Archive for the ‘Book of Common Worship (1993)’ Category

Coronavirus/COVID-19: Prayers   2 comments


Compassionate God, whose Son Jesus wept at the grave of his friend Lazarus:

Draw near to us in this time of sorrow and anguish,

comfort those who mourn,

strengthen those who are weary,

encourage those in despair,

and lead us all to fullness of life;

through the same Jesus Christ, our Savior and Redeemer,

who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

God for ever and ever.  Amen.


Job 14:7-13 or Jeremiah 31:15-20

Psalm 60 or 130 or 80:1-7 or 23

Romans 8:35-38 or Revelation 21:1-7 or Romans 8:18-25

Luke 6:20-26 or Mark 13:14-27

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 733



O God, you divided the waters of chaos at creation.

In Christ you stilled storms, raised the dead,

and vanquished demonic powers.

Tame the earthquake, wind, and fire,

and all forces that defy control or shock us by their fury.

Keep us from calling disaster your justice.

Help us, in good times and in distress,

to trust your mercy and yield to your power, this day and for ever.


–Andy Langford, in The United Methodist Book of Worship (1992), 509



God of ages,

in your sight nations rise and fall,

and pass through times of peril.

Now when our land is troubled,

be near to judge and save.

May leaders be led by your wisdom;

may they search your will and see it clearly.

If we have turned from your way,

help us to reverse our ways and repent.

Give us light and your your truth to guide us;

through Jesus Christ,

who is the Lord of this world, and our Savior.  Amen.

Book of Common Worship (1993), 818



O God, where hearts are fearful and constricted, grant courage and hope.

Where anxiety is infectious and widening, grant peace and reassurance.

Where impossibilities close every door and and window, grant imagination and resistance.

Where distrust twists our thinking, grant healing and illumination.

Where spirits are daunted and weakened, grand soaring wings and strengthened dreams.

All these things we ask in the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.  Amen.

Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), 76



God our creator, through whose providing care we enjoy all goodness and life,

turn our eyes to your mercy at this time of confusion and loss.

Comfort this nation as we mourn;

shine your light on those whose only companion is darkness;

and teach us so to number our days that we may apply our hearts to your wisdom;

through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.  Amen.

Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), 77



When There is a Natural Disaster: Nepal   Leave a comment

Coat of Arms of Nepal

Above:  The Coat of Arms of Nepal

Image in the Public Domain


God of earthquake, wind, and fire,

tame natural forces that defy control,

or shock us with their fury.

Keep us from calling disaster your justice;

and help us, in good times or in calamity,

to trust your mercy which never ends,

and your power,

which in Jesus stilled storms,

raised dead,

and conquered evil.  Amen.

–Adapted from Book of Common Worship (1993), page 801

(I modified the last line to reflect the Classic Theory of the Atonement.)


O God Our Creator…We Give Into Your Hands   1 comment

Above:  Praying Hands, by Albrecht Durer

Prayer Source = Book of Common Worship (1993), of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), quoting With All God’s People (World Council of Churches, 1989), channeling the Church of South India


O God our Creator,

by whose mercy and might

the world turns safely into darkness

and returns again to light;

We give into your hands our unfinished tasks,

our unsolved problems,

and our unfulfilled hopes,

knowing that only those things which you bless will prosper.

To your great love and protection

we commit each other

and all for whom we have prayed,

knowing that you alone are our sure defender,

through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

When There is Division in the Church   Leave a comment

Above:  A Steeple

Image Source = Wikipedia

Prayer Source = Chalice Worship (1997), of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

I found the prayer first in Chalice Worship, the acknowledgments section of which says of it, “source untraced.”  Subsequent flipping through the Presbyterian Book of Common Worship (1993) turned it up there also.  That discovery led me to The Worshipbook–Services and Hymns (1972), where I also found it.


In Unison:

Holy God, giver of peace, author of truth:

we confess that we are divided and at odds with one another,

that a bad spirit has risen among us,

and set us against your Holy Spirit of peace and love.

Take from this congregation mistrust, party spirit, contention,

and all evil that now divides us.

Work in us a desire for reconciliation, so that,

putting aside personal grievances,

we may go about your business with a single mind,

devoted to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  Amen.

