Praying the Psalms for One Another
Using the pamphlet "Praying the Psalms Daily" and combining it with our "2020 Amber Church Prayer Reminder" which lists all the members of the church family, we encourage you to pray for each other every day.  Below is the list of daily Psalms and the office or mission and the individual for each day.  During this time of restricted assembly why not call, text or email the individual and let them know you prayed for them.

May

 1         Psalm 111:1-10                      Minister – Jack and Janet Seymour

 2         Psalm 112:1-10                      Elders – Mel Simmons, Jenn Simmons

 3         Psalm 1 13:1-9                       Trustees – David and Roxann Bailer

 4         Psalm 114:1-8                        Clerk – Arlette Sherwood – Jared Locke

 5         Psalm 115:1-18                      Treasurer – Andy and Linda Henderson, Alex

 6         Psalm 116:1-19                      Financial Secretary – Duane Wright – Jason Wright

 7         Psalm 117:1-2                        Ministerial Relations Chair – Jenny Wright, Alex Wright

 8         Psalm 118:1-29                     Worship Director – Jim Seymour – Andrew Henderson

 9         Psalm 119:1-8                        Worship Services – David Angelo

10        Psalm 119:9-16                     Sunday School JAM – Chuck and Sue Ellen Harris

11         Psalm 119:17-24                   Bible Studies – Teal Trendowski – Karen Swierk

12        Psalm 119:25-32                   Youth Group – Mike and Cheryl Curtis

13        Psalm 119:33-40                   Christian Education Director – Kim Vile

14        Psalm 119:41-48                   One-to-One Meetings – Mark and Brenda Henderson

15        Psalm 119:49-56                   Women’s and Men’s Groups – Rick and Lois Chaffee

16        Psalm 119:57-64                   Supper Club – Garrett Crysler – Larry Wheeler

17        Psalm 119:65-72                   Outreach Director – Rich and Lisa McVicar

18        Psalm 119:73-80                   CCCC – Bob Post

19        Psalm 119:81-88                   CNY Congregational Churches – Adele Reagan

20       Psalm 119:89-96                   Neighboring Churches – Barbara D’Aiutolo

21        Psalm 119:97-104                 WMHR (Wayne Taylor) – Terry Wheeler

22        Psalm 119:105-112                RBC Ministries – Jim and Gail Frary

23        Psalm 119:113-120                His Mansion – Matthew Henderson

24       Psalm 119:121-128                Teams 4 Medical Missions (John Heater) – Marilyn Fish

25        Psalm 119:129-136               New Hope (Kathy Jerman) – Dave and Kristin Heath

26       Psalm 119:137-144                Men’s and Women’s Conferences – Emma Crysler

27        Psalm 119:145-152                Young Life Syracuse West – Carl and Nancy Barber

28       Psalm 119:153-160                Schools for Haiti (Carla Flesch) – Faith Stopyro

29       Psalm 119:161-168                Teen Challenge (Dave Pilch) – Carole Ianuzi

30       Psalm 119:169-176                The ShoreLight – Mike Wheeler, Scott Trendowski

31        Psalm 120:1-7                       Samaritan Committee – Sherry Persad

Prayers for the Day – May 14, 2021

 

Psalm 119:41-48

 

Whereas yesterday’s prayer focused on what we need God to do for us, today’s prayer sees those around us who are either opposed to our faith or see it as a needless hold on a superstitious perspective of a previous era.  So they “taunt” us or seek to “put us to shame” (119:42 & 46).  This attitude is often heard from both our cultural comedians and the educated scientists.  As our world struggles with issues of health, science, education and politics the brunt of the jokes are usually about religion, especially Christianity.  

 

Yet it is now more than ever that we need to cling to God’s “unfailing love…his promises…and our hope in his word” (119:41-43).  There is truth here that sustains the soul, so that we can “walk about in freedom” (119:45).  Certainly we are to be wise and follow the recommendations of the doctors and scientists.  We pray for the physical and social health of the people of our country.  And yet we also recognize that physical life and health is not all there is to being human.  So we pray and we read and we determine to “always obey your law, for ever and ever” (119:44).  There is nothing else that even promises a “for ever and ever.”  So let’s maintain our faith even in the midst of a critical culture.  

