At St. John’s we believe in the power of prayer. Prayers are an important part of our worship services, all church gatherings, and in our quiet times alone. We have a Prayer Group who meets each month to pray for those who need our prayers, we have a Prayer Walking Group who meet twice a month at Whites Road Park, and at both services we share the ‘joys and concerns’ of our congregation in prayer. You are always welcome to share your prayer requests with our pastors, or in our book of ‘joys and concerns’ in the front of the sanctuary near the lectern (by the door to pastor Sue’s office) which are read by the pastor as part of our Sunday morning prayers during worship services.
During this time of the COVID-19 pandemic, please feel free to contact our staff with your prayer needs and requests. We are here to give you hope & strength during this time of confusion and an unknown future.
A Prayer (Rev. Dr. Barbara Kershner Daniel) (Rev. Daniel is pastor of Evangelical Reformed UCC in Frederick, Md. & was a Student Pastor at St. John’s in the summer of 1982.)
“God, we know that you are with us at all times and places. Be with those who are suffering from this disease. Be with the family and friends of those who are sick or who have died. As they worry and grieve, give them peace. Be with all the health care professionals, those working in long-term care facilities, our first responders. May they know your protection and peace. Be with our children and youth as they and their teachers who are accompanying the min new ways of learning. Be with their parents who are juggling work with their children at home.
Be with all of us as we seek to be good neighbors to one another, paying attention to what each one of us can do to stop the spread, and to care for one another.
Give us strength and courage during the uncertainty of these days. Amen.”
“But those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)
To email a prayer request to Pastor Sue use this email address: [email protected]
There is a Daily Devotional with a daily prayer in the blue section at the bottom right of the home page of our website, updated each day by the United Church of Christ. Click here to read today’s Daily Devotional AND an archive of past Daily Devotionals on the UCC website.
Prayer Walking With St. John’s
Prayer Walking at Whites Road Park has resumed during the months of July & August 2020, with walks planned for Thursdays, July 9th, July 23rd, August 13th & August 27th (weather permitting). We will meet near the concession stand area at 8:00 am (please note the new time) and all participants will be expected to wear masks. We will observe proper physical distancing while meeting and walking, which will be a bit different from the past, but will not prevent us from benefiting from the beautiful setting in which we will be walking and praying. For those who may be new to prayer walking, we begin with sharing a reflection or Scripture passage to consider while walking, then walk in a relaxed manner ~ usually three loops around the park ~ and conclude by briefly sharing observations, insights and prayer. All of this takes less than an hour. Do not hesitate to be in touch with Pastor Sue if you would like to learn more about this spiritual practice.
Rev. Sue, leader of this informal group, describes the gatherings this way: “We gather at Whites Road Park on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of each month at 7:00 am, weather permitting. I originally chose the early time so that folks who needed to head to work afterwards would be able to join us. As we begin, I share a thought, quote or Scripture verse to get folks thinking. Then we walk in a relaxed manner (the intent is to make this walk not too strenuous for those who might have difficulty doing a walk that would be physically challenging), often engaging in conversation about what I have shared, or going in a totally different direction as we get to know the folks walking alongside of us. We greet walkers we pass along the way and enjoy being in the midst of God’s creation. We usually walk for about 45 minutes and end our time together by sharing a promise to be holding each other in prayer as we journey through the day.” For more information, contact Rev. Sue at the email address at the top of this page, or just show up at the park on the listed days in the parking lot circle near the outdoor pool. You’re invited!
There are many variations of The Lord’s Prayer spoken in churches around the world. These are the words of The Lord’s Prayer we pray each week at St. John’s:
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 debts as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen
At our 10:15 am service we recite The Lord’s Prayer at the end of the Children’s Message, to help the children as well as all gathered memorize and regularly recite this prayer that Jesus taught us to pray. We also include it in our 8 am service each week, and at the end our our monthly church council meetings, our council members gather together and hold hands and recite The Lord’s Prayer, as well as reciting it at all special worship gatherings.
St. John’s Monthly Prayer Group
(This will resume when our normal activities resume after the COVID-19 pandemic. Our group is meanwhile connected by phone & email. Watch for details.)
Rev. Sue, leader of this group, describes it this way: “We meet on the third Monday of each month in the Church Library at 7:00 pm. When we meet, we update the prayer list that has been created as church folks and others have given us names of people for whom to pray. This prayer list often contains well over 50 names, and after updating the list, we spend time in prayer for those on our list, and for our church, our community and our world. The people who attend Prayer Group tend to be those who are also part of the Prayer Chain, passing along names of persons in need of prayer as we become aware of them.” If you are interested in joining or have questions or prayer requests for our group, please contact Rev. Sue using the email address at the top of this page.
Did You Know? The St. John’s Prayer Group has been an important part of our outreach ministry through prayer since May 18, 1987!
Prayer Vigil Each year St. John’s holds a Prayer Vigil from noon on Maundy Thursday to noon on Good Friday. Volunteers sign up to silently pray for one full hour on that day. You are encouraged to be in St. John’s sanctuary during your prayer time but can choose to pray from wherever you need to be at your selected hour. The sign up sheet is displayed in the sanctuary in the weeks leading to Maundy Thursday.
From the UCC Website: A Morning Prayer: O God, open my lips and my mouth shall proclaim your praise. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me. Do not cast me away from your presence, and do not take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore me to the joy of your salvation, and sustain in me a willing spirit.
The following prayer comes from the website of Church World Service:
Dearest Lord, teach me to be generous, teach me to serve you as I should,
to give and not to count the cost, to fight and not to heed the wounds,
to toil and not to seek for rest, to labour and ask not for reward,
save that of knowing that I do your most holy will.
St. Ignatius Loyola – 16th century