Open Our Hearts
A Prayer for Illumination
Good and Gracious God,
Source of the evolving Universe,
Source of all Life,
All creation is charged with your Divine Energy.
The plants and the animals,
The birds and the bees,
They all look to You for provision and vitality.
As these words are now read,
Remind us of our kinship with the animals,
That we may know ourselves
As truly human and holy,
Irrevocably part of the Web of Life.
We have a special moment each Sunday, before the Scriptures are read, where we offer a Prayer for Illlumination. I like to incorporate something of the theme of the day, or of the sermon series we are in, with the wording here as well as in the Call to Worship responsive reading. These words and the moment we take to prepare our hearts to listen deeply are important! We pause and glance inward as we read these words, and we participate together, readiang them aloud before the liturgist, (the person who is working alongside the minister to lead worship for the day) reads from the Scriptures.
As we offer the Prayer for Illumination, we are inviting the Spirit of God to guide us in our listening, to engage our senses, and to guide our imagination so that we can hear with joy the Words of Reconciliation, Healing and Grace offered through the Holy Scriptures.
When you prepare to read the Scriptures at home, consider offering a prayer for the opening of your heart. Pause and listen. You might even place your hands on your heart and close your eyes, imagining the Breath of God coming to fill you as you breathe in, and breathe out. Before reading your devotional or picking up the Bible at home, take a deep breath and remember that the Spirit of God has the capacity to meet you right where you are. This is an incredible gift that causes us to rejoice. May our joy increase as we take time to prepare our hearts for worship and wonder!
Psalm 139 - The Voice translation - verses 1 through 6
1 O Eternal One, You have explored my heart and know exactly who I am;
2 You even know the small details like when I take a seat and when I stand up again.
Even when I am far away, You know what I’m thinking.
3 You observe my wanderings and my sleeping, my waking and my dreaming,
and You know everything I do in more detail than even I know.
4 You know what I’m going to say long before I say it.
It is true, Eternal One, that You know everything and everyone.
5 You have surrounded me on every side, behind me and before me,
and You have placed Your hand gently on my shoulder.
6 It is the most amazing feeling to know how deeply You know me, inside and out;
the realization of it is so great that I cannot comprehend it...