BCC Staying Connected, Thursday, May 7, 2020

Psalm 115; Colossians 3:16-17; Matthew 5:21-26

Greetings on this National Day of Prayer.  I have once again attached the excellent resource that Mary Ann Lexius has passed on to us to participate in the prayer of the day at home.  Below is a way to be engaged in prayer on this day through our wider church in the United Church of Christ.

Join the United Church of Christ as we recognize Interfaith Day of Prayer, Thursday, May 7 with 24 hours of prayer. Like or follow our Facebook page to participate with ecumenical and interfaith partners and people of all faiths praying for wholeness and well-being during the pandemic.

As a church of extravagant welcome, the UCC invites friends to add prayers in many voices and languages on our Facebook channel beginning at 12:00 AM EDT Thursday and continuing throughout the day.

“Prayer is our spiritual currency as people of faith,” said the Rev. Traci Blackmon. “It is our primary means of exchange with a God called by many names in covenant with people who differ in being but share one breath. On this National Day of Prayer it is as important as it has ever been to be reminded of our interconnectedness with one another and all of creation. We are deeply grateful for this diverse group of faith leaders, serving in varied spaces, who have agreed to lead us in prayer each hour in ways that connect our hearts, honor the holy and amplify our cries. May it be so.”

We invite you to join us for this special Interfaith Day of Prayer event during these unsettling times. 

Let us prayer:  O God, we pray for your mercy and Divine impulse to knit millions of little families together in the service of mutual love along with that other family of yours and ours, the Church, through Jesus Christ, our Lord, Amen.

May you experience Christ’s love throughout your day,

Pastor Tom 

National Day of Prayer

May 7, 2020

Theme Verse

For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea” (Habakkuk 2:14 NIV).

Welcome

Scripture for Worship: Revelation 7:9-12 NIV, condensed

    “I looked and there before me was a great multitude from  every nation standing before the throne in front of the Lamb.  They cried out with a loud voice: ‘Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.’ All the angels and elders and the four living creatures fell down on their faces  before the throne and worshiped God, saying ‘Amen! Praise, glory, wisdom, thanks, honor, power, and strength be to our God for ever and ever. Amen!’”

Opening Prayer: Praising God for who He is

Theme Verse Music: “For the Earth Will Be Filled”

     Music written by Frank Fortunato; Lyrics based on Hab. 2:14

                        (See attachments)

Offering Up Prayers of Repentance and Healing

   Scripture: 1 Chronicles 21:16-22, 26-27 

     “Create in me a pure heart, O God,

and renew a steadfast spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10).

Silent Prayers of Personal Repentance (See insert)

            (Quiet instrumental music playing)    

   Prayer of Repentance for Our Country

     We, Your people, called by Your name, now humbly come         to You, seeking Your face (2 Chronicles 7:14). We lift up our hearts to heaven and say, “We have sinned.” Examine our ways and test them (Lamentations 3:40).

      We confess that we have provoked You to anger with worthless idols (Jeremiah 8:19) and have not defended the poor or fatherless (Jeremiah 5:28). Help us, Lord, to cease from malicious talk,           to spend ourselves on behalf of the hungry and oppressed (Isaiah 58: 9, 10), to again call the Sabbath a delight, and honor You by not going our own way (Isa. 58:13). Restore us to Yourself, Lord, that              we may return; (Lam. 5:21). Please forgive our sin and heal            our land (2 Chron. 7:14).

Prayers for Healing   (Selected prayers from insert)

       We praise You, Lord! You forgive all our sins and heal all our diseases; You redeem our life from the pit and crown us with love and compassion (Ps.103:3,4).    

Prayers for the Church, the Body of Christ

    “Restore us again, O God our Savior. Will you not revive us again, that Your people may rejoice in You?” (Psalm 85:4,6).  

    – Prayers for Pastors and Church Leaders as they seek to lead others to draw closer to God through prayer and Bible reading

      Prayers for our President and Government Leaders

Please help our leaders to trust in You with all their hearts and lean not on their own understanding. As they acknowledge You in all their ways, we’re thankful that You can straighten their paths (Proverbs 3:5, 6).

     Let them head the warning, “Be wise; be warned, you rulers of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear” (Psalm 2:10,11).

