As the United Church of Canada prepares for General Council 43 in Oshawa, ON July 21-27, 2018, members of Cruxifusion have committed to pray for GC43 and all related activities. Some have chosen to share these prayers, and you will find those captured below.
“Good Shepherd of Your people, thank you for the wonders You are already unfolding before us today.
Continue to guide our commissioners as they seek Your will.
Give them wisdom, compassion, carefulness, and love.
Thank you for the 10 nominees for our moderator,
for the gifts each of these people bring,
their love for Your church,
and their willingness to hear this call to discern.
Give them peace through this day.
Comfort and encourage those who are disappointed.
Strengthen and uphold the one who is chosen.
Guide the commissioners as they discern among them, seeking one who will faithfully lead our United Church through the next 3 years.
We pray in the hope and love of Jesus Christ, our Lord and the true Head of the Church. Amen.”
“Lord God, we are grateful for the United Church of Canada which has been our home and our comfort over many years. We pray that those who are gathered at GC43 will have gratitude in their hearts and grace to offer others as they deliberate, as they listen, and as they hear the call of the Holy Spirit, like horns sounding over the next hill.
Refresh them as they fight fatigue so that they may be sharp and discerning. May they consider more than just their own interests when they individually form a decision. Make brave those who are afraid to speak up and make patient the others. In the strong Name of Jesus. Amen.”
“Lord God, sovereign of today, yesterday and tomorrow:
Lord God, sovereign of today, yesterday and tomorrow:
We pray for the commissioners as they gather for a full day of listening, pondering, conversing, discerning and prayer. Holy Spirit, fill them with an abundance of Your wisdom, Your patience and Your love, that they may hear the mind of Jesus.
We pray for those who are presenting proposals. Holy Spirit, give them courage to speak, clarity of words, and humility to hear the wisdom of the Council, that they may share with Jesus in his mission.
We pray for the moderator as she guides the Council. Holy Spirit, make her burden light and easy-fitting, that she might serve Jesus with wisdom and joy.
We pray for the nominees for moderator as they share their hearts and visions with the Council. Holy Spirit, stir in them confidence as they speak, openness in their offerings, and our gratitude for their service, that they might led is in the way of Jesus.
Delighting in You, God all-glorious, Father always-love, we pray with delight and hope, filled with Your Spirit and trusting in Your Son. Amen.”
“Holy Spirit, we pray that you will breath fire in this Church. May we be united in Jesus, with love overflowing to the world. May we pray, listen, care, and be a people deeply rooted in your Word. May we be always ready to seek justice, resist evil, and celebrate God’s presence. May we joyfully proclaim Jesus, crucified and risen, our judge and our hope. Bless our commissioners to General Council, lay your tongues of fire upon them, and give them wisdom and discernment. We pray this in the strong name of Jesus Christ. Amen!”
“God of every good gift, bless and empower your church to know and do your will. Give your people discerning ears, earnest speech, joyful laughter, and warm hearts. You have called us into being as a church to be a blessing to this country and to your world. Help us now to embrace that vocation and to express it faithfully, gracefully, and with trust in the ways you are leading us, in Jesus’ name. Amen.”
“A prayer for today, inspired by the Rev. Erin Counihan, PCUSA.
Holy Mystery who is Wholly Love, we pause in our preparations, we pause in our frazzle, we pause in our day to recentre ourselves on you.
You who are the source of all, we know love because you first loved us.
We are reconciled to you and one another because of your precious Christ. We are animated by your Holy Spirit.
We cannot do this thing called life without you. We do not want to do this thing called life without you.
Today we pray as the limb of Christ’s body on earth we call the UCC begins to move towards Oshawa.
We pray for all of these commissioners who have said yes to this work.
For the courage to hear your call, O Lord.
For the strength to listen, and wait, and ask questions, and (yes, really) be changed.
For the commitment to all that change to move me to action.