 

We pray today for our small group studies and for Mark and Brenda Henderson.  

 

Let’s pray together.

 

O LORD, give us the knowledge of your presence with us and of the truth of your word.  Help us to align our lives with your precepts and not be intimidated by others who are not believers.  May we be steadfast in our prayers and in our attention to you.  Bless all those who attend our church Bible studies that these times of shared instruction will be both encouraging and enlightening.  

 

We pray also for Mark and Brenda.  Thank you for them and their family, bless all four generations we pray.  Continue to both meet their physical and spiritual needs, keep them safe and healthy and growing in their understanding of you.  We commit them and ourselves to you in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Prayers for the Day – May 13, 2021

 

Psalm 119:33-40

 

The attitude of the heart in this section of our prayer-psalm is one of humble need.  Too often we think we have things under control and can handle life all on our own.  God is a useful back-up plan if we get in an emergency situation.  But generally, we are okay.  

 

But our prayer here sees a different reality.  We need God’s help every day, all the time, if we are going to even see life properly.  So we pray “teach me to follow…give me understanding…direct me in the path…turn my heart toward you…turn my eyes away from worthless things” (119:33-37).  Without God’s direct intervention in our daily lives we will never know his truth.  The end result would be that our lives will become “the disgrace I dread” (119:39).  

 

Those who have walked with God just a little know these things and pray “how I long for your precepts! Renew my life in righteousness” (119:40).    

 

This is to be our prayer today for ourselves and for Kim Vile.

 

Let’s pray together.

 

Lord Jesus, we come to you in our need.  Sometimes we must confess that we don’t even know what we need.  When things seem to be going well we assume that we have everything under control and tend to even forget about you.  But today we are reminded that we need you in the day-in-day-out routines of life.  We are so forgetful and so self-absorbed.  

 

We pray for Kim today that you would be her present companion, teacher, friend, and LORD.  Remind her of her need to maintain relationship with you in the routines of her life.  Complete her and give her an overflowing reality of yourself.  Fulfill your promise to her and to us that we might properly fear you.  We commit Kim and ourselves again to you in the name of Christ our Lord.  Amen. 

Prayers for the Day – May 12, 2021

 

Psalm 119:25-32

 

Our prayer-psalm today seems like one for a down day.  “I am laid low in the dust, renew my life according to our word” (119:25).  We all have those days from time to time, a blue day.  We may feel like complaining about our lot in life.  Well, go ahead.  God is willing to listen to us.  “I recount my ways…my soul is weary with sorrow” (119:26 & 28).  Of all the ones we could talk to on this depressing day, God should be the first to hear our cry.

 

But it isn’t just a complaint that we share.  It is also a cry for help, “teach me…let me understand…strengthen me…be gracious to me” (119:26-29).  And we rise to do our part even if we don’t feel like it.  “I will meditate on your wonders…keep me from deceitful ways” (119:27).  Yes, we still need to attend to our daily routines of Bible reading and prayer if our perspective is ever going to change.  And we do need to recognize the temptation is present to do nothing or worse, to fall into what appears to be an easier path.  Christian faith continues to focus on the things God directs until the gloom passes and we once again experience the reality that says “you have set my heart free” (119:32).

 

Our Prayer Reminder tells us to pray today for the youth of our church and for Mike and Cheryl Curtis.

 

Let’s pray together.

 

Lord, it is so easy to live on our emotions.  When things are going well we feel up and when the days are dark we feel discouraged.  Lift our spirits and renew our determination.  Give us an encouraging word from our Scripture reading to inspire us today.

 

We pray today for our church youth.  Some are planning to spend a week this summer at Camp Casawasco. Use these times of fun to also draw them closer to yourself.  We pray too for Mike and Cheryl and ask your grace and blessing in their lives.  Keep them from dark days and help them to renew their perspective by attending to your word.  In all this we commit ourselves to you in Jesus’ name.  Amen. 

