BINDING SOUL AND SOURCE

Prayers for the Church Street Family

March 15, 2021

Rev. Dr. Jan Buxton Wade

Enduring One, you have invited us to this Lenten Journey because in your wisdom you knew our souls had listened too long to the world’s hollow voice. All praise to you that you have summoned us these weeks past to open our eyes to re-discover the wonders surrounding us, to reflect upon your true purpose for our lives, to teach us new songs of gratitude and humility. We have stumbled, but you hold out your scarred hand and share yourself with us again and again.  Continue that inner work, Lord, for we have miles yet to travel.

Here in the time of twilight, we make our sincere confessions: We worry about balancing our dinner menus, forgetting the millions who are steps away from starvation. We think we deserve the best of everything, forgetting that everything we have comes from the efforts of someone else. We draw chalk marks to delineate who is in and who is out, forgetting that you love all equally and all are welcome. We turn on our security systems and remain secure in our homes, forgetting our neighbors’ children must dodge bullets when they travel to and from school.

We repent of our shallowness, Lord, but give thanks that you have planted saints among us whose open and unselfish ways convict us of our self-absorption. Grant that we, as they, might learn to view the world through the lens of Jesus, the Son who tells us it is never too late for new beginning.

Never-Ending Mercy, you carry us through on the comforting melody of your forgiveness, that music that never ceases; and because of your movement through our lives, we bring our personal praises from our Church Street family, and also our prayers for your divine assistance:

  • Gratitude for prayers: Heart cath went smoothly
  • Thanksgiving for first in-person worship
  • Four grateful for second dose of vaccine
  • UMW celebrates major gift for missions
  • Family grateful for weekend visits from relatives whom they have not seen in more than a year
  • Family thankful for settling in new home
  • One grateful for tolerating cancer treatments
  • Comfort for family whose mother died on Sunday
  • Solace and comfort for mother, 90, having internal bleeding and guidance for caregiver brother
  • Prayers for diagnosis of youngster’s seizures
  • Healing: Young sister with ongoing cancer concerns
  • Comfort and support for friend divorcing
  • Prayers for one who is disillusioned by illness
  • Rest and recovery for one following throat surgery
  • Young adult having fourth round of chemo this week
  • Dear friend awaiting medical treatment
  • Prayers that new meds improve breathing issues
  • Safe delivery of first grandchild
  • Prayers for justice in a custody case

We lie down in peace, nestled under your cool sheets of mercy, secure in the knowledge that even as we sleep, you are erasing our sins, untying our burdens, soothing us, and making us whole. As darkness descends, may our parting vision be of Jesus resting his hand upon us, as we whisper the words he taught us so long ago:

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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Daily Lent Devotions from Church Street UMC

Sunday, March 14, Morning

By Edwin C. Kelso, April 10, 1976

Faith and Trust

Read Mark 10:52

“And Jesus said to him, ‘Go your way; your faith has made you well;’ and immediately he received his sight and followed him on his way.”

This verse from Mark tells of the blind beggar, Bartimaeus, receiving his sight through one of Christ’s miracles. The miracle would not have taken place had not Bartimaeus had faith and trust in our Lord.

In more recent times, many supposedly terminally ill patients have been miraculously cured. Their doctors could offer no explanation. A heavenly Doctor had a hand in the cure. There is a great need to put ourselves in the hands of God and trust Him.

In A MAN CALLED PETER, Catherine Marshall says,

“You trust your bed, You trust your precautions against burglars,

You trust the police force … And the fire brigade …

And trust yourself to sleep …

Which is another way of saying

You trust yourself to God.

 

The believer trusts himself to God … believing that God will watch over him.

Will you relax spiritually today?

Will you leave with God – now – the troubles you have been

carrying around for so long?

Will you ask Him – now – to take them away from you?

and let you relax in simple trust … just like a child?

Will you?”

Prayer

Heavenly Father, we have seen that without trust there can be no free and wholehearted obedience. Now we must look at the other side: without obedience there can be no real trust. We ask Thee very simply – take care of us, release all our fears and worries that we may better serve Thee, In Christ’s name. Amen.

