Great Prayers of the Old Testament: A Worship Series for Summer 2022

A number of moving prayers can be found in the Old Testament.  These prayers fall across the continuum of joy to lament, revealing the depths of human experience and the majestic grace of a loving God who hears everything and takes every prayer to heart.  Following the insights and wisdom of world-renowned Old Testament scholar Walter Brueggemann, we will explore some of these ancient prayers and how they might help make prayer come alive for us today.  Among the prayers to be explored are those of Abraham, Moses, Hannah, David, Solomon, Jonah, Jeremiah, Hezekiah, Nehemiah, Daniel, and Job.  This series will begin Sunday, June 12.

6/12 First Sunday after Pentecost

Referencing Abraham’s intercessory prayer for the city of Sodom, Old Testament scholar Walter Brueggemann offers: “prayer that moves into and against the disorder of the world in passionate intercession is perhaps the deepest, most dangerous, and most compelling prayer in biblical faith.” Our message, The Audacity of Prayer, will come from Genesis 18:22-33.

6/19 Second Sunday after Pentecost

Caught between an angry people and an angry God, Moses stands in the breach, his prayer revealing his immense love for Israel and serving as a desperate plea to God for continued mercy upon them. Our message, Standing in the Breech, will come from Numbers 14:1-23.

6/26 Third Sunday after Pentecost

The “Song of Hannah” is a prayer of exuberant celebration reminding us that we have received more than we expected, and we have expected even more than we dared to hope.  We join Hannah’s prayer imagining that the One who created the world will not finish until the world is brought to full, abundant life. Our message, The Power of Praise, will come from 1 Samuel 2:1-10.

7/3 Fourth Sunday after Pentecost

In our text we find David, ensconced as king in the newly seized city of Jerusalem, bringing in the ark of the covenant as a sign of God’s protective presence.  While David desires to build a house for God, God reveals God’s intentions of building David’s “house” into a dynasty. Our message, God’s Housing Development, will come from 2 Samuel 7:18-29. Our worship will also include the sharing of Holy Communion.

7/10 Fifth Sunday after Pentecost

In his prayer/dream, King Solomon asks only one thing, and that one thing is not for himself.  He asks only that he be equipped to be a good king; Solomon is focused on his responsibility as king and asks nothing for himself. Our message, The Wisdom of Seeking Wisdom, will come from 1 Kings 3:5-15.

7/24 Seventh Sunday after Pentecost

Jonah’s prayer from the belly of the fish is a Song of Thanksgiving.  Even though Jonah had been unfaithful to God and had attempted to escape God’s calling, Jonah turns to God for deliverance…and God listens! Our message, Depth Perception!, will come from Jonah 2:1-9.

7/31 Eighth Sunday after Pentecost

Against the backdrop of the Babylonian invasion, the prophet speaks a new word of divine hope and possibility—despite all evidence to the contrary!  His prayer is rooted in the conviction that the God who “plucks up and tears down” is also the God who will “plant and build.” Our message, A Field of Dreams, will come from Jeremiah 32:16-25.

8/7 Ninth Sunday after Pentecost

In the face of overwhelming Assyrian might, King Hezekiah acts and speaks as a person of faith who trusts that God has the power to deliver them, even from the great power of the Assyrian Empire. Our message, The Empire Strikes Out, will come from 2 Kings 19:15-19. Our worship will include the celebration of Holy Communion.

8/14 Tenth Sunday after Pentecost

The report back to Nehemiah from the ruins of Jerusalem evokes grief, causing him to sit, weep, and pray. Our message, When Grief Is Too Much to Bear…, will come from Nehemiah 1:4-11.

8/21 Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost

The prayer of Daniel is a prayer of those who have nowhere else to turn.  Clothed in sackcloth and ashes and throwing himself and his people onto the mercy of God, Daniel cannot offer anything but confession. Our message, A Posture of Penitence, will come from Daniel 9:1-19.

8/28 Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost

The suffering figure of Job captures our imaginations.  Throughout the book, Job (whose name means “adversary”) refuses to settle for easy, pious answers for his suffering.  Job speaks from the core of his pain and from an unrestrained sense of not being taken seriously.  In his final prayer, Job places his heart into the hands of the mysterious and unconventional God who often defies logical human explanations. Our message, A Cry of the Heart, will come from Job 42:1-6.

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