Prayers for the Day – May 11, 2012

 

Psalm 119:17-24

 

The prayer request here is a very personal one.  I need your help, O God.  I recognize and gladly acknowledge that I am “your servant” (1119:17 & 23) but I feel like “a stranger on earth” (119:19).  I am determined to “obey your word” (119:17) but it seems like I have two things working against me.  First, it seems that you “hide your commandments from me” (119:19).  That is, I have a hard time understanding the Bible, what it is that you want me to do.  And second, there are “arrogant” people who “slander me” (119:21 & 23).  Even when it seems I know what I should do I am opposed by those around me from actually following through with my desired obedience.  

 

It isn’t easy being a Christian.  Even when our hearts are in the right place we still face a difficult challenge.  Our culture, even sometimes our Christian culture, is not supportive.  Lord, sometimes we all are just having a hard time with the basics of Christian living.   Hear our prayer today and help us.

 

Our Prayer Reminder has us praying today for our Bible Studies and for Teal Trendowski and Karen Swierk.

 

Let’s pray together.

 

Father in heaven, look down upon us with mercy, compassion and patience.  We really do want to walk with you.  We do want to know your truth and live as you direct.  But we get confused, sidetracked, intimidated.  Please make your way plain before us and give us strength to follow you.

 

We know we need each other’s support.  We pray today for Teal and for Karen as they care for their families that you will give them guidance and strength to follow you when the road seems confusing or dark.  Let them know today that a whole church full of people are praying for them and loving them.  Make yourself real to them and us today.  Be to us all our “delight” (119:24).  Amen.   

Prayers for the Day – May 10, 2021

 

Psalm 119:9-16

 

Our prayer today sounds very much like one for young people.  “How can a young man keep his way pure?  By living according to your word” (119:9).  It is true that young people have the best minds for memorization.  The older we get the more difficult it is for us to “hide your word in my heart” (119:11).  This is why we try to get our children to memorize the books of the Bible, the Apostles’ Creed, the Lord’s Prayer and a host of Bible verses.  Those messages will provide each one with the tools needed to keep on the right track.  

 

But what if we didn’t do that as kids?  What if we don’t have these tools in our toolbox as we face the trials and temptations of life?  Are we doomed to stumble along and fall continually?  No.  We can start today.  We have often heard the expression that a person is only as old as they feel.  In other words, if we think young, we can act young.  This is particularly true with regard to spiritual things for Jesus said that unless we “become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3). 

 

So let us rejoice and “follow your statutes…meditate on your precepts…consider your ways…delight in your decrees” (119:14-15) and determine that we “will not neglect your word” (119:16).

 

Our Prayer Reminder has us praying today for our Sunday School and for Chuck and Sue Ellen Harris.

 

Let’s pray together.

 

Father, help us to come to you as children, as young people who determine to live pure and godly lives. Thank you for making your truth so available to us in the Scriptures.  Thank you for the variety of versions we have of the Bible in the English language.  Thank you for all the helpful literature that we can lay our hands on so easily to aid us in our attempt to understand what the Bible means.  And thank you for church brothers and sisters who can help us apply your truth to life.

 

We pray this thankful prayer not just for ourselves but for Chuck and Sue Ellen.  May knowing and following your truth be their deepest desire.  Help them also to apply what they know and to then rejoice in the beauty of this relationship that fulfills and makes pure.  We pray this in the name of our great Savior, Jesus Christ.  Amen.

Prayers for the Day – May 9, 2021

 

Psalm 119:1-8

 

We start today the longest of the Psalms.  You may notice in your Bible that it is divided into stanzas.  The NIV has an odd-looking letter and its name to begin each one.  These are the letters of the Hebrew alphabet and there are 22 of them and thus 22 sections. You will also note that each stanza has 8 lines.  It is a very well planned and crafted poem.  The first letter is Aleph, verses 1-8, our prayer-psalm for today.

 

The reoccurring element in this lengthy prayer is that almost every verse makes some mention of Scripture.  It uses a variety of words to describe it such as ways, law, word, statues, precepts, decrees, commands.  The reminder to us is that prayer is a response to what God says to us.  He speaks first and we should listen.

