Weekly Prayers for the Church Street Family

Week of February 2, 2022

Rev. Pat Clendenen

Loving and gracious God, in the quietness of these moments, speak to our hearts. We come to your house each week to offer our praise and thanksgiving with our words, our songs, our acts of commitment, and affirmations of faith.   We long to know you completely and fully; and yet, we live in a world that pulls us in so many directions, distracting us from our purpose as the Body of Christ. Even this day we remember all our fancy words and acts of service mean nothing if they are not infused and undergirded with love, the kind of love you revealed to us in Jesus Christ.  

God of love and God of power, all our lives belong to you.

Wise and loving God, you have woven your creation together, using your relationship with us and ours with each other to give rich, intricate, and diverse patterns to all of life. We give thanks that you have created us for community, calling us into relationship with one another.  Forgive us for our internal conflict, and for our inability at times to see beyond ourselves. Teach us to love one another, even when we disagree, and to pour our energy into seeking understanding so that we may work toward the good of all your creation. 

God of love and God of power, all our lives belong to you.

Lord, you call caregivers to serve, and you give gifts to make their service possible. We thank you today for the willing and gifted hands and hearts in our Stephen Ministry. Thank you for our Stephen Leaders, who gladly serve to keep our Stephen Ministry flourishing. Thank you for our Stephen Ministers, who faithfully meet with their care receivers, extending the care of Christ to those who need it most. Thank you also for the support of our pastors and staff, and for all those who keep this ministry growing in our congregation

God of love and God of power, all our lives belong to you.

And because you have blessed our community here at Church Street, we who depend upon your love, mercy, and grace bring to you these prayers offered by our brothers and sisters in Christ: 

  • Celebrating successful February 2nd surgery
  • Gratitude for prayers: A transplant donor has been found
  • Appreciation for all church volunteers
  • Member grateful for negative cancer scan
  • Thanksgiving for all who are being called to join our church
  • Gratitude: all who have generously pledged for 2022 church ministries
  • Prayers for wife and mother recovering from February 2 surgery
  • Healing for one in ICU, Covid complications
  • One asks for prayers for her Sunday School class
  • Prayers for recovery: Church families affected by Covid
  • Comfort for widower who recently moved to assisted living
  • Dear family friend with cancer, that a route to healing may be found
  • Two couples who are adjusting to health challenges at home 
  • Continued prayers for two members in cancer treatment
  • Strength and comfort for family: Cousin died of a stroke last week
  • Continued prayers: Ill adult daughter, severe effects of Covid 
  • Comfort for families of three church members who died last week
  • God’s presence with an uncle who is aging and infirm
  • Courage for brother in military who may be deployed to Ukraine

We are truly blessed as a congregation to have a multi-layered system of care, making it possible to serve the needs of all people. We give you thanks for the vision and wisdom of those who breathed life into each of these ministries – Congregational Care, Parish Health Team, and Benevolence Team – and for all who continue to make these ministries a vital part of our mission. May we never become complacent, thinking there is no need to expand our understandings of your longings for your creation. Surprise us with new visions, and give us the courage to follow the path you set before us, trusting that Christ is alive and goes before us to show and share what love can do.  

God of love and God of power, all our lives belong to you.

Remind us, O God, that, as we move in the world, though scattered, we remain the Church, the Body of Christ in action. Let us be workers together with you, performing deeds of mercy and kindness, and giving evidence of Christ’s love in all that we do, for it is in his name that we offer our prayer…….

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 January 26, 2022

Rev. Catherine Nance

Loving and gracious God – we come today in praise and thanksgiving for you – the creator all good things. We remember that when you spoke the earth into being, you declared it good. As we stand on your earth and look up to the heavens and peer over vast waters and dig in the earth may we join in the chorus of, “It is good!” O God forgive us when we treat creation – your creation – as something disposable for our use. We confess we forget you called us to be stewards and not simply users of water, air, land, and space. Stir up in us a new commitment to work together to care about creation as an extension of our own bodies.      

God of all creation, make us one in the body of Christ.

O God who knit us together in our mother’s wombs, we are fearfully and wonderfully made. Forgive us when we turn to advertisers and celebrities for images of what we should look like. Forgive us when we are ashamed of our bodies; instead, may we take care of ourselves and know that you desire good health for all people. Give us a new vocabulary of wholeness and beauty; forgive us when we describe ourselves or others solely in terms of how we look or how we do not measure up. May we see each other’s bodies as sacred gifts and honor one another with respect, for you have created us in your image. May we see your grace in each other.  

God of all creation, make us one in the body of Christ.

We thank you for the gift of your church and all the different ways the body of Church Street expresses itself. In each church there are members working together to proclaim your reconciling word and do your reconciling word; therefore we pray for all churches in our city and for all United Methodist churches, that our hearts may remain in communion with all, that that our voices might truly be pleasing to you as one song.   

