Sunday, January 15, 2012

A prayer of thanksgiving and confession amidst the changeability of life and the constant love of God

On Sunday I preached a sermon on Psalm 139 at St John's Presbyterian Church in Rotorua New Zealand. It is part of a four  week Summer guest series called '4 Psalms for summer'.  It had been raining almost none stop for the two weeks we've been in Rotorua and I though that this Prayer I wrote a few years ago was appropriate for the service. AS it picked up both the way in which changeable weather reflects the changeableness of our lives and in that is the constant love of God, acknowledged  in this prayer in ways that reflect psalm 139.

Lord God

Our lives seem to reflect the unruly weather around us

Some times we have damp overcast down days

Some times there are storms and it just keeps on raining

Sometimes it’s warm and calm, clear and bright 

Our times and our lives seem so subject to change

Yet through all that you O God are constant and unchanging

You are there for us and with us,

 Even when it feels that our view is obscured

Lord God

You have created the world and all that is in it

You made us in your image and you know our innermost thoughts

Our night is like day to you

You are in the boat with us as we are raked by storms

You shine your light even through the thickest of clouds

You are our strong tower and our shelter

You are there to comfort and to guide

You turn our mourning into dancing

Lord God

We thank you that in Jesus you entered into our experience

Jesus became one of us and shared our sorrow and joy

He cared for the least of us and befriended sinners and outcast

He bought wholeness and health to the broken and sick

He proclaimed that your kingdom had come

He died on the cross to pay for us all

A great mystery that we can be forgiven and have a new start with you

You raised him from the dead, he reigns with you and dwells with us

Lord God

We come today to confess our sin

We blame you when it all goes wrong and forget to thank you in the good

We don’t show grace and love to others as you have shown us

We get caught up in our own ups and downs and forget those who really need our care

We hold on to what we have and seek more rather than give all we have to the poor

We do the things that we should not do and leave undone the good  we should do

Forgive O lord

Have mercy upon us

Lord God

Like the sunrise after a stormy dark night we rejoice when we hear the truth

That as we have confess our sins that you O God are faithful and just and forgive us our sins

That you cleanse us from all unrighteousness

The slate is clean, not so that we can sin again but that we may live for you

Thank you gracious God

Lord God

Let the wind of your Holy Spirit blow again, filling us we pray

That in the midst of our weather beaten lives we may know the truth

That we may be convicted of our need for you

That we may be empowered to live for you

That we produce your good fruit even when the season seems all wrong

That we may be equipped and made bold to proclaim Jesus Christ

That we may serve you and show your love and grace

To the Glory of God, Father Son and Spirit amen 

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