 

I will focus just on one word today and that is the word “ways.”  It is used in verses 1, 3, and 5.  The first refers to the one who walks according to the law of God for when we do that our “ways are blameless.”  That is certainly an impossible sounding result, blameless, but that is what is possible when we follow God’s ways consistently.  Ephesians 5:25-27 tell us that this is Christ’s goal for each of us and it can be accomplished as we are “washed with water through the word.”

 

The second reference to “ways” in verse 3 states the same thing in reverse.  Instead of saying one is blameless it says “they do nothing wrong.”  There are always two sides to following the Word of God, doing the right and not doing the wrong.

 

In verse 5 the “way” referred to is not God’s way but our own.  Sadly they are sometimes, perhaps often in conflict.  “Oh, that my ways were steadfast in obeying your decrees!”  So our prayer today is that we would align our ways with his ways which are revealed in his word.  It will involve doing the things that are right and good and refusing to do the things that are wrong and evil.  This is the process of learning to walk with Jesus in light of the Scripture.  

 

Our prayer today is for our Sunday Worship Services and for David Angelo.

 

Let’s pray together.

 

Thank you, Lord God of mercy and grace, that you did not leave your people to wander around in the dark.  You revealed your truth to us in the written words of Scripture and in the person of Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh.  Thank you for the Holy Spirit who aids us in both interpretation of your truth and in the application of it in our lives.  Help us to walk in step with you.

 

We are grateful for the ways you instruct us, the things we should do and the things we should not do.  We pray that our times of public Worship each Sunday will aid us in this process of understanding and growth.  This is our prayer specifically for Dave today.  May your presence rest upon him as he seeks to live by your truth.  And keep us all from abandoning your ways and seeking to go our own.  Hear this prayer as we commit ourselves to you in the name of Jesus.  Amen.

Prayers for the Day – May 8, 2021

 

Psalm 118:1-29

 

Our prayer-psalm today has some verses that you will all recognize from the church’s annual Palm Sunday worship.  It is in this prayer that we have the words quoted by the crowds at Christ’s triumphal entry, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD” (118:25-26, Matthew 21:9).  But as you can see, that line doesn’t come until toward the end of the psalm.  What precedes it?  

 

The whole prayer is a walk-through of public worship.  This provides us with a mental image of a liturgical setting.  There are different speakers in this processional.  So let’s worship as we pray.  The first 18 verses tell the story of the processional to the gate of the city.  Verses 19-24 describe the scene at the gate, and verses 25-29 go from the gate to the altar.

 

Verses 1-4 – The choir sings an opening song of thanks and praise to the God whose “love endures forever.”  

 

Verses 5-14 – The individual rises to exclaim why he is going to worship.  It is because the Lord answered my cry and met my need.  “He is my helper…and it is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man.”  As a result, I am voicing this publicly for “the LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.”

 

Verses 15-16 – The congregation responds to this message, affirming that it is true and that it has also been our experience for “the LORD’s right hand has done mighty things!”  All get to join in the joy of the one who shares his story.

 

Verse 17-18 – The individual responds with a renewed commitment.  “I will not die but live, and will proclaim what the LORD has done.”

 

Verses 19 – The individual asks entrance into the place of worship.  “Open for me the gates of righteousness.”

 

Verse 20 – The priest responds that “this is the gate…through which the righteous may enter.”

 

Verse 22-24 – The congregation sings as they also enter in with words that acknowledge God and praise him for the day he has made.  “Let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

 

Verse 25 – The congregation, on the way to the altar cry out for God’s salvation.  “Save us” (which is the word “Hosanna”).

 

Verse 26 – The priest identifies the one who can save with the words, “Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the LORD.”  We know that this one is Jesus as he is identified for us in the New Testament quotations.

 

Verse 27 – The congregation states, “The LORD is God” and sings in “festal procession up to…the altar.”

 

Verse 28 – The individual whose story was the heart of this procession makes the congregation’s acclamation personal by singing, “You are my God and I will give you thanks…I will exalt you.”

 

Verse 29 – The choir who began with an opening song of praise now concludes with the same song.  “Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.”

 

What a great pattern for our worship, both public and private.  We sing our praise to you, Lord Jesus!

