Friday, January 21, 2011

So Much To Sing And Shout About: A Prayer Of Thankgiving and Confession

On Sunday I'm using Psalm 100 as a call to worship and in this prayer I pick up singing and shouting for joy to the Lord and try to put in very everyday language what we've got to thank God for.  There are turns of phrase that I really hadn't thought to use in a public prayer (particularly as I'm speaking at a very trad church this Sunday) but I would use in everyday life and in the walk along, every day private conversations I have with God.

Let us pray (often said by me in a sort of high english anglican clergy acent in private of course not in worship)

Lord God
We’ve got so much to shout and sing about
So much good news to tell the world

There are the vast eternal, big things
You’re a great and mighty God
We are amazed and awed by your world around us
Particularly Our beautiful Island home
With its vast array of landscape and vistas
Its distinct unique native flora and fauna
Even the trees and animals that have been introduced
The way that you have been acting in human history
Working to achieve your purposes and reconcile us with you

There are your great acts of mercy and grace
You are a kind and loving God
You sent Jesus to live amongst us
He showed us your great love
He healed the sick cared for the poor
Spoke of your kingdom and just ways
Then gave his life for us
And gave us hope of new life in his resurrection
You have poured your Holy Spirit upon us
You enable and empower us to live for and witness to Jesus Christ

There are the deeply individual and personal reasons as well
You are a God who is with us and cares for us
We were lost and you came and found us
In our brokenness we feel your healing hand making us whole
You give us meaning and hope for our lives
Life is hard yet in the midst of our ups and downs you are there
You are our comfort and guide, you provide for our needs
You invite us to join in your mission in the world
You call us to live for something beyond ourselves, for you

While we want to shout and sing about you and your love
There are things in our own life that we cannot crow about
We are fallen and sinful people and in need of your forgiveness

Lets face it, there are times when were full of ourselves,
When it’s all about us, we take more than we need
Squander what you have provided while others go without
Care for our own comfort more than the needs of others
Put others in what we think is their place to elevate our own status
Forgive us O lord and help us live for you and love like you

Then some of us do not value the gift of who we are
We struggle to feel of any worth
Even though we know you don’t make junk we feel that way
We can unhealthily invest all in others and neglect caring for ourselves
Forgive us O lord and help us know who we are in you

We confess that we have done things that we ought not to have done
We admit there is good we should do left undone
Forgive us O God

This is worth shouting about telling out about
As we have confessed our sins God is faithful and just and cleanses us from all unrighteousness
The slate is clean, there’s no secret file in some filing cabinet or cosmic computer
God has forgiven and deleted all trace of our debt
We are free to go and live life in all its abundance

Fill us O God with your spirit that we may live that life for you
Help us to proclaim all the good things that you have done
To share it with those who are in the dark about how good you are
that they may experience you love in what we do and say
so they will join us to shout and sing your praise our God, Father, Son and Spirit


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