Weekly Prayers for the Church Street Family

Week of August 4, 2021

Written by Rev. Jan Buxton Wade

O God Who Opens Wide the Door, each day you draw near & call out to us, your children. “Come and be filled!” you say. At times, remembering your boundless generosity, we heed your call. We open wide our hearts & hands to receive your rich food of love, purpose and resilience. We cross the threshold at your invitation, knowing your companionship will be sufficient for every need. But at other times, we confess we are content to remain inside, tightly closing our hearts and hands around our own desires, plans, and interests. Forgive us, we pray, for those instances when we ignore your voice, when we seek that which does not satisfy. For deep down, we know when we reject your call, we are starving our very souls.

Lord, in your goodness, hear our prayer.

And still, your grace flows widely today, Benevolent One, for you have once again  drawn close. As you fed the hungry on that hillside long ago, you daily break the bread of life in our midst, a reminder that we cannot live authentically without your love. We pray for those who are blinded by grief this day, for those who are ill, weak, disillusioned, those facing major life challenges. We pray for our nation, and all nations once again in the throes of a dangerous virus, and for all healthcare workers who are already over-extending themselves on our behalf. Hear the cries of all who call out in your gracious name, especially these believers within our own church community:

Thanksgivings:

  • One is thankful for a negative Covid test result
  • A family is recovering from Covid
  • Thanksgiving for all who donated school supplies for neighborhood youngsters and teachers
  • Gratitude for exceptional guidance of a health professional – A brother’s hip surgery was successful
  • Family deeply thankful for clear cancer scans
  • Good news for two embroiled in legal disputes
  • One in depression has had some bright spots in recent days
  • Grateful for prayers: a relationship is being restored
  • Family celebrates a granddaughter’s engagement

Concerns:

  • Wisdom & safety for our community, now facing another outbreak of Covid and serious variants
  • Prayers for family recovering from Covid
  • Comfort for elderly mother hospitalized
  • Sustaining a weary caregiver
  • For maturity in decision-making
  • Healing mercies for friend with prostate cancer
  • Hospitalized cousin in TX, seriously ill with Covid
  • Lonely widow asks for prayers for bodily strength
  • Wisdom in diagnosing an intestinal malady
  • A lonely widower, for his openness to friendships
  • Protection & peace for two church families relocating
  • Two seeking relief from debilitating back pain
  • Strength for one in ongoing radiation

Continue to nurture each of these with your grace, we pray; and thanks be to our Savior who gathers up even the broken pieces of our lives, so that nothing is lost.

Lord, in your goodness, hear our prayer.

You have filled us with abundance, Lord, with beautiful faces of children that brighten our day, with our vibrant youth who eagerly work for the disadvantaged in our community, with music and voices that penetrate our hearts, with a worship space that truly says welcome, with devoted servants whose lives model the Christian way of life, and with a rich legacy of faith which continues to witness to the sovereignty of Christ throughout our region.

Lord, in your goodness, hear our prayer.

May all our thoughts and undertakings this week be dedicated to your glory, O Lord. Let us step out into the world with the Bread of Heaven in our hands, ready to share Christ’s living grace with each one we meet.  All this we ask in the name of the Son who nourishes and sustains in every hour, and who taught us to pray:

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And 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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Weekly Prayers for the Church Street Family

Week of July 25, 2021

Written by Rev. Catherine Nance

O God of Invitation, scriptures tell of folks who are far away being brought near by the grace of Jesus Christ. We thank you for the gift of worship that brings us near to you. Some of us have felt far away in recent days – some literally because of travel. Some are far away because of health concerns or fear of being in crowds, some are far away because of guilt or shame or depression. Even when we gather in person, there are those sitting on our same pew who still feel far away. What a gift worship is, O God who gathers us in. Our time of worship draws each of us near to you, and as we each draw closer to your throne of grace, we sense the presence of our brothers and sisters who also long to be near you.

Thank you for gathering us into one body, into one family. Today we bring our fragmented hearts and our broken spirits and you make them whole again. All praise to you, for you welcome all into your household; thus so, may we eagerly greet one another with compassionate spirits each time we are together.

