The music accompanying this worship session is "From the Attic Window," by Daniel Foster Johnson, © 2006. To learn more about Daniel Foster Johnson, or to purchase his CD From the Attic Window, please visit his web site.
Preparation for Prayer
As you prepare to pray, quiet your soul and notice the fullness in your heart as you bring your awareness to the presence of the Holy One all around you and in you.
“#18—As now the sun shines down at noon”
Let your eyes look deep within
Find the blessings you’ve been given
Feel your heart o’erflow in gratitude
Then lift your soul right up to heav’n.
Text: Renée Miller
Music: "Conditor memoria, plainsong, Mode 2"
“No one is as capable of gratitude as one who has emerged from the kingdom of night.”
“Give thanks in all
circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
—I Thessalonians 5:18
“The Lord is faithful in all his words and merciful in all his deeds.
The Lord upholds all those who fall; he lifts up those who are bowed down.
The eyes of all wait upon you, O Lord, and you give them their food in due season.
You open wide your hand and satisfy the needs of every living creature.
The Lord is righteous in all his ways and loving in all his works.
The Lord is near to those who call upon him, to all who call upon him faithfully.
He fulfills the desire of those who fear him; he hears their cry and helps them.”
—Psalm 145: 14-20
A Reading from
“When he saw that he was healed, he turned back, praising God with a loud voice; and he fell on his face at Jesus’ feet, giving him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan. Then said Jesus, ‘Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?’ And he said to him, ‘Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well.’”
—Luke 17: 15-19
followed by Silence
Now close your eyes for a time of brief reflection and meditation. Take a deep breath and quiet your soul.
A seeker once went to the holy woman in the desert because life had become too chaotic and he yearned to have balance and order restored within him. The desert woman said to him, “Your life is chaotic because you have become dependent on change, on excitement, on variety. You want always to experience something new instead of finding what is new through the repetition of what seems old. If you would have balance and order within, do one small thing at the same time each day with gratitude in your heart and slowly the tattered fragments of your life will be bound together into a textured tapestry of beauty. It does not take great doses of hardship – only one small thing done every day at the same time with gratitude in your heart. One small thing every day, at the same time, with gratitude in your heart. One small thing, every day, same time, with gratitude. And that will be enough.” Ask yourself the question: How does the activity of my life keep me from practicing gratitude?
Take some moments now to offer the concerns of your heart to heaven. Remember those who are in pain, those who are afraid, those who are alone, those whom you love, those who are dying, and those who are already in heaven, and pray for the needs of your own life.
“Gracious God, my heart is ready to burst with joy. I feel like a flower wanting to push through the dark winter soil to display its beauty to the world. I want everyone to feel the wonder of life that I feel at this moment. Let my wonder and joy shine so that those who are under a veil of sadness this day, may find their sorrows lifted, if only for a moment. I ask this for the sake of your love. Amen.”
May God’s blessing so fill your soul with gratitude and grace this day that your heart gives voice to the silent song within.
When the heart is grateful, pushed outward in praise
Even troubles hard to bear, heavenward are raised.
Let God’s blessing come to you, let your soul be still
Then release the blessings to the world at will.
Text: Renee Miller
Music: "Adoro devote, French church melody, Mode 5,"