 

We pray today for our Worship Director, Nancy Barber, and for Andrew Henderson and Jim Seymour.

 

Let’s pray together.

 

Lord, we thank you that we are able to meet together in worship on a Sunday morning.  We enjoy sharing together the stories of how you have met us in our times of despair and struggle.  We take comfort and assurance in hearing how you have worked in others lives.  As we read and pray this psalm, we take a kind of mental walk-through of what public worship offers us when we gather.  We know that you are our Savior and we sing your praise.

 

And today we remember Nancy and Andrew and Jim.  Give Nancy wisdom as she leads our Worship Committee that seeks to help us all grow in our practice of worship and devotion.  We pray also that you will draw Jim and Andrew into the rich and practical experience of public worship.  Help them to benefit from others’ stories and know the help and encouragement in sharing their own.   Give us all a true and growing understanding of what it means to worship you.  This we pray in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Prayers for the Day – May 7, 2021

 

Psalm 117:1-2

 

Here we have the shortest of all the prayer-psalms, only two verses.  It hardly gets started and it’s over.  “Praise the LORD” (117:1) and then “Praise the LORD” (117:2).  The call or instruction to do so is addressed to everyone, the “nations…all you people” (117:1).  I guess that means you and me too.

 

And the reason for our praise is clear as well.  “For great is his love…and faithfulness…it endures forever” (117:2).  What wonderful traits to be known for, love and faithfulness.  Often we see one or the other but not both together.  A person vows to love their spouse at the time of the wedding, but often that love is betrayed by a lack of faithfulness.  And sometimes we pledge our faithfulness to one another but when we examine carefully the expression and manner of our love our pledge appears sadly lacking.  But God combines these not simply in words but in his character and relationships.  He defines our words and the only proper response to him is to sing his praise.

 

We are to pray today for our Ministerial Relations Chair, Mike Curtis, and for Jenny Wright and Alex Locke-Wright.

 

Let’s pray together.

 

Thank you, Lord Jesus Christ, because you have not only told us that you love us, you have proven it by laying down your life for us (John 15:13).  You are love and faithful in both word and deed.  And we thank you for the promise that you will never change, that these character traits that are so much a part of you will endure forever.  Help us to be like you.

 

We pray today for a growth in love and faithfulness in the lives of Mike, Jenny and Alex.  We know that none of us are perfect; we stumble in our efforts to deal properly with you and with others.  But we come to you and request that we, your people, will be known as those who reflect your glory.  Help us to be more loving, more faithful, more worthy of the name we carry as Christians, the name of Christ.  Amen. 

Prayers for the Day – May 6, 2021

 

Psalm 116:1-19

 

Our prayer-psalm starts off very well, “I love the LORD, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy” (116:1).  It is a wonderful experience to have one’s prayer answered.  “The LORD is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion…when I was in great need, he saved me” (116:5-6).  

 

This is a positive prayer, a positive assessment of life’s difficult situations.  The circumstance that prompted this prayer was a near-death encounter.  “The cords of death entangled me, the anguish of the grave came upon me; I was overcome by trouble and sorrow” (116:3).  And God preserved his life, he “delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears” (116:8).  Certainly that is good news.

 

And yet…my mind goes to those who have lost loved ones, who prayed that their spouse, their parent, their child would be saved from death and their prayer was not answered in this fashion.  Their loved one died.  How do we reconcile this?  Why are some prayers granted and others not?  How can we commit ourselves to a God that we don’t understand?  How can we pray “I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the LORD.  I will fulfill my vows to the LORD” (116:13-14)?  

 

The only answer this prayer gives us is the affirmation that “precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints” (116:15).  When God does not bring the desired healing, we can still rest in the emotional connection of his love.  We cannot explain God or his ways, but we can know God, the compassionate heart of God, and we can “sacrifice a thank offering and call on the name of the LORD” (116:17).  We can still “Praise the LORD” (116:19) for he continues to call us to himself.

 

Our Prayer Reminder has us praying today for our Financial Secretary, Faith Stopyro, and for Duane Wright and Jason Wright.

 

Let’s pray together.