When we bow before you in prayer, our hearts open and our petitions spill out. In speaking aloud to you the worries, the hopes, the anguish, and the joy that are in our hearts, we know you have already turned a listening ear towards us and are already breathing your Spirit into these petitions.  Open our ears, O Loving God, that we may hear how you desire us to respond, to think, to act, to dream.

As we pray for people who are far away — citizens of countries worn down by years of oppression and deprivation, citizens whose lives are disrupted by violence, for citizens in our own country who yearn for a return of order and safety, citizens of our northwestern states as forest fires and heatwaves continue.  Though all these are distant to us in miles, they are near to us in spirit, for you are the one who joins us all together.

We thank you for this church, for this particular congregation of the body of Christ and for the ministries and opportunities to serve. We give thanks for children who have learned new songs and for youth who have given of their time and energy; we are thankful for Sunday School classes meeting in new ways and reuniting in old rooms. We pray that the church that meets in this building knows full well that their hearts, their arms, their love, and, their awareness moves well beyond the walls to places we may never know.

We are indebted to you, O God, for you so freely listen and accept these murmured prayers, reflecting our dreams, hopes, and gratitude. Listen also, we pray, to these personal concerns and joys that live in the hearts of your people at Church Street:

Thanksgivings:

  • Thankful for prayers for brother with cancer
  • Prayers appreciated: Correct diagnosis made for young niece having seizures
  • One healing well after a fall
  • Knee injury is healing well
  • Two offer gratitude for the gift of prayer shawls
  • Family recovering from Covid
  • Father offers gratitude for daughter’s academic awards
  • Thanksgiving for generous friends supporting Beacon of Hope
  • Injections are offering relief for back pain
  • Grateful for prayers: one with back injury has returned to work

Concerns:

  • Prayers for family members refusing Covid vaccination
  • Friend in mourning – husband died following heart transplant
  • Two families isolating – Covid concerns
  • Comfort for elderly mother hospitalized
  • Continued physical healing of former Sterchi Lodge caretaker & comfort as she mourns the sudden death of her husband
  • Healing for friend symptomatic of ALS
  • Cousin in Texas, hospitalized with Covid
  • Lonely widow in poor health
  • Wisdom in diagnosing an intestinal malady
  • Prayers for son’s healing: PTSD and addiction
  • Family grieving death of mother on Tuesday
  • Protection and peace for two church families moving far away
  • Strengthening commitment of young married couple
  • Mending a broken relationship
  • Recovery for member in cancer treatment
  • Lonely ill widow
  • Two seeking relief from debilitating back pain
  • Healing for member — lengthy depression
  • Healing for friend — bone marrow transplant
  • One suffering complications following a rattlesnake bite

Lord of All, we, your wandering sheep, will travel roads both familiar and new in the days ahead. Stay close to us, through your grace, that our eyes remain open to your eternal truth; that our ears be open to your holy voice; that our minds be open to your love and comfort. And along the way, wherever we find ourselves, may our hearts beat in rhythm with the heart of Christ, who is the pulse of life itself:

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And 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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Weekly Prayers for the Church Street Family

Week of July 18, 2021

Written by Rev. Jan Buxton Wade

We come at this moment, O Lord Most High, knowing it is your will that all people be bound together in love and harmony.  Truly, it has long been our prayer that we might become an integral part of your plan; we would be among those focused and resilient ones who uphold your foundation of grace and love.  We confess, however, that we have fallen short of your expectations and have failed in our resolve. Our prejudices and pride have resurfaced time and again to weaken the very structure we have sought to buttress.  Forgive our flaws, especially the countless ways in which we have excluded those who do not think or act as we, those whose lifestyles and experiences are vastly different than our own.  And in your mercy, tend the wounds, we pray, of those whom we have injured.  Turn us again toward your true words of welcome and acceptance, that we might find our unyielding place beside your Son, the Cornerstone of our Faith.

Renewing God, truly your faithfulness comes to us new every morning. Even the vaporous undulating clouds overhead, ever changing in their mystery, speak of your nearness and your promise of new beginnings.  We praise you for their silent message that clear skies live just above mounds of gray; and that, through your grace, fresh possibilities await.  Give us patience, we pray, to work in your name even when the times seem ashen, even when our efforts seem fruitless. When our discipleship grows stale, point us toward that untried avenue of service that you have already planned for us.  Give us such faith, we pray, that we might never doubt that your clarity ever shines beyond the haze.

