Weekly Prayers for the Church Street Family

Week of May 22, 2024

Written by Rev. Catherine Nance

Tonight’s prayer is adapted from the one used this past Pentecost Sunday, May 19, 2024. The idea for the prayer petition came from a worship resource for the Reformed Church of America.

O God, who always listens to us, who breathes new life into us, call us forward to resurrection.

When we look at images from the news, we seem to be surrounded by a world of dry bones, a world of death and despair, a world where we lose hope in our governments and institutions; we lose hope in one another.

We pray for this world in need of your Word: for all the people in it . . . we are hurting and praying for the people in Gaza and for the people in Israel who have lost loved ones from the violence; those who are still being held hostage. We see divisions in Slovakia after assassination attempt and more destruction in Ukraine. It is tempting to give up hope of peace and to ask, “What is the use of prayer?”

O God who always listens to us, who breathes new life into us, call us forward to resurrection.

We just celebrated Armed Forces Day this past weekend. We remember those who have sacrificed their lives for our country and freedom. We pray for world leaders and the decisions they must make … we pray for our president and for other heads of state that the decisions they make will bring an end to violence.

O God, who always listens to us, who breathes new life into us, call us forward to resurrection.

We are surrounded by people with dried up lives, people unable to see your life past their tears. We think of those who are lonely, who are grieving. We all know of someone whose life is being dried up by addiction or financial worries. We pray for this world in need of your healing presence: for those who are imprisoned, those we are waiting to hear from medical tests, those who are waiting to hear about a job. We have friends and family in Houston and other places who are dealing with the aftermath of storms. Oh God, we pray that your breath would bring hope and healing.

O God, who always listens to us, who breathes new life into us, call us forward to resurrection.

Those in the world would tell us that the church is dead; that we are nothing more than dry bones gathered together. We had a glorious day of worship this past Sunday. We celebrated Pentecost! May we, your church, be open to your breath! Just as Ezekiel heard rattling of bones coming to life, make us aware of the rattling we hear when children gather to learn bible stories, when youth gather to do service, when adults gather to serve a meal to the homeless. Do not allow us to be persuaded by those who say the church has no life, but give us the boldness to live fully into the life you call us.

We pray for the courage not just to follow you to death, but to follow you to the New Creation.

O God, who always listens to us, who breathes new life into us, call us forward to resurrection.

Call us to follow in the footsteps of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior, who taught us when we pray to say:

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.

We pray for ….

  • One who is having dental surgery next week; prayers there are no complications due to low platelets
  • For an employee whose son was killed in a traffic accident Sunday morning; prayers for safe travels as they go to Colorado for service. Prayers for God’s peace as they grieve.
  • For those who are grieving the loss of a pet
  • Families who are celebrating graduations and other milestones; also prayers for whom this is difficult season.
  • One who is learning a new day-to-day after the death of her mother
  • One who has been hospitalized out of town but is now home; awaiting surgery
  • A wife who is coming to the end of her earthly life; may she feel God’s peace as she enters eternal light.
  • A couple who is waiting to hear about IVF procedures and results.
  • A newborn who spent first few days in NICU; thankful she can go home. Continued prayers for strength. Prayers of thanksgiving for family!

We continue to pray for ……

  • Family members who continue to deal with cancer … all the tests and new treatments and waiting and follow up appointments. May they feel God’s healing presence in the midst of it!
  • Friends who are beginning the journey of “some type of dementia.” Prayers of thanksgiving for doctors who study our brains, for researchers who have developed better testing, for social workers, for loving family members, and helpers all around!
  • Friends and family members who are going through a troubling time.
  • Adult children trying to make good decisions about next steps in work and school and life!

Weekly Prayers for the Church Street Family

Week of May 8, 2024

Written by Steve Richardson

O God, our help in ages past, our hope for years to come: Open our minds and hearts to sensing your closeness as you hear our prayers. 

