Reading and Prayer for Sunday, November 1

John 3:16-18a (CEV)

God loved the people of this world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who has faith in him will have eternal life and never really die. God did not send his Son into the world to condemn its people. He sent him to save them! No one who has faith in God’s Son will be condemned.

Romans 10:9-10 (NLT)

If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved.

James 2:14-17; 18-20 (NLT)

What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do? So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless. Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” But I say, “How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.” You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror. How foolish! Can’t you see that faith without good deeds is useless?

Prayer

Lord God, we bring you our thanks and our praise.

We thank you for your Church, which you have preserved through the ages.

In the times that your Church has done right, you have blessed and prospered it.

In the times when your Church has failed, you have been patient and kind, and have ever led its way out of darkness.

We thank you for those who have given their lives for your Church, thinking not of their own welfare, but of others; risking all that your Word might go forward, risking all that your love might be shared.

We thank you for the martyrs of the church, who in ancient days refused to deny you, and were led to their deaths; out of whose courage the Church was inspired and grew strong. We thank you for martyrs of our present day, who have stood before bullets and wrath for the cause of the right.

We thank you for the Reformers, men and women who worked to bring the church out of the darkness into which it had fallen, and into new light and life.

We thank you for Zion Presbyterian Church, a descendent of those Reformation people; help us to be true to the vision of the Church which you gave our forefathers and mothers, ever challenging us, moving us forward in the world and deeper in the faith, ever reformed and ever reforming.

Fill our sanctuary, our homes, and our hearts, with music, with joy, with courage, with hope, with forgiveness, with love, and with songs of praise to your great and holy name. 

We pray for our community and our world.

•             In those nations ravaged by senseless war, bring a spirit of wisdom and peace.

•             In those nations ravaged by hunger, bring concord and vision and food from afar.

•             In those nations seeking lasting peace and settlement, bring understanding and empathy.

•             In our nation, bring unity and common purpose, patience and understanding, tolerance and justice, prosperity and the compassion to share of our wealth.

•             In our community bring peace to the distraught, hope to the discouraged, joy and safety to the children, healing to the sick, and comfort to the grieving.

Hear our silent prayers, O Lord…

Lord God, we bring you our thanks and our praise.

We thank you for your Church, which you have preserved through the ages.

May our names be added to those who gave, and who gave all, that the Gospel might go forward and the world know the story of Jesus, lived out in word and deed through the lives of those who follow him.

Amen.