It was Jesus who took a single scant meal of bread and fish on the mountainside, blessed it, and it provided enough to feed a multitude. We recognize how you have blessed us and are humbled that you have given us more than we could ever ask or deserve.  Even life in this realm is your sacred miracle.  Help us who are so richly blessed to bless the multitudes, as did our Lord.  Bless the hands of those among us who feed the hungry and reach out to the poor.  Bless the hearts of those who never forget the homeless, the ill, and the vulnerable. Bless the feet of those who transport your hope to the hurting across the globe.  May your power continue to flow through these humble servants who extend your mercy in abundance, as did Jesus.

Remembering that your Son receives every care we cast upon him, we share our deepest concerns this week.   And also acknowledging the ways in which you are sustaining us, we name our thanksgivings:

Thanksgivings:

  • Gratitude: husband recovering steadily in assisted living
  • Thanksgiving: member continues to heal following a fall
  • Family celebrates out-of-town wedding of last week
  • Thankful for prayers during long journey cross country and safe arrival
  • Prayers appreciated: Husband home from rehab
  • Gratitude for life of faithful Christian servant at Sterchi Lodge
  • Couple thankful for respite – travel in northern states
  • Family thankful for a son’s college scholarship
  • Family celebrates a daughter’s engagement
  • Grateful for prayers: Neck surgery went well
  • Thankful for prayers: No side effects experienced during cancer treatments
  • Celebrating children and leaders in successful choir camp
  • Prayers appreciated: Member managing radiation treatments

Concerns:

  • Continued health and protection for four mothers-to-be
  • Couple separated for four weeks, work responsibilities
  • Grace and patience for one healing from a leg injury
  • Mending a shattered friendship
  • Three members in physical therapy
  • Two seeking relief from debilitating back pain
  • One in longtime depression, for a new beginning
  • A friend healing from heart transplant
  • Healing grace for young mother with bone cancer
  • Healing for friend – bone marrow transplant
  • Comfort for husband wife separated in assisted living
  • Continued healing for mother with broken pelvis
  • A daughter and son-in-law with Covid and their family
  • Steady healing for brother with colon cancer
  • Longtime friend with advanced liver and lung cancer
  • God’s grace for young friend showing signs of ALS

We ask all these things with confidence, knowing that you hear us even before we ask, and we pray in earnest, using the words Jesus taught his first disciples:

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And 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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Weekly Prayers for the Church Street Family

Week of July 11, 2021

Written by Rev. Tim Best

Gracious and Merciful God, you have indeed blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing that comes from heaven. We confess our tendency to grasp for more, while discarding the abundance which you have given us. Make us mindful of the many ways in which we are blessed and through which we are called to be a blessing to all those around us.

In a world that can often appear to be ruled by forces that divide, depress, and isolate, you, O God, have chosen us in Christ to enter into your presence. We pray that we might be a sign of your presence in the world. We pray for our youth who have gone out into our community this week and have partnered with our neighbors to make a difference in our city. We also pray for the children who have gathered to learn to sing your praises during children’s choir camp. Fill the youth, children, and their adult leaders with the certain knowledge of your abiding love, and give them energy for their labors.

God, you have destined us to be adopted children through Jesus Christ because of his love. We rejoice that have been called and claimed as children and heirs; give us patient humility to recognize that Jesus’ love is a gift we are called to share. Guide us to reach out in love to those who are alone, to those who we do not understand, and to those we would see as enemies. Our inclusion into God’s family is pure gift, help us to see all others as those who have also been invited into fellowship with God.

And within the fellowship of Church Street UMC, we lift up our praises and our concerns, believing that you will continue to hear us, to love us, and to heal us:

Thanksgivings:

  • Family appreciates prayers for ill wife, much improved
  • Thanksgiving: Husband’s injury will not require surgery
  • Celebration of a young son’s baptism last Sunday
  • Gratitude: Husband’s cancer scans were all clear
  • Gratitude: Grandson has completed lymphoma treatments
  • Family thankful for church member’s visit to an ill husband
  • One grateful for safe travel during storms
  • Sustaining grace for a bereaved family
  • God’s hand in bringing about a change of heart
  • Parents offer gratitude for a daughter’s wedding
  • Adult son’s heart tests were clear