We’re thankful for the sphere of your creation we call Earth, for its resources and social communities. Yet it can be a hostile place. The unexpected lurks in every future. Even on this evening, we’re bracing against threats of severe, potentially damaging weather. Protect and shield us, God. Strengthen our faith, ignite our hope, and bolster our confidence that you will continue to guide and steady us through our adversities. 

As we turn to you as our source for hope, embolden us with wisdom and the spiritual gifts to be peacemakers wherever there is unrest; to be healers wherever there is disease and brokenness; to be mediators wherever there is separation and mistrust; to be givers wherever there is scarcity; to be caretakers wherever there is fragility; to be comforters wherever there is mourning; to be voices of calm wherever there is angst or anxiety; to be uniters wherever there is exclusion; to be instruments of your love wherever there is rejection, hurt, despair or loneliness. 

You’ve shown us your omnipotence in many ways, including the remarkable ascension of the risen Christ from Earth to the heavenly realm. We commemorate that glorious act of salvation tomorrow. And in doing so, we pray we remain mindful of your promise to abide with us now and every moment for eternity. Thank you, God, for this gift that’s too vast to fully comprehend. 

A few days later, we celebrate Mother’s Day. The day set for this is cultural, yet the significance is Biblical and sacred, as directed by you, holy Yahweh, in your 5th  commandment.  Thank you for the love, fostering and nurturement given us by our mothers, as well as lineages of the mothers before them in ages past. 

Thank you for Church Street United Methodist Church. Thank you for its clergy, staff, and volunteers in mission, teaching and leadership. Thank you for its transformational work in the Knoxville community and beyond. Thank you for granting each of us the opportunity to be a part of this church. 

Merciful God, also hear these needs and prayers of others in our church community. Surround each person with your loving embrace and comfort… 

We pray for …. 

  • Two members who have each had a long-time pet die. Thankful for all of God’s creatures and for the companionship they provide!
  • Friends who are beginning the journey of “some type of dementia.” Prayers of thanksgiving for doctors who study our brains, for researchers who have developed better testing, for social workers, for loving family members, and helpers all around!
  • Friends and family members who are going through a troubling time.
  • Adult children trying to make good decisions about next steps in work and school and life!
  • Members who are hospitalized
  • A dear friend who has had a biopsy to determine cancer diagnosis and best treatments
  • For those who were affected by storms yesterday and today
  • For college students and school personnel; that a reasonable outcome can be reached during the ‘protests.’
  • Students who are anxious for the end of school.
  • Our seniors who are leading us in worship this Sunday.

We offer prayers of thanksgiving for ….

  • A clear report from the doctor!
  • That I am feeling better after a long illness
  • For those who volunteered at General Conference and for the good United Methodists in Charlotte who offered so much hospitality!

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.

Weekly Prayers for the Church Street Family

Week of May 1, 2024

Written by CSUMC Member David Martin

Tonight’s prayer is one that church member, David Martin, wrote and shared with Pastor Catherine recently. This is a prayer that he offers each morning. Perhaps it could be your morning prayer as well. 

 

Magnificent Creator and Lord of All! 

All that I am I lay at your feet.  

To serve you is my greatest desire.   

Light my path and protect my way so that I may be found faithful. 

Let my actions always be a gesture of gratitude for your goodness.   

Let my eyes always be fixed on your splendor especially when the gloom of darkness feels imminent.  

Let me live today knowing that you hold tomorrow.  

Let the light of your Grace radiate from deep within me, transforming lives – revealing your glory! 

Let my life be a celebration of your sacrifice and victory at the cross.   

Let me be in Christ! 

Magnificent creator and Lord of All! 

All that I am I lay at your feet.  

In your Son’s name I lift up these joys and concerns of our church family…

We continue to pray for the 2020 General Conference (which is finally taking place after delays from Covid) gathering in Charlotte, NC. Please pray for our delegates by name, along with our Bishop, Debra Wallace-Padgett:

Amanda Onks, Rev. Amy Sumrall, Anne Travis, Becky Hall, Rev. Caleb Frazier, Rev. David Graybeal, Dawson Kitts, Del Holley, Donna Mosby, Rev. Dr. Josh Kilbourne, Rev. Kim Goddard, Rev. Kristen Burkhart, Rev. Lauri Jo Cranford, Rev. Dr. Mark Flynn, Rev. Mary Thompson, Nate Roark, Rev. Paul Seay, Rev. Dr. Randy Frye, Reagan Kelly, Sam England, Rev. Sarah Varnell, Rev. Sharon Bowers, and Rev. Wil Cantrell.