God of all creation, make us one in the body of Christ.

God of All Creation, we feel you moving within us and around us, opening doors, tending us in our woundedness, and binding us together in love. In that spirit of togetherness, we lay before you the most recent celebrations and concerns of our community of faith.  As you wish the best for us, we leave all in your caring hands:

  • Thanksgiving for prayers: Infant in ICU now breathing on his own
  • Thankful for prayers: Safe travel to & from Houston & promising medical test results
  • Gratitude: Cousin in Florida overcoming severe Covid complications
  • Father grateful for prayers: has found a wonderful caregiver
  • Grateful daughter in rehab center is improving
  • Thanksgiving for meaningful weekend retreat for our Youth
  • Husband feeling prayer support during his divorce
  • Prayers answered: A house has sold
  • Gratitude: a father is much-improved following long Covid struggle
  • Thankful that meds are helping a member with memory loss
  • Prayers appreciated for a friend who died peacefully this week 
  • Gratitude for Church Street clergy who work with joyful professionalism
  • Prayers for a wife, mother, and community volunteer, for her safe & successful surgery on February 2
  • Healing for all church members suffering with Covid
  • Wisdom and guidance for one unsure of the future
  • Healing prayers for sons whose father died last weekend
  • Young woman in need of a transplant, for a donor to be found
  • Guidance for wife whose husband has memory loss 
  • Continued prayers for two members in cancer treatment
  • Prayers for cousin on life support following a stroke
  • Comfort and direction for all in mourning
  • Continued prayers: Ill adult daughter, severe effects of Covid 
  • Comfort for family of church member who died today
  • God’s work within family – three youngsters whose father died recently

We offer this prayer in a spirit of unity – acknowledging that we all have differences that you call good, and that your love draws us into one spirit and one purpose. We pray in the name of Jesus Christ whose life, death, and resurrection makes us one 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 January 19, 2022

Rev. Tim Best

Gracious Lord, this week we remember the life and legacy of your servant, Rev. Dr. King, praying that your Spirit would continue to teach us the ways of peace. When we encounter hate; grant us the gift of love. Help us to recognize injustice in our world, our communities, and within our own hearts. Indeed, “even when pressed by the demands of inner truth” we struggle to oppose the status quo. Our own spirits may falter, and so we pray that you would give us wisdom and courage.

God of many gifts, make us one in your Spirit.

Lord of power and might, we recognize that power is a gift. With power we can create, make, imagine, and shape. We acknowledge that power is a gift that has been so often twisted, corrupted, and misused. We pray today for those who hold power and those who feel powerless. We give thanks for those leaders and servants who helped to safely recover all who were held hostage in Colleyville, Texas. Make us mindful of the power we hold in our communities and in the lives of others. As Jesus used his power to reconcile, teach, and to love, speak to those who hold authority in our world that they might use their power in the pattern of Christ. 

God of many gifts, make us one in your Spirit.

Lord, you gifted your apostles with gifts to heal and make whole. As our world finds itself again in the grip of another pandemic wave, we pray for all those who are sick. We pray for not just those with Covid, but those with cancer, those chronic illness, and those that have mental illness. Grant us compassion to care for those in need. Give us the resolve to tend the suffering of others. Give us confidence in the power of Jesus, the great physician, and in his victory of all death and sickness. 

God of many gifts, make us one in your Spirit.

God of Hope and Healing, you have called our church family together in your Spirit, that we might walk together in all seasons of life; therefore, receive these expressions of both joy and suffering from your people of Church Street.  May our prayers strengthen our bond with one another and with our Lord:

  • Thanksgiving for prayers: Ankle injury improving
  • Grateful for prayers: Niece’s husband died peacefully
  • Family celebrating safe birth of new grandchild
  • Thanksgiving for faithfulness and witness of Youth in our church
  • Family rejoices: Pregnant mom is now Covid-free
  • Grateful for miracle: Premature infant in ICU growing steadily
  • Daughter gives thanks for a loving father who died peacefully this week
  • Prayers appreciated: Recent cancer scans confirm healing
  • Member with ALS expresses deep gratitude for church support
  • Wisdom and guidance for one unsure of the future
  • Safe travel for family traveling M.D. Anderson for follow-up tests
  • Wife asks for direction as her husband’s memory loss increases
  • Pray that a donor may be procured for a much-needed transplant
  • God’s grace and comfort for family, sudden death of young father
  • Safety and guidance for lonely, infirm widower
  • Prayers for two friends in cancer treatment
  • Peace and support for family grieving brother’s death on Friday
  • God’s presence to surround daughter with Covid, great suffering 
  • Prayers for a husband with cancer
  • Sons who struggle with a father’s final illness
  • Upholding wife and mother struggling with cancer, for her family
  • God’s grace to surround all caregivers in their ministry
  • Two members with severe vision impairment and neuropathy
  • God’s work in the lives of two youngsters whose mother died recently
  • Peace and healing for husband with Parkinson’s and loss of vision; strength and wisdom for his devoted wife 
  • Friend now in labor delivering baby two months early

Lord Jesus, we praise you for the gift of your blessed church. We confess that often the church has fallen short and not lived up to the calling you have given. Yet, we know that through your faithfulness we see your love for all the world. Grant us, the people called to from many peoples and places, to be unified in our mission and ministry as the church. Empower your people that the church may be a gift for the world and a sign of your love and justice even in the midst of darkness. 

