A prayer for Sunday morning (and the annual meeting that follows)


Predigerkirche interior

Merciful God, you know how we anticipate this day, clinging to hope that this year will be different, but mostly feeling fear and dread that this year will be like all the others. We will do our best to pray and sing the hymns and listen to the sermon, your Word to us, but really, if we are honest, our hearts are focused on what comes later – the annual meeting.

We are human, after all – pathetically, inescapably human.

Even though we pray that this year will be different from other years, and that we will be fully present to you in worship, we know that our thoughts, in spite of ourselves, will be on budgets and reports and elections. If there is something in scripture about budgets, it would be helpful if you would point us to it, but then we seem to know, deep down, that none of this matters, not really, that when your Son announced the kingdom of God he wasn’t really thinking about church buildings and leadership boards and budget deficits. He seemed to have so much more in mind for us. He seemed to want so much more for us.

In so far as it is possible, lift our own minds from that which has no eternal meaning … to that which you would have us know and believe and trust. Keep us from mean-spirited thoughts. Help us to think the best of others, whose opinions – forgive us – we cannot abide. When we would stand and offer an opinion not worthy of you, push us firmly back to our seat. And when we would sit quietly and listen to – forgive us again – nonsense, prompt us to speak.

Above all, give us wise and discerning hearts, mostly to remember that your church will never quite measure up until that day that you make all things new. And for that day we pray that you will make it come … quickly.


About Doug

I have been a writer ever since fifth grade when I won second prize in a “prose and poetry” contest. I am also a Presbyterian pastor, and for several years toward the end of my career I lived and worked in Zürich, Switzerland. I am now retired and live just north of Holland, Michigan, along the lake.

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7 Responses to A prayer for Sunday morning (and the annual meeting that follows)

  1. Susan January 25, 2015 at 6:05 am #


  2. Kathy January 25, 2015 at 7:49 am #


  3. Beth Alwine January 25, 2015 at 8:44 am #

    And so God speaks through Doug in Switzerland and in Harrisburg, Pa and all parts far and wide… Thanks for the reminders…”reality checks”! Blessings to you, Susan and your family! Deep Peace & Joy, Beth

    • Betty Strunk January 25, 2015 at 12:42 pm #

      Doug, I didn’t realize you and your congregation would be going through the same schedule as our church in Wheaton on this Sunday. I’m praying for you and the worshipping congregation in Zurich and covet your prayers for 1st Pres. in Wheaton.

      • Doug January 25, 2015 at 2:35 pm #

        Some things are true all over the world, Betty. Good to hear from you.

    • Doug January 25, 2015 at 2:39 pm #

      Beth, I didn’t know you were a reader. I hope your ACM was a good one!

  4. Jürg Kessler January 29, 2015 at 12:40 pm #

    Dear Doug, Your prayer was heard and answered – maybe you can put the good news in one of your coming Blogs. And: Having attended about 30 ACMs at IPC over the past 40 years I would say that 4 were downright bad, some were so-so / ok but a great deal was peaceful and “civilized” (as all of them should be).
    Nevertheless: 1 a year is plenty!