Concerns:

  • Safety and guidance for sisters assisting ill relatives in California
  • Comfort and peace for a husband/father nearing death
  • Healing grace for a mother with bone cancer
  • Prayers for reparation of a broken relationship
  • A daughter and son-in-law with Covid and their family
  • Continued prayers for brother with cancer
  • Longtime friend with advanced liver and lung cancer
  • Healing relationships within a family
  • Prayers for one undergoing knee surgery on the 19th
  • Healing mercies for member having neck surgery next week
  • Continued healing for one in radiation treatment
  • Diagnosis for young niece experiencing seizures
  • Mother with fractured pelvis
  • Healing mercies for member beginning cancer treatment this week
  • Prayers for friend with cancer undergoing bone marrow transplant
  • Physical strength for wife and husband in physical therapy
  • Healing for an ill couple, professional performers

We pray in faith for that day when you will bring all things together in Christ, the things in heaven along with the things on earth. We pray for those who have died, and for those who grieve. We pray for peace amongst the nations, and for the unity of our community.

Living God, help us so to hear your holy Word that we may truly understand; that, understanding, we may believe, and, believing, we may follow in all faithfulness and obedience, seeking your honor and glory in all that we do; through Christ our Lord, who taught us to pray in this way:

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And 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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Weekly Prayers for the Church Street Family

Week of June 27, 2021

Written by Rev. Catherine Nance

Almighty God, we call you all-powerful, omnipotent, and yet we look to other powers to restore us. Before we reach out to anything or anyone else, may we acknowledge that you are the power that called forth creation, the power that called us into community; and it was by your power that our Savior Jesus Christ was raised from the dead. What other power would we want flowing towards us?

Gracious God, Mark’s gospel relates two remarkable stories of healing – one a child who seemed to have had everything and one a woman who has lost everything. These show us we have hope for healing within our own lives. We pray for healing in communities where there is despair; from our own Hawkins County as we think about a little girl to families anxiously awaiting news about loved ones in Florida.  We pray for our city as citizens and law enforcement strive to work together that we may all live in peace. Lord, have mercy on all of those who need to hear your words of comfort.

O Christ, we call you healer, the great physician. Our bodies are broken and worn down, we have friends and family who are suffering from disease. You have heard us name them in our hearts. We are so bold to pray for healing, but before we can ask for flesh and bone to be restored, for organs to be renewed, we must confess that our spirits are diseased. Cleanse our spirits, soften our hearts, and open our minds so that your healing power can flow through us to all whom you love, also these, your children at Church Street:

  • Sustaining member having glaucoma procedures
  • Close friend’s mother who is nearing death (100 yrs)
  • Our needy neighbors and all who work for their betterment
  • Parents worried about a son’s addiction, for his healing
  • Member mourning the death of her aunt last week
  • Members mourning the sudden death of their brother
  • Healing for a cherished wife who is hospitalized
  • God’s healing for an alcoholic brother
  • Continued prayers for husband with liver disease
  • Parents who are both suffering major illnesses
  • Blessings for Christian couple married June 30 in Belfast
  • Guidance and direction for troubled teenage nephew
  • Strength for daughter grieving recent family deaths
  • Wife & husband recovering from surgeries
  • God’s continued presence with beloved sister in decline
  • Reparation of a broken relationship
  • Easing of depression and healing for professional singer who is ill
  • Sustaining a sister whose family burdens are heavy
  • Our members in memory care

As you continue your holy work in all our lives, Caring Lord, accept these prayers of gratitude for your power working on our behalf:

  • Prayers appreciated — wife recovering well from colon surgery
  • Family celebrating a new pregnancy — first grandchild
  • Thanksgiving for husband’s recovery from recent illness
  • Appreciation for work of Parish Health Team
  • Thankful for a daughter’s visit from the West Coast
  • Gratitude for God’s mercy during a family’s bereavement
  • Thankful for niece’s safe arrival home from Kosovo
  • Friend celebrating return home following a year’s therapy from invasive surgery
  • Thankful for prayers — hospitalized wife is improving

Your love, your grace, your compassion, O God, bring wholeness. We need wholeness and we long to hear you say to us: “Go in peace.” Give us that grace to truly walk in peace, discarding anger, resentment or smugness. And forgive us, we pray, when we set up barriers that keep people from you. May we be followers, may we be a church willing to make room, to make a way for people to get to you. And ay we all hear the words, “You are healed.”

