Prayer for God's Leading: Matt. 2:1-12
Shaping a time of prayer for dwelling with Bible texts, prayer responses, songs of faith, and a concluding benediction.
Orienting Scripture Text
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life,
what you will eat or what you will drink,
or about your body, what you will wear.
Is not life more than food,
and the body more than clothing?
Look at the birds of the air;
they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns,
and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.
Are you not of more value than they?
And can any of you by worrying
add a single hour to your span of life?
And why do you worry about clothing?
Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow;
they neither toil nor spin,
yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory
was not clothed like one of these.
But if God so clothes the grass of the field,
which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven,
will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?
Therefore do not worry, saying,
‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’
For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things;
and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.
But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness,
and all these things will be given to you as well.
“So do not worry about tomorrow,
for tomorrow will bring worries of its own.
Today’s trouble is enough for today. -Matthew 6:25-34
God, our provider,
you govern this world in power and love;
providing food for the swallow and the cardinal
and clothing dainty lilies in glory.
Remind us that you will feed and clothe us too,
we who are made in your image and likeness.
Comfort us, O God,
when we feel alone in our anxiety.
Hide us in the shadow of your wings
when we are afraid of the implications of our decision making.
When we are conflicted over academic, career, and family decisions,
when we must decide not whether, but what, commitment to let go of,
when we lie awake at night, uncertain of what the future holds:
Call to mind promises from Jesus
that we ought not worry about tomorrow
for you, our heavenly Father, know what we need.
In the name of Jesus
and the power of the Spirit,
- Sheila Witvliet, Class of 2023, Calvin Worship Apprentice
Central Scripture Text:
In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea,
wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking,
“Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews?
For we observed his star at its rising,
and have come to pay him homage.”
When King Herod heard this, he was frightened,
and all Jerusalem with him;
and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people,
he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born.
They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea;
for so it has been written by the prophet:
‘And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for from you shall come a ruler
who is to shepherd my people Israel.’”
Then Herod secretly called for the wise men
and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared.
Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying,
“Go and search diligently for the child;
and when you have found him,
bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage.”
When they had heard the king, they set out;
and there, ahead of them,
went the star that they had seen at its rising,
until it stopped over the place where the child was.
When they saw that the star had stopped,
they were overwhelmed with joy.
On entering the house,
they saw the child with Mary his mother;
and they knelt down and paid him homage.
Then, opening their treasure chests,
they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod,
they left for their own country by another road. -Matt. 2:1-12
O God, by the leading of a star you manifested your only Son
to the Peoples of the earth: Lead us, who know you now by
faith, to your presence, where we may see your glory face to
face; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns
with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
Amen. -Book of Common Prayer
- Carlos Colón: "Tras hermoso lucero / Eastern Sages Set Out"
- 2015 Calvin Symposium on Worship: "The Lord is My Light"
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. —Romans 15:13