We pray for …

… a brother-in-law who has recently been diagnosed with lung cancer and awaiting prognosis and treatment plan

… friends who are going through a difficult time

….a mother who has fractured her shoulder and her wrist

…. One who seeks God’s guidance in ‘blessing the work of her hands.”

… a member grieving the loss of his faithful canine friend and companion

… one who wants to bring joy and pride to her parents and family

… two friends who have been diagnosed with cancer. May each feel God’s healing strength and peace

… a husband who is dealing with the side effects of cancer drugs

… those who are waiting on appointments and follow up consultations with neurologists

… patience for parents as a teen learns to drive!

 

We continue to pray for …

…a young adult who is struggling with mental health issues right now

…one who is going through a legal process; prayers for resolution

…those who are dealing with fertility concerns

….friends and family who are going through difficult times

….those who are in assisted living and rehab

….members who are in hospital

…peace

 

We give thanks for ….

…. Friends who bring joy to our lives

… job opportunities

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.

Weekly Prayers for the Church Street Family

Week of April 24, 2024

Written by Rev. Tim Best

This week’s prayer is sent from Rev. Tim Best as he serves as a Marshal for the 2020 (2024) General Conference in Charlotte, North Carolina. 

God of all nations and peoples,

Our hearts are filled with thanks and praise for mercies of this day. As we look back over our day, help us discover the moments that you where your grace was especially present in our lives. Show us where conversations with others, quiet moments, the routines of the ordinary, and even the challenges of the day have held your voice and your love for us.

Lift from our spirits the burdens that have weighed us down and distracted us today. We ask your intervention where we have known tension in our relationships today, Where our hearts have been filled with anger and hatred today, transform and forgive us. For those of us who are depressed or anxious, be for us a balm and comfort. See our wounds and carry us when we are weary. As we look towards tomorrow renew us and help us to rest and wake with the hopeful promise that you will be with in all that we will face.

We continue to pray for our United Methodist Church and it’s General Conference. What a sign of your abundant love and grace that brothers and sisters in Christ can gather together and speak in their own languages, worshipping and working together. We ask that you would guide and direct all those delegates working together that they may know your will. Help them to rest, to see each day signs of your mercy and peace. Above all, help them, and all of us, to see that we are one in the body of Christ our Lord. May all speak with concern, grace, and patience as a sign of our obedience and discipleship.

Make us continually mindful of our calling and ministry. Help us to be a light and witness to the Christ’s kingdom in the midst of the world. Help us witness within our community of Knoxville. We lift up our leaders and civil servants. May they feel your guidance when they face difficult decisions, and may their hearts be shaped to serve others. Guide us all as we seek to solve the problems that face our community and the world. We pray for the leaders of our nation and of the world. We pray for and desire your peace and justice to reign through all the earth. When our hearts are bent towards war and hatred, transform us. Help us to see and experience a foretaste of your kingdom in our world.

As we close out this day fill us with your hope for tomorrow. It is in confidence of that hope that we lift our joys and concerns up to you:

We pray for the 2020 General Conference (which is finally taking place after delays from Covid) gathering in Charlotte, NC. Please pray for our delegates by name, along with our Bishop, Debra Wallace-Padgett:

Amanda Onks, Rev. Amy Sumrall, Anne Travis, Becky Hall, Rev. Caleb Frazier, Rev. David Graybeal, Dawson Kitts, Del Holley, Donna Mosby, Rev. Dr. Josh Kilbourne, Rev. Kim Goddard, Rev. Kristen Burkhart, Rev. Lauri Jo Cranford, Rev. Dr. Mark Flynn, Rev. Mary Thompson, Nate Roark, Rev. Paul Seay, Rev. Dr. Randy Frye, Reagan Kelly, Sam England, Rev. Sarah Varnell, Rev. Sharon Bowers, and Rev. Wil Cantrell.

