A Call to Worship
Advent 2A 2013
Psalm 72: 1-7, 18-19

God of communities, and God of every individual person, we come to worship you.
May God’s holy rule of justice and equity enable all God’s people to live in peace.

God of all creation, and God of every individual creature, we praise your holy name.
May every creature respond in delight to their Creator, in the wonder of life’s fulfilment.

God of community leaders, and of each and every humble citizen, we come to honour
and bless God’s glorious name! “Let the whole earth be filled with God’s praise and glory.”
We come to give thanks and pray for all faithful believers of our Glorious God, and may
they all live in peace and harmony, under God’s holy rule within God’s eternal Kingdom. Amen!

Psalm 72: 1-7, 18-19
A Psalm of Solomon.

1 Give justice to the king, O God, and righteousness to the king's son.
2 Help him judge your people in the right way; let the poor always be treated fairly.
3 May the mountains yield prosperity for all, and may the hills be fruitful,
because the king does what is right.
4 Help him to defend the poor, to rescue the children of the needy,
and to crush their oppressors.
5 May he live as long as the sun shines,
as long as the moon continues in the skies. Yes, forever!
6 May his reign be as refreshing as the springtime rains –
like the showers that water the earth.
7 May all the godly flourish during his reign.
May there be abundant prosperity until the end of time.

18 Bless the LORD God, the God of Israel,
who alone does such wonderful things.
19 Bless his glorious name forever!
Let the whole earth be filled with his glory. Amen and amen!

Prayers of Trust and Petition
Advent 2A 2013
Psalm 72: 1-7, 18-19

In trusting belief in our God of justice, peace, joy and righteousness,
we come to God to pray for all your needy children. Wherever power
is used to subdue and repress people - there will be suffering people
in varying situations who especially need God’s healing and hope.
Whenever there are people who misuse their authority - there will
be people who need God’s special compassion for the oppressed
and burdened people, who bear the brunt of manipulation and greed.
Whatever are people’s circumstances, many of them will be hungry,
poor and needy, with the most vulnerable in age suffering the most—
there will be people – aged and young – needing God’s special care.
“May God grant that there be abundant prosperity until the end of time.”

In trusting belief in our Generous God of all creation, which God saw
and claimed “…that it was good...”;1 and who, from the beginning of
time created the heavens, the earth and everything within them; we come
to seek God’s blessing on all that continues to be created. We pray for a
generous spirit so that we will all nurture God’s creation in such a way
that all people will have sufficient food for their daily needs; and that people
with surplus food will share their prosperity with needy people. Creating
God, we ask your guidance on ways we can better care for your creation;
and that we may better use and sustain the natural resources we have, so
that all may benefit from them. May generosity of spirit flourish amongst
all people, so that people’s needs may be met as signs of God’s Kingdom.
“May the mountains yield prosperity for all, and may the hills be fruitful.”

In trusting belief in our Compassionate God of all peoples, we pray for people
in positions of leadership of nations and of communities large and small. We
pray for the leaders of industry and development; for leaders in education,
discernment and research; for leaders in health care in its many disciplines;
for leaders in the justice systems of our nations; for decision-makers whose
work personally affects all their constituents; and for all world-wide bodies and
organisations who seek to serve all of humankind. May the God of all peoples
and all creation be honoured, revered and praised for God’s great goodness.
“Bless his glorious name forever! Let the whole earth be filled with his glory.” Amen!

A Personal Meditation
Advent 2A 2013
Psalm 72: 1-7, 18-19

There is considerable conjecture whether this Psalm 72 was written
by King Solomon, or instead, that his dying father, King David, uttered
the prayer, and it was endorsed and claimed by Solomon. Whoever
was its author, it is prayer of deep significance very suitable for use by
people in positions of leadership. Yet, it could also be a prayer by any
constituent, as they prayed for their nation’s and community’s leaders.

Creative pause: How fervently do I pray for the leaders of my nation?

However people pray, there are many prayer disciplines that people follow
each day, whether the pray-er leads a cloistered life, or simply uses the
canonical hours of prayer; whilst some people exercise the discipline of
a prayer labyrinth with its never-ending spiritual path. Other people pray
using prayer beads or a prayer rosary; or a personal prayer list. For some
people, prayer is simply silence before God; whilst for others, it is a long
“shopping list” of personal or family wants and wishes. Do you agree with
the German theologian, philosopher and mystic known as Meister Eckhart
(1260-1327) when he wrote: “If the only prayer we ever said was “Thank you”,
it would be enough?”
Do we thank God often enough in our prayer times?

Creative pause: What prayer discipline do you use?

Prayer is a deeply personal and shared communication between God and an
individual person; or as a person leads a worshipping community into shared
communication with God; or whether it is a dying king praying for the future
reign of his heir to the throne. Prayer is also our own spiritual and emotional
response to God’s involvement in our life and living. Yet, there seems to be
quite opposing views about how we approach God in prayer. Some authors
write that we need to come to God with open, empty, and vulnerable hands;
yet many of the Psalms seem to invite us to come to God in prayer with tightly
clenched fists, because of our own overwhelming feelings of anguish, anger or
despair! The needs of people who are deprived and destitute are spelt out in
this Psalm that: “the poor always be treated fairly.... defend the poor... rescue
the children of the needy...”
We may possibly be able to even identify with any
of those situations, as we pray our own hands clenched tightly in anger, fear or
despair; or we can in our neediness and in our own vulnerability, open ourselves
up before God - and come to God in honest, trusting and hope-inspired prayer.

Creative pause: Is prayer your spiritual and/or emotional response to God?

1 Genesis 1: 4 NLT

Unless stated otherwise, all Bible readings and extracts used in these weekly Prayers and
Meditations are from the ‘New Living Translation’, © 1996. Copyright. All rights reserved.
Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189 USA.

*Revised Indexing Scheme from 'Consultation on Church Union' (COCU).

If the Prayers and/or Meditations are used in shared worship, please provide this acknowledgement:
© 2013 Joan Stott – ‘The Timeless Psalms’ RCL Psalms Year A. Used with permission.


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