A Call to Worship
Epiphany 4C [Ordinary 4C] 2013
Psalm 71: 1-6

Guiding God, become for each of us our secure Refuge and steady Rock.
We give thanks that all God’s promises of security and help have been fulfilled.

Hospitable God, become for each of us our welcoming Protector and Fortress.
We give thanks from shared experiences that God does protect and bless us.

Hope-Inspiring God, become for each of us our Trustworthy and Safe Haven.
Dependable God, we celebrate God’s involvement with us throughout our life,
and give thanks that our God is faithful and generously saves and sustains us. Amen.

Prayers of Petition and Trust
Epiphany 4C [Ordinary 4C] 2013
Psalm 71: 1-6

Holy God, we come to you this day in trust and hope! We come in worship
with trust in God uppermost in our hearts and minds; because you have
always been our Reliable Refuge, especially when the life’s storms batter
and surround us. We also come in hope to worship you, because you have
never disappointed us or let us down. Steadfast God, be to us and for us,
what you have always been! In faith we acknowledge that you already are
our Rescuing and Saving God! Life-Renewing God, we recall with gratitude
the way you have always guided and blessed us from infancy to our present
age. Loving God, we give thanks that you have generously freed us from all
that restricts our thinking, hearing and listening to your counsel and direction!

Listening God, we give thanks that you always hear the cries and voices of
God’s own creation, and of God’s own people. And yet, all God’s creation is
crying out to be saved from God’s own people, with their senseless havoc and
destruction that is so thoughtlessly carrying out against the evidence of God’s
own creative beauty. Healing God, help us to listen for your words and wisdom
so that before it is too late, humanity will come to realise our own sinfulness.
Many of God’s own people are crying out too, for change to the senseless
havoc and destruction that God’s very own people is thoughtlessly carrying out
against their brothers and sisters. Healing God, help us to listen for your words
and wisdom so that before it is too late, we will come to realise our own sinfulness.
Hope-of-all God, you are our Ever-Present Refuge, and be for us now, the One
leading us back into God’s ways of love, peace and justice for all God’s creation.

Welcoming God, accept and hear us when we come to you with our prayers and
praise, individually and as a community of faith gathered to honour and revere you;
and we ask that you will continue to be Whom you have been - since time began. Amen.

A Personal Meditation
Epiphany 4C [Ordinary 4C] 2013
Psalm 71: 1-6

The age-old question that is asked of most children at some stage in their
early years is: “What do you want to “be” when you grow up?” If the child
is a boy, the answer used to be “a fireman”; “a policeman”; or even a
“train-driver”. The girls used to want to be “a hairdresser”; “a nurse”;
or perhaps “married”. How the times have changed, as has the “macho”
aims or the “feminine” ambitions! Children these days will eventually be
using skills not yet developed on careers not yet imagined! But, I believe
that the question has not been appropriately answered by listing careers!
The real question is what do people eventually want to “be” or “become”
before their life’s end? Perhaps people would like to discover the mystery
of their own potential and who their own “self” was and is, from the time
they were born up to their present age – whilst pondering life’s meaning.

Creative pause: Are we really seeking to discover the mystery of our own self?

The Psalmist sang: “….Be to me a protecting rock of safety, where I am
always welcome.......”
In his prayer to God, I believe that the Psalmist was
attempting to understand more about God’s being and nature! He begged
God for security, even whilst being fully aware of God’s continued protection
and gave grateful thanks for it all! He knew from his own experience the
strength and power of Gods protecting arm; he also knew the hope that
God offered to all who placed their trust in God; and above all, he knew of
God’s life-long care over him! All these acknowledgements are there in the
psalm. Regardless of our faith in God, fear and anxiety makes all of us feel
very vulnerable, and this man was not only old, but vulnerable and scared!
Later in the psalm, he begged God not to abandon him - even as he sang
God’s praises. His positive attitude to life returned and he sang to God:
“...you will restore me to life again and lift me up… You have done such
wonderful things. Who can compare with you, O God?.... because you are
faithful to your promises, O God…. I will shout for joy and sing your praises..”

Creative pause: Fear and anxiety makes all of us feel vulnerable!

I never really knew what I wanted to “be” or “become”. My parents had definite
views on what career path I should follow, but it took me many years before
I found what I considered to be my real “place” in life. I’ve been asked to do
many interesting and challenging things, but my greatest discovery and most
satisfying experience has been in simply “being” one of God’s beloved children.

Creative pause: Discovering my “place” in God’s world.

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.

*The additional weekly numbering is from the Revised COCU Indexing Scheme
COCU = ('Consultation on Church Union'); as it offers an easy sequential numbering for the Revised
Common Lectionary for the Church Calendar.

If any part of these Prayers and/or Meditations is used in shared worship, please provide
the following acknowledgement:
© 2013 Joan Stott – ‘The Timeless Psalms’ RCL Psalms Year C. Used with permission.


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