Posted on Thu, Nov 5, 2015
This Friday is the first Friday if the month and the day we have been called upon to fast and pray. Below are some prayers and scriptures that my help those who enter the fast. The suggested focus of our prayers and fasting is Gratitude. It is also important to remind you that our fast begins after the evening meal on Thursday and ends with the evening meal on Friday. Juice throughout the day is acceptable.
Prayer for Illumination
Bless the Lord, O my soul.
All that is within me: Bless God’s holy name.
For you, O God, have showered me with blessings too numerous to count;
in return, too often I have overlooked, or taken for granted your bounty.
Beyond all else that you have given, grant me yet one thing more:
an unfailingly grateful heart. Amen. (This Day, A Wesleyan Way of Prayer)
Exodus 16:4-12; Psalm 23: Psalm 100: Psalm 106: 1-3; Luke 8:26-39;
Luke 17: 11-19; I Corinthians 15:51,53,54b-55, 57; Colossians 3:15-17
Gratitude for the Communion of the Saints
Almighty God, You have knit together your elect
in one communion and fellowship,
in the mystical body of your Son Christ our Lord.
Grant us grace so to follow your holy saints in all virtuous and godly living,
that we may come to those unspeakable joys,
which you have prepared for those who sincerely love you;
Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (The Book of Common Prayer)
Gratitude for the Gift of Each Day
New every morning is your love, great God of light, and all day long you are working for good in the world. Sir up in us desire to serve you, to live peacefully with our neighbors, and to devote each day to your Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ the Lord. Amen. (UM Book of Worship)
God of mercy, this midday moment of rest is your welcome gift. Bless the work we have begun, make good its defects, and let us finish it in a way that pleases you. Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen. (UM Book of Worship)
O Lord my God, I thank thee that thou hast brought this day to its close. I thank thee that thou dost give rest to body and soul. Thy hand has been over me, guarding me and preserving me. Forgive my feeble faith and all the wrong I have done this day, and help me to forgive all who have wronged me.
Grant that I may sleep in peace beneath thy care, and defend me from the temptations of darkness. Into thy hands I commend my loved ones, I commend this household, I commend my body and soul. O God, thy holy name be praised. Amen. (Dietrich Bonhoeffer; #689 UMH)
Gratitude for the Gift and for the Giver
What gift can we bring, what present, what token?
What words can convey it, the joy of this day?
When grateful we come, remembering, rejoicing, what song can we offer in honor and praise?
Give thanks for the past, for those who had vision, who planted and watered so dreams could come true.
Give thanks for the now, for study, for worship, for mission that bids us turn prayer into deed.
Give thanks for tomorrow, full of surprises, for knowing whatever tomorrow may bring, the Word is our promise always, forever, we rest in God’s keeping and live in God’s love.
This gift we now bring, this present, this token, these words can convey it the joy of this day!
When grateful we come, remembering, rejoicing, this song we now offer in honor and praise! (What Gift Can We Bring; Jane Marshall, 1980)
“Ingratitude is a grave offense against God, and the closer to God we think we are, the more we are inclined to take divine grace for granted. So Jesus suggests in Luke 17:11-19. For this reason, even the practice of daily devotions can be dangerous! The psalmist, quoted in Psalm 106:1-3, points out another difficulty in giving thanks. We do not have sufficient words to praise God’s goodness. Oral testimony is important, to be sure. But to it we are to add the observance of justice, the doing of righteousness at all times. Otherwise our voices sound like “a noisy gong or clanging cymbal” (I Cor. 13). Ask yourself…For what experiences do I particularly praise God? What opportunities for thanksgiving have I overlooked during this month? Have I shown gratitude in words only, or also by my deeds – by my demonstrated concern for the weak, the lowly, the suffering?” (This Day, A Wesleyan Way of Prayer)
Grace and Peace,
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