June 2, 2019; New Church of Montgomery Laity Leader, Maggie Panyko
Opening Song: Love, thy will be done- Martika https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=10V_Z0_udjg
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 Swedenborg.com: https://swedenborg.com/the-magical-power-of-prayer/
“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.
- The Lord allows bad things to happen if good can come from it
- Prayer can be powerful
- We are put here to be useful, but those actions have to be meaningful to us.
Offering: The Prayer, Celine Dion: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SfVrpafcELI
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: https://swedenborg.wordpress.com/2019/05/31/fridayfeeling-turning-bad-to-good/