We pray for …

  • A member recovering from Covid that turned into ear and throat infections
  • A young adult who is struggling with mental health issues right now
  • One who is going through a legal process; prayers for resolution
  • Those who are dealing with fertility concerns
  • Friends and family who are going through difficult times
  • Our youth and children’s programs as they prepare for summer

We continue to pray for …

  • Those who are in assisted living and rehab
  • Members who are in hospital
  • Peace

We give thanks for ….

  • Our sixth grade Confirmation Class and Rev. Rick Isbell
  • A couple who is getting married this weekend
  • A good finance report at Church Council meeting
  • Options for second opinions and further research for medical concerns

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.

Weekly Prayers for the Church Street Family

Week of April 17, 2024

Written by Rev. Catherine Nance

O God, we pause at the end of the day with others in our church family to offer prayer. As we read these words, we imagine members of our church and what they mean to us. Some are very dear friends and some we barely know. Perhaps there are those who have been long-time members and others who have recently started attending. But there is a comfort in knowing that others who worship where we do and sang the same hymns on Sunday are pausing now to say, “thank you for your gifts.”

We thank you for this gift of prayer and how it connects us to your heart and to others. We thank you for how prayer gives us a peace when we are troubled. Prayer renews our spirits when we are cast down. Prayer offers us strength when we are feeling weary. Thank you, O God, for the mystery of this act. Pausing to acknowledge, reflect, give thanks, intercede for others, and share our own burdens – this act of prayer gets us through the week.

We imagine others who are reading this, and we give thanks for them. We do not know the names and faces behind each prayer request, but we feel a closeness to them because they trust us with their vulnerability.

O God who hears our prayers, we wonder what your world would be like if the whole world stopped for a moment and felt a grateful connection to you and to neighbor. What power there would be in prayer!

Fill us with that assurance, O loving God, that this very act, praying together, for one another, has made a difference in our living today. It has made a difference in others’ lives. And will make a difference in how we face tomorrow.

Before we read through prayer concerns, we pause for just one more moment, and think of people around your world. We know there are those who have no ‘church family.’ There are those who are praying alone. Graft our prayers into theirs, O God. Let them know they are not alone.

We offer the prayer that Jesus taught us saying ….

We pray for ….

  • An expectant mother who has a very active little one inside! Prayers for good rest until due date!
  • All spouses who are dealing with the stress  of caring for their spouse who has dementia or other brain diseases. Prayers for comfort in the continuing grief.
  • Faithfulness; that God will keep us healthy and abundant in love! Keep us alive and well in Jesus name!
  • The family of a woman who died from ALS; she leaves a husband and two young adult children. Praying for a church member who is a dear friend to her.
  • A member’s aunt who is home on hospice care and near death after her cancer returned 
  • A family who is traveling this week
  • One experiencing difficult situation with family members with whom there has been no contact for years; prayers for a respectful resolution while maintaining healthy boundaries
  • A member’s 91-year old father whose quality of life is declining

We continue to pray for …

  • Peace in our world.
  • One looking for full-time employment; the stress of job searching is causing sleeplessness. 
  • Those dealing with mental illness; may they find God’s peace.
  • Those going through cancer treatments

We give thanks for …

  • A positive follow up appointment with surgeon
  • Finding a good solution for long term care
  • Our sixth graders at CSUMC who will be confirmed on Sunday

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.

Weekly Prayers for the Church Street Family

Week of April 10, 2024

Written by Steve Richardson

God in heaven and in our midst: 

Springtime surrounds our senses. Bright colors of flowers and trees’ green leaves, scents from fresh blossoms, sounds of singing birds (most of them always sound happy, except for the crows who seem to mimic fussiness!), increasing warmth from the sun moving closer and shining longer each day, and so many other sensory joys. This season brings the added sense of renewal. Thank you, Creator, for Spring’s wonders.   

