I am back.
I was off last week for some continuing education and now I am looking forward to getting back into the pulpit and worshiping with the saints/sinners of Salem and Belmont. It’s nice to take a break once in a while but I do itch to get back into the saddle, as it were.
So here you go, the prayers/blessings I prepared for worship this morning. The preaching text is Mark 12:13-17 where Jesus responds to the Pharisees’ question about taxes: Render to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s. What strikes me is that Jesus draws their attention to the image on a coin and then says render to Caesar what is Caesar’s. But what is God’s? Well, we are created in God’s image, so therefore what is God’s is that which bears His image. You and me. So this morning I am playing with this glorious reality of being created in God’s image.
May your corporate worship time be pleasing to God Almighty and may you leave refreshed for ministry out in the world; bringing glory to God. Let us pray and praise our God…
Holy Father, we enter this time of worship with joy and thanksgiving. We come before with all that we are to perform for You. We enter this space with no other expectation than to sing praises to Your holy name. For this time is not about us. It is not about what we get out of it. It is not about us feeling good. This is about You and You alone for You are worthy of all our attention. You are worthy of all our focus. You are worthy. So may this corporate time of worship be pleasing to You and may our lives the rest of the week be ones that deflect all attention to You, oh Lord, as we continue our worship 24/7. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.
Prayer before Preaching
Creator God, you created us in Your most glorious image. You created us with a purpose. You created us to worship you. But many have turned to worship the creature rather than You, the Creator. Many have turned away, rendering to Caesar that which belongs to You. Holy God, loving father, may You send Your Holy Spirit that these words may pack the punch needed to turn people back to You and render to You that which is due to You. May people see You as Creator and redeemer, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.
Now may the body and blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ embolden your words and deeds as you live as forgiven sinners; saved by grace through faith, and proclaim the life and death of Jesus to the glory of God our Father. Let us pray…
You have fed us with this holy food; the body and blood of Jesus, and now You send us out into this mission field. Strengthen our faith to speak boldly of Your Kingdom and may we be ever mindful of the fact that we are Your image bearers. To you be honor and glory, forever and ever, Amen.
The Pastor -|—