Archive for January 2016

A Prayer of Thanksgiving for the Beauty of Flowing Water   1 comment

January 24, 2016 327 PM

Above:  Athens, Georgia, January 24, 2016, 3:27 P.M.

Image Source = Kenneth Randolph Taylor


O LORD, how manifold are your works!

In wisdom you have make them all;

the earth is full of your creatures.

–Psalm 104:24, Revised Standard Version–Second Catholic Edition (2002)


Thank you, great God, for all your wonders,

especially the beauty of nature, of which we are part.

Thank you in particular for the splendor of flowing water,

especially that which, cascading over rock,

rides across uneven surfaces and jumps into the air

on its journey.

In the Name of God:  the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  Amen.






A Prayer of Thanksgiving for the Beauty of Dusk   1 comment

January 16, 2016 625 PM

Above:  Athens, Georgia, January 16, 2016, 6:25 P.M.

Image Source = Kenneth Randolph Taylor


The Mighty One, God the LORD,

speaks and summons the earth from the rising of the sun to its setting.

Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty,

God shines forth.

–Psalm 50:1-2, Revised Standard Version–Second Catholic Edition (2002)


God of beauty and magnificence, the heavens proclaim your glory.

Thank you for natural wonders, especially the loveliness of dusk,

as light fades into darkness, departing with splendid hues

until the glorious dawn just a few hours later.

The beauty of nature reminds us that you

are the greatest artist we have encountered.

We stand in awe and wonder before you;

our knees bend, our heads bow, and our voices crack

in praise and respect of you.

In the Name of God:  the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  Amen.






Prayer for Harvest Time   Leave a comment

Harvest Time

Above:  Harvest Time (1791), by Jacob Cats (1741-1799)

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-USZ62-71415

Prayer Source = Book of Worship (1942), Evangelical and Reformed Church


Almighty and everlasting God, we yield thee hearty thanks for all thy goodness, and especially for this thy bounty again bestowed upon us, who, through thy providence and tender mercy, have now reaped the fruits of the earth in due season, and gathered them into our garners.  Give us power to use the same to thy glory, to the relief of those that are needy, and to our own comfort.  Continue, we beseech thee, thy lovingkindness toward us, that year by year our land may yield her increase, filling our hearts with joy and gladness; and so dispose us by thy special grace that we, thy servants, may never sow only to the flesh, lest of the flesh we reap corruption, but may sow spiritually to live everlasting, and reap the same in thy heavenly kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Prayer for Labor Day   Leave a comment

Child Labor Demonstration

Above:  Child Labor Demonstration, New York, New York, May 1, 1909

Image Publisher = Bain News Service

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-ggbain-03328

Prayer Source = Book of Worship (1942), Evangelical and Reformed Church


We invoke thy grace and wisdom, O Lord, upon all men of good will who employ and control the labor of men.  Amid the numberless irritations and anxieties of their position, help them to keep a quiet and patient temper, and to rule firmly and wisely, without harshness and anger.  Since they hold power over the bread, the safety, and the hopes of the workers, may they wield their power justly and with love, as older brothers and leaders in the great fellowship of labor.  Suffer not the heavenly light of compassion for the weak and the old to be quenched in their hearts.  When they are tempted to sacrifice human health and life for profit, do thou strengthen their will in the hour of need, and bring to nought the counsels of the heartless.  May they not sin against thee by using the bodies and souls of men as mere tools to make things.  Raise up among us employers who shall be makers of men as well as of goods.  Give us men of faith who will look beyond the strife of the present, and catch a vision of a nobler organization of our work, when all shall still follow the leadership of the ablest, no longer in fear, but by the glad will of all, and when all shall stand side by side in a strong and righteous brotherhood of work; according to thy will in Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Prayer for the Homeless   Leave a comment

Homeless Man

Above:  Mural and Homeless Man in the Mission District of San Francisco, California, May 2013

Photographer = Carol M. Highsmith

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-highsm-25481

Prayer Source = Book of Worship (1942), Evangelical and Reformed Church


Almighty and merciful God, who healest those that are broken in heart, and turnest the sadness of the sorrowful to joy; let thy fatherly goodness be upon all that thou hast made.  Remember in pity such as are this day destitute, homeless, or forgotten of their fellowmen.  Bless the congregation of thy poor.  Uplift those who are cast down.  Mightily befriend innocent sufferers, and sanctify to them the endurance of their wrongs.  Cheer with hope all discouraged and unhappy people, and by thy heavenly grace preserve from falling all those whose penury tempteth them to sin, suffer them not to be distressed; though they be perplexed, save them from despair.  Grant this, O Lord, for the love of him, who for our sakes became this poor, thy Son, our Savior Jesus Christ.  Amen.

