This morning I helped lead worship in our traditional worship services. Below is the transition to prayer and prayer that I used. Let me know what you think.
Transition to Prayer
I recently saw a couple interviewed on TV who had survived the attack in Mumbai. During the interview they talked a bit about that experience and how they had been intentional about splitting up and going their own ways in the midst of the chaos of the attack. “We wanted to make sure that our children had at least one parent survive,” said the mother.
I imagine this sense of anxiety and parental responsibility is similar to what Mary felt when she realized that as a boy Jesus was not with her on the journey home from Jerusalem. As Mary frantically rushed back to the temple to look for him I can only imagine the fear and the worry that she would have felt.
This kind of worry is something that many of us can relate to as we think about the responsibility we have to care for others. In much the same way, God worries about us and seeks us out desiring to draw us into relationship. It is this good news, of God’s love as that of a parent that brings us to this time of prayer. Let us pray together…
<Pause for Centering>
God of all time, as we enter into your presence this morning we think about Mary and what it must have been like to nurture Jesus as he grew. And as we think about Mary, and about our own lives, we are amazed by how quickly the days and weeks and years fly by.
In just ten days we will gather here again for Christmas eve worship, celebrating the birth of Christ, our Lord and Savior.
In just two and a half weeks we will ring in the New Year, looking back over 2008 and thinking about our hopes and dreams and goals for 2009.
As we reflect on the passage of time we can’t believe how quickly the years have flown by. Our children are growing up too quickly, our parents are aging in increasingly noticeable ways, and we realize that we aren’t getting any younger ourselves.
Many of us wish that we could somehow slow down time to savor and treasure special things during this season. Others of us wish that we could speed up time to get past painful gatherings with family and friends. But in the midst of it all, we are grateful that you are the God of all time and so we lift up to you now our prayers of gratitude on this day…
<Pray in Silence>
We thank you God for the ways in which you’ve been involved with all of the times of our lives. And we are grateful, for those who have nurtured and cared for us as Mary nurtured and cared for Jesus. It is in his name that we pray…
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. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.