After Pentecost 11A – August 13

August 13, 2023
The Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost
Matthew 14:22-33
“For Faith”

Call to Worship
One: God moves among us.
Many: We welcome your presence, Lord, no matter by what means you arrive.
One: Reach out your hand and I shall always be with you.
Many: We reach for you, Jesus, and trust that you are present when we fear or ache.
One: Your presence, Oh Lord, calms the seas as it calms our hearts.
Many: May we rest assured that you are ever present with us, assuaging our worries as you love our anxieties into softness.

God of so many names, you command us to come to you, yet we are doubtful of our abilities to make the journey. We are so uncertain of our steps, yet we long to have the faith in ourselves that you have in us. Be with us and embolden us through faith to rise as we are called to walk with you and walk alongside those whose need companionship. Show us how to be children of God who can set skepticism down and take up the mantle of faithful presence.

Prayer for Transformation and New Life
God our gentle parent, bring calm to the storms that batter us and blow us off course. We do not need to walk on water; we need only walk through our lives as whole and holy children who recognize that your love unites us, buoys us, and carries us forward to face miraculous challenges in a complex world. Help us to see through the clutter of daily existence in order to focus on what is most important: love, compassion, faith, and connection. Amen.

Words of Assurance
Even when we doubt, God is with us.
God walks beside us, through us, with us, in all that we do.
Miracles are among us if we see ourselves with God’s loving gaze.

Invitation to Generosity
The gifts of faith come to us in many ways, and the miracles we witness are not always so obvious. May the manifestation of God’s great abundance in our lives inspire us to generosity in as many ways as we see God’s love unfurl.

Prayer of Dedication and Thanksgiving
Holy One, we thank you for revealing yourself to us in ways both big and small, in ways miraculous and mundane. Use our gifts to further your loving justice in our communities near and far.

As we go forth from this time of intentional community and ministry, let us practice replacing fear with faith and worry with a calm that is rooted in God’s grace. May we more deeply connect with the freedom that comes from trust in something larger than ourselves. Go in peace and do God’s work among all of God’s people.

For Faith: Service Prayers for the Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost was written by Dr. Sherry Warren who serves as Minister of Women’s and Gender Justice for the National Ministries of the UCC. She loves to garden and grow things.