God’s presence

Finding God Congregational Prayer

Thank you God for bright lights in dark times,
for sparkles and colours twinkling in the night,
for the whimsy and fun of Christmas decorations,
for the crimson of poinsettias and the deep evergreen of trees.
Thank you for savoury dishes and tasty treats,
for an abundance of food which allows for feasting,
all gifts from your good hands.
Thank you for the sound of Christmas carols,
of voices raised together in praise to you.
Thank you for the sound of children laughing.

In this season which is joyful for so many,

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Graceful Life Congregational Prayer

Grace us, God, with your presence,
because sometimes things can be such a mess.
We try to live ordered organized lives
with good principles and lofty goals,
but then there we stand at the end of it;
our days scattered with broken dreams,
words that should not have been spoken,
actions we wish we could take back,
and many many things we did not do.
In the shattered life, in the fractured family,
in the falling apart world,

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Your Presence Call to Worship

Here we are Lord!
We come from the busy-ness of our daily lives
from the hubbub of our work and play
from the hue and cry of the world around us,
we come to worship you.
In this hour, we long to meet you,
to feel your presence surrounding us,
enveloping us, loving us.
We long to settle into silence,
laying aside our worries and our cares,
aware of your presence around us,
before us, behind us, within us.
Come, Lord Jesus.

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Psalm for Silence

I crave silence like water.
In this noisy non-stop fast-paced high-powered
injection-fuelled people-filled emotion-packed
day, I say,
“I crave silence like water.”
Drop, drop, drop
into my soul, soul, soul.
I will listen for the drip and the echo.
I will look, look, look
for the dropper of silence
and wait, wait, wait to be filled.

Silence expands noiselessly.
It blossoms unexpectedly,

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God of Gardens

God of gardens,
you are the great Cultivator,
growing faith for the ages.
You aren’t picky about the size of the harvest.
You rejoice in the vast prairie field,
one crop from horizon to horizon,
just as you rejoice in the tiny plant
breaking through the inner city cement crack.
You carefully tend the tenderest of plants,
taking deep delight in burgeoning beauty.
Under the light of your gaze,
faith breaks out in different colours

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Spring Congregational Prayer

Thank you God for the sound of geese high in the morning sky
being pulled northward by the call of spring.
Thank you for the way you are pulling life out of the ground.
You call and all life answers, up from the brown earth,
up through last year’s dead leftovers; new life greening all around us.
Thank you that you call us in the same way, pulling us towards life.
As sure as plants are pulled towards the sun, we yearn for you.
Forgive us for times we have leaned in other ways,
preferring to stay buried, preferring to do nothing,
preferring to lean towards evil thoughts and actions.
Your love calls us, yearns for us,
rejoices every time our thoughts lean towards you,

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Great Webs of Connection

Great webs of connection circle the earth.

They burrow in cables under the ocean,

they permeate the air with radio waves,

they bounce off satellites in space.

The world is teeming with nets of interaction,

a global feast of signals, prepared and digested

each and every minute of every day.

Byte by byte, God scans the fragmented world.

Comfortable with every platform,

fluent in every operating system,

God follows every thread to its ultimate conclusion.

God knows where you log on,

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God chooses face-time

We’re always calling God.

Where are you God?

Why don’t you pick up?

The phone rings and rings,

echoing in that heavenly chamber.

We check the number,

this has got to be right.

Finally God’s answering machine clicks in.

We hear God’s voice,

“Why are you calling me?

I’m standing right beside you.”

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About Carol Penner

I am a Mennonite pastor currently teaching theology at Conrad Grebel University College in Waterloo, Ontario. I’ve served congregations in Ontario and most recently, Alberta.

I love to write and to lead worship! If you are finding my writing helpful, I would love to hear from you! Feel free to use or adapt the material here, it is all written by me. If printing material, please credit “Copyright Carol Penner www.leadinginworship.com” (and say whether you modified it). If publishing, please contact me for permission. Contact me at carol@leadinginworship.com

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