Posted January 26, 2016 by neatnik2009 in Book of Worship (1942), Community and Country 1900s

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Prayer for Christian Social Order   Leave a comment

Colored Water Cooler

A Man Using a Colored Water Cooler, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, July 1939

Photographer = Lee Russell

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-fsa-8a26761

Prayer Source = Book of Worship (1942), Evangelical and Reformed Church


O God of our fathers, we desire to make before thee a solemn act of penitence on behalf of the Church.  We, her children, had done little to further thy kingdom on earth by the establishment of social justice.  We humble ourselves before thee for our neglect, and seek thy forgiveness.  We confess that we have often forgotten that since thou art our Father, all men are our brethren, and that we are stewards and not owners of all that thou hast given us.  Pardon any indifference and apathy toward the sufferings of those who labor.  Pardon any bitterness toward those who abound.  Forgive us for having allowed injustice and oppression to remain too often unrebuked and unredressed.  These and all other sins we confess with grief and shame.  Endue thy holy Church with power to break every yoke and to let the oppressed go free.  May the love of Christ constrain us, and may thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

General Prayer for the Kingdom of God   Leave a comment

Christ the King Jan Van Eyck

Above:  Christ the King, Jan Van Eyck

Image in the Public Domain

Prayer Source = Book of Worship (1942), Evangelical and Reformed Church


O thou King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, our Savior; hasten, we beseech thee, the coming of thy kingdom upon earth, and draw the whole world of mankind into willing obedience to thy blessed reign.  Overcome all the enemies of Christ, and bring low every power that is exalted against him.  Cast out all the evil things which cause wars and fighting among us, and let thy Spirit rule the hearts of man in righteousness and love.  Restore what was made desolate in former days; let the wilderness rejoice with beauty; and make glad the city with thy law.  Establish every work that is founded on truth and equity, and fulfill all the good hopes and desires of mankind.  Manifest thy will, Almighty Father, in the brotherhood of man, and bring in universal peace; through the victory of Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Prayer for the Church   Leave a comment

Coventry Cathedral 1941

Above:  Prime Minister Winston Churchill at the Ruins of Coventry Cathedral, 1941

Image in the Public Domain

Prayer Source = Book of Worship (1942), Evangelical and Reformed Church


We pray for thy Church, which is set today amid the perplexities of a changing order and face to face with a great new task.  We remember with love the nurture she gave to our spiritual life in its infancy, the tasks she set for our growing strength, the influence of the devoted hearts she gathers, the steadfast power for good she has exerted.  When we compare her with all human institutions, we rejoice, for there is none like her.  But when we judge her by the mind of her Master, we bow in contrition.  O God, baptize her afresh in the life-giving spirit of Jesus!  Put upon her lips the ancient gospel of her Lord.  Fill her with the prophet’s scorn of tyranny, and with a Christlike tenderness for the heavy-laden and downtrodden.  Bid her cease from seeking her own life, lest she lose it.  Make her valiant to give up her life to humanity, that like her crucified Lord she may mount by the path of the cross to a higher glory.  Amen.

Prayer for Social Righteousness   Leave a comment

United States Flag 1912-1959

Above:  Flag of the United States of America, 1912-1959

Image in the Public Domain

Prayer Source = Book of Worship (1942), Evangelical and Reformed Church


O God, who hast made us a royal priesthood that we might offer unto thee prayer and intercession for all sorts and conditions of men, hear us as we pray;

For all who toil in the burden and the heat of the day that they may enjoy the rewards of their industry, that they may not be defrauded of their due and that we may never cease to be mindful of our debt to them, remembering with gratitude the multitude of services which must be performed to make our life tolerable;

For those who have authority and power over their fellow-men, that they may not use it for selfish advantage but be guided to do justice and to love mercy;

For those who have been worsted in the battles of life, whether by the inhumanity of their fellows, their own limitations, or the fickleness of fortune, that they may contend against injustice without bitterness, overcome their own weaknesses with diligence and learn how to accept what cannot be altered, with patience;

For the rulers of nations that they may act wisely and without pride, and seek to promote peace among the peoples and establish justice in our common life;

For the teachers and ministers of the Word, for artists and interpreters of our spiritual life that they may rightly divide the word of truth and not be tempted by pride or greed or any ignoble passion to corrupt the truth to which they are committed;

For prophets and seers and saints who awaken us from our sloth that they may continue to hold their torches high in a world darkened by prejudice and sin and never be disobedient to the heavenly vision.

O God, who hast bound us together in this bundle of life, give us grace to understand how our lives depend upon the courage, the industry, the honesty and the integrity of our fellow-men, that we may be mindful of their needs, grateful for their faithfulness and faithful in our responsibilities to them; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Confession of Social Sin   Leave a comment

World War II

Above:  The World During World War II

Image Source = Hammond’s New Era Atlas of the World (1945)

Scan by Kenneth Randolph Taylor

Prayer Source = Book of Worship (1942), Evangelical and Reformed Church


If thou, O Lord, shouldst mark iniquity, O Lord, who would stand?  Enter not into judgment with thy servants, for in thy sight is no man living justified.

In thy presence, our Father, our disguises and pretenses do not avail, and under the light of thy holiness we know ourselves for what we are, mean and petty creatures who seek our own in spite of our noble pretensions.  Have mercy upon us.  Give us the grace to see our faults more clearly that we may truly repent.

We confess the sorry confusion of our common life to thee.  The nations are still at war with one another, each nation seeking its own advantage.  Our national life is burdened with the sin of injustice.  Millions live in insecurity and poverty while others spend their substance in riotous living.  Those who possess authority love power more than justice and use their fellow-men as tools of their own desires.  The cry of the needy arouses us only slightly from our selfish indifference.

We acknowledge that the world’s sin is our own, that the greed which we condemn when it results in obvious inhumanity in our own heart; that the world is unjust because none of us love justice with sufficient abandon; that the vices of civilization are compounded of the lusts of all of us.  Give us grace to look into our own hearts before we cast a stone of condemnation.

May we achieve the grace of true humility in thy presence so that we may cease to defeat thy will for the world by our self-will.  May the vision of what we might be convict us of what we are, so that thy mercy may redeem us of our sin; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.