To scream and shout and rage and dance.
To listen and rest and dream and wonder.
To move body, feet, heart.
For the faith to trust your will (your voice, your nudging).
For the faith to trust your people (these neighbors in this time).
For the faith to trust your Spirit (is that you blowing through this place?).
For the love, the love you’ve already given, the love we seek to claim and know and share, for the love and for the love and the love and the love.
O Lord, for the you at work in me (in us), I pray and pray and pray.
“Amazing God, our commissioners are under the crunch to complete all their preparations. Many will be travelling soon. We prayer for Your blessings upon their preparations and travels. Show them Your favour as they make their way to Oshawa. Bless the organizers as they too hurry about to get all the final details ready. Grant them wisdom and focus so nothing is forgotten.
In 5 days all that people have worked toward will begin. Show Your presence to them, Lord. Guide them and guard their hearts. Give them the boldness we read about in Frederick Buechner article, the boldness to pray for Your will!
God, we thank You for Your love, for Your grace and for Your Son, in Whose name we pray. Amen.”
“Let your will be done in GC43 as it is in heaven. Whatsoever is lovely, whatsoever is true and whatsoever is of good report, let us think, let us speak, let us agree on those things. Let anything that would seek to obstruct your work and prevent the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ be stilled, silenced and rendered void. Grant us travelling mercies, may we be rested, settled and prepared to fully consider, defend, affirm, agree and disagree in Jesus name. Amen”
Almighty and Most Merciful God, we come before you today as a community of servants, desiring to do your will. We praise you and thank you for the manifold ways in which you have blessed us with friendship, vision, and enthusiasm for the work of your Kingdom.
Lord, we pray today for all those who lead within The United Church of Canada—ministers, pastors, lay leaders, and more. We pray for a fresh infilling of the Holy Spirit into each one of them, as we embark upon a new journey together in the weeks, months, and years ahead. Renew our denomination’s sense of mission, O God. Give us eyes to see the world through your eyes; give us ears to hear your voice calling us to repentance, to worship, and to the sharing the gospel.
Holy God, we pray also for the commissioners to General Council who are preparing themselves mentally, physically, and spiritually for the gruelling week of discernment and decision-making that is coming up soon. Jesus, lead these women and men in the ways of righteousness. Reveal your will to them. Give them hope. Remind them of your Word. Help them to retrieve the good and the beautiful from the traditions and experiences of the Church catholic.
Gracious Giver of Life, we pray for you to revive your church—in this denomination, and in all others. We ask for your empowerment for all the saints; that followers of Jesus in all corners of the world would live in faithful obedience to the Scriptures; that they would preach the gospel with clarity and simplicity; that they would stand up against injustice; that they would live lives of compasion; and that they would be intentional stewards of your love to the whole world.
We ask all these things in the powerful name of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen.
**As I’ve been praying for the church and the upcoming GC43, God has frequently brought to mind the Covenant Prayer of John Wesley. I thought I’d share it today, as well.**
“I am no longer my own, but thine.
Put me to what thou wilt, rank me with whom thou wilt.
Put me to doing, put me to suffering.
Let me be employed by thee or laid aside for thee,
exalted for thee or brought low for thee.
Let me be full, let me be empty.
Let me have all things, let me have nothing.
I freely and heartily yield all things
to thy pleasure and disposal.
And now, O glorious and blessed God,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
thou art mine, and I am thine. So be it.
And the covenant which I have made on earth,
let it be ratified in heaven. Amen.”
Gracious God, holy one-in-three, source of our joy, we ask your blessing and guidance for those who gather in our General Council assembly later this month. Fill, sustain, challenge, and encourage them. Remind them of your presence, and deepen their reliance upon you. In every way, mighty God, our church is in your hands – yes, your church is in your hands. By your gifts and graces, make us to be the people you would have us be, ever more committed to your mission in the world you love. We ask all this in Jesus’ name. Amen.