Thursday, September 22, 2011

Midweek Moment

In worship over the last several weeks, we have been talking about the path God has laid out for us and how when we sin, we miss the mark and stray from the path. We have talked about forgiveness and how when we offer, extend, and accept forgiveness, this is one way we get back on the path and hit the mark.

Another way we can hit that mark is through prayer. I know we pray before meals and when we are stressed. But outside of those times, how much do we pray? I encourage you to take a serious look at your prayer life. John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, prayed for an hour every morning. From 5-6 AM he would go into his prayer closet, get on his knees, and pray. Prayer was a very foundational aspect of his life. Prayer allows us to do several things. It allows us to see the path God laid out before us more clearly. It helps us get back on the path God laid out for us more quickly. It allows our constant transformation into effective disciples of Jesus Christ to happen more smoothly.

With all of this mind, I want to offer you a tool I discovered about a year ago. Following this post are five prayers, designed to be offered at different times throughout the day; early morning, mid-morning, mid-day, early evening, and evening. I encourage you to try and make this a daily part of your life. It can be as simple as just reading and praying these prayers, listening for God for a bit, and then going back to your day. Or it can be the beginning of something more.  Use this as a tool, as a stepping off point, to begin a life where prayer is foundational and frequent. This is my gift to you and I pray it blesses you, transforms you, and helps you feel closer to the one that loved you first!

Early Morning Prayer of Thanksgiving

Eternal God, hallowed be your name.
Early in the morning, before I begin my work,
I praise your glory.
Renew my body as fresh as the morning flowers.
Open my inner eyes, as the sun casts new light
upon the darkness.
Deliver me from all captivity.
Like the birds of the sky,
give me wings of freedom to begin a new journey.
As a mighty stream running continuously,
restore justice and freedom day by day.
I thank you for the gift of this morning,
and a new day to work with you.
Stir up in me the desire to serve you,
to live peacefully with my neighbors,
and to devote each day to your Son,
my Savior, Jesus Christ the Lord. Amen

Mid-Morning Prayer of Thanksgiving

God of Mercy, this midday moment of rest
is your welcome gift.
Bless the work I have begun, make good its defects,
and let me finish it in a way that pleases you.
Grant this through Christ my Lord. Amen.

Mid-Day Prayer of Thanksgiving

In the brightness of your Son I spend each day;
Always you protect me with the umbrella of your love.
Grant me the strength to finish this day strong, and bring you the glory.
To you, God, be all praise and glory forever & ever. Amen.

Early Evening Prayer of Thanksgiving

I praise and thank you, O God,
for you are without beginning and without end.
Through Christ, you created the whole world;
through Christ, you preserve it.
You made the day for the works of light
and the night for the refreshment
of my mind and body.
Keep me now in Christ; grant me a peaceful evening,
a night free from sin;
and bring me at last to eternal life.
Through Christ and in the Holy Spirit,
I offer you all glory, honor, and worship,
now and for ever. Amen.

Evening Prayer of Thanksgiving

As you have made this day, O God,
you also make the night.
Give light for my comfort.
Come upon me with quietness and still my soul.
that I may listen for the whisper of your Spirit
and be attentive to your nearness in my dreams.
Empower me to rise again in new life to proclaim your
praise, and show Christ to the world. Amen.

Have a great week and I will see you Sunday!

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