Prayer for Saturday

Fear can paralyze you, especially in the face of tragedy, uncertainty and circumstances beyond your control.

“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil;
For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.”
Psalm 23:4 (NKJV)

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives.
Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
John 14:27 (NIV)

Dear Lord,
My fear has trapped and consumed me. But I am tired of living under the weight of my fears. These verses reassure me of your presence and confirm that you are able to deliver me from my trouble. Please give me your love and your power to replace these fears. Your perfect love casts out my fear. I thank you for promising to give me the peace that only you can give. I receive that peace now as I ask you to still my troubled heart. Because you are with me, I don’t have to be afraid.
Amen

(from Coping with Fear, by Mary Fairchild,
Christianity section of About.com)

To take a risk
To laugh is to risk appearing the fool,
To weep is to risk appearing sentimental,
To reach out for another is to risk involvement,
To expose feelings is to risk exposing the self,
To place ideas and dreams before the crowd is to risk loss,
To love is to risk rejection,
To live is to risk dying,
To hope is to risk despair,
To try at all is to risk failure,
But risk we must,
Because the grates hazard of all is to risk nothing,
For those who risk nothing, do nothing, have nothing, … are nothing.

(Source: from “Prayers for Everyday”, faculty website of
Christian Brothers College High School, St. Louis, MO)

Sunday (Baptism of Jesus)

Baptism of Jesus Christ Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan
to be baptized by him.
John tried to prevent him, saying,
“I need to be baptized by you,
and yet you are coming to me?”
Jesus said to him in reply,
“Allow it now, for thus it is fitting for us
to fulfill all righteousness.”
Then he allowed him.
After Jesus was baptized,
he came up from the water and behold,
the heavens were opened for him,
and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove
and coming upon him.
And a voice came from the heavens, saying,
“This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” 

(Bible – Matthew 3:13-17)

Epiphany

Three Wise Men in the Desert Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” 

When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet:

“‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for from you shall come a ruler
who will shepherd my people Israel.'”

Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.” After listening to the king, they went on their way. 

And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.

Three Wise Men Nativity

And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.

(Bible [ESV] – Matthew 2:1-12)

Prayer for Sunday (2nd Sunday after Christmas)

Star of Bethlehem In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.

Oil Lamp with Flame
Jesus in a Manger

And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.

(Bible [NRSV] – John 1:1-14)

God, we give thanks today for the coming of Jesus who brought light to the world, that we might all become enlightened. May we strive to live as he lived and follow his teachings of love, faith and acceptance.

God bless each and everyone of us. Amen.

 

Christmas Day

Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth. And everyone was on
his way to register for the census, each to his own city.

Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus

Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child.

While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”

Angel announcing Jesus birth to shepherds

When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another, “Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us.”

(Bible [ESV] – Luke 2:1, 3-15)

On this day of the remembrance of the birth of Jesus Christ, we give thanks that he came to the world. May we be mindful of his teachings of love and peace and keep them in our hearts today and always.

Today, Lord, we ask blessing and healing for the world and all the people in it. May there be peace among all peoples. May there be no one in need. May everyone be filled with hope, love and joy.

May the spirit of Christmas bring you peace,
The gladness of Christmas give you hope,
The warmth of Christmas grant you love.

(Click here for audio track of this post.)

A Prayer for the Sunday before Christmas

Virgin Mary praying

My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior;
For he has regarded the lowliness of his handmaiden.
For behold, from this day all generations will call me blessed;
For the mighty one has done great things to me, and holy is his name.
And his mercy is on those who fear him from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with his arm;
He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts;
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones and has exalted the holy;
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent empty away.
He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,
as he spoke to our fathers,
to Abraham and to his seed forever.

(The Magnificat – Luke 1:46-55)

O Lord, like Mary, we rejoice in You and thank You for all the great things You have done for us. May You hold us in Your heart today and give us peace.

O Lord, we ask for blessing and healing today for: all the homeless in the world, especially the children, hold them in your hand and keep them safe; for Tina and her baby; Herman’s family, especially Betty; Vi, and any others known to us…

May God bless and keep you now and always. Amen.

A Prayer for Monday

The Good Shepherd

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

(Bible [KJV] – Psalm 23)

Lord, we thank you for the goodness you give us every day. We thank you for the abundance of your creation. We thank you for your peace and mercy. Be in our hearts today and lift up our spirits.

Lord, we ask for blessing and healing for these Brothers and Sisters: Tim, Steve, Ammar, Scott, John, Mark, Todd, Jay, David, Derrick, Tina and her baby, Herman and Betty, and any others known to us…

May you walk in the light of the Lord. Amen.