All these prayers and petitions we lift up in earnest this day, in the name of your Son, that Great Channel of Peace, who taught us to pray:

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And 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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Weekly Prayers for the Church Street Family

Week of June 20, 2021

Written by Rev. Jan Buxton Wade

God of Tender Heart, we seem to be plagued by the same pitfalls that we confessed to you only days ago! We wonder why our best intentions crumble so quickly. But even as we lament our failures, we affirm our belief in your power to change us. We praise you that you do not give up on us! Send your creating power to mend our ragged relationships; send your redeeming love to save us from our repetitive misdeeds; and send your sustaining spirit to give us courage and strength to be made anew in your image. And as you bring about those changes in our own hearts and lives, perhaps our hurting world might somehow also be changed.

Merciful Master of Our Lives, as we approach you this week, we come as people harboring varied emotions. While some are teeming with joy and excitement, there are others of us whose lives are flooded with sorrow, weariness, confusion, and estrangement. We come in all our differences because we know you are the omnipotent expression of love and because we know you care.  We celebrate the fact that that joy has found many of our brothers and sisters, and ask for new pathways to open for those who are imprisoned by fear.

We remember that when you uttered “Peace, be still!” the raging tempest obeyed, and all was calm. In your own quiet and peaceful way, touch each person in our Church Street family this week, wherever they find themselves, we pray.  Calm our restless souls as we offer these particular prayers living in the hearts of your children:

Gratitudes:

  • Family celebrating a new pregnancy
  • Joys of our successful Vacation Bible School
  • Gratitude for the nurture of loving fathers
  • Radiation treatments are being tolerated well
  • Success of Juneteenth Picnic with our neighbors
  • Happy couple celebrate their first wedding anniversary
  • Thankful for responsive & caring police and social agencies
  • Member healing well following retina surgery
  • Brother in detox program is improving, grateful for prayers
  • Thanksgiving for successful cataract surgery
  • One recovering well from knee replacement

Concerns:

  • Grace for member with a lingering illness
  • Our homeless neighbors who need hope, healing, and purpose
  • Members mourning the sudden death of their brother; safety as they travel for his services this week
  • Healing for a cherished wife who is hospitalized
  • Focus and wisdom for a son preparing for medical exams
  • For God to work in the soul of a son with addiction
  • Healing for wife recovering from colon surgery
  • A sister whose health is in decline, strength for her family members
  • Beloved husband with Parkinson’s
  • Healing mercies for children whose mother died suddenly last week
  • Friend having extensive ENT procedures
  • Reparation of a broken relationship
  • Healing for professional singer’s voice impairment
  • God’s healing hand upon a husband with liver disease
  • Strengthening of a new marriage
  • Sustaining husband and wife recovering from surgeries
  • Cherished husband in memory care
  • Ending of drought in the Western U.S.

O Love Ever Near, we feel your closeness in times of joy, but we are apt to forget you are always beside us in every instance — ready to listen, ready to support and ready to restore. Help us to dedicate a portion of this day, and every day, to commune with you, our Greatest Treasure. We would be wholly yours. And we would be made holy, as was your Son Jesus, who taught us to pray in this way:

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And 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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Weekly Prayers for the Church Street Family

Week of June 13, 2021

Written by Rev. Jan Buxton Wade

We come into your presence, Great Sower of Seeds, seeking your assurance that new growth is still possible within us.  In many ways we have allowed our faith to grow dormant as we focused on our own travails associated with the pandemic.  We indeed cried out loudly to you throughout the year just passed; but we have failed to recognize your hand behind the miracle of the preventive vaccines.  And truly it was your Spirit working within all those courageous ones who risked their own lives to help others in a multitude of ways. Forgive our slowness in acknowledging your silent power of healing and renewal that has never failed us.

Your generous hand ever sprinkles new ideas and new opportunities our way; we admit, however, we often remain on that tired ground we have always traversed. We’ve become so accustomed to our old habits and old patterns of thinking that we prevent your fresh concepts from germinating. O Planter of Newness, help us to conquer our fears and insecurities that we might never again stifle your dreams. Grant that we may so till the soil of our hearts that we would be prepared always to receive the seeds you sow within, and to tend them till they flourish to proclaim our praise and gratitude.