Despite these blessings, we still tend to worry a lot. Jesus encouraged us to not be anxious for tomorrow. Often that’s easier said than done. We’re sure you know how difficult that can be for us in a world of randomness and pressures all around us. Culture-imposed calendars and schedules have ways of overtaking and setting our priorities. Please, comforting Lord, keep us mindful that you are always willing to be a calming source of reassurance and support.   

Jesus also shared the analogy that he is the vine, and we are the branches from which we might bear fruit.  Help us acknowledge that these grapes don’t suddenly grow all at once. Such growth happens over time, day-by-day. And some days are sunny, some are rainy; some are warm, some are cold; some are calm, some bring fierce winds and storms. But via your divine vine, we pray we produce fruit worthy of your acceptance. 

Guide and move us to seek justice, wholeness, healing, compassion, inclusiveness, hospitality, reconciliation and peacemaking. Even when we might think such goals are aspirational but not realistic, give us confidence that we can achieve them by doing our parts each day (starting now) within our own circles of family, friends and community. 

We continue to pray for your omnipotent healing touch on the brokenness of this world. Wars, natural disasters, diseases, hunger, social injustices, poverty, crimes – – the consequential human suffering from these troubles us. We pray again that your sacred will be done so that your peace which surpasses all understanding is known across the Earth. 

Thank you, God, for loving us, accepting us, sustaining us and being ever-present with us. Thank you for your grace, mercy, wisdom and promise of everlasting life. 

Merciful God, also hear these needs and prayers of others in our church community. Surround each person with your loving embrace and comfort… 

We pray for ….

  • Those who are grieving the death of husband and father after illness; thankful for love!
  • An adult child with mental illness; prayers for the mother to make best decisions for herself and family. Pray that the destructive voices will subside ….
  • A grandchild; praying for good health and discernment as diagnosis about seizures is discussed
  • A member awaiting test results from MRI
  • A young adult diagnosed with cancer
  • A young couple going through a difficult time
  • A family in Nashville in the death of their 42-year old wife/mother to cancer
  • A husband recently diagnosed with cancer; thankful for the excellent medical team. 
  • Christian unity
  • One who feels betrayed by his faith in God; searching for truth and answers
  • A friend whose twenty-year old daughter died after five-year battle with brain cancer. Prayers for this dear mother; she had already lost one child during birth. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.
  • High school seniors who are making decisions about college
  • A son to find a job
  • A daughter having surgery this week
  • Adult children navigating health care for aging parent; prayers for discernment
  • A nephew who has been deployed to Middle East; prayers for safety for all
  • A granddaughter having medical tests
  • A nephew who is grieving the death of a much-loved uncle.

We give thanks for …

  • A new job!
  • Son and daughter-in-law moving back to Tennessee
  • The successful heart transplant surgery for a friend’s little girl
  • Safety! Thankful that a member is safe after tree fell on her house. Thankful for the prayers of so many people that bring peace and calm.
  • Thankful that our son found a good job!

We continue to pray for …

  • Peace in our world; especially the starving in Gaza.
  • One looking for full-time employment; the stress of job searching is causing sleeplessness. Dear Lord, help her find work!
  • The continued efforts in Baltimore after the bridge collapse.

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.

Weekly Prayers for the Church Street Family

Week of March 27, 2024

Written by Rev. Tim Best

Holy God,

During this Holy Week we seek your strength and your compassion. In each of the stories that we encounter about this week of your ministry which culminates in your passion and death, we see that when our love, our understanding, our patience, and our courage fails, you remain steadfast. As we read and remember the stories of your journey to the cross, open our hearts that we might be renewed in our discipleship. As our lenten journey comes to an end, prepare us to proclaim the hope and mystery of our faith after Easter.