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Daily Lent Devotions from Church Street UMC

Sunday, February 28, Evening

By Jim Kennedy, March 7, 1979

Dedication of Ourselves

Read Matthew 20:25-28

Were we to be called on to list those ideals which have made this nation great among all nations, we might list its citizens’ devotion to liberty, freedom, independence, justice, mercy, honor, duty, prudence, reason, virtue, peace, wisdom, courage, and fortitude. One can almost imagine a plaza or park somewhere with monuments to these ideals. If a Christian were asked what monuments seemed to be missing, he might instantly mention monuments dedicated to faith, hope, charity, and love.

Upon deeper reflection he would also note that at least four other monuments were missing, for a Christian must concern himself with remembering what has gone on before and what has been done on his behalf, and must also concern himself with preparing and dedicating himself to do that which he is called upon to do. Finally, a Christian must remember that sacrifice which was made on his behalf, and must be willing to sacrifice himself every day by giving of his own most precious resources – his time, his energy, his devotion, his spirit, and lastly, his financial resources – to further what God would have him do.

The ideals of that we must remember, prepare, dedicate, and sacrifice are especially important at Lent for it is not a time of doing with less, but a time of beginning to do more for others. It is not merely a time of giving up and doing without daily pleasures, because it is a time of giving more of one’s most precious resources – one’s time and one’s soul!

Prayer

Father, help each of us remember what Christ did for our sake upon the cross, and help us prepare ourselves to dedicate our hearts, souls, minds, and bodies to do Thy will, for we realize that no sacrifice we make can equal yours. In Your Son’s name we pray. Amen.

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BINDING SOUL AND SOURCE

Prayers for the Church Street Family

February 3, 2021

Rev. Dr. Jan Buxton Wade

O Calm Beyond the Sunset, you have designed this shimmering day and extended it to us freely through your grace. And now the evening wind picks up and breathtaking shadows lengthen across the fields; this is another of your invitations as we stand on the edge of your pool of darkness. “Come, enter the restorative flow,” you say, “the temperature is refreshing and all your daytime distractions are hidden away.”

We do long to lay down our troubles on the banks of healing shade and step inside. Give us such courage. While others may follow the world’s path and continue their work through the darkest hours, grant that we might linger awhile with the Holy One who beckons, giving rest to the weary and fulness to the depleted. . . . . . . . . . .

Sea of Mercy, look down this eve on those living in the land of broken dreams, your beloved who desperately yearn for solace: the hungry, the refugee, the prisoner, the lonely, those far from home and those whose homes have been turned upside down by illness, the loss of a loved one, by personal conflict. Break into their lives with waves of your healing assurance, reminding them they are not forgotten. Grant that they, and each of us who pray this night, may hear the rippling calm of your voice which gives us courage to wait in times of sorrow.

Already, we feel you working on our behalf and extend our deepest gratitude.  And also lay before you these deepest concerns on the hearts of your Church Street community:

  • Ill member thankful to be released from hospital
  • Cancer survivor thankful for prayers, all going well
  • Praises for wife whose radiation treatments are complete
  • Member thankful for meds that are helping her pain
  • Two express gratitude for Bible Study offerings on Zoom
  • Gratitude: Young couple with Covid greatly improved
  • Fourteen express thanks for virus vaccinations
  • Healing prayers for cousin suffering from stroke
  • Comfort for family: Husband killed in auto accident last week
  • Healing for one whose cancer has spread
  • For chemo funds to be approved
  • Mother in treatment for pancreatic cancer
  • One enduring chemo treatments
  • Courage for alcoholic son to enter rehab
  • Proper diagnosis and treatment of painful leg condition
  • Pain relief for cancer victim
  • Healing: Husband recovering from heart surgery

We are neither righteous nor devout, nor even worthy; still you have drawn close to us and wrapped us in your amazing love. You hear our cries and you touch us with your mercy, especially in these ways: . . . . . . . . . . As we close our eyes and enter that chamber of rest tonight, fill our hearts with thanksgiving to the One who offers us life eternal:

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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BINDING SOUL AND SOURCE

Prayers for the Church Street Family

January 27, 2021

Rev. Dr. Jan Buxton Wade

Each of you should use whatever gifts you

have received to serve others,

as faithful stewards of God’s grace

in its various forms.