 

Lord, we do thank you for answered prayer.  We thank you that you hear us and that no prayer of your people is considered trivial or unimportant.  We confess that we do not know how prayer works.  We don’t know why you grant some of our requests and others you do not.  We often feel confused and even abandoned.  And yet, with Peter we say in our confusion, “Lord, to whom shall we go?  You have the words of eternal life.  We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God” (John 6:68-69).

 

Today we are praying for all those who have recently lost loved ones.  We pray for your strength to sustain them as they continue to walk with you.  Give them the assurance even in confusion that your love is real and available.  We pray for Faith, for Duane and for Jason.  Thank you for delivering each of them from the losses of their lives.  May each of them continue to sing “I love the Lord!”  We thank you for our church family which supports us all in our journeys of faith.  We offer this prayer with a “Praise the LORD” in the name of Jesus our Savior.  Amen.

Prayers for the Day – May 5, 2021

 

Psalm 115:1-18

 

The next three psalms, 115-117, all have the repeated “Praise the LORD” at the end of the prayer instead of at the beginning.  The meaning is the same.  These are prayer-songs that shout “Hallelujah” about what God has provided in our salvation.  

 

Our beginning words recognize our place and God’s place, “Not to us, O LORD, not to us but to your name be the glory because of your love and faithfulness” (115:1).  Too often we are fixated on ourselves.  In placing ourselves in the center we not only push God to the side, but we get upset with others when they don’t treat us as the important folk we think we are.  There certainly are a host of illustrations of this in the news every day during this period of health restrictions.  But God is the only one who should take center stage.

 

“Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him” (115:3).  In contrast to the Almighty Sovereign God people create gods with imaginary powers but who actually are totally useless.  “And those who make them will be like them” (115:8).  This story plays out clearly in Romans 1:21-32.  The reverse of this is also true that those who worship the LORD of heaven and earth will also become like him, not in our power but in our character.  The blessing that follows has benefits to “both you and your children” (115:14).  This is indeed something to praise God for, but are we giving him that priority place in our lives?

 

Our prayers today are for our Treasurer, Gail Frary, and for Andy and Linda Henderson and their son Alex.  

 

Let’s pray together.

 

Lord, we confess that we often see only ourselves in this world.  We know what we feel and what we believe, and we think that everyone else should see life from our unique perspective.  But we are not the Creator, we are not God.  Give to us a true view of yourself and of life so that we might live in the enjoyment of your love and faithfulness instead of in the illusion of our own greatness.  And make us like you in character and compassion.

 

We are praying today for Gail, Andy, Linda and Alex.  We pray that you would be the center of their world.  Reveal yourself to them in ever increasing glory and reality.  We pray for Gail’s responsibilities as Treasurer and Andy’s as a Trustee.   We thank you for the home that Andy and Linda have provided for their children and are thanking you also for Alex’s accomplishments as he graduates from college this month.  Provide your continued direction to them all and to us as we offer this prayer in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Amen.

Prayers for the Day – May 4, 2021

 

Psalm 114:1-8

 

The beginning “Praise the LORD” which should start our prayer-psalm, is probably the last line of Psalm 113, the result of a textual copy error.  Not a big deal, just a point of consistency for the collection of Psalms used in the Passover worship (Psalms 111-118).  This one sings the exodus story of redemption, “When Israel came out of Egypt…Judah became God’s sanctuary, Israel his dominion” (114:1-2).  God’s people were led out of bondage into the freedom of their new land.  It is the salvation story of the Old Testament (Exodus 12).  They came out as a “sanctuary,” that is, as a safe place, and as a “dominion,” God’s people.  What makes us safe is that we are under the authority of God himself.  He owns us and we are his.  That is to be our new and our forever identity.

 

“The sea…the Jordan…the mountains…the hills” (114:3-4) all acknowledged God’s power at work.  Remember the story of the Red Sea parting before the Israelites as they escaped (Exodus 14) and the story of the Jordan River parting before them as they entered the land of Canaan (Joshua 3).  This reminds us of our New Testament Savior, Jesus Christ, who calmed the storm on the Sea of Galilee and his disciples remarked, “He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him” (Luke 8:25).