As you taught in the temple, and prophetically challenged the powers of your day, challenge in us our love for the way things are. Where we have used talk of you to benefit ourselves and those close to us, lead us to repent. Help us to remain steadfastly committed to you, that we would abandon the appearance of devotion for the sincere commitment to you and the path you set before us. Make us mindful of those in our midst who suffer and are vulnerable. We pray for those whom we have ignored, those whose suffering has benefitted us, and those who have yearned to know your love, but have not found in us compassionate friends. Guide us that we may see the suffering of others and respond with the mercy and grace you have shown to us.

As you greeted those who arrived to arrest you with peace, help us to face our enemies with confidence in your kingdom and a resolve to greet force and violence with patience and trust in the final triumph of your kingdom. We pray for those who suffer from violence. We pray for all peoples afflicted by war. We pray for the ongoing war in Ukraine. We pray for Israel, for Gaza, for all those who are suffering. As your disciples we know that your desire is for all creation to be gathered into a peaceful and even joyful existence under the Lordship of Christ. Help us to treat our enemies as Christ treated those who saw him as an enemy. Soften hard hearts and direct the powerful so that your peace may reign.

Through your own suffering on the cross you teach us that we might cry out to you in our own trials. Deepen our faith that we might be so bold to name our suffering before you and before the world. We praise you that we are not required to hide our pain and suffering. We pray for those who are suffering. Our hearts are broken as we continue to learn details of the tragic bridge collapse in Maryland. In such moments we feel limited by words and our inability to undo such suffering. Hear us when we pray and hold those who suffer in your care.

As we come to the end of another day in this Holy Week, grant us peace and rest this night. Take from us the burdens of the day, and help us to recognize the simple mercies we have experienced throughout this day. Where we have failed to fully obey you today, help us tomorrow. In humble trust we offer all the cares of our hearts to you, including these joys and concerns of our church family….

We pray for ….

  • The city of Baltimore and all those affected by the bridge collapse. Praying especially for the families of the six workers. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer!
  • A sister who is going through divorce mediation; may all be calm and respectful.
  • A member’s nine grandchildren; may they know th ey are all loved by God and family.
  • One who is having trouble sleeping while looking for work; pray that someone would call for an interview!
  • Praying for family and friends who are going through difficult times; God knows the need.
  • Family and friends who are grieving the death of a special lady who taught us all about perseverance, hope, and trust in God.
  • A mother who has been hospitalized at Vanderbilt; thankful doctors are able to bring her relief
  • A colleague who is having health concerns; may she make good decisions
  • One who is waiting to hear results from MRI
  • Those who are prisoners of human trafficking
  • Family in Indonesia
  • A husband who has broken nose and and cannot sleep well
  • A family having to make decision about putting their mother in nursing home. Prayers for this 88-year old.
  • A cousin’s wife who has advanced kidney cancer; she begins treatments soon. Please pray for healing and peace.
  • The husband of a close friend whose throat cancer has returned. Prayers for him and for his wife who is caregiver.

We give thanks for ….

  • A daughter who has found a wonderful full-time job after years of being stay-at-home mom!
  • The beautiful musical offering on Sunday night, St. John’s Passion
  • For all the people who read these prayer requests and offer their time to pray.

We continue to pray for ….

  • A grandson who is healing from surgery on tibia and fibula
  • Those who have had surgery
  • One who is recuperating from leg surgery; praying that pain will be gone.

We offer our prayers in the name of Jesus, our Lord, who taught us to pray, saying:

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.

Weekly Prayers for the Church Street Family

Week of March 20, 2024

Written by Rev. Catherine Nance

O God of evening, many of us are coming to you now ready for a good night’s sleep. We look back over the day and offer gratitude for the ways you have shown your love and grace to us. But you know, O God of nighttime, that there are those of us who dread the night for we have trouble sleeping. There is much on our mind. We want to ‘find our rest in you,’ but our minds will not turn off. 

Soothe our spirits O God, give us a sense of trust that you are with us. You neither slumber nor sleep and you will watch over us. We pray for mothers and fathers who watch their children sleep, worried about their future. We pray for children who hope their aging parents can sleep well; storing up energy for the next day’s medical appointments and errands. Our minds wander to the day’s news and when we close our eyes we see images from around the world. How can we rest? 