I Peter 4:10

 

Even before our eyes opened this frosty morning, your blessings were floating down: the newspaper delivered before dawn, the floor toasted by the warm flow from the radiator, the purring cat on the stoop, and the dew on the grass sparkling as crystals strewn by a loving hand. You have walked with us through these long days of heaviness, Generous One; and because you deem us worthy, you granted us this, another day of living under your grace. Praise be to you, Giver of Life!

Now the dusky hours have arrived and we ponder the personal talents you have imparted to each of us – gifts of music, decision-making, hospitality, creativity, healing, teaching, and others – gifts not sought, but offered free of cost for the betterment of your world  . . . . . . . . . . .   And in review, we ask ourselves how we may have employed our individual talents today in the service of others . . . . . . . . . .  Please forgive those instances we uttered idle words and performed hollow deeds, especially . . . . . . . . . . Because of Jesus, you do take notice of even our small efforts made in sincerity. May our simple services multiply as we mature in our faith, that in some unknowable way, your kingdom will be enriched.

Christ, our Confidant, surely the hallways of heaven are replete with pleas and petitions, perhaps even stacked to infinity. Maybe your rooms are filling up and there is little space left for the angels to pass through the hallways. But thanks to you, each prayer is received in earnest, as it is extended; each is valued, as is each one who offered it.  Therefore, we unhesitatingly offer our private prayers in your name . . . . . . . . . .  And we lift these also on behalf of our friends at Church Street:

  • Member offers gratitude for ease of logging onto online worship and connecting to Sunday School class
  • Thankful niece’s health is improving
  • Gratitude for added donations to local missions
  • Husband and wife grateful for vaccine appointment
  • Comfort for sons: Beloved mother nearing death
  • One hospitalized with multiple maladies
  • Continued healing of young relative
  • Solace for member: Death of a beloved brother
  • Healing for cherished cousin, stroke victim
  • Couple struggling with virus recovery and depression
  • Mother with pancreatic cancer, wisdom for MD Anderson physicians
  • Guidance and wisdom for our nation’s leaders
  • For peace to reign in our country
  • Increased availability of virus vaccine
  • Aging father recovering from surgery
  • Three recovering from serious heart issues
  • Healing: Two families with Covid
  • Infant cousin with brain tumor, wisdom for physicians
  • Strength for two mothers: Sons gripped by addiction
  • Continued prayers: One enduring chemo
  • Strength for two weary caregivers
  • For insurance company to approve chemo

Our Christian journey began and will end in you, Holy One, for you have shown us that our lives do matter. Watch over us all as the darkness falls and give us the confidence to rest in you, with the prayer of your Son upon our lips:

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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BINDING SOUL AND SOURCE

Prayers for the Church Street Family

January 25, 2021

Rev. Dr. Jan Buxton Wade

Abide with me, fast falls the eventide;

the darkness deepens, Lord with me abide.

When other helpers fail and comforts flee,

help of the helpless, oh abide with me.

 

God, Our Refuge and Strength, as we have been bound to you since our birth, so you have bound us together with all your beloved in a common life. Here, as we rest within this circle of deepening darkness, we admit that our ties with our brothers and sisters of our nation have been splintered. We have not learned to listen to your voice, and we do a paltry job of attending to others whose views do not match our own. We have attached labels to our neighbors and placed them in fixed categories. Forgive us for wounding you and those whom you love, including ourselves.

 

Come not in terrors, as the King of kings,

But kind and good, with healing in thy wings,

Tears for all woes, a heart for every plea,

Come, Friend of sinners, and abide with me.

 

Friend of Sinners, pierce our hearts with true repentance, as we reflect upon our personal transgressions, particularly these most recent ones:  . . . . . . . . . . We are indeed a frail people, too easy to seek approval, too eager to follow the crowd. Deep inside, though, you see sparks of possibility.  Take those tiny pieces of our better selves, fuse them together, we pray, and absolve us of every thought and deed that is not worthy of the name “Christian.”

 

I need thy presence every passing hour:

What but thy grace can foil the tempter’s power?

Who like thyself my guide and stay can be?

Through cloud and shadow, oh abide with me.