God of many gifts, make us one in your Spirit.

Join our prayers with those of the saints and all the company of heaven as we offer that prayer taught to us by Jesus our Lord, the giver of every good gift, praying: 

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 January 12, 2022

Rev. Jan Buxton Wade

Welcoming One, we can imagine you now in our mind’s eye, with your arms outstretched, bidding us draw close.  You must know quite well how  overwhelmed and vulnerable we feel.  The pandemic continues to unfold around the globe and the media churns out unrelenting stories of instability and discontent.  Even though your mercies have brought us through more than a year of dread, we are still rattled.  We peer out the window at the same world, yet it seems a strangely unfamiliar place.  Ah, but then our eyes fix on those stately trees that have withstood both storm and drought, as if they possessed some secret power.  It is no secret, though, for far beneath their leafy grandeur and textured skin breathes a labyrinth of roots, a network securely embedded deep within the earth.  Tighten our hold on you, O Faith that Never Fails, that we might also withstand the torrents of the time in which we live.  Make our grasp firm and stable, we pray, till we also stand as resilient witnesses of our faith in you. 

Welcoming God, we praise you.

In your mercy and wisdom, you have held the life of this world as a parent holds a beloved child, always wishing the best for us; indeed, it was you who formed us and the earth which nourishes and sustains us.  By calling us into a community of believers, and by endowing us with talents for building up your kingdom, you have multiplied and extended our own strength. Help us acknowledge the gifts you have planted within us, Lord, that we might labor together for your purpose and your glory always.

Empowering God, we praise you.

How grateful we remain for the hearts infused by love that are beating every day throughout the world, near and far.  We gaze in wonder at those who face real dangers in taking your word to forgotten territories, who tenderly care for the ill and the dying, for those who live sacrificially that others may have their needs met, for those who stand true to your calling.  They are as trees in our midst, whose roots hold steady and whose acts rise ever heavenward. We thank you for these noble disciples who live out their faith in such varied, but mostly unheralded ways.

Calling and Confirming God, we praise you.

And as Jesus always reminded us of your loving concern, on behalf of your people in our church family, we extend these praises and prayers:

  • Two express gratitude for support from our Parish Health Team
  • Aunt gives thanks for safe birth of twin nephews on Tuesday
  • Three grateful for recovery from Covid
  • Gratitude for work of our Covid Task Force 
  • Family celebrates birth of healthy son on January 8
  • Prayers appreciated, hospitalized mother is improving 
  • Brain surgery was successful, tumor benign
  • Family grateful for holiday visit with adult children
  • God’s grace and comfort for family, sudden death of young father
  • Three members whose parents died during the holidays
  •  Healing grief for husband experiencing a divorce
  • Premature nephew in ICU, prayers for his survival
  • Prayers for one having a driving test on Tuesday
  • Grieving family: Niece killed, leaving two young children
  • Healing prayers for three brave women in cancer treatment
  • A niece’s husband nearing death, that it may be peaceful 
  • Member with ALS, strength for wife, sole caregiver
  • Two members with severe vision impairment and neuropathy
  • Husband with memory loss, courage for wife
  • Healing for mother recovering from bladder surgery
  • Beloved daughter with Covid complications, for healing
  • Guidance for wife, caregiver of husband with Parkinson’s
  • Healing of friend recovering from serious accident
  • Continued recovery from ankle injury 
  • College-age grandson battling depression, now outpatient
  • Wisdom, guidance for young single mother with 3 children
  • A father in hospice care, his sons who are grieving
  • Healing prayers for an alcoholic
  • Two suffering from depression and Parkinson’s-related illness 
  • Safe delivery of first grandchild on Friday

Caring God, hear our prayer.

Keeper of All Our Hours, thank you for receiving our prayers and for forgiving us when we fail to notice the ways you are moving in our world.  We confess that we do quake when bad new spins, though your grace remains sufficient. May the blessings you have brought us come to mind even before our heads rest upon our pillows this night. And then, may our eyes be opened in new ways tomorrow, that we might behold your stirring around us and within us.  In the name of the One who remains our refuge in every era, we offer these prayers:

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 January 5, 2022

Rev. Jan Buxton Wade

Holy God, with the bells of New Year’s Eve still ringing in our ears, we come to you in all humility; for how can we celebrate the turning of the calendar without praising you for the divine grace that has come to us so tenderly throughout the year just passed?  Your steady hand carried us through difficulties we thought would break us.  You restored our hope when we were stranded in confusion.  You brought renewal when we were swallowed up in despondency.  Remembering how you shepherded us even in perilous times, we remain in awe.

