Esther: Praying In The Silent Times

Social Distance Worship (Mother's Day), May 10, 2020 | Esther 6:14;7:1-6


Social Distance Worship [SDW] is not a livestream, but a liturgy that can be followed from the comforts of your home, or any other place beyond the sanctuary, during the COVID-19 pandemic. This liturgy features prayers, Bible readings, and recordings of a sermon and worship songs from our regular services. Each Sunday morning at 8:00 a.m. (CET) we will post a new SDW liturgy to our website, and you can find today’s liturgy on this page.


I. Greeting


II. Opening

(Listen in silent meditation or sing along)

God is so good,
God is so good,
God is so good,
He’s so good to me!

He cares for me,
He cares for me,
He cares for me,
He’s so good to me!

I love Him so,
I love Him so,
I love Him so,
He’s so good to me!


III. Adoration

Prayer of Adoration

O Wonderful and Merciful One, though we call You God the Father You are also like a mother in the love You shows us everyday. In Your Word we see images of Your gracious arms that are open to all and the shelter of Your nurturing hand which comforts every trembling heart. Lord, on this Mother’s Day reveal to us Your motherly care, and bless all women around the world as they care for our communities. Take all who worship now and gather them to You as a hen gathers her chicks, and give us rest that calms the soul as we offer You our thanks and praise. In Your holy name I pray. Amen.

Song of Adoration (Wonderful, Merciful Savior)

Wonderful, merciful Savior
Precious Redeemer and Friend
Who would have thought that a Lamb
Could rescue the souls of men
O, You rescue the souls of men.

Counselor, Comforter, Keeper
Spirit we long to embrace
You offer hope when our hearts have
Hopelessly lost the way
Oh, we’ve hopelessly lost the way.

You are the One that we praise
You are the One we adore
You give the healing and grace
Our hearts always hunger for
O, our hearts always hunger for.

Almighty, infinite Father
Faithfully loving Your own
Here in our weakness You find us
Falling before Your throne
Oh, we’re falling before Your throne.

You are the One that we praise
You are the One we adore
You give the healing and grace
Our hearts always hunger for
O, our hearts always hunger for.


IV. Confession

Prayer of Confession

O Mothering God, I confess that I have treated You like an earthly parent, whose patience is limited and whose love is sometimes not enough. In forgetting the promise that You are slow to anger and abounding in love, I have avoided bringing my faults to You and worshiped with a spirit of fear. But like a mother hen, You invite me to come under Your wings, and You beckon me to feel the joy and warmth of Your unending grace. You invite me to remember that I more than just a worshiper; I am Your child before Your throne, and you hear my voice whenever I call. Lord, I call You to you for forgiveness for my failures, and I take the hope You offer all who know Your love through Jesus Christ. The hope that You will speak and answer with compassion, and the hope You will heal and set me free with righteousness. In Your holy name I pray. Amen.

(Confess in Silence)

Song of Confession (Lord, Listen To Your Children Praying)

Lord, listen to Your children praying.
Lord, send Your Spirit in this place.

Lord, listen to Your children praying.
Send us love, send us power, send us grace.

Confession of Forgiveness

(Read this aloud)

O Lord, my heart is not lifted up; my eyes are not raised too high;
I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me.

But I have calmed and quieted my soul,
Like a weaned child with its mother;
Like a weaned child is my soul within me.

O Israel, hope in the Lord
From this time forth and forevermore.

Song of Forgiveness (Nothing But The Blood Of Jesus)

What can wash away my sin?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

O, precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow;
No other fount I know,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

For my cleansing, this I see,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
For my pardon, this my plea,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

O, precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow;
No other fount I know,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Nothing can for sin atone,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
Naught of good that I have done,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

O, precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow;
No other fount I know,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

This is all my hope and peace,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
This is all my righteousness,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

O, precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow;
No other fount I know,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.


V. Message

Scripture Reading (Esther 6:14-7:1-6)

14 While they were yet talking with him, the king’s eunuchs arrived and hurried to bring Haman to the feast that Esther had prepared.

1 So the king and Haman went in to feast with Queen Esther. And on the second day, as they were drinking wine after the feast, the king again said to Esther, “What is your wish, Queen Esther? It shall be granted you. And what is your request? Even to the half of my kingdom, it shall be fulfilled.” Then Queen Esther answered, “If I have found favor in your sight, O king, and if it please the king, let my life be granted me for my wish, and my people for my request. For we have been sold, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be killed, and to be annihilated. If we had been sold merely as slaves, men and women, I would have been silent, for our affliction is not to be compared with the loss to the king.” Then King Ahasuerus said to Queen Esther, “Who is he, and where is he, who has dared to do this?” And Esther said, “A foe and enemy! This wicked Haman!” Then Haman was terrified before the king and the queen.

Sermon

Preacher: Rev. Dr. Scotty J. Williams

Title: Esther – Praying In Silent Times

Prayer of Spiritual Communion

O Christ, I believe that the silent times are not where You are distant, but the times where You come close to us and listen with a motherly heart. Lord, as You love me, I love You above all things and I desire to receive You into my soul and be transformed by Your grace and truth. Since I cannot at this moment receive You through Your Sacrament, come to me by the Holy Spirit and fill my heart with Your presence of love. Thank You for hearing me, even in the silent times. You Who are with us always, now and forever, and world without end. Amen.

Apostles’ Creed

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth,
And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord,
Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
Born of the Virgin Mary,
Suffered under Pontius Pilate,
Was crucified, died and was buried;
He descended to the dead;
On the third day He rose again;
He ascended into heaven,
And He is seated at the right hand of the Father;
He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
The holy *catholic Church,
The communion of saints,
The forgiveness of sins,
The resurrection of the body,
And the life everlasting. Amen.

*The word catholic means “universal” (not the Roman Catholic Church), and shows that Christ and His Gospel are for all people.

Blessing

May the blessing of the God of Sarah and Abraham, may the blessing of the Son born of Mary, and may the blessing of the Holy Spirit, Who watches over us as a mother watches over her children, be upon you and with you always. Amen.


VI. Thanksgiving

Prayer of Thanksgiving

O God Who is a father to the fatherless and a mother to the motherless, I thank You that I am Your child and can call on You in every condition. As this time of worship ends, and I face the world with its ups and downs, remind me of Your love divine which excels all loves within this world. May Your gentle gracious guiding hand lead all of Your faithful people on, and may You keep us until the day we cast our crowns before You in wonder, love, and praise. I ask all this in the name of Jesus Christ, Your Son, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit as one God, both now and forever. Amen.

Song of Thanksgiving (Love Divine, All Loves Excelling)

Love divine, all loves excelling
Joy of heaven to earth come down
Fix in us Thy humble dwelling
All Thy faithful mercies crown.

Jesus, Thou art all compassion
Pure, unbounded love Thou art
Visit us with Thy salvation
Enter every trembling heart
.

Come Almighty to deliver
Let us all Thy life receive
Suddenly return and never
Nevermore Thy temples leave.

Thee we would be always blessing
Serve Thee with Thy hosts above
Pray and praise Thee without ceasing
Glory in Thy perfect love.

Finish then Thy new creation
Pure ans spotless let us be
Let us see Thy great salvation
Perfectly restored in Thee.

Changed from glory into glory
Till in heaven we take our place
Till we cast our crowns before Thee
Lost in wonder, love, and praise.


VII. Closing

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, Who art in Heaven,
Hallowed be Thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory,
Forever and ever.

Amen.


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The concept of this service is © All Souls.