 

“Tremble, O earth, at the presence of the Lord…who turned the rock into a pool” (114:7-8).  This is another indication of God’s provision for his people.  This time in the wilderness, when there was no water he provided it from the rock (Exodus 17).  So it is with us.  God provides for his own all that is needed at just the time it is needed.  What a wonder, what a sanctuary, what a dominion.  I am reminded of the song, “Lord, prepare me to be a sanctuary, pure and holy, tried and true; with thanksgiving, I’ll be a living sanctuary for you.” 

 

We are to pray today for our Clerk, Cheryl Curtis, and for Scott Trendowski and Butch Schmidt.

 

Let’s pray together.

 

Almighty God, how forgetful we are often times of just who you are and who we are.  You are the one who made us and redeemed us.  You are the God who can control the earth and all that is within it, people, nations, nature.  You have dominion over all.  And yet you care about us and you make us your sanctuary.  It is only in relationship with you that we are safe in this broken world of sin and pain.   Remind us of yourself and of your provision for us in the midst of all our affairs.

 

We ask for this comforting and convicting knowledge for Cheryl and Scott and Butch.  They don’t need it more than the rest of us, but they are the ones we pray this prayer for today.  Give to them a fresh wave of your reality to wash over their conscious minds.  Like the skipping mountains and hills fill them with your joy and praise.  Satisfy their thirst with your living water.  Together we sing, “Praise the LORD!”  Amen.

Prayers for the Day – May 3, 2021

 

Psalm 113:1-9

 

“Praise the LORD” starts our prayer-psalm today just as it has the last few days.  It is a rousing yet simple call to worship.  That simple call is followed with a reiteration of praise explained as being about God’s name.  “Praise the name of the LORD.  Let the name of the LORD be praised…the name of the LORD is to be praised” (113:1-3).   A person’s name is the identifying association we place on that individual.  It is why surnames often were given to express some distinguishing characteristic.   “Chaffee,” for example, means either “hot headed” or “bald headed,” either one was probably a good definition of that fellow “Rick Chaffee” to distinguish him from other Ricks.  Naming can easily degenerate into name calling and bigotry, a practice of belittling the other before getting to know his character.  

 

So here in prayer we are urged, called, to name God even before we get to know him.  He is the LORD, the one who defines himself as “the one who is” (Exodus 3:14).  There are so many descriptive names for God in the Bible but none as personal, none that get to the heart of who he is than the name YWHW, LORD.  

 

After telling us to praise his name in the opening verses our prayer then describes him as the one who “is exalted over all the nations, his glory above the heavens” (113:4).  No one is like him.  He is “enthroned on high…yet stoops down to look” at us (113:5-6).  And in looking on the earth “he raises the poor…lifts the needy…settles the barren” (113:7-9).  Clearly there is very good reason to praise the LORD.  And what a privilege it is to know his name and to call upon him as both Lord and Christ.  I think my most frequently used name for God is Lord, and although when I speak it sounds the same I try to remind myself that it is not just Lord but LORD.  And despite the fact that he knows me through and through and everyone else who has ever lived, he wants me to know him through and through.  This is both amazing and an invitation to “know that which surpasses knowledge” (Ephesians 3:19).  Surely then I can stand and sing the “Praise the LORD.”

 

Our prayers today are for the Board of Trustees and for Dave and Roxann Bailer.

 

Let’s pray together.

 

Father, it is so amazing that you know us backwards and forwards and still want us to know you.  Most of us have spent so much time trying to hide from you and others and here you are trying to reveal yourself to us in deeper and more intimate ways.  Thank you for your incredible love.

 

As we get to know you may we also become more like you.  Help us to care for others as you care for us.  We pray for our church Trustees as they seek to maintain the property and see that the ministries your church are funded.  We also say a prayer today for Dave and Roxann.  Show yourself to them and meet their needs as you draw them closer to yourself.  This is our prayer in Jesus’ name.  Amen.  

