After over 20 years in ministry, I’ve seen a few things. Some of my favorites? Introducing people to Jesus for the very first time and worshiping with them in a corporate setting. Notice, I didn’t say going to church, but instead worshiping together. The former is done in a specific building at a specific time, the latter can be done anywhere. I’ve worshiped with others in my home, in the car, at a park, in a restaurant, at the beach, you name it. Sometimes this involves partaking in communion, singing songs, teaching, and prayer. Sometimes it’s one, sometimes it’s a combo. The scriptures give us so many rich ideas as to how we can worship our Lord.
Sometimes, though, we need help. We don’t always have the words to say or know what to do. Often prayer with others makes some nervous or uncomfortable. What if I get it wrong? What if no one relates to what I say? In this case, sometimes it is nice to pray the scriptures. Sometimes this is called the liturgy of the Word. When we speak the Word, God is right there, present in our midst. It is used to remind us of who He is, what He said, and what He is calling us to.
Liturgy is a funny word to some. Even as someone who would identify as more “evangelical,” (though I really struggle with what that word has become) I love liturgical aspects of communal worship. I love responsive readings and communal prayers. Praying together shows our praise and thanksgiving. We can repent together, confess together, and share in God’s blessings together.
This is why I have written some prayers. Some liturgies. Part of the unhurried, ancient rhythms of life revolve around prayer. Praying over others, praying through everyday things, praying for and with people.
If you need a re-boot, if you are new to all this Jesus stuff, if you don’t know where and when to pray, then read the prayers we will post over the coming days and weeks. Pray them over your friends, pray them over your job, pray them over your schools, pray them with your church, with your small group, with your church leaders. Seek God. Slow down. Be more thoughtful. Praise Him.
“Prayer is not asking. Prayer is putting oneself in the hands of God, at His disposition, and listening to His voice in the depth of our hearts.” ~ Mother Teresa
A Prayer of Gratitude
O Gracious and Loving Heavenly Father
Thank you for the sun that rises each morning.
Thank you for the birds in their nests that greet us at the beginning of each new day.
Thank you that I am alive. I know that today holds no promises, but I know in my heart that you are with me.
I am grateful, dear God, for you. I am grateful for Your Word. I am grateful for Jesus. I am grateful for all that you have done for me and all that you are working on in my life right now.
I know, gracious God, that you are big. I know that you are capable and just and loving and merciful. I am so thankful to be on the receiving end of all of those things.
Father, thanks be to you this very day. May I end my day in reflection. May I end my day looking back and seeing all that you have done for me on this very day. May the evening close in and the sun go down and my dinner be eaten and I reflect.
Help me to see it, Lord. Help me to see those ways that you greeted me this morning, sustained me this noon, and delivered me this evening. May I be ever so grateful for your hand in my life.
May I thank you each day.
May I continue this prayer of gratitude forever.