Breathe on us, O Breath of God. Help us to see and to receive the nighttime as a gift. Please help our minds and souls to rest. You have created in us in such a way that our bodies and spirits need rest. Help us to see this as a gift and not an escape or a hurdle to overcome. 

May we truly find our rest in you. 

We pray for those who are too weary to pray. We pray for those who do not know how to pray. And we pray for those who do not know the solace that comes from communing with you. We know you hear all the sighs and the groans and the silence and receive them as prayer. 

Bless you, O God of evening. 

Tomorrow may we rise singing, “Morning by morning new mercies I see!” 

And now, in an act of covenant love with our church family, we pray for these individuals and families who have asked for prayer … 

We pray for ….

  • A grandson who broke tibia and fibula playing basketball at school. Thankful that surgery went well. Prayer for healing for this young man!
  • A man looking for meaningful work that can sustain him financially and emotionally
  • A husband recovering from ACL surgery
  • A member having surgery at Duke; prayers of thanksgiving for a doctor who offered solution to pain
  • The babies and children who are starving in Gaza. Pray for compassion and sense to prevail. Lord, in your mercy, please deliver these children! Hear our prayer!
  • For a member waiting on MRI results
  • For a wife dealing with the unexpected death of her husband. Giving thanks for loving children and family
  • Sons who are grieving the death of their beloved mother
  • A husband and wife as they begin learning about different types of dementia and how to plan for a healthy and safe situation

We continue to pray for ….

  • The newborns in our church family; thankful for loving parents and good health!
  • A member whose beloved canine companion is undergoing treatment and therapy
  • A member who has moved to skilled nursing care and rehab after a stroke
  • A dear friend who was so active and now unable to walk
  • Loved ones who are transitioning from ‘home alone’ to ‘assisted living’ 
  • Caregivers who feel they are alone.
  • Those whose grief is deep 

We give thanks for ….

  • Acceptance letters from colleges and post-high school programs
  • Our country and its freedoms
  • The chance to visit with granddaughter
  • The improved health of a dear mother and mother-in-law

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.

Weekly Prayers for the Church Street Family

Week of March 13, 2024

Written by Steve Richardson

God of all creation, God in heaven and in our midst, God of grace and love, we humbly ask you to hear our prayers. 

Thank you for the majesty of the spinning Earth and the changing seasons. Thank you for the emerging signs of springtime that hearten our senses ever more frequently. Thank you for the beauty of nature dispersed all around us in this region where we live. Although we know there are other areas around the globe just as delightful as ours, we still feel blessed to call this space our home. To you, God, all praise and glory.     

Thank you for your grace and mercy, even when we don’t deserve either. Thank you for sending Jesus the Christ who continues to point us to paths of righteous living, paths of justice, paths of love, paths of hope and confidence, paths of transformation, and paths of eternal life. Thank you for sending your Holy Spirit to journey with us on those paths every day. Thank you for your constant presence, even when we may not always realize it. To you, God, all praise and glory. 

Thank you for daily moments of joy, as well as memories of joy. These are gifts that help sustain us amid the difficulties we face. Thank you for your holy scripture that reminds us many, many times to “fear not” as you surround us with hope and love. Thank you for church and connections that provide ties that bind us in mutual support. To you, God, all praise and glory. 

Thank you for minds that can imagine, dream and hope; minds that can reason and solve problems; and minds that can share empathy and compassion with others who grieve and feel despair. Thank you for never abandoning us. Thank you for your Word and your Light. Thank you for the wisdom of Biblical writers, teachers, commentators and scholars. To you, God, all praise and glory. 

Yet even with these many blessings and countless others (plus blessings that undergird us but escape our awareness!), we still seek your help and direction. There are circumstances and challenges beyond the abilities of humankind. So we humbly pray to you, Lord, for your sacred omnipotence to bring your creation to its ultimate wholeness. And to you, God, with all praise and glory, we pray that you hear these needs and prayers of others in our church community; and that you surround each person with your loving embrace and comfort… 

We pray for ….