 

Holy One, through whose providential care we enjoy goodness and joy in life, we honor you. We must confess, however, that we are tired. You know that we are better at waiting if we know when the end will arrive; but after these long months of pain and loss, we admit that our patience is growing thin. Beginning tonight, shore us up, that even when we hardly know what to pray for, the Spirit will help us in our weakness. And send your evening star to shine upon us and upon all who live under cloud and shadow, for you know each one by name – including your friends at Church Street:

  • One grateful for a weekend off from work
  • Thanksgiving: Two recovered from Covid
  • One thankful for appointment for second vaccine
  • Gratitude: Mother steadily improving from surgery
  • Healing of adult son who entered a detox program
  • Elderly father healing from broken hip
  • Solace for member mourning death of a beloved brother
  • Guidance and wisdom for our President and our nation’s leaders
  • Continued prayers for three recovering from serious heart issues
  • Healing: Family of four positive for Covid
  • Courage, guidance, and healing: A cousin’s infant diagnosed with a brain tumor and began chemo last week
  • Wisdom and courage: A mother weighed down by responsibilities related to her son’s addiction
  • Healing for husband in deep depression
  • For wider distribution of virus vaccine
  • Continued prayers: One enduring chemo
  • Strength for two weary caregivers
  • Comfort for one whose mother died of cancer and Covid
  • For insurance company to approve chemotherapy for one in great need
  • Cousin recovering from major stroke

 

Hold thou thy cross before my closing eyes;

Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies;

Heav’n’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee;

In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.

 

Abiding One, draw all our silent longings and spoken prayers together this night, for even in our doubts, we trust in your unfailing love to keep us safe in slumber. And tomorrow, lead us into your holy wisdom, that we might live as Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord 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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BINDING SOUL AND SOURCE

Prayers for the Church Street Family

January 21, 2021

Rev. Dr. Jan Buxton Wade

O God of the Sun and the Shade, the darkness works its way through the crooked tree limbs all around, leaving us with only luminous outlines of the blessed light that has covered us this day. But darkness brings blessings of its own: a chance to slow down, an opportunity to go deeper, an invitation to take stock. We admit that we rushed by you today, Lord, when you appeared in so many places. But now in the quiet hours, we recall the kind word spoken, the gesture of support, evidences of your grace, especially . . . . . . . . . . . . The joys that have lightened our path came from your open hand. And tomorrow, clothe us with more clarity, that we may detect your miracles at work in our very midst. To you be all praise!

Come to us now, Lord, as we are veiled in the memories of our missteps: the coarse words that came from our lesser selves, the unwarranted sarcasm, misplaced humor, our prideful thoughts, and especially . . . . . . . . . . Scrub away all that has tarnished our witness, we pray, and rinse us with that bracing water of forgiveness, that we may be cleansed and ready to join you in service.

Consoling Companion, we remember those for whom the evening hours are long and fear-filled: those lying in hospital beds uncertain of their diagnosis, those waiting for the phone call revealing an outcome from surgery, those without employment who can only stare into emptiness, others whose physical pain prevents their eyes from closing. In truth, we all wait for something, but give rest and consolation, we pray, to our brothers and sisters whose souls are depleted.  Use us, we pray, to lift them up both in prayer and deed, till they are assured that your Spirit waits with them.

And Tender Spirit that you are, touch each of these souls who bring their joys and their deepest hurts to you this night.  May each feel the prayers that are offered as well as your breath of love:

  • Gratitude: Son in Oregon healed from Covid
  • Thankful brother made it through emergency surgery last night
  • Member thankful for 98th birthday
  • Member grateful for her virus vaccination
  • Thanksgiving that business is picking up
  • Gratitude that healthcare workers are receiving vaccinations
  • Praises for our church’s worship and ministries
  • Two mothers dealing with sons with addictions
  • Healing of older sister, recovering from Covid
  • Elderly father healing from broken hip
  • Healing for one with serious heart issues
  • Wisdom and insight for our President and Cabinet
  • Prayers for outgoing President and team members
  • Member who is depressed
  • Healing of husband with heart ailment
  • Young mother with Covid, for healing
  • For vulnerable populations to receive vaccine
  • Cousin recovering from major stroke
  • Healing for brother hospitalized (Covid)
  • 62-yr-old friend, for cancer remission
  • Exhausted caregiver, for help to arrive
  • Strength for one enduring chemo side effects
  • Recovery for husband with Covid

Take all our prayers, spoken and unspoken, and keep them in your bin of hope. May we rest now in the darkness, assured that the light has not gone out, for it keeps vigil in our hearts. And whatever tomorrow brings, we know we will be robed once again in the Light of Christ, our Lord, 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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BINDING SOUL AND SOURCE

Prayers for the Church Street Family

January 12, 2021

Rev. Dr. Jan Buxton Wade

O Lord, you have searched me and known me.
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
    you discern my thoughts from far away.
 You search out my path and my lying down,
    and are acquainted with all my ways.
 Even before a word is on my tongue,
    O Lord, you know it completely.
 You hem me in, behind and before,
    and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
    it is so high that I cannot attain it.