A Prayer for Service   Leave a comment

Above:  A Volunteer Worker in Washington, D.C., Opening a Can of Baby Food for a Child Being Cared for at a United Nations Service Center, 1943

Image Source = Library of Congress


Prayer Source = Book of Common Worship (1993), of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and the Cumberland Presbyterian Church

Words by the Reverend John Underwood Stephens (1901-1984), a U.S. Presbyterian minister; published first in his Prayers of the Christian Life for Private and Public Worship (New York:  Oxford University Press, 1952), page 147; I found the prayer on page 547 of the Book of Common Worship and the original credit on page 225 of Harold M. Daniels, To God Alone Be Glory:  The Story and Sources of the Book of Common Worship (Louisville, Kentucky, Geneva Press, 1993)


Enable us, O God,

to do all things as unto you;

that small things may be filled with greatness,

and great things crowned with humility;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Prayers for Governments, Especially in a Time of International Crisis   1 comment

Above:  Flag of Syria


Recent events in Syria and Egypt have prompted me to ponder how to address them at this blog.  Here is my chosen manner:  sharing two prayers from the Book of Common Worship (1993), of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).  They apply to many other circumstances as well.  Perhaps a response which is somewhat timeless is the best one.







For Governments of the World

 High God, holy God:

you rule the ways of peoples,

and govern every earthly government.

Work with those who work for peace.

Make every person in authority an agent of your reconciliation,

and every diplomat an ambassador of hope.

Bring peace and goodwill among all people,

fulfilling among us the promise made

in Jesus Christ, who was born to save the world.  Amen.


In a Time of International Crisis

Eternal God, our only hope,

our help in times of trouble:

show nations ways to work out differences.

Do not let threats multiply

or power be used without compassion.

May your will overrule human willfulness,

so that people may agree and settle claims peacefully.

Hold back those who are impulsive,

lest desire for vengeance overwhelm our common welfare.

Bring peace to earth, through Jesus Christ,

the Prince of Peace and Savior of us all.  Amen.


And I pray especially for all who suffer as the result of conflicts internal to nation-states.  May tyrants cease to oppress, and may more people enjoy the blessings of good government.


Baptism of Jesus: Prayers   4 comments

River Jordan in an Old Post Card

Image Source = Wikipedia

From the Book of Common Worship (1993), of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.):

Eternal God,

at the baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan

you proclaimed him your beloved Son,

and anointed him with the Holy Spirit.

Grant that all who are baptized into his name

may keep the covenant they have made,

and boldly confess him as Lord and Savior;

who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns,

one God, in glory everlasting.      Amen.


From the Book of Common Worship (1993), of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.):

Holy God,

you have sent your Son to be baptized among sinners,

to seek and save the lost.

May we, who have been baptized in his name,

never turn away from the world,

but reach out in love to rescue the wayward;

by the mercy of Christ our Lord,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and forever.     Amen.

An Epiphany Prayer of Confession   1 comment

Chi Ro

Image Source = Wikipedia

From the Book of Common Worship (1993), of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.):

God of Glory, you sent Jesus among us as the light of the world, to reveal your love for all people.  We confess that our sin and pride hide the brightness of your light.  We turn away from the poor; we ignore cries for justice; we do not strive for peace.

In your mercy, cleanse us of our sin, and baptize us once again with your Spirit, that, forgiven and renewed, we may show forth your glory shining in the face of Jesus Christ.


Prayers for Epiphany   1 comment

Journey of the Magi, by James Tissot

Image Source = Wikipedia

From the Book of Common Worship (1993), of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.):

Lord God of the nations,

we have seen the star of your glory

rising in splendor.

The radiance of your incarnate Word

pierces the night that covers the earth

and signals the dawn of justice and peace.

May his brightness illumine our lives

and beckon all nations to walk as one in your light.

We ask this through Jesus Christ your Word made flesh,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

in the splendor of eternal light,

God forever and ever.  Amen.


From the Book of Common Worship (1993), of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.):

Eternal God,

by a star you led magi to the worship of your Son.

Guide the nations of the earth by your light,

that the whole world may see your glory;

through Jesus Christ our Lord,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and forever.  Amen.


From the Book of Common Worship (1993), of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.):

Everlasting God,

the radiance of faithful souls,

who brought the nations to your light

and kings to the brightness of your rising:

Fill the world with your glory,

and show yourself to all the nations;

through him who is the true light

and the bright morning star,

Jesus Christ, your Son our Lord,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and forever.  Amen.

An Evening Prayer for Christmas and Epiphany   1 comment

From the Book of Common Worship, of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.):

Blessed are you, O Lord our God,

for you have made our gladness greater and increased our joy

by sending to dwell among us

the Wonderful Counselor, the Prince of Peace,

Born of Mary,

proclaimed to the shepherds

and acknowledged to the ends of the earth.

Your unconquered Sun of righteousness

gives light in darkness and establishes us in freedom.

All glory in the highest be to you,

through Christ, the Son of your favor,

in the abiding presence of your Spirit,

this night and forever and ever.  Amen.