God of creation, whose love invites all people to receive the blessing reserved for us since before time began,
Grant ears of faith, that each one may clearly hear your gracious call.
God of salvation, whose love encompasses all humanity, who assumed flesh and blood and died that all might live,
Give eyes of faith, Lord Jesus, that everyone may plainly see you among us.
God of inspiration, whose love initiates new ways of reaching out to all who risk believing,
Guide our lives in faith, that we may willingly become your instruments of love and truth.
With gratitude to the Lord, we remember our rich heritage of committed servants, who carried the good news to their neighbors throughout the world, who followed Jesus’ command: Go to all people and make them by disciples.
We thank you, Eternal God, for those who have gone before us, faithful to the great commission. We praise you for imparting to us the same mission to reach others for Christ.
With humility before the Lord, we confess our sin:
When we fail to communicate Jesus’ promise of new life,
When we have not reached beyond ourselves with the word entrusted to us,
When we retreat into comfortable sanctuaries and do not seek to be a light to the nations,
When we become preoccupied with church involvements for its own sake, and do not labor to proclaim salvation to the ends of the earth,
Forgive us, we pray.
When we fail to recognize that the measure of success is not only in the number of converts, but also in the sincerity of conversion,
When we are too timid or afraid to speak the gospel message to those you want to hear it,
When we allow a life of ease to divert us from those who need your love through us,
Forgive us, we pray.
Touch our lips with the burning coals of your forgiveness,
And purify our hearts.
WATCHWORD FOR THE WEEK
The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
Saul said to David, “Who has ever found an enemy, and sent the enemy safely away? So may the
Lord reward you with good for what you have done to me this day.”
1 Samuel 24:19
Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all.
PRAYER FOR TODAY
Merciful and gracious God, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, may your presence grow nearer to us every day. In all that we say and do, may we reflect your will for peace, compassion, and care for all, even those who wrong us. Amen.