Could be all three voices together or one other)

Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again.  God will make this happen, for he who calls you is faithful.

 
 

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A prayer of response to the preaching of the Gospel

Heavenly Father, hear our prayers as we respond to your Word today:

Grant that we might reach out to you in faith like the woman in the Gospel who reached for your garment to be healed.

Grant that we exercise our faith by offering our all like the boy who gave the fish and bread and the widow who gave her last coin.

Grant that we might get out of our comfort zones like Peter who got out of the boat and walked to you on the water.

Grant, Lord Jesus that we might not be like the Pharisees who rejected you and your ways and fought against you.

Grant that we might not hold on to other loves and idols in our lives like the rich young ruler did.

Grant that we might be like the disciples who waited on your Holy Spirit and experienced your peace and your power to serve your purposes.

Grant that we might be like all those who received you and those whom you lovingly and joyful call your children.

Grant that we might always live as those who respond positively to your grace and are being transformed to your likeness

through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 
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Posted by on September 16, 2016 in Chapel worship, Scripture prayer

 

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Morning Prayers for College Chapel

Let us pray together,

Eternal God, Father of us all, we give thanks to You this day for the lives that you have given us. As we gather as a college community:

  •  We are aware that our lives have been touched with joy, for these joys may we offer sincere gratitude.
  • We are aware that our lives have been touched with friends and family, for each of them we give thanks and pray that your mercies and goodness attend them.
  • We are aware that our lives have been touched with stresses and pains, as we face them, may no adversity lead us to despair, but instead in all of our struggles may we find your grace is sufficient and your love bountiful.
  • We are aware that our lives have been touched with Your loving presence. May we together share in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit and express Your love to one another in all our interactions.

 

God of all wisdom and knowledge, we acknowledge You as the source of all truth.   As we gather in this special community we share some things in common:

  • We share a hunger and thirst to know your truth and to apply your truth in the diversity of areas and academic disciplines represented in this community.
  • We share a desire to apply ourselves and give our best to our vocation as students, teachers, and life time learners.

Make our study and learning to be meaningful and profitable for the living of Your purposes in our lives. May our research and our questions lead us ever closer to You and to Your ways as we live for Your glory.

God and Savior of the whole world, who revealed your love and salvation in Jesus Christ, your only Son, let the witness of our college to the Christian Faith be strong in both our community and the world. As an institution and as individual members of this community may we reflect Your image and character in all of our words and actions.

Hear our prayers in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, who taught us to pray together,

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, In earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, And forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the Kingdom, and the Power, and the Glory forever.  Amen.

 
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Posted by on August 29, 2016 in Chapel worship

 

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Prayer for Chapel Worship – (Psalm 139)

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.

 

 
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Posted by on June 22, 2016 in Chapel worship, Scripture prayer

 

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Dependent

God,

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.

 

 
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Posted by on March 29, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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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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