A Time to Pray

Pray with the Pastor Tuesday:

 

Do you need a pastor to pray with you in this unsettling time?

St Luke’s United Methodist Church is offering real time pastoral support and prayer by phone in the community from noon to 3pm each Tuesday. You are invited to call 304-263-2788 during those hours, and if the pastor is on another call, please leave a message.

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Sharing our Prayers

Advent 2020

We have a little battalion of prayer warriors at St Luke's UMC, and we want to share some of our prayers for your use through this strange and new Advent season!  Share a prayer with us too by simply dropping us an email. May God bless you thorugh these holy days.

Sharing our Prayers

Advent 2020

We have a little battalion of prayer warriors at St Luke's UMC, and we want to share some of our prayers for your use through this strange and new Advent season!  Share a prayer with us too by simply dropping us an email. May God bless you thorugh these holy days.

Thanksgiving Friday

November 27

A Child's Prayer of Thanks

God, I thank you for the family and friends you surround me with. Thank you for another day to wake up and celebrate life. Thank you for the strength to play and food to nourish me. Most importantly, thank you for your love for me. Amen.

Thanksgiving 

November 26

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7

 

"But I, with shouts of grateful praise, will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed I will make good. I will say, ‘Salvation comes from the Lord.’" Jonah 2:9

 

"The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him." Psalm 28:7

 

"Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and perform your vows to the Most High." Psalm 50:14

Harvest Prayer

 

Please be gentle with yourself and others

We are all children of the Creator,

And none can say why some fields blossom

beneath the harvest sun.

Take hope that your season will come.

Share the joy of those whose season is at hand.

Care for those around you.

Look past your differences.

Their dreams are no less than yours,

Their choices in life no more easily made.

 

And give.

Give in any way you can. Give in every way you can. Give whatever you possess.

Give from your heart. To give is to love.

To withhold is to wither.

Care less for the size of your harvest than for how it is shared,

And vour life will have meaning And your heart will have peace.

from an anonymous 17th century sermon

-Contributed by Cliff and Barbara B.

Thanksgiving Saturday

November 28

For the Mission of the Church

Almighty God, you sent your Son Jesus Christ to reconcile
the world to yourself: We praise and bless you for those
whom you have sent in the power of the Spirit to preach the
Gospel to all nations. We thank you that in all parts of the
earth a community of love has been gathered together by
their prayers and labors, and that in every place your servants
call upon your Name; for the kingdom and the power and
the glory are yours for ever. Amen.

First Sunday of Advent

November 29

Navajo Prayer

May it be loving before us

May it be loving behind us

May it be loving above us

May it be loving all around us

In loving it is begun…

                                                     -contributed by Pat G.

 

 

 

First Monday of Advent

November 30

My prayer is Psalm 121 and was also in the Upper Room last week:  

 

Creator God, sweep away all our anxiety and make us new again.  

Grant us peace in mind, body and spirit. Amen

 

Blessings, Pat I.

 

 

 

First Tuesday of Advent

December 1

The Serenity Prayer

My ultimate favorite prayer is the Serenity Prayer, I do not know who wrote it:

God, grant me the serenity

To accept the things I cannot change,

Courage to change the things I can,

And the wisdom to know the difference.

Amen.

             "My ultimate favorite prayer." - Cassie T.

 

 

 

First Wednesday of Advent

December 2

First Thursday of Advent

December 3

Prayer from Persia

 

All that we ought to have thought and have not thought

All that we ought to have said, and have not said,

All that we ought to have done and have not done;

All we ought not to have thought, and yet have thought,

All that we ought to have spoken, yet have not spoken,

All that we ought not to have done, and yet have done;

For thoughts, words and works, Pray we, O God, for forgiveness.

-contributed by Pat G.

 

 

First Friday of Advent

December 4

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First Saturday of Advent

December 5

Prayer from a Friend

 

This is a prayer written by a pastor friend of mine Rev. Cynthia Belt.  I have found it helpful in my dealing with “These Days and Times”.

 

     God of our days and times: come close to us in this hour.  Calm our hearts and minds, restore our spirits, and give us peace.  Lord, put at rest our fears, bolster our courage and our compassion; increase our capacity for love.  In this season, we have been made uncomfortable; our movements have been curtailed; we are inundated with often conflicting information; our minds are racing, but we cling to your promise to be with us always.  We are your creation and our hearts can safely trust in you.  

     During our time of social isolation, help us to get closer to you.  Let compassion rise in us and send us an extra anointing of your love.  Allow us to hear your voice amid the many voices around and restore our joy.  In Jesus name we pray.  Amen!

 

-contributed by Pastor Dan W.

