A Call to Worship
Pentecost 20B [Ordinary 28B] or [Proper 23B] 2012
Psalm 22: 1-15

With reverent awe, we gather to worship the God of our ancestors.
They trusted in God, and God became their very real breath of life.
Creating God, you guided the way through our conception and birth.

We come with humble thanks, for our God is as real to us as God was
to our forebears. We come, too, with our needs and concerns, as life
has become so complicated. Come to us God, with your breath of new life.
Breath of Life, you have travelled with us through all our life’s journey.

Holy God, today we come to worship you, and yet, despite our sense
of being a failure at times , we can confidently say: “You are my God!”
Within the shelter of your guiding and blessedness, and despite our
fears and doubts; we praise and thank our Life-giving God who has
never left us or forsaken us. All praise be to our Trustworthy God. Amen.

Prayers of Lament and Trust
Pentecost 20B [Ordinary 28B] or [Proper 23B] 2012
Psalm 22: 1-15

Steadfast God, we come today in trust, in hope and faith to worship and pray.
Somehow, today, the presence of God seems to be far away, and the voice
of God seems to be silent. Thanks be to God, that not everyone here at worship
will be experiencing this emptiness; but it is a feeling we know all too well from
other times of separation from God. So, in this waiting silence, we express our
longing to hear again your loving words of grace, peace and blessing. Despite
our doubts and fears we come trusting that as in the past, our God is not absent
from us, but is now as near as our breath, and as close as our beating heart.

Generous God, strange as it may seem, but lurking beneath our professions
of faith lies a feeling that we have somehow used up all our inner resources.
Yet despite this current sense of emptiness, throughout our faith journey we
have had many experiences of God’s gracious love and compassion towards
us. Therefore, may the healing memory of these blessings strengthen us in
these times of doubt and fear. Help us, O God, to have the discernment and
faith to understand why God seems so far away. With God’s guidance, may we
each examine our life and being to discover where is this apparent blockage in
our relationship with God. May we accept that it we who have moved away from
God, because it is against the nature of God to leave us bereft in life’s storms.

Rescuing God, just as in the past your gracious acts of mercy have freed us
from all that imprisoned us, we turn to you again, seeking release from the pain
of separation from our God. The powers of evil seem to be loud and rampant
in our world, with little evidence of mercy, forgiveness or love being offered by
those in leadership roles. Keeping God, come to us now in this holy silence and
speak your words of encouragement, forgiveness and love, so that once again,
we may proclaim that you are our Trustworthy God, in whom we always hope. Amen.

A Personal Meditation
Pentecost 20B [Ordinary 28B] or [Proper 23B] 2012
Psalm 22: 1-15

Holy God, with a thankful heart and mind, I rejoice in your presence with me
and with all God’s people! Through many generations, you have been the
source of theirs and my comfort and security. Through the experiences of my
forebears, I have been taught to trust in my Unchanging God, and it is a lesson
well learned from my own diverse life experiences. My parents raised me to believe
in the hope and promises of my God, and for this I am most grateful. Worship of
God has been central to my upbringing, and has been the foundation for my life.

Creative pause: Worship of God has been the foundation for my life.

But, being human, I have not always trusted in that firm foundation of living in
God’s way of life; and instead, I have experimented in doing things “my way”—
making decisions without consulting my God, and just hoping for the best that
the mercy of God will see me through when I fail! Then, in my confusion and pain,
I ask God about what happened to all those promises made to our ancestors in
the faith? It was then that I discovered that worshipping God has always been a
two way call! Always, I have to be in a steady relationship with God - listening and
trusting in God every day of my life - to be able to recognise God’s presence there!

Creative pause: God is not an emergency assistance number!

Where is our true purpose of being, without our God travelling through life with
us? How empty is life without God at its centre! The people who put all their trust
in God are never disappointed! Their life may not be as they imagined or planned—
but with God with them, the ‘big picture’ is always the best and purest image.

Creative pause: How empty is life without God at its centre!

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:
© 2012 Joan Stott – ‘The Timeless Psalms’ RCL Psalms Year B. Used with permission.


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