God of Memory, as you have never forgotten us, we give thanks for each of your servants who remembered us, who personally supported us throughout the pandemic, and those who uphold us now, especially . . . . . . . . . .  And in this springtime as we celebrate the growth of our children, and as we honor our high school and college graduates, let us give thanks for those who nurtured our own faith throughout our growing years, especially these . . . . . . . . . We praise you for the constancy of your love and grace that continues throughout the generations, working through each of us in surprising ways to fulfill your purpose.

Receive now, we pray, these recent thanksgivings offered by your friends at Church Street; and be attentive, O Holy One, to each of those who bring their hardships and challenges to you, for you know each one by name:

Gratitudes:

  • Thanksgiving for a successful colon surgery
  • A family visit to VA for a grandson’s graduation
  • Son has been alcohol-free for a month
  • Widow sends thanks to church for arranging her vaccine
  • Gratitude for the work of the Covid Task Force
  • Celebration of lengthy visit with children & grandchildren
  • Regathering of Sunday School classes
  • A mother recuperates at home — successful gall bladder surgery
  • God’s granting focus and safety in a daughter’s sporting events
  • Thanksgiving for unselfish friend who knows just when to call
  • Homebound member offers gratitude for continued contacts by church family

Concerns:

  • Family and friends mourning death of a beloved friend in Christ
  • For God to work in the soul of a son addicted to various substances
  • Recovery for a brother in treatment for addiction
  • Member undergoing radiation treatments
  • Beloved husband dealing with effects of Parkinson’s
  • Sustaining grace for loved one with brain tumor
  • Good friend having extensive ENT tests and surgeries
  • Grieving parent whose son died tragically on Saturday
  • Restoration of a longtime relationship
  • Healing of painful back malady that prevents member from working
  • God’s healing hand upon a husband with liver disease
  • Strengthening of a new marriage
  • Grandson in treatment for leukemia
  • Forgiveness to be at work within a family
  • Healing for husband with debilitating illness
  • Member suffering severe depression
  • Sustaining husband and wife recovering from surgeries
  • Wisdom and guidance for our incoming bishop

Lord of the Harvest, as your Son taught us, we believe there will be a season when all your servants will be gathered into that abundant land where you dwell. Cultivate our faith in your tender mercy, we pray, that we might stay the course in this life, becoming strong, sturdy, and worthy to abide in your Kingdom of Grace.  All these prayers and petitions we lift up to your open heart, offering the words Jesus gave us:

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And 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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Weekly Prayers for the Church Street Family

Week of May 30, 2021

Written by Rev. Jan Buxton Wade

O Triune God: Creator, Christ, and Spirit, we do not understand your love for us, nor do we fully understand how you move in our world and in our lives.  We can only bow to the mystery of your affection and faithfulness; indeed, your abiding presence is our greatest treasure! When we falter and fail, it is your mercy that redeems us. When daunted by our trials, it is your grace that sustains us. And when we doubt our own abilities, it is your holy breath that fills us with boldness and courage to serve as you have asked.  “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!”

Your generosity abounds, O Friend of Life, and we are recipients of abundance; yet why is it that we demand more and more? We deplete our natural resources by taking more than we need; we reduce forest and field to wasteland, disregarding important habitats of wild creatures; we squander the inborn splendor of your earth in our quest for goods and manufactured entertainment.  Prick our collective conscience, O Framer of the World, that we might repent of our self-indulgence before we have marred the good earth beyond reparation.  And bless those, we pray, who dedicate their lives to preservation of the unique and sacred home you have made for your people. Give us grace to walk that more gentle and sacred path.