          Prayers for Healthcare Workers,

  First Responders, Essential Support, & Military

Scripture: Psalm 91:1-6,14-16

      – Prayers for protection, wisdom, strength

Prayers for Family

      Scripture: Psalm 34:4-5; 17-19

   – Prayers for parents juggling childcare while working at home,

   for those unable to be with loved ones

Prayers for Education

     Scripture: Proverbs 2:3-6; Proverbs 22:6

    – Prayers for homeschooling parents,

   schools and universities teaching online

Prayers for Media

     Scripture:  Luke 8:15 

     – Prayers for an outpouring of the Gospel through all available

means of communication to a hungry world

Prayers for Business

     Scripture: Lamentations 3:22-26 

   – Prayers for restoration for businesses and our economy;

for a spirit of sharing and compassion

Closing Prayer for Spiritual Renewal

     Will you not revive us again, that Your people may

rejoice in You?  (Psalm 85:6).

     We ask that You send times of refreshing to us (Acts 3:20).

     We offer thanks to You and seek to fulfill our vows to

the Most High God. We ask that, when we call upon You in

the day of trouble, that You will deliver us, and we will honor You.

(Psalm 50:14)

The Lord’s Prayer (Unison)

Seek the Lord while He may be found;

call on Him while He is near.

Isaiah 55:6

       Scripture Prayers of Repentance

            Scriptures For Personal Repentance

Ps. 139:23-4—Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me,           and lead me in the way everlasting.

Ps. 19:12,13—Who can discern his errors? Forgive my

      hidden faults. Keep Your servant also from willful sins.

Ps. 119:36-7—Turn my heart toward Your statutes and not toward selfish gain. Turn my eyes away from worthless things and preserve          my life according to Your word.

Prayers of Repentance for Our Country

     We, Your people, called by Your name, now humbly come to You, seeking Your face (2 Chron. 7:14). We lift up our hearts to heaven and say, “We have sinned.” Examine our ways and test them (Lam. 3:40).

      We confess that we have provoked You to anger with worthless idols (Jer. 8:19) and have not defended the poor or fatherless (Jer. 5:28).

Help us, Lord, to cease from malicious talk, to spend ourselves on behalf of the hungry and oppressed (Isa. 58: 9, 10), to again call             the Sabbath a delight, and honor You by not going our own way (Isa. 58:13). Restore us to Yourself, Lord, that we may return; (Lam. 5:21). Please forgive our sin and heal our land (2 Chron. 7:14).

     Give us a hunger and thirst for righteousness (Matt. 5:6).

     May we seek You with all our hearts and find You! (Jer. 29:13).

     Restore us again, O God our Savior, and put away Your displeasure toward us (Ps. 85:4).

     Who is a God like you, who pardons and forgives sins?

You do not stay angry forever, but delight to show mercy.

Please have compassion on us again, and hurl all our iniquities

into the depths of the sea (Micah 7:18, 19).

     We repent so that You may restore us to serve You; help us

to utter worthy words, that we may speak for You (Jer. 15:19).

             Scripture Prayers for Healing

      We understand that if You, God, are to heal our land, we as Your people, must first humble ourselves, seek Your face, and turn from our wicked ways. Then You will hear and forgive us and heal our land.       (2 Chron. 7:14).

      As Jesus first forgave the sins of the paralytic and then healed him (Mark 2:4-11), we pray that those who are paralyzed by sin would seek Your forgiveness and be restored to physical health as well.

     May we reach out and touch the hem of Your garment, like the woman who to whom You said, “Your faith has healed you” (Matt. 9:22), rather than hinder Your healing and miracles by our lack of faith (Mark 6:5,6).

      Jesus, You bore our sins in Your body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness. By Your wounds we have been healed, spiritually (1 Peter 2:24). We also trust in Your power to physically heal the sick as You did in times past (Luke 5:17).

       (Both verses use the same Greek word “iaomai” for healing.) 

       We are so thankful, God, that in response to prayers offered in faith, You have the power to make the sick well (James 5:15). More importantly, You also have the power, through belief in Your Son,       to save us (John 3:17). We know that You want everyone to be saved,       to come to a knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:4).     (All three verses use the same Greek word, sozo, meaning “deliver from disease” or “spiritual salvation.”)

       Guide us, Lord, in confessing our sins to each other so that, as we pray for each other, we may be healed (James 5:16).

        Gracious God, may those in need of healing find rest in You alone, our salvation. You alone are our rock, our fortress. We will never be shaken (Psalm 62:1,2).                               

        As Aaron ran with his censer of incense into the midst of the people where the plague had already started, making atonement for them, may we, as intercessors, stand between the living and the dead that the plague may be stopped (Numbers 16:47- 48). 

        We praise You, Lord! You forgive all our sins and heal all our diseases; You redeem our life from the pit and crown us with love and compassion (Ps.103:3,4).