Weekly Prayers for the Church Street Family

Week of September 7, 2022

Rev. Catherine Nance

A prayer inspired by Psalm 139 

O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. 

These words from the psalms should be a comfort to us, O God. We often complain that no one truly knows us, but yet you know us through and through. Perhaps the psalmist was overjoyed with this intimacy; instead we are embarrassed or ashamed. We would prefer that our thoughts were not so clear to you! Sometimes they are a jumbled mess to us – and yet you are able to discern them. You created every living thing because you desired life around you and through you. May we open ourselves to your loving and living presence and not recoil in fear or shame. Here we are O Lord, you know us so well – and continue to love us!  

You pursue me behind and before, and lay your hand upon me.  

O God who walks alongside and ahead and behind, we want to feel your companionship and your presence. When we wander off clear paths may we feel your hand leading us home. When we hurriedly move past our family and friends, we are thankful for your hand that reminds us to slow down and pay attention. When we feel immobilized with fear, or boredom, or depression, or anxiety, may we feel the nudging and pushing along of your loving hand on us. You are indeed acquainted with all our ways, O Lord, and what a relief it is to us that you continue to choose to walk with us. 

Where can I go from your spirit? Where shall I flee from your presence? 

Forgive us, O God who breathed into creation every conceivable place and space, when we say I am all alone. Whether we are feeling the despair of loneliness or fleeing to hide from you, your Holy Spirit breathes on us and reminds us of your steadfast presence. You created us and called us good. May we live into your goodness, O God, and trust that you desire to be with us. May your love for us make us loving toward others. Lift our eyes beyond the confines of our daily world to imagine others in your world, people of all nations who are also loved and cherished by you.  

Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts; and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting! 

We truly want to be disciples of Jesus Christ! Sift through our hesitation and our doubting. Sift through the selfishness and the justifications. As we open ourselves to you, may you transform us into disciples who rejoice in the grace you offer. Your love and acceptance of us should cause us to rejoice and yet we often grumble and accuse others who think differently or have experienced you in a way with which we are not familiar. Oh God, lead us in your way! 

How profound to me are your thoughts, O God! 

It is with a sense of profound awe that we lay before you the concerns and petitions of our brothers and sisters … 

We pray for…

  • Bishop Bill McAlilly of the TN-Western KY Conference of the UMC who is recovering from surgery after an automobile accident …
  • The people in Jackson, Mississippi who have no water. Pray that leadership will see the plight of the poor and forgotten. Prayers for help with infrastructure.
  • A son who is struggling to find a job that is meaningful and for which he has prepared and trained; prayers for ‘in the meantime’ as he deals with rejection
  • A forty-four year old man who has melanoma in several organs and the friends and family who love him
  • A church member who was involved in a car accident. No injuries (Praise the Lord!) but the inconvenience and all the aftermath with repairs and insurance. Praying for peace through a difficult time
  • A church member who had surgery today
  • A five-year old who is battling brain cancer and for the people who tend to him.
  • A family who is dealing with major medical issues; prayers that insurance will approve next steps and that logistics of receiving care are met with ease
  • Prayers for a son concerned about his parents and their hesitancy in asking for help. We pray for all parent/child relationships as caregiving becomes an issue
  • For a sister who has completed radiation treatments but is so fatigued from them.
    A ten-month old who is having both feet amputated this week because of severe club feet.
  • A colleague who is planning to move; prayers for clear answers about timeline and logistics as retirement nears
  • A member’s sister who is having health concerns due to extremely high blood pressure; prayers for a path forward to deal with the issue.

We continue prayers for…

  • Our college freshmen and their parents! Both are making adjustments! We pray for all students from kindergarten and up who are past the Labor Day break and adjusting to the new normal of routine.
  • Those who are undergoing treatment for cancer, who are waiting test results, and who are waiting on follow up appointments. Prayers for patience and hope in the waiting.
  • Members of a Sunday School class who are concerned about one another’s finances.
  • Friends and family who are simply trying to survive each day

We give thanks for…

  • Opportunities to learn through the LIVING FORWARD event and the BRIDGES OUT OF POVERTY training. Thankful for committee members who work to promote education and advocacy in our families and our community.
  • For upcoming Stephen Ministry training and for hearts that are being stirred to serve in this caring ministry.
  • Our Stephen Ministers – especially our newly commissioned ones! May God bless them!
  • Members and staff who have felt the relief of student loan debt forgiven. Thankful for the opportunity during stressful financial times to have a sense of hope and rearranging budgets.
  • Two of our Soup Kitchen neighbors who have found housing
  • The completion of infusion therapy after a year; prayers of thanksgiving for God’s healing presence

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.