Prayers for the Day – May 2, 2021

 

Psalm 112:1-10

 

Our prayer-psalm today is certainly a very positive one.  It starts with a “Praise the LORD” (112:1).  Then what follows is perhaps to some a Pollyanna type of poem.  “Blessed is the man who fears the LORD, who finds great delight in his commands” (112:2).  Everything from this point on sounds like a perfect life.  “His children will be mighty…wealth and riches are in his house…good will come to him…he will never be shaken…he will have no fear of bad news…he will be lifted high in honor…”  No matter what happens around him the person who fears the Lord is still blessed.  This is true “even in darkness” for even there “light dawns for the upright” (112:4).  Most of us at this point may be saying, “Who are these people?  Whose life looks like this?”  

 

A few months ago I was talking to another minister who asked me a rather interesting question.  Noting the present pandemic and the assembly restriction on all of our churches, the isolation that it has brought, etc., etc., he then asked, “What are the hidden bright spots for you in all of this?”  It’s a good question.  If given thoughtful attention and not immediate dismissal all of us can see some good things that have happened as a result of our present state.  For some it may include time with family, a slowdown of the working rat race, an opportunity to read and think and meditate.  How would you answer this question?  What hidden bright spots have you experienced?  This prayer-psalm tells us that even in the worst of times God will continue to bless those who put him first.  That blessing may not appear at first glance, but God always takes care of his own.

 

Our Prayer Reminder tells us to pray today for our Board of Elders, and for Mel Simmons and Jenn Simmons.  

 

Let’s pray together.

 

Father, make us sure of your hand in our lives.  Help us to see that you are always with us, standing available and eager to reveal yourself to our hearts.  Even in times of darkness make us confident that your light will still dawn upon us.  We pray this in the midst of this pandemic and in any other adverse situation that we find ourselves in by no fault of our own.  

 

We pray today, Lord, that you would give guidance to our Elders as they seek to lead us through this time of restrictions and into a brighter future.  Make your will known and the path forward practical and clear to us.  We pray too for Mel and for Jenn that you would keep them each safe and responsive to you.  May their faith increase as they walk through the difficult times of life.  This is our prayer in Jesus’ name.  Amen. 

Prayers for the Day – May 1, 2021

 

Psalm 111:1-10

 

Psalms 111-118 are a collection called the Passover Hallel, or the Passover Praises.  They were read and prayed and sung by the Hebrew people during the annual festival of Passover when they remembered their escape from Egypt in the Exodus account under Moses.  Each one of these eight Psalms begin with the word “Hallelujah,” translated by our NIV Bibles as “Praise the LORD.”  

 

There are three words that describe what God has done which prompt thinking people to praise him.  “Great are the works of the LORD…Glorious and majestic are his deeds…He has caused his wonders to be remembered” (111:2,3,4).  The works of the Lord are his creative acts in calling the world into being and making mankind in his own image.  We have certainly done much to destroy his creation both environmentally and relationally.  Pollution and war endanger our planet.  Yet his majestic deeds provide a continual involvement which sustains the world, us, life itself.  He will not allow anyone to ultimately destroy what he has made.  In fact, he causes his wonders to be remembered.  These are the redemptive actions of God which provide for our redemption and the worlds eventual renovation.  

 

All of this is what is included in the concept of covenant.  “He remembers his covenant forever…He provided redemption for his people; he ordained his covenant forever – holy and awesome is his name” (111:5,9).  The thinking person sees this as the “beginning of wisdom… and follows his precepts” (111:10).  

 

We are to pray today for our minister and for Jack and Janet Seymour.

 

Let’s pray together.

 

We praise you, Lord, the one who made us, sustains us, redeems us.  We thank you that your hand has been and continues to be in the affairs of everyday life.  As our Creator and Lord you have a rightful claim on our lives and so we offer them willingly to you.

 

We pray, Lord, for your leading in all the areas of church life.  Thank you for Jack and Janet and for the years that you have given them together.  Thank you also for them sharing their lives with us.  Give them an increased understanding of your ways and your plans for them.  Help us all to remember not simply the redemption stories of the Bible but our own salvation story.  Thank you for waking us to your grace and goodness.  Walk now with us so that we remain faithful to you and your covenant with us.  “To you belongs eternal praise” (111:10).  Amen.