Friday, January 15, 2010

The Worship Book

I bought this book a number of years ago when I was looking for a hymnal to have around the house. It looked nice and simple and I hardly looked through it at all before buying it because it was cheap and it was the only hymnal at the so called "Christian Book Store." Like any hymnal it has some of the ones you hoped to find and is missing some that you really would ordinarily expect. But I found a new aspect of it tonight, which disappointed me when I first got it, but now I find invaluable. The following prayers come out of this book:

For Janitors, Maintenance Men, and Refuse Collectors
Great God: you have made the world a home for us, and surrounded us with beauty. Thank you for those who take pride in keeping the air fresh and streets clean; who make corridors ad working spaces clear and safe for us. May they labor faithfully to maintain your world; for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For Play
God our Father: you made the world for sane and cheerful pleasures. Show us how to live free from false restraint or the terror of aimless craving, so that we may enjoy good times together, like guiltless children who play within the safety of your love, known in Jesus Christ, who set us free for joy. Amen.

For Little Children
Great God our Father, Father of families: guard the laughter of children. Bring them safely through injury and illness, so they may live the promises you give. Do not let us be so preoccupied with our purposes that we fail to hear their voices, or pay attention to their special vision of the truth; but keep us with them, ready to listen and to love, even as in Jesus Christ you have loved us, your grown-up, wayward children. Amen.

For Those Who Work in Education
Holy Father: you have led us in each new generation to discoveries of the truth. Thank you for men and women who teach, administer, and work in schools and colleges. Make them eager to explore your world, searching mysteries. Never let them neglect students who are slow to learn. Keep teachers young in mind, resilient, exciting, and devoted to human welfare; through the love of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

When a Family is Separated
Lord God: watch over us while we are apart. Keep us in your love, and bring us together again to praise you; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

I love prayers. There was a time when I would have criticized such prayers as being stiff and too formal (though these aren't nearly as formal as many others). But what strikes me about it is how much I miss in my prayer life. I love to read a short elegant paragraph that reminds me to be thankful for my children, to be thankful for people who clean and build and work. It reminds me to be praying for the lives around me. Prayer is such a rich and glorious gift of God. That we can enjoy fellowship with the Creator of the Universe, it's more than a bit unbelievable. But no less true for our inability to understand it.

Monday, January 4, 2010


How many years have we been walking this road? It was in the 5th grade that I first remember wanting to be a pastor. It is strange to think that I have pursued opportunity after opportunity since then. Serving in Young Life, serving in a number of churches. I love the Lord, I love His church here on earth. I love to teach His word, that by it we all may grow! I'm not sure what to expect. There is a sense of absolute rapture combined with a wonderful hint of, "What am I getting myself in to?"

The concern has been eased by the reception this little intimate church has given us. People who are caring deeply for each other with the love of Christ. I have already seen such love and concern that I can only get more excited about what is yet to come. What a wonderful little secret this body seems to be. These gathered by the love of the Lord in unpretentious, worship and celebration of our amazing Savior, this is how lives are changed. As I pray over the names each day I feel so honored to tread this ground where so many saints have gone before. I am so excited to be used of the Lord in this place. I am comforted by the fact that HE is able. HE is the way, the truth and the life. I am so excited to spend another day pointing towards Him.

If you think of it, dear reader, say a prayer for me, and for this body. Pray that we would see Jesus and that He would live His life out in us.