by Mandy Garcia
Written for the Church of the Brethren staff gathering, February 2014
Reader 1: God of the Bible:
Reader 2: We come to you this day asking that Christ will be at the center of all we do–the very heartbeat of our work, our conversation, and our thinking. We ask that we would be able to discern your yearnings for our ministries–your ministries–as we gather around your Word.
Reader 3: We ask that your Word be our word, and that we would speak with a voice that is grounded in scripture.
All: For your Word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. (Psalm 119:105)
Reader 1: Creator, our Great Physician:
Reader 2: We ask that you would inspire us to creatively imagine and live out your vision for reconciliation and healing.
Reader 3: We pray that our Anabaptist values would be strengthened, and that you would use them to heal hurts in our world.
All: Fill us with all joy and peace in believing, so that we may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13)
Reader 1: Holy One:
Reader 2: We ask that you will guide us as we help Brethren express their faith through humble service, simple words, and courageous proclamation.
Reader 3: Be in our words as we inform church members about the activities and values of the Church of the Brethren.
All: Let no evil talk come out of our mouths, but only what is useful for building up, as there is need, so that our words may give grace to those who hear. (Ephesians 4:29)
Reader 1: God of the Nations:
Reader 2: We pray that you will bind us together into a community that more fully reflects all your people.
Reader 3: Cultivate diversity among us, yet give us the boldness to maintain our distinct Brethren voice.
All: For there is one body and one Spirit, just as we were called to the one hope of our calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism. (Ephesians 4:4-5)
Reader 1: Divine Servant:
Reader 2: We ask that you would help us to embody you example of servant leadership,
Reader 3: Even as we ask that you would give us courage to communicate broadly and amplify our public voice.
All: May you, the God of steadfastness and encouragement, grant us to live in harmony with one another, in accordance with Christ Jesus, so that together we may with one voice glorify you, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 15:5-6)
Reader 1: Sovereign God
Reader 2: We ask that you would show us how to provide opportunities for Brethren to be involved in hands-on ministry, so that your transforming energy is released.
Reader 3: We pray that you would equip up as we equip congregations to speak publicly with their Brethren voice, through word and action.
All: Renew us in the spirit of our minds, and clothe us with the new self, which was created according to your likeness in true righteousness and holiness. (Ephesians 4:23-24)
Reader 1: Prince of Peace
Reader 2: We pray that our dedication to peace, simplicity, and community will undergird all aspects of our life and work.
Reader 3: And we ask that you would show us new ways of witnessing to Christ’s peace.
All: To give light to those who sit in darkness, and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace. (Luke 1:79).
(Light a candle.)
Reader 1: Holy Spirit:
Reader 2: Empower us as we do our best to respond to God’s yearning.
Reader 3: In the name of Jesus Christ, the Holy One, our Lord, Savior, and Friend,