Tuesday, June 12, 2012

we are surrounded by your goodness ( a prayer of thanksgiving and confession based ever so loosely on Psalm 36v5-9)

This prayer is based loosely on Psalm 36 v 5-9. As i read it I though of the way in which the psalmist was able to show ho we are surrounded by the goodness of God. His love reaches to the sky his righteousness like the mountains so solid off on the horizon, his justice like the ocean depth. Being from an Island nation of course I am very aware of the way in which we are surrounded by the oceans.

Yet this can seem like poetic licence and simple hyperbole... unless we actually look at what God has done for us. Creation, providence, salvation, giving us his Spirit to lead and to guide us, giving us his truth and word and of course I could go on and often do. We are surrounded by God's goodness. In the end we are called to respond not just with words but in the way we live, so we confess our sins and pray that with the help of God's spirit we may in all we do bring praise to God. The passage I am preaching on this week in Matthew 5:13-16 which says that we are the light of the world and people should see our good deeds and give praise to our Father in Heaven.'

Eternal and almighty God

Loving and forgiving Lord,

 What words can we bring to praise you?

How can we describe who you are and what you have dome for us

We are surrounded by your goodness

Not even the sky is the limit when we think of your love

The vastness of the universe is not enough to contain it all

Your faithful covenant love stretches beyond our horizons of time and space

Your righteousness is as solid and dependable as the mountains

Your justice as immeasurable as the ocean depth

We are surrounded by your goodness

You provide for all your creation

Both the needs of animals in their habitats

And human beings

Your unfailing love shown to us is priceless

You give us refuge

You give abundantly, from your storehouse

Life giving water, for body and soul

You are the source of abundant life

By the light of your truth you open up our eyes

We are surrounded by your goodness

Maybe that’s over the top hyperbole

But how else can we express our thanks

You created all that there is

This wonderful world in which we live

Its beauty and grandeur speaks of your praise

 Through it you provide for our needs, physical and spiritual

When we had turned away from you

You didn’t write us off, and leave us in our own darkness

You took the costly step of sending your son Jesus into this world

To show us the way and lead us into truth

Who gave up his life on the cross

Paid the debt for all we had done wrong

Being raised from dead he broke the chains of sin and death

Enabling us to be forgiven and live a new life

You sent your spirit to equip and lead us in that life follow Jesus

You have been working in history and in our past

You hold our future in your hands

You watch our going outs and coming in and guide our steps

We are surrounded by your goodness

Being surrounded by that goodness

We come this morning and confess our sins

Forgive us when we limit our love

When we ration our forgiveness

And hold back from giving to others to protect our comfort

Forgive us for the wrong we do

And for the good we overlook

In Christ’s name we pray

We are surrounded by your goodness

As we confess our sins you are faithful and just

You forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness

We are surrounded by your goodness

Fill us afresh with your spirit

That we may share the good news of your love in Christ Jesus

That it just wouldn’t be struggling for the right things to say

But that our all our lives an all we do we may bring you praise

All praise to you O God, father son and Holy Spirit

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