 Where can I go from your spirit?
    Or where can I flee from your presence?

How softly the sun slips behind the tree line, signaling the close of another wintry day. As the darkness descends, we turn toward you, Holy One, bowing in thanksgiving for the gifts these hours have brought, particularly . . . . . . . . . .  We remember, O God of Reawakening, that strength and courage are born in us when we face trials and tribulations that arrive unannounced.  Through these struggles we presently bear, and there are many, thank you for fortifying us with resilience we did not know we possessed.  Make us strong and sturdy, O Lord, that we might serve as your enduring ministers in this world as long as we are needed.

Our hearts are open books to you, Prescient God, and whatever corner we happen to turn, you are there already.  What a glorious and humbling mystery it is that the One who created the universe is interested in our everyday lives!  As the psalmist proclaimed: “Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; so high I cannot attain it.”  Help us, we pray, to accept the timeless truth that your concern for us is both individual and unending.

Therefore, in this quiet hour, we name our mistakes and make our silent pleas . . . . . . . . . . Whatever we have done to injure another, show us how to make it right; and whatever burden we have, we know you will help us sort things out when the new day comes. And although you know them already, we pray you would receive also, Dear Lord, both these thanksgivings and these troubling situations that shadow the joy of your people at Church Street:

  • Thankful niece has recovered from Covid
  • Gratitude for a grandson’s scholarship offer
  • Family thankful for their new home
  • Thanksgiving: A husband and wife received vaccine
  • Prayers for wife and medical team – possible surgery tomorrow; assurance for worried family members
  • Peaceful resolution to our nation’s bitter divisions
  • That holy wisdom may guide our country’s leaders
  • Healing prayers for husband with Covid pneumonia
  • Courage for one beginning chemo on Friday
  • Healing for teenage granddaughter with Covid
  • God’s presence with family, father (60) died suddenly last night
  • Two who are healing from serious heart conditions
  • For new meds to slow the growth of one’s cancer
  • Courage and strength for one facing major surgery Friday
  • Prayers for daughter, recurrence of cancer
  • Dear friend hospitalized, diagnosis unknown
  • Prayers that one’s side effects of chemo are minimal
  • Couple seeking to retrieve funds lost in a scam
  • For God’s guidance in finding employment

We lean upon your encompassing presence throughout this night, Silent One, realizing that you are always keeping watch over those who are closest to our hearts, and all who are lonely and hurting. And as we sleep, infuse our hearts with the joy of knowing your grace. Accept all our prayers offered in the name of the Trinity of Love: 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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BINDING SOUL AND SOURCE

Prayers for the Church Street Family

January 11, 2021

Rev. Dr. Jan Buxton Wade

O Keeper of the Hours, daylight is seeping away and the twisted fingers of the oaks seem to be waving good-bye to the foggy hillsides.  For many, sundown seems to come too soon, for deadlines have not been met, boxes on to-do lists have not checked off, meetings have not yet adjourned. Ah, but in your wisdom, you know our inner weariness and wish us to open that gate of rest. Let us cross through that passageway soon with grateful hearts, for in the evening hours you have important things to teach us. Soothe our minds and calm our spirits, we pray, that in the stillness to come we might even hear the soft beating of your heart  . . . . . . . . . .

Your Son Jesus said that eye has not seen nor ear heard what you have planned for us in that other realm. And despite our setbacks, fears, and grave disappointments, you have already gifted us in this earthly province with wonders beyond imagining: for life itself, in all its mystery and joys, for the guiding light of your church, for friends who never forsake, for family members who care, for your belief in us, for those who labor on our behalf, and for all these other graces you have bequeathed us through your mercy . . . . . . . . . . How blessed are we who need not measure up; we are accepted and blessed as we are! Thanks be to God!