God of Grace, receive our praise!

Speak, Lord, said the young prophet, for your servant is listening. Here, as the new year dawns for us, may we also listen attentively for your voice.  Some of us are full of expectation, ready to give shape to any new challenge you set forth.   Some of us are overwhelmed and anxious and must lean heavily upon your shoulders no matter your expectations.  Others of us are weary and worn, fearing we may not possess the energy to even answer when you call.  And yet, you are the God who opens doors, who fashions possibilities, who supplies what is needed, who carves roads where none exist. In whatever condition we find ourselves, we pray we would somehow discern your voice and allow you to work your will within us. 

God Who Calls, hear our prayer.

Your Son gave us a vision of the world as it could be, enlivened by people who model your intentions and desires.  Jesus dreamed of a world where abundance was shared, where peace reigned, where cooperation birthed prosperity for all, where love and justice were the rule of the day, where health and well-being were honored. We hunger for such a world, but we confess that we often lose heart when setbacks come.  We fall back into our old habit of grousing and complaining when obstacles so frequently appear.  Forgive us, we pray, and help us to be hope-filled kingdom people as we work in your service each day of this new year.

God Who Inspires, rekindle your dream in our hearts.

On the cusp of this new month and new year, we are deeply aware of the realities that face us at present.  And as always, we boldly ask for restoration for the ill, comfort for those who mourn, companionship for the lonely, reconciliation for the estranged, release for those held by the chains of poverty and addiction.  To these we add those closest to our hearts . . . . . . . . . ; as well as all these praises and petitions offered by our church community:

  • Three offer gratitude for safe journeys and family visits
  • Gratitude for successful cornea transplant on Tuesday 
  • One is thankful for reconnection with two former friends
  • Member thankful for healing following three family deaths 
  • Gratitude: Granddaughter uninjured in a dangerous fire
  • Member thankful for the help of his Stephen Minister
  • One celebrates the restoration of a relationship 
  • Prayers appreciated: Three member families recovering from Covid
  • Family blessed by an extended holiday gathering in North Carolina
  • Gratitude for dedicated church musicians and choirs
  • Thanksgiving: Mother is off ventilator & is much improved
  • Solace for family who lost a mother and a father to death in 2 weeks’ time
  • Premature nephew born at 25 weeks, in ICU, for his survival
  • Recovery for a cherished mother-in-law, hospitalized
  • All who are mourning recent deaths of loved ones
  • Healing of a grandson’s depression
  • Pray for peaceful death for a niece’s husband 
  • A peaceful death for a kind Christian husband, courage for family
  • Member with grave vision impairment & neuropathy
  • Courage, guidance for wife, caregiver of husband with Parkinson’s
  • Recovery for daughter (42), brain surgery today at MD Anderson
  • Healing of friend recovering from serious accident
  • Faithful husband dealing with memory loss, his caregiver wife
  • For intervention: Physician nephew who is an alcoholic
  • Mother in South Carolina seriously ill, courage for three anxious adult children
  • God’s presence with adult daughter, grave Covid complications
  • Courage, guidance for young mother deserted by her husband
  • Grace for member valiantly enduring cancer treatments
  • Reconciliation of differences within three families
  • Pray for young couple recovering at home from serious illnesses
  • God’s grace to surround a mother with cancer, for renewed hope
  • Two suffering from depression and Parkinson’s-related illness 
  • A father who entered hospice January 3; for his sons who struggle

God Who Heals, receive our prayers.

Even now, Dear God, uncertain of how the coming months will unfold, we are confident you will continue to speak to us and will walk with us every step of the way. And on our journey into the new year, by your grace, we will endeavor to love you with all our hearts, with all our souls, with all our minds, and with all our strength.  All these prayers we offer in the name of our Most Faithful Companion, 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 December 22, 2021

Rev. Jan Buxton Wade

Let all mortal flesh keep silence, and with fear and trembling stand;

ponder nothing earthly-minded, for with blessing in his hand

Christ our God, to earth descending, comes our homage to demand.

(from Liturgy of St. James)

O God of Wonder, we scurry about, scouring the aisles for gifts that please family and friends, too often overlooking the wondrous basket of blessings you have already set before us.  You have given us life itself, the opportunity to live, learn and share in the marvels of your creation.  You offer us our beloved church community which nourishes us with thoughtfulness and challenges us to become more faithful disciples.  When we draw back, fearing we aren’t good enough, you nudge us to use our talents for your worthy purposes.  When our pride swells, you turn our hearts again to the life of the One Most Humble.  When we grumble about our setbacks, you point us toward the healing way.  We make mistake after mistake, yet you hand us a cup overflowing with grace.  How dare we desire anything more this season, Beloved Benefactor, for you are the essence of all things holy and good!

