A Communion Prayer…

written by Diana R.G. Trautwein
for worship at Montecito Covenant Church
Sunday, February 7, 2010

Holy Father,
Loving Lord Jesus,
Comforting Spirit –
to you, Triune God, we lift our hearts in prayer,
to you, we lift our hands in praise,
to you, we lift our lives in gratitude.

We’re at the table again, Lord.
This table –
where you call us
to remember you,
to celebrate your gift of life even in the midst of death,
to eat a little piece of the bread of life,
to take a tiny sip of the fruit of the vine –
and in doing that,
to receive once again
you in our midst.

It’s not as though you’re not here at other times,
at all other times, as a matter of fact.
It’s that you’re here,
here at this table,
in a particular way,
a particularly blessed and sacred way.
A way we don’t truly understand,
but which we cherish
and look forward to
and find rich meaning in.
A way that speaks to us of mystery and wonder,
that calls us to humble confession and contrition,
that promises us a unique point of connection with you,
a connection that brings with it
and hope
and joy.

So, as we take part in this very familiar and dearly loved ritual today,
we want to stop for a few minutes and savor it.

we want to say how much we need to be here today.
We need it because we are needy people,
‘standin’ in the need of prayer,’
hungry for a sign of grace,
deeply desirous of a fresh start,
another chance,
a place to begin again.
Hear our prayers of need just now, Lord –
for in this moment of quiet,
we’re going to tell you how sorry we are for…
so many things
we’ve said or done
or not said or not done –
and how much we need, once again, your forgiving grace.
Hear, O Lord, our prayers of confession:

– Silence –

Thank you.
Thank you for listening once again
and thank you for the sweetness of forgiveness
and the releasing, strengthening power of sins forgotten,
because of grace-made-flesh in Jesus.

Since the last time we gathered together around this table, Lord,
each one of us has come up against it,
in one way or another.
Come up against
the darkness and sadness of life on planet earth,
as well as come up against
the gift and the beauty of life in this place.
Each of us has a long list of things
for which to say, ‘Thank you, God!’
and each one has a long list of things
for which to say,
‘Help us, O God!’
And we know, Lord,
that you are with us in the middle of it all
the beauty and the gift,
the darkness and the sadness.
So, hear, O Lord, our list of thank-you’s
as we offer them to you silently::

– Silence –

And hear, O Lord, our list of,
‘Help us, O God’ requests:

– Silence –

We know, O Lord, that your Spirit
is constantly at work within us
to help us be people who bear rich fruit –
fruit that looks like love and joy and peace –
no matter what circumstances
we may find ourselves in from day to day.
For life – full, rich, wonderful, terrible life
is such a crazy, mixed-up thing –
and the living of that life is made
infinitely deeper and richer when
we live it in the center of your will
and design for us.

So we pray that for ourselves this morning.
as we set aside these small pieces of bread,
and these tiny cups of juice,
for the holy and sacred privilege of sharing them
together in the act of communion –
we pray for our own continuing transformation –
that the fruit of the Spirit would be
evident in us,
and then through us,
also evident in our families,
in our places of employment,
in our circle of friends,
in our wider community.
For your glory, O Lord.

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