 

 

A Time to Pray

Second Sunday of Advent

December 6

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Give Me the Listening Ear

Give me the listening ear. I seek this day the ear that will not shrink from the word that corrects and admonishes - the word that holds up before me the image of myself that causes me to pause and reconsider - the word that challenges me to deeper consecration and higher resolve - the word that lays bare needs that make my own days uneasy, that seizes upon every good decent impulse of my nature, channeling it into paths of healing in the lives of others. 

 

Give me the listening ear. I seek this day the disciplined mind, the disciplined heart, the disciplined life that makes my ear the focus of attention through which I may become mindful of expressions of life foreign to my own. I seek the stimulation that lifts me out of old ruts and established habits which keep me conscious of my self, my needs, my personal interests.

 

Give me this day - the eye that is willing to see the meaning of the ordinary, the familiar, the commonplace - the eye that is willing to see my own faults for what they are - the eye that is willing to see the likable qualities in those I may not like - the mistake in what I thought was correct - the strength in what I had labeled as weakness. Give me the eye that is willing to see that Thou hast not left Thyself without a witness in every living thing. Thus to walk with reverence and sensitiveness through all the days of my life.

 

Give me the listening ear. The eye that is willing to see.

-Howard Thurman, contributed by Brooke C.

 

 

Second Monday of Advent

December 7

Look to the light


Dear God,
we can’t heal or resolve
all the problems
this pandemic has brought.
But what we can do,
(and it is a healing work)
is to keep ourselves
turned to the Light,
to seek it
against all odds,
and to take it
into ourselves
and shine a little.
That is what
we can do,
and it matters.


-Ann Siddall, Being Present, September 2020

 

 

Second Tuesday of Advent

December 8

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A Prayer

Dear Lord! Kind Lord!

Gracious Lord! I pray

Thou wilt look on all I love,

Tenderly today!

Weed their hearts of weariness;

Scatter every care

Down a wake of angel-wings

Winnowing the air.

Bring unto the sorrowing

All release from pain;

Let the lips of laughter

Overflow again;

And with all the needy

O divide, I pray,

This vast measure of content

That is mine today!

       — James Whitcomb Riley 1849-1916

-contributed by Barb and Cliff B.

Second Wednesday of Advent

December 9

A day of prayer for the pandemic. 


Gracious God, trusting in your providence and presence,
we bring our prayer for an end to this pandemic.
We pray for your strengthening of all those committed to offering costly leadership during this crisis.
We pray for all who are ill.
We pray for those anxious about getting ill.
We pray for those full of grief.
We remember those who have died.
Aware of our fragility, we pray for your grace to sustain us as we do what we can to end this pandemic.
Your compassionate, peaceful and creative response to many crises is our model, including in our Sunday Gospel (Mt. 14: 13-21).
As we worship in resurrection faith, we offer our heartfelt prayer in your Holy Spirit through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


(Source: National Council of Churches Australia, 2 August 2020)

 

Second Thursday of Advent

December 10

His Eye is on the Sparrow

                Why should I feel discouraged?

                Why should the shadows fall?

Why should my heart feel lonely and long for heaven and home?

                When Jesus is my portion

                A constant friend is he.

                His eye is on the sparrow

                                And I know he watches me

                I sing because I’m happy

                                I sing because I’m free.

                His eye is on the sparrow

                                And I know he watches me.

African American, contributed by Pat G.

Second Friday of Advent

December 11

Second Saturday of Advent

December 12

Lord, help me to remember

that nothing is going to happen

to me today

that you and I together can’t handle.

Amen.

 

-contributed by Nancy W.

Third Sunday of Advent

December 13

God as our Mother and Father
Beloved God, we are in need
of You as our Mother, tenderly holding
those who are suffering, weeping
with those who are grieving,
nurturing those who are broken.

Beloved God, we are in need
of You as our Father, reasoning,
struggling for wise outcomes, and
shouldering the burden of care
with those who are overcome.

Beloved God, open our minds
and soften our hearts, so that
when we pray our imagination
and our faith is not limited, our
resulting actions not constrained.
Amen. 


 -Ann Siddall, Being Present, September 2020

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Third Monday of Advent

December 14

An Old Farmer's Prayer

A pastor asked an older farmer, decked out in bib overalls, to say

grace for the morning breakfast.

"Lord, I hate buttermilk", the farmer began. The visiting pastor

opened one eye to glance at the farmer and wonder where this

was going.

 

The farmer loudly proclaimed, "Lord, I hate lard." Now the pastor

was growing concerned.

Without missing a beat, the farmer continued, "And Lord, you know

I don't much care for raw white flour". The pastor once again opened

an eye to glance around the room and saw that he wasn't the only

one to feel uncomfortable.

