Sunshine Cathedral of Second Life
Call to Worship
When we feel down-hearted…
Jesus says: “Rise!”
When we wonder if we can continue on our journey…
Jesus says: “I am with you. You have nothing to fear.”
When we hunger and thirst in our souls for relief…
Jesus says: “Come, follow me.”
God of hope and possibilities, be with us today.
Open our hearts and spirits to feed upon your healing word.
Let’s pray together.
God of every good gift:
we come to worship today seeking many things.
Some of us are seeking peace,
some are seeking healing,
some are seeking answers,
and others are looking for the right questions.
We trust you, that you will give us
what we need;
food for our deepest hunger. Amen.
Psalm 100 (Good News Translation)
Sing to the LORD, all the world!
Worship the LORD with joy; come before [God] with happy songs!
Acknowledge that the LORD is God. [God] made us, and we belong to [God]; we are [God’s] people, we are [god’s] flock.
Enter the Temple gates with thanksgiving; go into its courts with praise. Give thanks…and praise [to God].
The LORD is good; [God’s] love is eternal and [God’s] faithfulness lasts forever.
Psalm 116.1-2, 12-14 (GNT)I love the LORD [who always] hears me; [God] listens to my prayers.
[God] listens to me every time I call…
What can I offer the LORD for all [the] goodness [given] to me?
I will bring a wine offering to the LORD to (show gratitude).
In the [sacred]assembly…I will give … what I have promised.
Praying Us Through
Prayer is a mysterious thing. We pray for each other when there’s illness. We pray for those who are suffering. We pray for the dead and for those they leave behind. We ask God to comfort us, to give us strength, to protect us, to heal us. We pray, and we pray.
Scripture tells us that whatever we pray for believing we have already received it, we will receive. And yet those who are sick sometimes remain sick. Those we pray to save from death die. Our strength sometimes fails us. And those who are suffering too often go right on suffering.
So why do we bother? God is not a vending machine or a wizard that we can visit with a list of things we need. Why do we continue to pray when our prayers are sometimes not answered?
We pray because it helps us. We pray because when we open ourselves to prayer we open ourselves to a relationship with God. For me it’s like talking with my most trusted and wise advisor about all the things that are burdening my mind. I’m a “chatter” when I pray. I talk with God the way I talk with a trusted friend. I listen for clarity as I would with a wise mentor. Prayer and meditation are the perfect companions. Praying is talking, meditation is listening. And both are important.
Prayers of petition are the prayers we pray asking for something for ourselves or for someone we love. Prayers of thanksgiving activate gratitude within us. Gratitude opens our heart to feeling the love of God and taking that love into the world.
I have a little note on my computer monitor that I see each day when I sit down to my desk to work. It says, “Say a prayer of gratitude for all you have today.” It’s a reminder that there are things beyond my control and challenges in my life and I am also blessed with so much.
Prayer is also important when I can’t say my own prayers. When I’m depressed or stressed or hurting that’s when prayer is most important. That’s also when I’m least able to pray. And that’s when your prayers and the prayers of those who love me mean the most. When I can’t pray, others pray for me. Their prayers lift me up and fill me with comfort and peace. I count on the prayers of those who love me to get me through hard times.
When I can pray it’s important that I do pray. It’s important to be grateful. It’s important to practice asking for help from other human beings by asking God for help. Prayer is about relationship... with God and with our neighbor.
How it works is beyond my comprehension. But I do know that prayer works. It grounds me. It reminds me how blessed I am. It puts me in touch with my very best self. “I will bring a[n]… offering to the LORD to (show gratitude).
In the [sacred]assembly…I will give … what I have promised.”
What I have promised to bring to relationships with God and those I’m with on this journey through life is the willingness to be vulnerable, to open my heart. Let us support each other in prayer this week and every week. Community is part of our humanity. Relationship is what makes life worthwhile.
I pray when I can. I ask for prayer when I can. I tell someone my troubles if I can’t tell God or tell God my troubles when I can’t talk to my friends. And each week I ask for your prayers and offer to pray for you. I give thanks for you, each one of you, and our time here each week. Thank you for keeping me and each other in your prayers. Amen.
Click this link to download a spreadsheet of music suggested for this Sunday.