Call to Prayer
As we prepare to enter into the significant work of this meeting let us pause for a moment to listen to a reading from the epistle of James and invite the words of the apostle to permeate our conversation.
"Be doers of the word and not hearers only, deluding yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his own face in a mirror. He sees himself, then goes off and promptly forgets what he looked like. But the one who peers into the perfect law of freedom and perseveres, and is not a hearer who forgets but a doer who acts; such a one shall be blessed in what he does.
- "If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, his religion is vain. Religion that is pure and undefiled before God and the Father is this: to care for orphans and widows in their affliction and to keep oneself unstained by the world."
O Lord, we gather here as those who wish to be doers, and not only hearers of your Word. In our work here today we ask you to hold the mirror up before us, that we might see in ourselves the potential for doing good that you see in us. Created in your image, we want to know ourselves as collaborators in your plan for a just and charitable society.
We ask you to draw near and be with us in our meeting today. Shape the conversation that we have here – gently guiding the steps that we take together as a group, moving us toward a new commitment to serve our communities. We pray together in the words of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, whose life was given to the care of "orphans and widows":
Lord by your grace, let the poor who see us be drawn to Christ and invite him to enter their homes and their lives. Let the sick and the suffering find in us angels of comfort and consolation. Let the little ones of the streets cling to us because we remind them of him, the friend of all little ones.*
We pray in Jesus' name,
*Mother Teresa, 1910-1997
From The Harper Collins Book of Prayers, compiled by Robert Van de Weyer (New York: Harper San Francisco, 1993, p. 352)