Silent One, may our souls join with the shepherds who wait patiently in the fields as night closes in.  How deftly does the extraordinary cloak itself in typical garb; and if we do not quiet ourselves, we may miss both the messenger and the message. Perhaps we will be stunned by wonders spanning the sky.  Maybe we will hear angelic voices singing of newborn love.  Or maybe the sign will be only a whisper of assurance that penetrates the heart. In whatever manner it comes, may we be prepared to follow until we discover for ourselves the wonder we know to be true.  It is this Truth in which all our hopes and dreams are met.

As you were delivered on that sacred eve, so you came to deliver us from ourselves and from whatever threatens to separate us from your glory. We recognize the dark parts of our world engulfed in apathy, bitterness, pain, and loss. O Christ, open our souls to receive the good news of your very self, we pray, and bring us into the wonder of your living presence. And knowing the light of your mercy, we lift up those who are in need this night, particularly . . . . . . . . . . ; and we also pray you would touch each of these friends at Church Street who look to you as their Savior:

  • Thankful for husband’s improvement (Parkinson’s diagnosis)
  • Family offers thanks for a marriage blessing on Saturday
  • Family celebrates first family gathering in three years
  • Grateful: A father’s health is improving
  • Thanksgiving for freedom for kidnapped missionaries in Haiti
  • Member thankful for church support during his bereavement
  • Member appreciates friends who are helping her in days of need
  • Thanksgiving: mother in rehab, progressing steadily
  • Gratitude: Uplifting worship and music ministry
  • Praises that a brother’s prostate surgery was successful
  • One celebrates a good grade in a difficult graduate course
  • Pray for friend whose tongue was removed yesterday- cancer
  • Prayers for member recovering in ICU
  • Prayers for mother enduring chemo for lung cancer
  • Healing for daughter, ill with colitis
  • Support for a brother with Parkinson’s
  • Grace for member valiantly enduring cancer treatments
  • Upholding all church families in mourning during the holidays
  • Mother with lung cancer, that chemo may be tolerated
  • Young couple in Nashville hospitalized with serious illnesses
  • God’s grace to surround a mother with cancer, for renewed hope
  • Healing for cherished husband suffering from Parkinson’s and stress
  • Faithful husband struggling with memory loss
  • Member grieving the untimely death of her cousin
  • Longtime friend in Atlanta, ill with Covid and alone on Christmas
  • Grace to uphold dear friend soon to be placed in hospice care
  • Strength for daughter, extreme complications from Covid
  • For doors of employment to open for a talented professional man
  • Beloved husband undergoing chemotherapy
  • Wisdom and strength: Young mother enduring a painful separation
  • Healing two families: Parents estranged from children

You have come anew to every time and every age, Holy One, so we abide in confidence of your arrival to renew your covenant with us.  “Do not fear, only believe,” said the Teacher, reassuring a troubled father.  May those words echo within us this winter of uncertainty, as we plant our trust once again in the Son of the Most High, 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 December 15, 2021

Rev. Jan Buxton Wade

Let evening come, O God Who Calls Us to Rest.  Spread your quiet shadows over your tired people who have allowed themselves to be pulled in too many directions this day.  You give us permission to turn off the music of productivity and constant availability. Someone else pulls the strings and we dance; but we, having fallen in love with movement, continue to forge ahead on our own, even when the strings are loosened.  Slow our minds and our steps, we pray, as we wait upon your most gracious eventide. Soothe our bodies and minds, Wise Creator, that we might find the renewal you have planned for us.  We need it, we desire it, we wait for it!

May it be so, Lord, may it be so.

As we reflect upon this day just passed, may we bring to mind those instances which were bursting with rich blessing.  And though, perhaps unrecognized in the moment, we now remember the kindness behind each occurrence, especially  . . . . . . . . . . Ah, how mysteriously, stitch by stitch, you knit your grace into our lives! Our gratitude may come as only a whisper, but we pray you will hear every prayer of adoration, and sew those, too, into your blanket of love.

May it be so, Lord, may it be so.

In one of the bleakest eras, an angel brought greetings of great joy to lonely ones in the field watching their flocks. Your tidings, O Holy One, are as meaningful to us today as they were to the shepherds under that chilly Middle Eastern sky. We also know many who are lost and lonely, those who feel overlooked and forgotten.  We confess that we can casually erase them from our minds, so forgive our arrogance, we pray.  But you have not forgotten them — you know each feeble and frail one by name; they are those who hunger most keenly for your hope. Have mercy, O Lord, and give us that same gnawing hunger. 

May it be so, Lord, may it be so.

