Christ is Born Congregational Prayer

Thank you for bare trees outlined in white,
and steely gray skies brooding over the blue lake.
Thank you for the sound of wind
rushing all the way from the far north.
Thank you for the crack of ice puddles
under our feet, and the cold smell of winter.
In this dark season, thank you for Christmas,
and the gift of a child of hope.
Thank you for news so good,
it still rings out as voices around the world
speak of good tidings of great joy

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Hope against Hope Advent Prayer

God who hears us:
as advent begins, we are already filled up with waiting.
Waiting to hear the next report of bad news;
another mass shooting, another refugee crisis,
another famine, another environmental disaster,
another deadly virus outbreak, another war.
The news is a litany of things to fear
that fills our heads with dread.
We wait for your help.
Remind us of Mary and Joseph,
ordinary people living in a country
under the boot of an oppressive regime,

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Thanksgiving Prayer in Times Likes These

Thank you, God, for your care for all creation.
You watch over the sun, whose rays warm us,
you order the moon, whose light silvers the night.
The seasons follow your guidance,
and we give thanks for farmers and their harvests;
for the last combines collecting the crops,
for golden stubble fields stretched out for a long rest.
Even as food is collected and stored,
we are mindful of places where food is hard to find;
the rains didn’t come, and the plants didn’t grow,

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Prayer for the Future

All-seeing God,
hear my prayer for the future that I will not see.
For all the children of my children’s grandchildren,
and all the others born when this century
is a long ago memory.
Let their feet touch this good earth,
let it still be good, growing green as it always grows.
Let their hands be reaching to connect,
not grasping, not fighting.
I want to pray that we would be beyond all that,
but I think that’s asking for too much.
Instead, I pray for what we have survived.
The upheavals I cannot imagine or name,
the suffering that is beyond speaking.
I pray that we could still be good,
still loving in the face of hatred,

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Prince of Pieces Congregational Prayer

The world is filled with your glory,
and you’ve given us eyes to see it,
ears to hear it, a nose to smell it,
hands and mouth to touch and taste.
Thank you for the taste of fresh strawberries,
for the way their sweetness symbolizes summer.
Thank you for the beauty of roses,
red and yellow and white and pink,
their fragrance, the delicateness of their petals.
Thank you for the sun and the wind after so much rain.
Your love surrounding us in so many sensory ways….

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Emmaus Road Call to Worship

Our call to worship is from Matt 18:20
For where two or three are gathered in my name,
there am I in the midst of them.       

Let’s pray together:          
We need your presence on the long road, Lord.
The road between fear and hope,
the road between the place where all is lost
and the place of resurrection.
Like the disciples walking the road to Emmaus,
we are in need of your company!
Jesus, stand among us, in your risen power,
let this time of worship, be a hallowed hour.

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A Settler Prayer for Peace

Creator God, hear our prayer for settlers everywhere;
for people living on land stolen
and traded unfairly from Indigenous peoples.
You know our cruelties, our disregard for cultures and histories,
our cavalier dismissal of treaty rights,
our personal prejudices, our institutional racism.
The colonial system is so insidious, we who benefit
often don’t even see it, even when it’s in front of our faces.
You are a God who names, and a God who hears.
You know the name of every missing and murdered indigenous woman.
You heard the cries of every child in every residential school.

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A Prayer for Those Contemplating Suicide

For each of your beloved children
who this night are poised to take their own life,
we pray this prayer.
For those plagued by despair,
for those haunted by hopelessness,
for those immersed in mind-numbing pain,
for those confused by bewildering delusions,
for those mired in violent memories,
for those pushed to the edge by grief,
for those bullied because of their sexuality,

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Easter People Congregational Prayer (responsive)

Thank you Lord that you are an impossibility specialist;
the long winter’s grip pried off us finger by finger,
the whole earth greening under the spring sun.
You bring new life where there is lifelessness,
you resurrect hope when we are mired in darkness.
We are an Easter people!
Bring Easter to all among us who are grieving;
your solace that we will see our loved ones again,
your comfort that you will be with us in the hour of our death.
We are an Easter people!….

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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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