A Call to Worship
Lent 3C 2013
Psalm 63: 1-8

O God, you are our God; we learn about and experience you in worship!
With yearning in our hearts, we come to more truly know our Holy God.

Loving God, your love is so nurturing, so satisfying and very powerful!
With thankful hearts, we gather together to praise our Glorious God.

Saving and Keeping God, we know and experience true security in you.
From the shadows of God’s protecting wings, we draw near to our God;
and so we joyfully sing God’s praises, because of all that God does for us. Amen.

Prayers of Thankfulness and Trust
Lent 3C 2013
Psalm 63: 1-8

O God, you are our God; and we come to worship and thank you!
Today, we come together to our sacred space, because within our
souls, we have a deep longing and a craving thirst for God’s presence—
so that we may personally know more clearly and truly experience God.
Our faith community has a yearning to learn about God in a new and
intimate way, because we feel undernourished, as if we are starved
of God’s presence. As individuals, and as a gathered people, we
come; lifting our hands in praise to our God in anticipation of a blessing—
and receiving from our God – the comforting warmth of words of grace.
We yearn to follow God more closely, and to be guided by God’s hand.

God of all times, as individuals, and as a gathered people, we come
to share with God and with each other, our need for God and God’s
influence in our life. We acknowledge that there have been dark times
in our faith journey; when we seemed to have lost our way home to God.
As we join together as God’s people in this place, we remember our
shared history; all that God has given to us in the past; for the way we
have been guided and blessed in our decision making; and how God
has never let us down or disappointed us. Now we come to our God
to see and ask what God requires of us now, and into the near future.
We yearn to follow God more closely, and to be guided by God’s hand.

Satisfying God, you meet our needs before we are even aware of just
how needy we are as people; you recognise our secret isolation from
people before we interpret our reactions to their welcome or their apathy;
and you understand our desire to serve you more faithfully, before we
have even formulated the thoughts, words and actions. Because of God’s
infinite mercy and grace, we learn who we are before God; and we sing
our thanks and praises as a community, and as an individual child of God.
We yearn to follow God more closely, and to be guided by God’s hand. Amen.

A Personal Meditation
Lent 3C 2013
Psalm 63: 1-8

Welcoming God, when I think about how you have helped me in the past;
for the way you have gone before me preparing the way for me; all I can
do is bow before my God in prayer and praise! Then, when I remember the
way God has woven together the loose threads of my life; or the way God
has picked me up when I have collapsed into a heap of broken pieces, and
God has stuck me back together again; all I can do is kneel before my God
in prayer and praise. When I remember the influences on my life from God’s
“saints in light”, all I can do is come before my God in prayer, praise and awe.

Creative pause: When I remember the way God has gone before me...

I believe that it is absolutely no accident that the Psalmist wrote: “I lie awake
thinking of you, meditating on you through the night....”
because the darkness is
equally a part of life as is light! There are many kinds of darkness including the
actual darkness when the sun’s light is shining on the other side of the world;
but there is also the darkness of the soul, or the mind, or the heart; and each
brings its own struggle and challenge. When I look into the personal and private
sanctuary of my heart, soul and mind, I recognise the bleakness that sometimes
resides there as it raises questions, doubts and fears about my spiritual, physical
or mental reality. Yet is only in those “dark” moments, those times of “not knowing”,
that I really begin to know and perhaps even understand more about my God—
and so I meditate on my God in the night watches. Then I can say and sing with
joy: “O God, you are my God......I have seen you in [the sanctuary of my heart,
soul and mind] and I have gazed upon your power and glory.” Thanks be to God!

Creative pause: When I look into the sanctuary of my private heart, soul and mind.

There are many kinds of darkness. There is the pitch black darkness brought
about by the total absence of light; there is a grey darkness when there is light
in the distance; and then there are shadows! Then there is the security of shade!
How often have you chosen to avoid the heat of the sun by being comfortable
in the shade? There is also the security of shade for birds as they shelter their
young under their wings. In recent bush fires in Australia, a chicken hatchery was
burnt out, but when clearing up after the fire had passed, many live chickens ran
out from beneath their dead mother’s wings, where they had found life-preserving
shelter. We also find that secure shelter as we come closer to God’s for protection.

Creative pause: Resting securely in the shadow of God.

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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