A Call to Worship
Pentecost 17C [Ordinary 24C] or [Proper 19C] 2013
Psalm 14

This is God’s world! As God’s people, we come to worship our Hope-giving God.
This is God’s world! We also come to bring to God all our fears and pressures.

This is God’s world! Even though “the world” rejects us, God accepts and loves us.
This is God’s world! God still loves and rules this world, despite the presence of evil.

This is God’s world! As God’s people we know God is the Source of hope, mercy and
forgiveness; and God’s ruling ways are to protect, support and care for the needy poor.
This is God’s world! We confess that at times, we struggle to find joy in this world, yet
through God’s commitment to this world, we come to learn to trust and believe in God. Amen.

Prayers of Lament and Petition
Pentecost 17C [Ordinary 24C] or [Proper 19C] 2013
Psalm 14

Holy God, we come today to worship you with our hearts and minds weighed
down by dejection and fears! We come, because there is no one else to whom
we can go with our anxious prayers. Through the experiences of our shared lives,
we believe and know that we live in God’s world that was and is created in love,
and because of Love Eternal - the God of all awareness, knowledge and all wisdom.
But we live in a world where love seems to be absent; and instead, there is only
intolerance, apathy and, greed; the everlasting search by people for power over
other people; and of the search for as much power over creation as is possible.
Help us, Loving God, to accept that it is only as we let go of our own search for
power, that God is freed to exert the Godly powers of righteousness and justice,
and also to show God’s gracious mercy to all who have lost trust in God’s ways—
but yet who yearn to be part of God’s reign of justice, peace and fairness for all.

Hope-inspiring God, despite all the cynicism and pessimism, and the oft repeated
calls that there is no God, benevolent or otherwise; it is our shared faith and hope
that this is not true, and that such statements are only evil being pro-active in the
world! It is indeed our shared faith and our hope that with God’s guidance - and
own sincere penitence for our contributing sin and for our corrupted values - that
we come to ask our Generous God to overcome the defiance and denials of the
blinded people’s world; and for God to allow the consciousness God’s presence to
grow and develop, so that it can be experienced by the people of this desolate world

Life-giving Presence of God, you have always been amongst us and lived within us
all the time, but we have been blinded and deafened by so many fears and anxious
imaginings. Even as our view of life and living has been distorted by ugliness and evil,
still the light of God’s love is shining forth, offering enlightenment to our understanding
of God’s ways; offering empowerment to us so we can accept that Holy God’s reign is
indeed evolving amongst us; and offering us the reassurance that God’s ruling ways
have always been to protect, support and care for needy and marginalised people.
Regardless of what “the fools” of this world say about God’s presence or absence, we
will trust in God’s gracious mercy, so that in God’s time– God’s ways will overcome. Amen.

A Personal Meditation
Pentecost 17C [Ordinary 24C] or [Proper 19C] 2013
Psalm 14

To guide me with writing these prayers and meditations, I use several thematic
lists of the Psalms that have been devised by various scholars including lists of
“individual” prayers or “community” prayers; and there is general agreement that
about one third of the 150 Psalms are prayers of “lament”. I am confident that the
ancient people of God were not that much different to you and me, so if there are
so many laments amongst their songs or prayers for gathered or private worship,
that is saying something about the state of humankind – both then and now. Are
the life experiences of those ancient people demonstrating to us that there is no
subject; no emotion, fear or anxiety; no experience in life that is too terrible that
it is not on God’s agenda, or for us to hesitate to bring them before God for help
and guidance? “....O what needless pain we bear, all because we do not carry
everything to God in prayer.....!”
1 Psalm 14 is one of many such laments; and
despite all the disappointments, denials and defiance that claims "...There is no
, in hope we cling tightly to God’s eternal promises, and look for some words
of grace and encouragement from God. Amidst our very human pain and sorrow
God says: “...for God is with those who obey him... the Lord will protect his people.”

Creative pause: I cling to God’s promises despite all the world’s defiance and denials.

Many times I have heard the complaint that the media only produces stories of
frightening or horrific events, and why is there not more “good news” stories to
brighten our days? The continual blind search for personal “happiness” and the
gratification of our every desire is in stark contrast to the painful realities of so
many people’s daily lives. Asylum seekers who risk their lives for freedom; people
with terminal illnesses who struggle with the reality of their looming death, and the
complications that their death could bring; people with curable diseases who die
because the lack of medication, not available to them in their poverty; and mindless
discrimination in its many forms which restricts the potential of so many children and
people! There are people from one end of the globe to the other, wailing their laments
every hour of every day – and they assume that they are not heard or acknowledged.
These laments challenge us to fearlessly reassert the message, that despite all this
pain and suffering, that this is God’s world, and that in God’s way and time, the Lord
will protect his people….”
That has to be our hope in God’s infinite goodness, and that
in spite of everything - God will overcome evil and will heal all that evil has claimed.

Creative pause: Do we accept the challenge to clearly state: “This is God’s world!”

Society seems to be very negative about faith and belief in God and that underlines
their own attitudes, and acts as a confirmation that they are right! It must be wonderful
to be so certain that you are right! Whereas, we believers are called to be vulnerable,
and to accept the Mystery that is God – and to cling to our faith that this is God’s own
world, and that God’s reign will be the opposite of what many people experience daily.

Creative pause: We are called to be vulnerable, and to accept the Mystery that is God.

1 What a friend we have in Jesus
From “Together in Song” #590
Words by Joseph Medlicott Scriven (alt)
Words in the Public Domain

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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