A Call to Worship
Pentecost 14C [Ordinary 21C] or [Proper 16C] 2013
Psalm 71: 1-6

God our Rock, as individuals and as a community, we seek your help and refuge.
Turn towards us, as we come to worship and thank you for your constant presence.

God our Security, your justice and mercy is greater than all our worries and doubts.
Turn towards us, as we come to sing and pray our glad responses to your presence.

God our Hope, some of us have trusted in your love and grace since childhood, whilst
others have discovered later in life our Trustworthy God’s forgiving love and mercy.
Turn towards us, as we come together as individuals, and as a community of faith
and hope. We rejoice in the knowledge that regardless of circumstances, the God we
seek to worship and serve accepts our offerings of worship, witness and service. Amen.

Prayers of Trust and Petition
Pentecost 14C [Ordinary 21C] or [Proper 16C] 2013
Psalm 71: 1-6

O Lord our Rock and Redeemer, our Hope amidst all that confuses,
worries and frightens us in life; in our diverse relationships; and in our
daily living. As individuals, and as a community, we gather before our
Trustworthy God, to open our hearts and minds to your presence with
us this day; to lay before you all that our hinders the growth of our trust
in God, and in others; and all that denies us the faith and acceptance
of our hope in God’s eternal providence, for all that God has created.
Free us from all that interferes with our relationship with our Saving God.

Listening God, we know that we will never fully understand who we are;
what we are; and where we will go in this life; that is why we look to you
to be our Secure Foundation, our Steady Rock in all the challenges of life.
Help us to embrace not knowing our individual and shared future; our not
knowing how long our life together will be, or the challenges that will face
us. Help us to embrace our not knowing what this hostile world will offer to
us to test our faith in our Steadfast God. O God - our Refuge - turn to us,
and know our vulnerability and weaknesses; and our reliance on our Loving
God for hope and the courage, so to face all the unknowns of human living.
Free us from all that stops us from being who our Creator meant us to be.

God, our Fortress against all that would destroy or defile us, be for us now
all that your love is and will be; be for us this day the Rock that shades us;
be for us now our Saviour who redirects us into the path of trust in our Eternal
God; and be for us now our Guide in life, and in our uncertain future. It is no
wonder that we come in trust and hope before our God, because our God has
been more than we could ever ask or hope for throughout all our daily lives.
Free us from all that contributes to our lack of trust and hope in our Loving God. Amen.

A Personal Meditation
Pentecost 14C [Ordinary 21C] or [Proper 16C] 2013
Psalm 71: 1-6

Holy God, you are my past, my present and my future! You have been
beside, beneath and around me through all of my life’s journey. How
reassuring that is to me when life throws up challenges that confuse
and unsettle me! How encouraging it is to be a member of God’s people,
with a shared history of thousands of years in relationship with the Creator
and Sustainer of the universe. I also gain confidence and comfort from
knowing that there can be no new idea, no new understanding of God
that has not been experienced before by one or more of God’s children
in times past, and that that journey of discovery for God’s people will
continue into the unknown future! “...Yes, you have been with me from
birth; from my mother's womb you have cared for me. It is no wonder I
am always praising you!....”
My trust and hope is grounded in my God!

Creative pause: My trust and hope is grounded in my God!

God’s ancient people called God their “Rock and Redeemer” because,
in their travels through the wilderness, they knew from experience of
the shade that rocks can give, and the visual impression of strength and
stability that rocks give because they are normally part of the earth’s crust
and even its foundation. Another image of God from ancient times is that
of a fortress. In various countries, I have seen the ruins of ancient castles
and fortresses that protected people from marauding hordes and masses
of attacking people. Of all of those ruins, the one that still speaks most to
me is that of the castle on the Holy Island of Lindisfarne. This is a 16th
century castle that withstood the attacks and fighting of Vikings, Scots
and English; and yet it still offers such a sense of calm security, peace
and trust. Each time I look at that Holy Island picture in my study, I receive
again the assurance of God’s timeless protection, and the durability of
God. It is no wonder God is worshipped as a Rock and a Mighty Fortress!

Creative pause: It is no wonder that God is thought of in terms of a Rock!

The Psalmist prayed: “In you, O Lord, I take refuge; let me never be put to
shame..”1 “O Lord, you are my refuge; never let me be disgraced.”2 “I run
for dear life to God, I’ll never live to regret it”
3 This verse has puzzled me!
Is the author praying that he will never regret trusting in God; that he will
never ever be ashamed of God’s actions; or that he will never be ashamed
of relying on God for help and support? Is he showing his doubt in God; or is
he anxious about his own vulnerability and human weaknesses? Whatever
his anxious thoughts and questions, he was also conscious of God’s ever-
guiding and ever-present reality in his life – and he thanked God for that!

Creative pause: God forgive us – you and me – for our doubts and fears!

1 ‘The New Revised Standard Version’ ‘New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989,
Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.’

2 ‘New Living Translation’
© 1996. copyright All rights reserved.
Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189 USA.

3 ‘The Message’
As published by NavPress in English: The Bible in Contemporary Language
© 2002 by Eugene Peterson. USA Copyright. All rights reserved.

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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