Monday, July 22, 2013

A Prayer of Thanksgiving and Offering


Loving God,

We are so often distracted
by our fears and frustrations,
by our losses and lacks,
by our angers and anxieties,
by the things that offend us
and by our need to be on the defensive--
we are so distracted,
we forget
that in all things
in all things
we are to give You thanks.

Still, we know
that we cannot even begin to worship You
without proclaiming our gratitude,
for You
are the Giver of all good and perfect gifts,
which become even more precious to us
in times of sorrow,
disappointment,
and conflict.
Forgive us, O God, for forgetting to be thankful
for all the goodness You give so generously.

Receive now our humble thanks:

For the gift of Your church,
the provision of a beautiful facility,
the care of loving pastors,
the fellowship of a diverse family--
God, gatherer of congregations,
we give You thanks and praise!

For the gift of Your presence, abiding with us
even and especially in deepest darkness;
for Your comfort, for Your help,
and for the comfort and help You give us through one another--
God, everlasting arm and eternal home,
we give You thanks and praise!

For the gift of Your freedom,
the amazing spaciousness of grace
where there is room for every part of us
and where there is room for all of us--
God, merciful sovereign,
we give You thanks and praise!

For the gift of Your Son,
who knows us by name and by heart, and
who offers us a strange and surprising task:
to let go of our worries so we can truly receive him.
God, Abba and I Am,
we give you thanks and praise!

And for the many gifts of Your people,
offered up this and every day in Your service:
gifts of money, time, attitude, song, study,
prayer, service, leadership, encouragement--
God, equipper of the saints,
we give You thanks and praise!

For all these gifts, and countless more,
we give you all our thanks and praise.
Receive our worship,
and receive all the offerings we bring.
We give them with full hearts,
desiring only that they--
and we--
may be used in Your service.

Amen.



(partially inspired by the hymn "Abide with Me," and the Gospel reading Luke 10:38-42)

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