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Undistracted Love
Romans 15:7 

Father, when we gather before You,
You are not distracted by
our imperfect personalities,
our musical tastes, or
our annoying human flaws.
You love us.
Everything You are yearns for our best,
not for Your own comfort or pleasure.
You welcome us as we are.

Father, I am an imperfect person
gathered in the midst of other imperfect persons.
Give me Your heart for them,
Your patience,
Your selflessness,
Your undistracted love.
May I worship You by
embracing them wholeheartedly
as You have embraced me. 

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Hymn: In Simple Response to You
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Help Me Remember

Father, as I gather
in Your presence
with Your people,
I may be tempted to become
negative or critical,
impatient or unkind.

Help me remember
Who You are, Father.
You are the compassionate God,
the Lord of all mercies.
You loved me,
sought me, and
forgave me
when I was far away,
ignorant,
completely corrupt, and
totally unworthy.

And Father, help me remember
who I am.
I am nothing without Your mercies every moment.
Nothing, Lord.
I am deeply,
completely,
constantly
dependent on
Your patience and
Your untiring forgiveness.

Help me also remember
who they are.
They are as needy as me,
as dependent on Your mercy as I am,
as helpless without Your tender compassion.
They are the ones for whom
You sacrificed Your precious Son.
They are Your glorious work in progress –
You are so proud of them!
They are Your treasured possession.

Father, today may
my only thought,
my only word
be Your pure love. 

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Hymn: How Precious Are Your People
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Wholehearted Support
1 Chronicles 29:1-9

King David had deeply desired to build a temple for You, Father,
but You told him he was not Your person for the job.
His son, Solomon, would build the temple.

David didn’t sulk.
He didn’t complain.
He did everything he could to help Solomon prepare for this enormous task.
He supported Solomon wholeheartedly with all his
creative energy,
his resources,
his contacts,
his influence, and
his enthusiasm.
He poured himself as completely into his support position
as he would have into the leadership position.

Father, as we gather to worship, help me to
enthusiastically,
wholeheartedly
support those You have chosen for leadership.
Help me to get behind them with all the
help,
prayer, and
joyful involvement
that I owe You,
my Creator,
my Redeemer, and
my Lord. 

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Hymn: We Will Be Your People
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You Are My Defining Reality

Father, when Your people were traveling through the wilderness,
out of bondage and toward the promised land,
they were engulfed in need of every kind.
The basic necessities of life were a constant concern.

But with all those needs pressing,
You devoted the entire tribe of Levi – the Levites –
to Your service alone.
Their duties were varied:
They cared for the tabernacle and its furnishings.
They assisted the priests, taught Your law, and acted as local judges.

In setting them apart to Yourself, You made it clear that
You cared deeply about the worship life of Your people.
Their living relationship with You –
their Creator,
their Source, and
their Savior –
was the key to their existence.
Trusting You and
worshiping You for all You are
was the key to that relationship.

Father, my relationship with You is
the breath of my existence as well.
You are my Creator.
You are my Source.
You are the defining reality of my life.
You are my entire reason for being.

Father, as I gather with Your people,
help me give You all the attention,
all the trust,
all the worship that You deserve.
You are my God.
Help me to wholeheartedly worship You as my God today.

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Hymn: Great Lord of All Reality
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Your Chosen People

All-wise Father, You have chosen to reveal Yourself to me through
other people,
other believers,
deeply flawed as they are.

Through them, You teach me and
give me the privilege of teaching.

You encourage me and
give me the chance to encourage others.

You love me with
a human touch and
a human word
and give me the opportunity to love others the same way.

You enable me to
be who You want me to be and
enjoy all You want me to enjoy
through these
precious,
imperfect,
colorful,
wildly unpredictable, and
thoroughly human people all around me.

Father, help me to
always listen and
always speak to them with
gentleness,
love,
humility, and
gratitude. 

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Hymn: Philippians 2:1-8
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Together

Father, when I come to Your house to worship,
I never come alone.
I come as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ, all of us
redeemed by His blood and
united by His Spirit.
I come as part of the universal People of God
spanning all ages and nations.

Together, we come as Your temple,
Your holy dwelling place.
You are building us as a living, breathing, eternal home for Yourself,
reflecting,
exuding, and
incarnating Your magnificence.

Together, we are the Body of Christ.
He is our Head.
We are His hands and feet,
privileged and empowered to act out
His boundless love here on earth.

Together, we are the Bride of Christ,
devoted to Him alone
body, mind, and spirit.
He has set us apart for Himself, and
our destiny is an eternity of joyful oneness with Him.

Father, when I come to You in worship,
I come together with all Your people,
in Your Spirit,
through Your Holy Son. 

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Hymn: We Have Come, God’s Living Temple
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As You Lead

Father, as we prepare to gather for worship,
prepare each of us to act as You lead.

We want to glorify You.
We want to bless
Your people in
Your name.
Speak, Lord.
Prod us.
Use us as pleases you.

Help us to listen for Your still small voice in
the big things and
the small things.
Fill our routines with new meaning
as we pay new attention to
Your Word and
Your Spirit.

When You prompt us in unexpected ways, Father,
may we obey.
By our obedience, we know You will make today’s gathering of Your people
all You want it to be.

That is what we want too, Lord.
Use us today. 

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Hymn: Speak Your Word, My Father
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Thoroughly Present

Father, You are thoroughly present with Your worshiping people.
You are the Source of all,
forever sustaining
all life and
all reality.
Yet You lavish Your focused attention on us
as on a loved one whose
presence and affection are deeply treasured.
You lean toward us,
hungrily drinking in our
every word,
every concern,
every desire.

When we gather in worship,
You are thoroughly present with me, Almighty God.
Help me to be thoroughly present with You,
fully invested in
every song,
every hope,
every word.
Fill my mind with Your truth,
my heart with the music of prayer, and
my mouth with exultant praise.

You give all Yourself to me.
Help me give all myself to You. 

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Hymn: My Mind Will Be Your Holy Place
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Worshiping in the Darkness

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me. (Psalm 23:4, NASB)

Father, sometimes all I can do is
worship You in the darkness.
Sometimes, whether from
sickness,
sorrow, or
moods I can’t control or understand,
I can’t sense Your presence.
I can’t feel Your love.
I can’t see You working.
I can’t span the distance between us.

You offer no explanations.
You seem silent,
unconcerned,
gone.

But God, I know You are my Father.
I know You are always good.
I know You are always here, even when I can’t
see You or
feel You.

So even when the darkness engulfs me,
I will remember who You are, and
I will worship You,
praise You, and
trust You. 

Listen and sing:
Hymn: God Is Great, and God Is Good
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Prepare for Ordinary Time

Father, thank You for ordinary time, when You
quietly,
patiently,
daily
order our lives by
the example and
the words of Jesus.

Thank You for the privilege of spending these days with
Your holy and perfectly-pleasing Son.
Like His first disciples, we
walk with Him,
talk with Him,
watch Him, and
listen to Him.
We work with Him and
relax with Him.
We feast on His words and
drink in the pattern of His life.

And as we follow Him,
His Spirit within us turns
His teaching and
His example
into faith and love in our own lives.

Father, thank You for these
ordinary, beautiful days
spent with Jesus. 

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Come and Follow Me
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