Here is the suggested liturgy:
Psalm 24:7-8, “Lift up your heads, O gates, and be lifted up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in! Who is the King of glory? the LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle.”
O God, our refuge, our strength, our help; You are the foundation upon which our lives are built, the mighty fortress which surrounds and protects. Though the earth should change, the mountains shake, the waters rise, we will not fear, for You are with us. Help us, O Lord, to live fearlessly amidst the storm. We shout our praises to the Prince of Peace, the great and mighty King, who laid down His life that we may live. Now, O Lord God, may those ancient doors of Your mighty fortress open wide this hour, that the Lord of glory may enter into our hearts and our homes. May the peace and joy that fills Your kingdom fill our lives and may we give ourselves to You this day, entirely as sacrifices of praise to You the Triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.
Reading of God’s Law
Ephesians 5:1-5, “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma. But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints; and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.”
As God calls us to imitate Him as His children, we are love one another deeply. We are to love Him supremely. We are to flee sin and all that displeases God and live positively by speaking holy words, thanking God for His grace and mercy and provisions. Yet, we fail in our obedience and fall short of His glory. We are sinners and deserve His wrath, but He is a God of mercy and grace, so let us turn to Him in faith as we look to Jesus Christ, the propitiation of our sins.
O great and holy God, in Your mercy awaken in us a true understanding of our sinful ways. We give so many excuses to our failings and trespasses but if You shine the light of Your truth in us we might truly recognize our sin for what it is. Forgive us our many sins and cleanse our guilt by the blood of Christ, Your beloved Son, and by Your Spirit empower us to live out of that new life You implanted in us. Sanctify us that we may hate sin as You do and to love holiness as You do. This we pray in the name of the Word made flesh, the Light which is the light of all people, Jesus Christ. Amen.
1 John 2:1-2, “If anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.”
Sing the Doxology
Our Prayers for the Church
Matthew 7:11, “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!”
Great and holy God, our voice of praise rises up to bless You because of who You are and what You have done. Blessed are You, and the whole earth is full of Your glory. Hear us now as we petition You with our needs and as we intercede for our brothers and sisters around the globe.
Bless Your Church and just as You chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world, may all Your true people be holy and blameless before You. Inasmuch as we have obtained an inheritance, may each of Your saints living in this world today be filled with Your Spirit that each may live always to the praise of Your glory. O God, may the eyes of our hearts be enlightened, so that we will know what is the hope of Your calling, that we may know what are the riches of the glory of Your inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of Your power toward us who believe so that Your glory may be known in all the earth.
O God, we remember our President and all the lawmakers in our land, and around the world. We are living in very troubling times, and our hearts are shaken when we hear the news. But You are the Sovereign over all the earth and the hearts of the kings are like channels of water in Your hand, so turn them to Your wish. Grant them wise and stable minds to sail through these rough waters. Please grant Your mercy to this world that this virus would die and that we might get back to a normal life quickly. Send comfort to those whose loved ones have died because of this thing, and grant strength to those who care. Protect our doctors and nurses and other hospital staff and grant them patience to endure long and hard days. Have mercy O God, have mercy.
We pray for our missionaries and their efforts, keep them from discouragement and grant that they may know their labor in the Lord is never in vain. We pray for our missionaries in Asia. Keep them safe and healthy. We pray that You would bless their work, even though much of that work is done in secret behind closed doors, but we ask that You cause it to bear great fruit to Your glory. We pray for all those who are suffering for the name of Christ, keep them steadfast and hopeful, and let them know You are with them and that You would bless them. Grant them the courage You gave the apostles and martyrs throughout the ages. Bless the churches of our Presbytery and cause them to shine for Christ in their areas of influence. We especially pray for Roger Wagner in Bay View. Use him to comfort Your people in this time, and let Your word come out of him in a mighty way. As he also has extra duties as Moderator of Presbytery, help him to be wise and circumspect as he helps to lead us. O God, we beseech You that through the preaching of Your Word, that Your Kingdom would come with great power and may Your will be done in our land, in all lands. May Christ be acknowledged as the only Ruler and that You Yourself, O Father, be recognized as the only true God.
O Lord, we are like workers in a field, reaping the harvest of Your Word. Keep us faithful, today, to the work of worship. May Your Spirit move in our midst. Open our eyes to the vast goodness You spread before us and make us to be always thankful for all Your providences – joyful and hard -- which are designed to conform us to the image of Jesus Christ. Strengthen the hands that are weak and the knees that are feeble, heal the lameness that is our so that we may make straight paths for our feet. Help us to pursue peace with all men, and that sanctification without which no one will see You. Convict us of our worldly thinking so that we may turn from it and not fall short of the grace of God. Fill our hearts with grace so that the root of bitterness would not spring up in us. We are reminded of how Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.” O Lord, make us to be hungry for Your Kingdom and Your righteousness and feed us with Your Word. As You do so, remind us of those who are still hungry, that we may have a heart of compassion.
We pray for the aged and the infirm and unable to leave their homes, and for for the sick of body and mind. Have mercy upon them and may they know Your presence and rejoice in it. Be with those who sorrow and mourn, and comfort them as we give You thanks for the hope of the resurrection. We thank You for the glory that awaits Your people. Lift the weight of all those who are burdened that they may leave here today rejoicing in Your goodness and care. Help us to realize that whatever our affairs and circumstances that nothing matters as much as our relationship to You and this living knowledge of You. May we have the grace we need to overcome every hindrance and obstacle and difficulty in order that we might worship You in Spirit and truth. Lord, help us to always be willing to submit ourselves to the great working of the Holy Spirit in us. May we learn what it means to truly rejoice before You and to be filled with a sense of wonder, love and praise. Give us wisdom to live. Bless and guide our elders that they may lead us in holiness and into the victory of Your truth. Bless and support our deacons that they may minister the grace of Jesus to us. Fill this place with souls who are hungry for You. O Lord, pour out Your Spirit in great measure that we may know You are the true and living God who oversees all things. Amen