Prayers for Special Occasions 

                Each resource on this page has been bookmarked. To link to a particular prayer use the designation at the beginning of it, without the parenthesis, with a #. Thus, the first prayer would be bookmarked as:
                Dates at the end of an entry are when they have been used at this church, according to records not kept until Oct., 2000. All have been part of worship here, though when they were written or first used may go back as far as 1990 (first computer files).

(ny-1)                        CALL TO WORSHIP AND PRAYER (first Sunday of year)

        It's a brand new year! A page in life never before written upon! That's a great thought. It's also a bit frightening. As there are a multitude of ways in which we can make _____ a better year, there are also many ways we can blow it. Maybe that's why we're here this morning, to seek the One who gives us this new year, and to find in him the paths we should follow. As he did for the wise men so long ago, God sets before us a star of guidance... ...if only we bother to look for it. Please pray with me.
     Eternal God, this is the day which you have made. Help us to rejoice and be glad in it. Help us not to blow it. Shine your light upon our way, that we may follow you. Today. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.
     Would you stand with me and sing, "How beautiful the march of days"

                        CALL TO WORSHIP AND PRAYER            (first Sunday of new year)
        "Gloria in excelsis Deo." We don't know the tune to which the angels first sang these words to the shepherds, but it seems appropriate to let them be our first words, as God's people, to greet a brand new year. With them, shall we sing "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth - peace and good will toward all!" If you agree, would you stand and ring in __(year)__ with this note of glory?      [sing: "Angels we have heard on high."]
        This gathered chorus may not be as spectacular as your heavenly choir, O Lord. Even so, it is glorious to sing your praise this morning. God of grace and glory, we open our hearts and minds to your greatness and your goodness. Forgive our sins. Guide us away from them. Holy God, touch us with your holiness, that we might become your holy ones. May the song ring out in our lives even after we have left this place: "Gloria in excelsis deo." In the name of Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.

(ny-3)                                                                                (in January)
        A new year has begun. It is appropriate for us now to focus upon beginnings. Let's read together from God's Word, of the very first day of Creation, and worship our Creator, whose Spirit still blows over the face of the waters.

CALL TO WORSHIP   (Genesis 1:1-5)

One: In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth,
All: the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a WIND FROM GOD swept over the face of the waters.
One: Then God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light.
All: And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness.
One: God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night.
All: And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.

                                        Hymn - "I sing the mighty power of God"


        O Wind of God, blow over the waters of this congregation. Stir us up. Separate the light from the darkness, the good from the bad, that we might see ourselves as we are, and not as we pretend to be; that we might see you as you reveal yourself to us, and not as we try to create you to be. You are a great God, Master of the Universe, and yet your powerful presence is very near and available. Thank you. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.

(sum-1)                                        summer:
        O God, the source of all joy, you have nudged us together through the prodding of your Spirit. Lead us in worship, this day. Erase from us any pride over the righteousness of being here on a big holiday weekend, when many others worship on beaches and in parks. Instead, enthuse us, excite us with nothing more than the pure joy of gathering together in your Spirit. Help us to expect great things from you. Enable us to see your miracles in little packages, and not just big. Empower us, even today, to step out in faith toward the directions in which you call us. We praise you, echoing the celebration of your heavenly host. We love you, returning your greater Love. Strengthen us to serve you, following in the footsteps of the One whom you sent with a tub and a towel: Jesus Christ. In his name we pray. Amen.

(sum-2)                                            summer:
        O God, you refresh us with life-giving rain on a late summer's day, and bless us with a crisp hint of autumn's way. Our alleluias are but an echo of your voice, a ripple upon the waters from your splash, an aroma that lingers from your presence, a satisfying aftertaste from your banquet. O God, we have come, just as we are to worship you in grace and truth. Grant us this hour, the life-giving power to rejoice - to sing fully, to pray fervently, to love fiercely, to care deeply, to hope unendingly, to praise you in our words and our deeds, with all that we are, or could ever hope to be.
     Come, Holy Spirit, the source of every blessing. Tune our hearts that we might sing your praise. In him who died, and who lives to set us free: Jesus Christ. Amen!

(vote-1)                        (for a Sunday leading up to a Presidential or other election)
     We come to you, Lord God, with praise and confession. Thank you for the goodness that we can see, and empower us, by faith, to be thankful for that which we cannot. In your justice and peace thru Jesus Christ we live. May your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. We confess, O Lord, the ways in which we either work against you, or are, at best, lukewarm in seeking first your kingdom, and your righteousness. Enlarge our vision of your work in this world, that narrow mindedness might give way to future sightedness. Stoke the embers of our faith, and our will-power, that passivity might give way to passion.
     On this day, amidst the contention and confusion of an election campaign, we profess that you are the ruler of heaven and earth, greater than all political parties and governments, just or unjust. It is to you, and you alone, that we owe our highest allegiance. That is why we are here this morning. May our words and thoughts be pleasing to you. We offer them in Jesus' name. Amen.


1990-2001, Peter L. Haynes

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