Many still seek that infant born of Mary.  Mark the way for those wounded ones everywhere: the starving in Madagascar and Afghanistan; the tornado-ravaged territories of our own country; those who have lost not only their homes and belongings, but their family members and neighbors. We lift prayers for those everywhere who are shaken by tragedy, victims of injustice, and those who are pummeled by the deadly virus.  And again we ask for healing of the deep political divisions within our nation that are unraveling the fabric of community;  we speak of peace, but our actions are not aligned with those of the Prince of Peace.  Come, Lord Jesus, and set our feet back on that solid road to Bethlehem.

May it be so, Lord, may it be so.

To these petitions, we add these personal ones on the hearts of our church family, who bring their hurts, hopes, and praises this week:

  • Prayers appreciated: Family celebrates birth of heathy baby boy
  • Thankful husband now living in safety in rehab
  • Thanksgiving for helpful friends during a family illness
  • Family celebrates happy wedding of granddaughter
  • Thankful UMCOR already at recovery work in disaster areas
  • Member celebrates: Scans reveal no sign of cancer cells
  • Family grateful for a daughter’s wedding on December 18
  • Family offers thanks for safe travel to a family event
  • Pray for mother recovering from lung surgery, began chemotherapy today
  • Continued prayers: Mother hospitalized, recovering from fall & her ill husband recovering from Covid at home
  • Healing for daughter, very ill with painful, infectious colitis
  • Upholding all church families in mourning during the holidays
  • God’s grace to surround a mother suffering with cancer, for renewed hope; and her worried family standing by
  • Beloved friend in Nashville undergoing chemo to salvage transplant and her husband who is hospitalized with an illness
  • Healing for young man suffering from PTSD
  • Faithful husband struggling with memory loss
  • Solace for ill brother, that he might accept a move to a safer environment
  • Dear friend no longer able to tolerate cancer meds
  • Healing of wife’s injuries sustained in a fall
  • Strength for daughter, extreme complications from Covid
  • Relieving anxiety of daughter, estranged from her ill mother
  • For doors of employment to open for a talented professional man
  • Patience & healing for mother following colon surgery
  • Beloved husband undergoing chemotherapy
  • A father longs for reconciliation with his children
  • Wisdom & strength: Young mother enduring a painful separation
  • Mother seeking healing of relationship with her daughters
  • God’s guidance and healing for a mother with cancer diagnosis

You are our Safe Haven, our harbor amid the upheavals of our days, the Keeper of every moment of our lives. Scripture says that weeping may spend the night, but joy comes in the morning; therefore, help us release to your care all those who are weighed down with burdens and all who are closest to our hearts. We commend each one to you, knowing that, in due time, their joy will be made complete through the coming of that Blessed Babe, your Beloved, who draws near each time we offer his most complete prayer:

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 November 24, 2021

Rev. Jan Buxton Wade

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness, come into his presence with singing. Know that the Lord is God. It is he that has made us and we are his; We are his people and the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise. 

Give thanks to him and bless his name. For the Lord is good, his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations. 

(Ps 100:1-5)

Today indeed we make a joyful noise before the Lord and raise our voices in song!  O One of Unsearchable Greatness, we remember how your breath wafted over the chaos, bringing a sublime calm and order.  We remember how you fashioned from nothingness the heavens and the earth, both teeming with life. We ponder your terrifying power that created the mountains and called forth the waters, giving them shape and order and purpose.  And in your own loneliness, you gave life to humankind, counting us as your beloved companions.  How mystifying is your universe, O Lord, and our words fail to touch its grandeur.  And how privileged we are that we might join our voices with all generations past in blessing your Holy Name!

God of All Goodness, hear our prayer.

You have honored us with Jesus Christ, whom you sent to reveal the truth of your love, your hopes and dreams for your people.  And even when he was ignored, abused, and crucified, he told us he understood and that we were forgiven.  How astonishing is the depth of your affection and the wideness of your mercy, O Lord! 

God of All Goodness, hear our prayer.

We give you thanks, O Guide Above and Beside Us, that we can bring our prayers to you, for you are the God who listens to our lives; and we know there have been moments when we have chosen the wrong over the right. We remember those instances when we could have helped others, but we attended to our own priorities.  There were those persons we could have befriended, but we hurried past.  There were times we could have shared a loving thought with someone who was hurting, but we remained silent. There were occasions when we could have expressed our faith in you, yet we uttered mere platitudes. We thank you, Merciful One, that it is not too late for our transformation.  Blot out the sullied parts of our past and cleanse our motivations.  We can never reach perfection, but we trust in your Spirit to take everything that we do and use it for your good purposes.

God of All Goodness, hear our prayer.