We hear the bitter cries of the hurting across the globe, O Lord, and the sound singes our souls.  For children dying of gun violence, Lord have mercy.  For those bereft in the Middle East, whose lives and homes are shattered by terrorism, Lord have mercy.  For those who have lost everything due to substance abuse, Lord have mercy.  For those tormented ones in India suffering illness and death due to the Covid virus, Lord have mercy. For the brokenness of those whom our own nation has failed, Lord have mercy. Each human life has a name, a face, and a story, and you know each intimately, O Christ. All these, who are beloved of God, we lift up to your care, and also ask that your mercy would surround also these whom you also love, members of our Church Street family:

  • Young couple growing in their marriage relationship
  • Healing: hospitalized member with heart malady
  • An elderly father who is lonely & depressed
  • An ill grandfather, for correct diagnosis
  • Healing for husband with long-term Covid symptoms
  • One seeking reconciliation with her family
  • Safety for traveling church families
  • Healing for a son in detox program
  • For healing of a painful hip injury
  • Brother with mouth malignancy
  • Friend grieving the death of her sister on May 23
  • That families will take advantage of summer “Catch-Up” academics
  • Healing for both husband & wife recovering from recent surgeries
  • Courage for one facing radiation treatment
  • Husband who is failing, strength for his wife who is caregiver
  • Calm and peace for a mother facing extensive surgery
  • Healing for two struggling with serious anemia

We pray in unity, Holy One, because we are people of hope, believing that suffering and death never have the last word.  May our own thanksgivings we now offer remain a sign to our neighbors that our God offers mercy and grace:

  • Gratitude: Kidney surgery successful
  • Mother with advanced cancer was able to see her daughter graduate from high school – her year-long prayer answered
  • Knee surgery successful
  • Thanksgiving for endurance throughout prolonged cancer treatment
  • One grateful for ability to work during chemotherapy
  • Two families thankful for long-awaited vacations
  • Prayers appreciated: knee mobility is improving with PT
  • Gratitude: friends who uphold one in his trials
  • Thankful: elderly father’s continued good health
  • Those working to alleviate inequities & gun violence in our community
  • Couple celebrating their wedding anniversary this week
  • Signs of healing following retina surgery
  • Thanks for prayers: brother’s suspected cancer was benign

All these prayers and petitions we offer today in the name of our Holy Keeper: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit:

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And 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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Weekly Prayers for the Church Street Family

Week of May 23, 2021

Written by Rev. Catherine Clark Nance

O Holy Spirit of God – we thank you for Pentecost, and in this season, we are privileged to claim and celebrate the birth of your church. But we know your Spirit has been calling us into community from the beginning. Your Spirit, your breath, breathed life into all of creation; and has been made known in the voice of the prophets, calling our communities to exhibit justice and righteousness and compassion.

Your Spirit is revealed to us in the life and teaching of Jesus Christ, who welcomed the stranger and told us to love one another. We see the power of your Spirit on Easter morning and as Jesus ascended into heaven. When, O God, have we ever been away from your Spirit? The psalmist declares that you are always present.

Poets and songwriters and mystics and preachers have named you in countless ways: Liberating Spirit, Comforter, Wind and Flame, Spirit of Peace, Sacred Breath, Laughter, Mysterious Dancer, Pure Fountain, Holy Wisdom.

You have given us the gift of language to make sense of our world and to communicate and to draw your people together. Forgive us when our language attempts to contrive or constrain you. Forgive us when we name you in only the way that is comfortable and convenient for us. Forgive us when our language divides and alienates.

It is our prayer, Refining Fire of God, that we would open our ears and hear how you are prompting and leading and restoring us. And as we recall the story of Pentecost and the disciples understanding other languages, we are mindful of all the languages you hear as you listen to your world praying. We know that your Holy Spirit connects us to Palestinian and Israeli families who are grieving; families in Afghanistan are not just foreigners or people far away, but your Spirit enables us to hear the sorrow of parents and to pray for their comfort. Your Reconciling Spirit opens our hearts to all – in any country – who are dying from Covid.

Abiding Spirit, as you remain close to each of your suffering and frightened children, and as you know each one by name, draw near to your friends in the Church Street community who also call upon you in these trying times.  Speak each name, we pray, as you send forth your swirls of healing into their midst:

  • Husband in fifth month of Covid struggles
  • Four church families grieving deaths of loved ones this week
  • Anxious brother awaiting pathology report
  • Relief for one plagued by hip ailment
  • Peace for husband in hospice care
  • Comfort & healing for two in lymphoma treatment
  • Calm and peace for a mother facing extensive surgery
  • Beloved brother suffering from cancer
  • Dear friend recovering from back surgery
  • Continued healing of husband with rare cancer
  • Delivery of two from the pain of depression
  • A cure for two struggling with serious anemia
  • Ongoing healing for two recovering from knee surgery
  • Steady healing of shoulder injury
  • Continued good health for a cherished pet

