A Call to Worship
Pentecost 17C [Ordinary 25C] or [Proper 20C] 2010
Psalm 79: 1-9

O Lord, you are the God of our salvation.
We have no hope without you:
Hear us when we call to you.

O Lord, you are the compassionate God
who cared for our ancestors and our parents:
Come now to us to save us, we pray.

O Lord, you are the Changeless God
whom we honour and revere:
We come this day to worship you, O God,
because we trust in your merciful grace. Amen.

Prayers of Lament and Petition
Pentecost 17C [Ordinary 25C] or [Proper 20C] 2010
Psalm 79: 1-9

God of the ages, God of our forebears, we have
known you by celebrating your holiness; we have
worshipped you by celebrating your creative powers;
and we have honoured you for your past mercies
and for your promises you made to our leaders.
Now O God, all of these blessings have either
been destroyed or taken away from us.

O Lord our God, in desperation we come again to you!
Evil, with callous indifference and senseless violence,
has desecrated God’s holy places and has defiled
our blessed inheritance. We now only have memories
of those once-visible symbols of God’s holiness;
and of the worship experiences we once shared.

O Lord our God, we are confused and dismayed!
Scorn is showered upon us and on our worship liturgies.
Is God punishing us for our forebear’s failings and sin?
Is God punishing us for our own failings and sin?
How long will the fires of anger burn in God’s heart?

Help us O God! Come to us to renew and empower us!
Don’t hold against us our own and our forebears sinfulness;
for we have all been guilty of failing to guard our inheritance,
and of denying our soul’s need to worship our glorious God.

Justice-loving God, help us to believe that the evil doers
have sewn the seeds of their own destruction within their
wicked and perverted minds; so that their immoral powers
and schemes will be defeated by their own arrogance.

We come, humbly seeking your generous blessing;
your deliverance; and your merciful forgiveness.
We come, to worship the compassionate God
our parents knew, and to bring honour and renewed
reverence to the glories of God’s holy name. Amen.

A Personal Meditation
Pentecost 17C [Ordinary 25C] or [Proper 20C] 2010
Psalm 79: 1-9

O Lord my God, in my bewilderment and confusion,
I kneel before my God. What is happening? All around me
there is the horror of desecration; the terror of betrayal.
Humanity has become depraved in its wickedness;
and has sunk to new depths by its own despicable acts!

Creative pause: How can humanity sink so low?

All that was sacred to me and my forebears is now gone!
All that spoke to me of God’s presence has been destroyed!
All those symbols and signs that aided my meditations are now
nothing but piles of rubbish, to be picked over by the birds.
All the memories of shared worship in your sanctuary
are now tarnished by the insensitivities of rampaging evil.

Creative pause: Nothing seems to be left to sustain my faith.

O my God, I beg you to turn those powers of evil against
themselves, so that their rampaging wickedness becomes
self-destructive; so that their evil conspiracies collapse
around them, and the masterminds of this degradation
are eliminated by their own arrogance and ambitions.

Creative pause: Is self-destruction always the destiny of evil?

How long will this horror last? O my God, will your anger
against wayward humanity burn in your heart for ever?
Will the godless win this battle for the hearts and minds
of your people? Will evil have the last say in this life?

Creative pause: The concept of God’s anger is confusing.

Surely not! My forebears worshipped a tender-hearted God,
and knew a God who offered salvation to God’s people!
As you have in the past, visit me - and my sisters and
brothers - with your healing and renewing powers,
so that once again your holy name can be glorified,
and forgiveness be poured over your penitent people.

Creative pause: God’s saving grace continues and remains true.

Unless stated otherwise, all Bible readings and extracts used in these weekly Prayers and Meditations are from
‘The New Revised Standard Version’ Copyright © 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council
of the Churches of Christ in the USA. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

*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:
© 2010 Joan Stott – ‘The Timeless Psalms’ RCL Psalms Year C. Used with permission.


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