Sentinel of the Night, as the shadows deepen, let us release our grip on all those tensions that have plagued us this day: our beloved nation fraying at the edges, friends who are in trouble, paychecks that are insufficient, the virus that wears a threatening grimace, unraveling relationships, loved ones who have died without a tender embrace. Let us open our hands and, one by one, may we offer to your transfiguring grace all these burdens and others that have made a home within us . . . . . . . . . . .

Take all these, we pray, and wrap them in your renewing grace. As you are the God who never sleeps until all his sheep are nestled in, we will rest easier with you on the lookout. Tend your people of Church Street, receiving both their joys and their pressing needs:

  • Thankful that one is home from hospital
  • Gratitude for an unexpected gift
  • Thanksgiving that cancer was detected early
  • One celebrates news of her cancer remission
  • Member released from rehab and now in his home
  • Member grateful for clear cancer scans offers
  • Member thankful: Healing well after knee surgery
  • Wisdom for national leaders and healing of our country’s wounds
  • Continued prayers for one with heart condition
  • That a new drug may slow the growth of one’s cancer
  • Courage and strength for one facing major surgery this week
  • Dear friend hospitalized, diagnosis unknown
  • Prayers that one’s side effects of chemo are minimal
  • Healing of beloved husband with covid pneumonia
  • One who begins chemo treatments on Friday
  • That a couple may retrieve funds lost in a scam
  • For God’s guidance in finding employment
  • Members mourning the death of a dear friend
  • God’s presence with the lonely and isolated
  • Continued prayers: One recovering from heart surgery

Guardian of the Worn and Weary, we lie down in peace; and as we enter that world of slumber, we are confident that all shall be well. Calm our spirits till they are one with yours, and receive all these prayers we offer in the redeeming name of your Son, who taught us to say:

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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BINDING SOUL AND SOURCE

Prayers for the Church Street Family

January 7, 2021

Rev. Dr. Jan Buxton Wade

O God, Our Refuge and Strength, although hours have passed, we can still hear the roar of the angry crowd, the breaking of glass, the noise of destruction. The unsettling sounds, sights, and shock of yesterday we will not soon forget. And we live under the specter of future turbulence. Heal our painful memories, we pray, and enable us to put an end to the fear we harbor inside. Turn our unease into strength and resolve, O Mighty Stronghold, that we may never settle our disagreements in a violent manner.

Eternal Harmony, you are the servant of none, and in your goodness, you embedded your rhythm and unity within all creation. Malevolence in all its forms introduces a dissonance more far-reaching than we realize. You have given us the life-song of Christ as our template, so may his psalm of love, peace, justice, and forgiveness be the anthem we sing with the living of our days.

In the solitude of this evening, with our silent breaths, we offer gratitude for the ways in which your grace has touched us this day, especially in these instances . . . . . . . . . .  And absolve us of these missteps we have taken in recent times . . . . . . . . . . In your mercy, receive all these personal prayers offered by your friends in the Church Street family:

  • Grateful for prayers: A surgery went smoothly this morning
  • One thankful for a promising medical report
  • Gratitude: Member healing well from hand surgery
  • Appreciation for all who helped restore order during yesterday’s violence in D.C.
  • Continued prayers for one with heart condition
  • Prayers for all who are working to heal our nation’s wounds
  • Comfort for families whose loved ones died in the January 6 fracas
  • That peace with justice will become our way of life
  • Healing for friend in her 7th week of hospitalization with Covid
  • Healing for daughter with recurrence of cancer
  • Comfort for family mourning death of mother
  • God’s presence for all who are lonely and isolated
  • Prayers for rapid distribution of vaccine
  • Continued prayers for one recovering from heart surgery
  • Strength for member coping with chemo side effects
  • Prayers for educators and students at every level
  • Courage and strength for one beginning chemo tomorrow
  • God’s presence with one who is discouraged

In this season of Epiphany, we remember the Star that pointed the way for the cluster of weary travelers. As we rest this night, may its beam continue to shine above us, infusing us with the assurance that we are never really lost when Christ is with us. And when morning comes, may we feel that its beam within, as we rise to worship and follow that road of service that leads to Jesus, 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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