  • Family members grieving the loss of a beloved mother
  • A mother in the hospital
  • A newborn who had procedure done recently; prayers for healthy days ahead!
  • A mother grieving the death of her son by suicide; Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer!
  • A man in our community whose brother has been missing
  • One who is looking for safe housing and meaningful work
  • A recent widow and her day-to-day coping

We give thanks for ….

  • Acceptance letters from colleges and post-high school programs
  • Faithful volunteers who come to soup kitchen week after week
  • A good job interview; praying I will find the right job. 
  • A good time away with family over spring break; praying that the rest of the school year will be positive for my children
  • Our country and its freedoms

We continue to pray for ……

  • A grandmother who has been diagnosed with multiple cancers; prayers for discernment in next steps for treatment
  • A member who has moved to skilled nursing care and rehab after a stroke
  • A dear friend who was so active and now unable to walk
  • A woman seeking employment that will bring her joy and will help her family
  • The health of a newborn; may parents make good decisions
  • One is traveling overseas for school
  • For children who are adjusting to life after the sudden death of their mother
  • Victims of Israeli-Hamas war
  • Loved ones who are transitioning from ‘home alone’ to ‘assisted living’ 
  • Caregivers who feel they are alone.
  • Those whose grief is deep 

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.

Weekly Prayers for the Church Street Family

Week of March 6, 2024

Written by Rev. Catherine Nance

Honestly God, it has been a dreary day.

We know we are supposed to give thanks in all things, but we let the gray sky and the rain and the humidity bring us down.

We say things like, “Now, I have to change shoes. These got all wet.”

Forgive us, O God of Sunshine and Rain. As we mutter under our breath that we left our other umbrella in the office and our new one is at home, make us pause to give thanks that we have two umbrellas. Forgive us when we forget we have a choice of clothing and can dress in layers. We complain when we have to de-layer; forgive us.

Move us beyond ourselves, O Lord.

We pause now, embarrassed by our pettiness, and offer thanks to you. We are grateful for all that we have. We are grateful for the options that most of us have. When an activity is rained out, we have a dry place to go. Forgive us for grumbling.

Now that we have our good sense about us O God, we do give you thanks for this day. We have had enough to eat, we have stayed mostly dry and warm, and we have a safe place to sleep tonight. We thank you for the people we have encountered today; some strangers and some family. People who were kind to us and people who took time for us.

Before we call it a day, be with us O God, as we remember the conversations and the interactions that were meaningful. We include you in these remembrances knowing that your spirit is always present. Thank you for your blessings.

Before we pray for those near and dear to us, we think about your world. We cannot imagine what a rainy day is like in Gaza or Odesa. We simply open our heart right now and know that you hear the prayers of people all over the world. Through the power of your holy spirit, as we pray for people we know and love, may we feel a connection to all people who call out to you.

Lord, we thank you for the rain. We thank you hearing our prayers. We offer now the prayer requests from our congregation ….

We pray for ….

  • A preschool special ed teacher who is having to deal with extreme behaviors from students; pray for safety, wellbeing, and peace of mind. God bless all the students
  • A grandmother who has been diagnosed with multiple cancers; prayers for discernment in next steps for treatment
  • A member who has moved to skilled nursing care and rehab after a stroke
  • A dear friend who was so active and now unable to walk
  • A woman seeking employment that will bring her joy and will help her family
  • A father in the hospital whose health is declining. May sons feel God’s guidance and strength
  • The health of a newborn; may parents make good decisions
  • One who is traveling overseas for school
  • For children who are adjusting to life after the sudden death of their mother
  • A member whose brother died
  • One who is working with new doctor for second opinion; praying for discernment

We continue to pray for ……

  • A friend who has started drinking again
  • One waiting on test results from doctor
  • One going through a divorce
  • A family dealing with many health issues and employment issues as they relocate
  • Victims of Israeli-Hamas war
  • Loved ones who are transitioning from ‘home alone’ to ‘assisted living’
  • Caregivers who feel they are alone.
  • Those whose grief is deep

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.