And they lay their crowns before the throne and say, “You are worthy, O Lord our God, to receive glory and honor and power. For you created all things, and they exist because you created what you pleased.” – Revelation 4:10-11
So this is funny. Not church, per se; church (and this weekend was no exception) is wonderful, beautiful, and often full with joy and laughter – but I wouldn’t say “funny.” What was funny was how totally, completely, and absolutely I forgot that I was scheduled to assist in worship at the 11:15 service.
I apparently knew Saturday evening, because I carefully wrote a couple of prayers and planned to make sure that I was familiar with the liturgy. But then I got caught up in prepping for my class and once it left my mind it stayed gone for good.
Consequently I never retrieved my prayers from the printer and never thought once about the liturgy Sunday morning. Early church… check. Sunday school… check. Talk with a million people… check. Line up some appointments for the week… check. Wander into 11:15 worship and take a seat in the congregation… check. Listen to John start with the announcements then suddenly realize I am sitting in the wrong place… “Oops”… check.
No Good Prayer Left Unsaid:
Fortunately I have three specific skills that came in handy. First, I am not afraid to stand in front of a roomful of people and talk (teaching middle school all those years earned me scant money but a lot of confidence). Also as a teacher I learned how to read previously unseen material aloud without hesitation or mistake. Then – and this is a function both of my walk with God and my speaking work – I know how to pray in publicly on the fly.
However, with “no good prayer left unsaid” as a good motto to embrace, here are the two I left in the printer tray.
PS: you can catch Rebekah’s message by clicking here:
Prayer of Praise and Adoration:
Great God, Creator and sustainer of the infinite wondrous sum of all there is, all that has been, and all that ever will be, we approach you this World Communion Sunday – right here at Wake Forest Presbyterian Church – with humility and in gratitude, aware that Christians throughout the entire planet are celebrating communion with us. We understand the fact of your presence, Lord, though sometimes we cannot imagine how it is possible given the great gulf that was between us. But then we remember the lengths to which you went to deliver your personal invitation to humankind, reaching out through time and space in the person of Jesus. So it is because of Jesus that we are here. And it is because of Jesus that we sing our hearts out in praise. Quite simply, Almighty God, we stand here in your presence in awe. So thank you; thank you for inviting us to your table, for filling us with your spirit, and for nourishing us with your very own life.
And all of God’s people said, AMEN!
Prayer of thanks for the offering:
Lord of love, this morning our hearts are full to overflowing. All that we have, all that we are, and all that we hope to be comes from you, Lord. So please bless these humble gifts of and from our understanding of your generous love. May we grow in gratitude and generosity as we continue to learn to follow Jesus in faith and in service. Teach us to put our resources where our hearts are, and to trust you more completely. We understand that you call each one of us to grow in faith, so grant us the courage to follow through. You never hold back, Lord. We don’t want to either. Take our lives and let them be, consecrated Lord, to thee. Amen.
In love, and in gratitude for this beautiful faith community where we worship – DEREK
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.