Spirit of Wholeness, pour out your balm of healing upon your people who are in pain and sorrow. Heal the divisions and brokenness within our own nation, we pray. Our hearts also break when we hear of migrants from the Middle East, Africa, Europe and Asia who endure freezing temperatures and deprivation as they seek a place to call home; when we learn of the increased violence against the innocents in Sudan; as we receive news that 14 million people in Afghanistan now face daily hunger; and as another Covid19 wave sweeps across Germany, the Netherlands, Austria and Russia. Forgive us when we separate ourselves from the suffering of others near and far. May all who are hurting cling to you even when their hope has grown thin. 

God of All Goodness, hear our prayer.

And as we offer petitions on behalf of our friends at Church Street, strengthen our sense of kinship with all whom you love:

  • Church family celebrates a son’s engagement
  • Member grateful for prayers, recovering well following surgery
  • Thankful an ill friend is home from hospital
  • Grateful to all who assembled and delivered 130 Thanksgiving boxes for our hungry neighbors
  • Gratitude for a friend’s successful knee replacement
  • Appreciation for prayers: Dear friend died in peace and comfort
  • One praises God for her multitude of blessings
  • Thankful for prayers: Ill father returning home for Thanksgiving
  • Heart patient thankful for prayers of church on his behalf
  • Gratitude for husband’s healing following heart surgery
  • Husband thankful for wife’s recovery from bronchial infection
  • Thanksgiving for continued healing following surgery
  • God’s healing presence with couple who remain secluded due to illness
  • Safety for a young son, musician who travels widely
  • All who are grieving during the holidays
  • Safe travel to California for soon-to-be-grandmother
  • Courage, guidance for one enduring physical emotional trials
  • A mother who faces another colon surgery and healing of her dangerous infection
  • Healing relationship between a father and his adult children
  • Continued prayers for member with vision impairment
  • Correct diagnosis of Parkinson’s-related illness
  • Peace for a dying brother and the presence of the Spirit with all family members
  • Family sustaining multiple challenges during the holidays
  • Cherished father in rehab, in failing health 
  • Prayers for our church and our 2021 stewardship effort
  • God’s guidance and healing for a mother with cancer diagnosis 
  • Continued strength for member in cancer treatment
  • Prayers for gravely ill daughter and her distraught family
  • Correct diagnosis for member experiencing heart problems 
  • Upholding church family grieving death of young son 
  • Four family friends mourning deaths of loved ones
  • Sister who faces cancer scans December 3

God of Goodness, we celebrate your presence with us and pray you would wrap us all in your peace each night, as you turn down the lights of heaven. May our dreams be filled with memories of your eternal grace. We lay these prayers at your feet in the name of your most caring 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 November 17, 2021

Rev. Tim Best

Most Caring God, as we approach the holiday of Thanksgiving, remind us that true thanksgiving is not a single day of the year, but an eternal season of gratitude, a lifestyle that we practice our entire lives. Fill our hearts to the brim with a sense of the magnitude of your grace in our world.  And give us the courage to respond to that truth by spreading it around.

Caring God, provoke us to love and good deeds.

We pray this day for our community. As the weather grows colder we think of our neighbors with unreliable heat, poor insulation, those who work outdoors, and those who live without walls or heat. We pray for our neighbors who experience any sort of violence, and those who live as if they have no hope. We pray for all those who work to ensure the well-being of others within our community. 

Caring God, provoke us to love and good deeds.

With love and concern we lift up our nation, the world, and all those who seek to lead. We know the problems that face our world are many, but we do not live as those without hope. As our community has sought to honor veterans this past week, may we commit to hold the needs of those who have served constantly in our prayers. 

Caring God, provoke us to love and good deeds.

We lift up thankful hearts for all progress made against Covid. We are grateful for all doctors, nurses, caregivers, administrators, and support staff that have kept hospitals and clinics running. We are thankful for vaccines that are now available for elementary age children. We are thankful for ongoing research and development of medications and treatments for this disease. We are thankful also for the work we have been given to care for one another and our neighbors during this season. 

Caring God, provoke us to love and good deeds.

We pray this day for those in our congregation who are struggling with health issues, those who are alone, and those who grieve. Be an ever-present companion to them. Give us eyes to see the pain of others in our midst and the courage to respond in love.  Especially, we ask that you would look with kindness and mercy upon all your children at Church Street who bring to your door a world of cares.  And also receive the gratitude that is expressed by those who have profoundly felt your mercy in recent times:

