Prayer Service - Let the New Spring Forth

January-February 2020
By: Alec Arnold, MA, Th.M., Ph.D. (c)

BY: ALEC ARNOLD, MA, ThM, PhD (c)

OPENING PRAYER AND READING

Leader: Our God is the Author of Life itself, whose renewing power is made manifest to us in the arrival of each new day, each new birth, each new phase of our life together as one human family in the world God created. As we come before the Lord in gratitude for the arrival of this very moment, may we listen well to the living Word.

(Pause)

Reader 1: A reading from the prophet Isaiah:
"Remember not the events of the past, the things of long ago consider not; See, I am doing something new! Now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? In the wilderness I make a way, in the wasteland, rivers." (Isaiah 43:18-19)

The Word of the Lord.

All: Thanks be to God.

(Pause)

Reader 2: A reading from the Revelation to John
"Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth. The former heaven and the former earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. I also saw the holy city, a new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, 'Behold, God's dwelling is with the human race. He will dwell with them and they will be his people and God himself will always be with them [as their God]. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there shall be no more death or mourning, wailing or pain, [for] the old order has passed away.' The one who sat on the throne said, 'Behold, I make all things new.' Then he said, 'Write these words down, for they are trustworthy and true.'" (Revelation 21:1-5).

The Word of the Lord.

All: Thanks be to God.

REFLECTION
As we await the renewal of all things in the New Jerusalem, we may find ourselves doubting the apostle's words. Are they trustworthy and true?

When death seems to overshadow the newness of life,

When the tears and pain of those we serve put a stronger sense of gravity in our heart,

Indeed when our own hearts are exhausted by the apparent pervasiveness of the old, may we pause and invite the Spirit's refreshment, asking God to give us the ability to perceive the newness springing forth in our midst.

Consider: Jesus told his disciples that even he could do nothing by his own power, but could only do what he saw his Father doing (cf. John 5:19). In the same way, pray with me that we might see, perceive and participate in the new things God is doing among us today.

PRAYER
God of grace and mercy, grant us faith-filled confidence as we perform our work today. Let us feel ourselves carried along by the river you're making in what so often feels like wasteland. If fear of change prevents us from welcoming the new things you are doing, help us to place our hope in your unfailing love, knowing that you are good and will never leave us nor forsake us. Thank you, once again, for this new day you have made; enable us to rejoice and be glad in it.

All: Lord we believe, help us to see.

 

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