 

Then the farmer added, "But Lord, when you mix them all together

and bake them, I do love warm fresh biscuits. So Lord, when things

come up that we don't like, when life gets hard, when we don't

understand what you're saying to us, help us to just relax and wait

until you are done mixing. It will probably be even better than biscuits.

Amen."

 

Within that prayer there is great wisdom for all when it comes to

complicated situations like we are experiencing in the world today.

Stay strong, my friends, because our LORD is mixing several things

that we don't really care for, but something even better is going to

come when HE is done with it. AMEN!

-contributed by Chris and Jim C.

Third Tuesday of Advent

December 15

Challenging Days

 

Spirit of Life, we find so much in this time of masks and limitation to bind us.  Help us to see this time as a time of blessing: the blessing of quietness: even as we miss the voices and interaction of each other. Help us with the blessing of patience even as we long for the freedom of touch and physical embrace. Let us know the blessing of  boredom which holds us fast yet invites  us to learn new ways of encounter and connection.

 

Guide us to embrace, not only what we have to do, but also to welcome its challenges to our creativity.  Open new doors and grant us the ability to recognize them, we pray. Shine a  further light on the paths and opportunities of our lives.  We need your presence in our hearts. Amen

 

 Reverend Valerie Wills

Co-coordinator of the Washington County Interfaith Coalition

-contributed by Pat G.

Third Wednesday of Advent

December 16

"Thy Will be Done" Lyrics by Hillary Scott

I'm so confused

I know I heard you loud and clear

So, I followed through

Somehow I ended up here

I don't wanna think

I may never understand

That my broken heart is a part of your plan

When I try to pray

All I've got is hurt and these four words

Thy will be done

Thy will be done

Thy will be done

I know you're good

But this don't feel good right now

And I know you think

Of things I could never think about

It's hard to count it all joy

Distracted by the noise

Just trying to make sense

Of all your promises

Sometimes I gotta stop

Remember that you're God

And I am not

 

There's a famous quote from Hans Christian Anderson, "Where words fail, music speaks." That's often true for me.  In times of praise and thanksgiving I sing to the Lord, but I also sing to the Lord in times of trial or sorrow.  Music and art have always been a refuge for me.  I have a playlist of songs I go to when I just need to escape and feel the hand of God.  This song, "Thy Will Be Done" has been powerful in my life.  We pray those words each week in worship, "thy will be done..." Reflecting on what that truly means can be tough.  In those times when I just don't know what to pray, these words fall off my lips and God speaks to me, comforts me and lets me know that no matter what He's in control and He has me in His hands. 

-Samantha A.

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Third Thursday of Advent

December 17

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Third Friday of Advent

December 18

A prayer: Rescue me from self-obsession


Dear God of all beings,
This pandemic is making my life so small that I am thinking of myself way more than I should. So for today, I send my prayers out on behalf of others and not myself. May my prayers connect me to them THROUGH you – like gossamer floss threaded through a divine needle.
I pray calm for all who are struck with terror every time they cough, or a loved one coughs or someone passing them in the supermarket coughs.
I pray healing for those sick with COVID.
I pray rest for exhausted nurses, doctors and other heroes I don’t always think about like the hospital laundry workers and cafeteria cooks.
I pray comfort for the lonely.
I pray rescue for the evicted.
I pray solace for the grieving. (And I’m sure you already know this Lord, but that’s basically everyone on the planet right now. Grief is the baseline for all of us. No more taking turns.)
I pray the gift of increased generosity in those who have more.
I pray mercy for the incarcerated and all who love them.
I pray fortitude for those who never ever thought they’d be homeschooling small children and are losing their minds.
I pray wisdom for our leaders.
I pray humility for the powerful.
I pray compassion for clergy and counselors and everyone else who is doing emotional and spiritual triage for others and yet are also deeply affected by the pandemic in their own quiet ways.
And for all of us, more joy please. Every tiny bit of joy possible during this shit-show. Amen.


(Source: Nadia Bolz-Weber, ‘The Corners’, 29th Nov 2020)

Third Saturday of Advent

December 19

There's a famous quote from Hans Christian Anderson, "Where words fail, music speaks." That's often true for me.  In times of praise and thanksgiving I sing to the Lord, but I also sing to the Lord in times of trial or sorrow.  Music and art have always been a refuge for me.  I have a playlist of songs I go to when I just need to escape and feel the hand of God.  This song, "Thy Will Be Done" has been powerful in my life.  We pray those words each week in worship, "thy will be done..." Reflecting on what that truly means can be tough.  In those times when I just don't know what to pray, these words fall off my lips and God speaks to me, comforts me and lets me know that no matter what He's in control and He has me in His hands. 

-Samantha A.