And to these petitions we add our praises for your mercy and grace:

  • One who expresses renewed joy in living
  • Couple celebrating a new pregnancy
  • Husband thankful for a new job
  • Gratitude: friend recovers from ruptured appendix
  • Grateful for prayers: pregnant cousin is recovering from Covid and her unborn child remains healthy
  • Thankful for baptism of infant son on Sunday
  • Young couple celebrate their recent engagement
  • Gratitude: no cancer found following father’s lung surgery
  • Four families grateful for recent days of vacation
  • Declining numbers of new Covid cases in our area
  • One in PT regaining strength after leg injury
  • Astonishing work of our UMW & mission teams
  • Member thankful for improvement of cancer scans

Continue to open our ears, Spirit of Truth, that we might hear how you desire to shape us, rather than our words shaping how we allow you to fit into our hearts. May your wind and fire cause us to hear you and experience you in new ways. And now we join with other Christians all around the world who offer the prayer our Savior taught us:

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And 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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Weekly Prayers for the Church Street Family

Week of May 16, 2021

Written by Rev. Jan Buxton Wade

Let us sing a glad song of gratitude to our God who has given us life and has imbued us with power to change the world.  How amazing is that grace!  The Holy One believes in us!  We now bow in the silence and reflect upon the ways we have felt his sacred movement in our lives in recent times . . . . . . . . . . Take us by the hand each day of this week, Lord, and lead us in those paths you have prepared for us; and may we recognize your empowering Spirit along the way.

Gracious God, receive our prayer.

“Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord,” sang the psalmist.  We do come in your name this evening, Our Forever Companion, knowing you see us as we are, and that we are cherished in your sight.  We remember the gentleness with which you steered us through this past year’s turmoil and dissension. In our doubts, fears, and grief, you were working silently to restore our hope.

Gracious God, receive our prayer.

Yes, we are indeed richly blessed and we praise the God from whom all blessings flow.  Receive now, we pray, these specific expressions of gratitude brought by your people at Church Street; and also shine your light of gentle grace upon those who render their deep personal concerns:

Joys

  • Family celebrates new grandbaby, born May 14
  • Thanksgiving for visit with first grandchild
  • Grateful for prayers: heart procedure successful
  • One celebrating success of risky back surgery
  • Thankful for more in-person church gatherings
  • Prayers appreciated: member released from hospital
  • Member offers thanks for her steady recovery from a stroke
  • Gratitude: multiple mission projects completed on Sat
  • A friend’s successful knee replacement on the 17th

Concerns

  • Healing for young pregnant cousin very ill with Covid
  • Relief for one suffering great hip & leg pain
  • Group seeking earnest discernment
  • Calm and peace for one facing extensive surgery
  • Beloved brother suffering from cancer
  • Healing of friend in CO in rehab center
  • Recovery for extremely ill husband in hospital
  • Continued healing for husband in rehab facility
  • Vaccine availability for India overwhelmed by virus
  • Sustaining dear grandson in treatment for lymphoma
  • Continued improvement: husband with rare cancer
  • That two in deep depression may be delivered from their pain
  • Healing for grieving families & pained members of the Austin-East community who seek change
  • Healing for member with lymphoma
  • Sustaining grace for member struggling with anemia
  • Grace & comfort for husband in hospice care at home
  • Continued recovery for one in therapy for injured leg
  • Prayers that shoulder injury will not require surgery
  • Easing of painful knee injury

Gracious God, receive our prayer.

We confess, Patient One, that the magnet of our daily affairs has pulled us away from our best intentions.  Especially our weakness was most pronounced in these instances which we remember with regret: . . . . . . . . . . Buttress us, that we might withstand the tug of the world and remain steady in our purpose to live out the promises we make in Christ’s name.

And as you feed us your food of compassion each and every day, you are showing us how to open our hands to share healing with those whose lives are broken, to offer hope to the desperate, to deliver companionship to the lonely, to proclaim your good news. All these efforts we dedicate to you in Christ’s name, our Teacher and Example who taught us to pray in this way:

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And 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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