  • Family celebrates: Husband’s cancer scans all clear
  • Grateful for prayers: Hip replacement surgery in DC successful
  • Thanksgiving: All well following delicate surgery at Vanderbilt 
  • Prayers appreciated: Friend approved for her 1st apartment
  • Gratitude for prayers: Anxieties have eased
  • Two families thankful for beach vacations
  • Member celebrates the end of his Covid isolation 
  • Gratitude: husband admitted to hospital, now improving
  • Thankful: Young daughter mending well following tonsillectomy
  • One thankful that recent cancer scans were negative
  • Praises: Injured member is receiving proper care in hospital
  • Prayers that recent back procedure will prove effective
  • Safety for a young son, musician who travels widely
  • Family grieving the death of mother on Monday
  • Family mourning death of a father this week
  • Continued prayers for member with vision impairment
  • Church couple struggling with Parkinson’s diagnosis
  • Wisdom for daughter anxious about her mother’s care
  • Prayers for our church and our 2021 stewardship effort
  • Healing prayers for daughter hospitalized with sepsis
  • Correct diagnosis for member experiencing heart problems 
  • Upholding church family grieving death of young son
  • Son-in-law grieving the deaths of family members 
  • All who are bereaved and hurting during the holidays
  • Strength for couple caring for two very ill parents
  • Sustaining member in extended cancer treatment
  • Dear friend (ALS) – now facing hospice care; sustaining prayers for friends assisting her  

Today we recommit ourselves to the work and ministry of this local church. Guide our hearts as we discern how to most fully and faithfully give to you,       O Christ. Bless the gifts that have been offered this commitment week, and bless those who pledge to support the church financially in the year ahead. May our gifts always be used for the work of your kingdom. 

Caring God, provoke us to love and good deeds.

Hear us, Heavenly Father, in all that we ask, for we pray as your Son 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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*Adapted from a prayer by Stephen M. Fearing.

Weekly Prayers for the Church Street Family

Week of November 10, 2021

Rev. Jan Buxton Wade

And what do you have that you did not receive

And if also you did receive it, why do you boast 

as not having received it?   (I Cor. 4:7)

Ah, the apostle has rightly spoken – for what have we acquired that did not come to us from Divine beneficence?  What do we possess that was not provided by the hands and sacrifice of others?  Forgive us, Lord, for our narrow thinking and for our failure to respond fully to your grace. We confess we have withheld that which is rightly yours, spending mainly to satisfy our own limited interests.    We have withheld even ourselves, ignoring your continued offer of fullness of life through Christ. We know we can do better; by your grace, may it be so.

Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Enduring Cornerstone, remind us that we are the living stones which form your Church. We are bound together by your very self, who gave your all that we might live. Your gifts cascade so freely we are prone to forget they come with responsibility. Chip away our rough and selfish edges, we pray, that we might fit more tightly together, adding strength and shape to your holy edifice of benevolence.  We would be known as believers with open hands and open lives, willing to sacrifice so that the nameless and forgotten ones are drawn into your fortress of love.

Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Nearest Friend, this week we pray for our friends and neighbors, near and far.  Comfort and deliver especially all who are living with grave losses, those who live in the throes of poverty and need, others who are oppressed by violence, and those who flee war and devastation in their homelands.  Guide us and all in power to work for the common good. As scripture has taught: those whom much is given, much is required.

Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

God of the Circling Years, your faithfulness spans generations, and your mercy never fails to astound us.  In Jesus, you walked where we walk, shared the burdens of life, were touched by the same joys, temptations, and sorrows as we. We need hide nothing from you, for you are aware of our longings, our pain, our hopes, and our fears. Therefore, we turn again to you on bended knee, acknowledging you as our Source of all healing and wholeness.  

Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Aware that you accept every prayer uttered in earnest, we lay before you these that come from the hearts of your people at Church Street.  In your mercy, accept the praise of those who bring thanksgiving and touch the souls of those who are bruised and afflicted:

  • Grateful that ill husband now safely placed in rehab facility
  • Prayers appreciated: Grandson is managing chemo well
  • Gratitude for prayers: Weekend wedding was perfect
  • Member in rehab making steady progress
  • Thanksgiving: Heart surgery deemed successful
  • Thanks for prayers – badly bruised hand is healing
  • Praises! Family welcomes newborn baby after 3 miscarriages
  • Pray that one will be approved for an apartment
  • Prayers: Young daughter undergoing surgery Monday and her family
  • Granddaughter in D.C. having hip replacement Monday
  • Prayers that recent back procedure will prove effective
  • Healing for one recovering from delicate surgery at Vanderbilt today
  • Courage and strength for family grieving death of young son
  • Son-in-law grieving the deaths of family members due to Covid 
  • Solace for member coping with anxiety
  • Strength for couple giving care to ill parents
  • Wisdom for a young son contemplating dropping out of school
  • Sustaining member in extended cancer treatment
  • Dear friend (advancing ALS) – guidance in finding residential care 
  • Healing prayers for daughter hospitalized with sepsis 
  • Healing for two members enduring immense back pain
  • Strength, courage for husband with Parkinson’s

In addition to these, O Lord, we ask that you would gift us with wisdom and patience as we strive for that peace which passes all understanding.  And now,  as you are the God of All Good Gifts, release in us the spirit of new life – that life which is in full relationship with you and your Blessed Son 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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