From Prayer to Purpose


Montezuma’s Castle Sunset, Photo by Maggie Panyko (c) 2018

June 2, 2019; New Church of Montgomery Laity Leader, Maggie Panyko

Opening Song: Love, thy will be done- Martika

Welcome: Thank you for being here and opening our hearts to the warmth of Love available to us.

Opening Prayer: Lord, in the face of hardship and devastation on the earth, in our communities, and in our hearts, we pray that our eyes may be opened to how we may be of service. We gather to pray for our neighbors, our brothers and sisters, in Dayton following the recent tornadoes, the people killed in the mass shooting in Virginia, and the people whose lives are affected everyday by violence, poverty, and injustice that is pervasive, and threatens to shake our hope for a better world. We ask that our prayers are fruitful and that we not only pray, but that we act on the Inspiration which whispers to us, sometimes softly and indistinguishably, and sometimes deafeningly, like a trumpet, if we are willing to listen.

Candle Lighting: Four Candles

Lord’s Prayer: Our Father

First Reading: Part of faith is learning to trust that the Lord will not allow anything to happen if it cannot eventually be turned to good (Secrets of Heaven #6574).

Second Reading: Regarded in itself, praying is talking with God, while taking an inward view of the things we are praying about. In answer we receive a similar stream of speech into the perceptions or thoughts of our mind, so that our inner depths open up to God, in a way. The experience varies, depending on our mood and the nature of the subject we are praying about. If we pray from love and faith and focus on or seek only what is heavenly and spiritual, something resembling a revelation emerges while we pray. It discloses itself in our emotions in the form of hope, comfort, or an inward stirring of joy. (Secrets of Heaven §2535)

Third Reading: “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7) 

Fourth Reading: (Divine Love and Wisdom#1). The more we are motivated by and act upon our noblest desires, the more that nobility becomes a part of our very being. This is the way we cooperate, connect, and come into communion with God. But it must be done freely, and we must make that decision rationally rather than acting out of fear or external pressure.

Fifth Reading: When prayer has a divine origin, it always contains the thought and belief that the Lord alone knows whether the object of the prayer is useful or not. The person praying therefore submits the hearing of the prayer to the Lord and immediately adds the plea, “Lord, let your will be done, not mine,” in keeping with the Lord’s words during his heaviest trial, in Gethsemane (Matthew 26:39, 42, 44)(Secrets of Heaven §8179)

Sixth Reading: From Rev. Jeremy Simons via

The communication of love has tremendous power, whether it is expressed in tangible or intangible ways, for love carries all good fortune, success, and healing within it. When people—whether many or few—love and pray for someone, that love is communicated through heaven to that person. While it may or may not have any tangible physical effect, the spiritual and emotional effects can be like the moving of a mountain. The collective love and prayers of large numbers of people exert a tremendous societal force, something that people are only beginning to understand.  So, according to Swedenborg, prayer does not influence God. But prayer is not pointless: it has the power to literally change the world.


  1. The Lord allows bad things to happen if good can come from it
  2. Prayer can be powerful
  3. We are put here to be useful, but those actions have to be meaningful to us.

Offering: The Prayer, Celine Dion:

Closing Prayer: Dear God, thank you for bringing us together today. To brainstorm, to commiserate, to help one another. Lead us to the recognize when the answer is before us and to act to continue to create the most beautiful heaven.

Resources to help folks affected by the Dayton Tornadoes: Available on the website on the post:

#ThursdayThoughts: Let’s Work Together

In case you missed it, here is the order of service from Sunday, February 17, 2019.

February 17, 2019, Layperson Leader: Maggie Panyko

Opening Song: Let’s Work Together, by Canned Heat

Candle Lighting:

1. We light the first candle to honor the good and truth to be found in all spiritual traditions.

2. We light the second candle to honor the earth and all of life as the creation of the Divine—the one Lord and God of us all.

3. We light the third candle to honor and support the variety of individual paths which, together, make our one spiritual community.

4. We light the fourth candle to honor and provide an open and safe place for all who seek greater understanding and a life of deepening spirituality.

Opening prayer: Trusting Guidance, (pg 136, Uplifting Prayers to Light Your Way) by Sonia Choquette:

Holy Mother-Father God, Divine Loving Light and Heart of the Universe,

I humbly ask for the healing power of your grace to help me turn all my goals and intentions over to you. Grant me the ability to quiet my mind and tune in to my heart so that I may receive your guidance and trust the outcome. Please send in your angels to allow me to release my limiting ideas and open up to your unlimited ones. I thank you in advance, with my whole heart and soul, for answering my prayer and guiding me to a brighter path. Amen and with infinite gratitude.

Opening Poem: No Man is an Island, by John Donne

No man is an island entire of itself; every man 
is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; 
if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe 
is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as 
well as any manner of thy friends or of thine 
own were; any man's death diminishes me, 
because I am involved in mankind. 
And therefore never send to know for whom 
the bell tolls; it tolls for thee. 

The “Our Father”: We will read the Red, our understanding of the prayer is in Black.

Our Father

The Lord is our heavenly Father

who art in the heavens

The Lord is in the heavens.

hallowed be Thy name

Let Thy name be kept holy.

Thy kingdom come

A wish for the church to come on earth as in the heavens.

Thy will be done

The Lord’s will is to give us the happiness of heaven.

as in heaven so upon the earth

Do the Lord’s will as the angels do.

Give us this day our daily bread

Food for the body and food for the spirit.

And forgive us our debts as we also forgive our debtors

Our praying must be in the spirit of forgiveness.

And lead us not into temptations, but deliver us from evil

A prayer for the perpetual presence of the Lord to guard us from evil.

For Thine is the kingdom

We seek to enter into the Lord’s kingdom.

the power

All spiritual power is from the Lord alone.

and the glory

Divinity is the Lord’s alone.


The idea of eternity must be present in our prayers.


“It is true.”

Message with Service:

We come today and all Sundays to be open to the Word of God and strive to make our will worthy of a life fully lived. If we are to love our neighbor, we should be willing to use our talents, to not only improve our lives but those of others around us, our neighbors.

So today, we will do a little brainstorming. A little networking. A little helping. A little offering of ourselves and our talents. To learn that to by having faith in God, we are opening to being led to use our naturally-given gifts, and also those that we’ve worked hard at learning, to make a little headway towards Heaven on Earth.

In this effort: I would like to ask you to:

Introduce yourself 

Say what are you good at

What are your gifts, your hobbies, etc.

What kind of jobs have you done?

And after we go around the circle, if someone has a problem, big or small that they feel comfortable presenting, please do, so we can be of help. We can work for a little on each one and if two people find they are working together on a problem, they can break off and work together and we will start on a new one.

These could be pet problems, working to understand others, how to get started on something, where to find a resource.

Let’s begin! Problem solving…

Offertory/Meditation Hymn: Long Way Off, by Gungor

Closing Prayer: Finding Solutions (pg 191, Uplifting Prayers to Light Your Way) by Sonia Choquette.

Exit/Closing Song: Put Our Heads Together, by The O’Jays

The service was more open-ended than we planned, so we ended up exploring our connections versus our problems (within the time constraints). It was enjoyable.

photo of four persons uniting hands

Photo by on