Fourth Sunday of Advent

December 20

Fourth Monday of Advent

December 21

I Said A Prayer For You Today

 

I said a prayer for you today and know God must have heard,

I felt the answer in my heart although He spoke no word.

I didn’t ask for wealth or fame, I knew you wouldn’t mind.

I asked Him for some treasures of a far more lasting kind.

I asked that He’d be near you at the start of each new day,

To grant you health and blessings and friend to share the way.

I asked for happiness for you in all things great and small. 

But it was for His loving care I prayed for most of all. 

 

- Cassie T. ... a friend gave this to me.

Fourth Tuesday of Advent

December 22

Fourth Wednesday of Advent

December 23

For YOU 

 

"May you be wrapped

up in God's love,

Found deep in

His everlasting wings,

Carried and kept safe

and cherished.

May the healing power

of Christ

Breath across your

being now." 

- submitted by Nancy W.

Christmas Eve

December 24

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.” [John 1:5]

As lights are present in this holiday season,

Let there be a light within our hearts,

As we turn on lights to our trees,

And to our homes,

We express hope for the light of Christ to be more and more evident in our world.

May the light of Jesus presence

Shine in our forgiveness towards others.

May it shine in our expressions of justice and equality to all.

May the light shine in the care we provide for each person.

Let there be light,

In our cities,

In our families,

And in our souls.

God, thank you for providing the light that dispels the darkness.

Amen.


Source: umc.org

Christmas Day

December 25

Second Day of Christmas

Feast of St Stephen

December 26


-Ruthanne T.

Third Day of Christmas

Feast of St John

December 27

Fourth Day of Christmas

December 28

Prayer for Inward Peace and Goodwill

O Lord Jesus Christ, by your incarnation you united things earthly and heavenly. Fill us with the sweetness of inward peace and goodwill, that we may join the heavenly host in singing praises to your glory;
for you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Amen.

Source: Gregorian Rite, 6th Century, Source of this version: Freely modified from Collects and Prayers for Use in Church,  United Lutheran Church in America, 1935

Fifth Day of Christmas

December 29

Breath Prayers

A helpful way to become centered and focused

Breathe out doubt; breathe in assurance

Breathe out worry; breathe in peace of mind

Breathe out hatred; breathe in love

Breathe out war; breathe in peace

Breathe out turmoil; breathe in harmony

Breathe out insecurity; breathe in God’s presence

Breathe out emptiness; breathe in fulfillment

Breathe out selfishness; breathe in generosity

Breathe out darkness; breathe in God’s everlasting light

Source: umc discipleship.org

Sixth Day of Christmas

December 30

Today's Reflection

 

We often fall short because our new year intentions depend so much on our willpower and our efforts without being grounded on, rooted in, or supported by the pull and push of the Spirit. A friend of mine says willpower is an exhaustible resource; it just takes too much effort to keep going. The intention of getting more exercise is good, yet how does it fit into a holistic plan for caring for God’s temple, the body? Our willpower can only get us so far. God’s care and nudges can sustain us over the long haul.

—Larry J. Peacock, The Living Nativity: Preparing for Christmas with Saint Francis (Upper Room Books, 2018)

 

Today's Question

How are you inviting God to guide your intentions for the year ahead?

Today's Scripture

Youths will become tired and weary,
young men will certainly stumble;
but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength;
they will fly up on wings like eagles;
they will run and not be tired;
they will walk and not be weary.

—Isaiah 40:30-31 (CEB)

Prayer for the Week

Creator God, Give me wisdom to learn from the blessings, stresses, and sorrows of all that lies behind, and give me the strength and hope to press on to what lies ahead.

-neweverymorning, upperroombooks.com

Sixth Day of Christmas

New Year's Eve

December 31

The Wesley Covenant Prayer

 

“I am no longer my own, but thine.

Put me to what thou wilt, rank me with whom thou wilt.

Put me to doing, put me to suffering.

Let me be employed by thee or laid aside for thee,

exalted for thee or brought low for thee.

Let me be full, let me be empty.

Let me have all things, let me have nothing.

I freely and heartily yield all things

to thy pleasure and disposal.

And now, O glorious and blessed God,

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,

thou art mine, and I am thine. So be it.

And the covenant which I have made on earth,

let it be ratified in heaven. Amen."

 

It was a tradition at Calvary UMC (under Rev. Al Clipp) to start the new year with a Covenant Service.  I had not been a part of a service quite like that before and found myself looking forward to it each year as a way to "rededicate" myself to this life in Christ.  This prayer is one that I go to frequently, especially when life has me questioning my purpose. I am a proud disciple of Jesus and this prayer continues to focus me on the mission I am called to.  

-Samantha A.