A Call to Worship
Lent 1C 2013
Psalm 91: 1-2, 9-16

Sheltering God, we come to worship you, because you are so trustworthy.
All who love the Lord, know that God hears and answers their cries for help.

Protecting God, we come to praise you, because you are our refuge and home.
All who love the Lord, know that they rest safely in the shadow of God’s presence.

Rescuing God, we come to honour you, because you respond to our needs.
All who love the Lord, know the security of God’s gracious saving actions. Amen.

Prayers of Thankfulness and Trust
Lent 1C 2013
Psalm 91: 1-2, 9-16

God of unfailing love and compassion, we come to worship and
thank you for the trustworthy security you give to all who seek to
shelter within your shadow. No matter which disasters there are in
life that descend on those who trust in God, they know that God will
give them the strength to live through the crisis; because they rest
in the holy presence of God. In reverent awe, we come to offer you
our thankful responses of praise - trusting ever in God’s eternal love.
And so today, we offer our praises, thanks and reverent awe to God.

The psalmist wrote: “This I declare of the LORD: He alone is my
refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I am trusting him.”

The writer not only believed these words, but also declared them
to whomsoever would listen to his words. This day, we too, declare
our strong convictions about the security God offers to us; the shelter
that God promises us in life’s storms; and that God is always a refuge,
a safe harbour from all that threatens our peace of mind, heart and soul.
And so today, we offer our praises, thanks and reverent awe to God.

Lord God of promises, you yourself has also made a declaration:
“The Lord says, ‘I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those
who trust in my name. When they call on me, I will answer; I will
be with them in trouble. I will rescue them and honour them.’
” This
amazing promise is as relevant today as it was three thousand years
ago; because God does not make promises that cannot be fulfilled;
and our God does not change! The covenant relationship between God
and God’s people is a true bonding, and is as reliable as God’s promises.
And so today, we offer our praises, thanks and reverent awe to God.

A Personal Meditation
Lent 1C 2013
Psalm 91: 1-2, 9-16

When confronted by God or a heavenly messenger, the most
frequently used description in the Bible is “They were terrified.”
One of the most regularly repeated instructions in the Bible is:
“Fear not!” or “Do not be afraid!” According to the Bible, it seems
that fear is experienced by people to an extraordinarily extent.

Creative pause: People sheltering in God’s presence find their true home in God.

Each of us has probably experienced some life-threatening event;
or what seemed at the time to be life-threatening, but which often
turned out to be nothing more than a small ripple on life’s large,
medium or small personal pond! When I was a child of about eight,
I clearly remember being terrified, as I drifted in the open sea in a
dinghy without any paddle to steer or save me. I also remember
discovering that I had actually not been far from the shoreline; and
that if I’d looked at the shore rather than at the open sea, I probably
would not have even been worried! I remember screaming for God
to rescue me from what seemed certain death, and obviously, I was
saved – how or by whom – I can’t remember! However, that sense of
complete helplessness was very real to me; but even at that age, I had
learned to whom I should go when struggling with real or imagined fears.

Creative pause: God hears and answers our cries of despair.

Other real-life-issues that cause fear and anxiety relate to one’s health
and well-being. As I grow older, like most people, some parts of my body
are wearing out and have either needed to be removed, repaired or even
replaced! Genetic faults sometimes become apparent at birth or soon
after, or which gradually develop with maturity. Then there also those
inherited tendencies that show up within our health profile; or the nasty
“cancer” or heart disease words appear when our body cells begin to fail.
Uncertainty and fear over health issues can grow out of all proportion to
the real situation! Emotional and relationship stresses also take their toll
on people’s mind and health. In such circumstances I have tried to battle
on alone, but inevitably, there is a crash, and the pieces need to be put
back together again – and then - God’s compassionate healing is essential.

Creative pause: God alone is my refuge and I trust in God’s mercy and grace.

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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