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Though I Walk Though The Valley

Description

Here are worship resources inspired by Psalm 23.

Scripture

Psalm 23

Prayers

Opening Prayer

Generous God and Giver of all things, we rest in your loving and tender care; and we are revived, restored and renewed by your strength and encouragement. You go before us in life, leading us in pathways that are secure without the confusion of becoming lost, aware only that we always need to follow you; and so we trust in your guidance and wisdom.

As human beings, we know there will be times of stress, when our body or mind lets us down; we know there will dark times too, when life seems to be nothing but struggle; and it is in those times especially, that we rely on your Presence deep within us to guide and bless us. Grace-Giving God, you provide us with the tools we need for the tasks we face, and for this we give you our trust and our thanks.

Life-Giving God, you put out the ‘Welcome’ mat for us as we gather to worship you. You nourish our souls and bodies through your goodness and tender mercies; you heal our life’s wounds; and your generous love fills us to overflowing. You give us an honoured place at your table, and invite us to stay with you as your guest forever. You have promised that your unfailing love will stay with us always, and for this, we give you our thanks.

Amen.

~ written by Joan Stott, and posted on the Geelong City Parish UCA website.
http://www.wesleychurchgeelong.net/
If used in shared worship, please provide an acknowledgement as follows: © 2011Joan Stott – "The Timeless Psalms" RCL Psalm Year A, used with permission.

Prayer for Others

Gracious God, you care for me; I need nothing more.

Hear the cry of those who are hungry;
hungry for justice, and dignity, hungry for freedom, and love.

You lead me into a haven of peace and rest.

Hear the cry of those who are alone;
those who grieve a relationship broken by death or human failing,
those who live in the isolation of a hospital room, a prison cell,
a frail body, a confused mind.

You breathe new life into me and lead me in new ways.

God whose breath is life itself,
we pray for a just and caring use of your creation;
a fair sharing of its abundance, an ethical searching of its mysteries.

You are with me, and comfort me,
even when the darkness of the world looms large.

We pray for those who seek the truth;
those who cannot speak, and those who cannot be heard,
that the light of your Word
may shine in the darkness which overshadows their lives.

In the face of those who trouble me
you provide for me, and pour out your blessings.

Hear the cry of those trampled by racial or religious intolerance,
disoriented by homelessness, defeated by unemployment;

God of justice and compassion you are with me always
and have promised to sustain me all my life.

Enlarge our vision of life, and make us bold in our hope,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
let our cry come to you;

. . . and with the saints in every age we pray,

Our Father in heaven . . . . .

~ written by Jeff Shrowder, and posted on The Billabong website.
http://thebillabong.info/

Prayer of Thanksgiving: God, You Sustain

Dear God, you sustain and feed me
like a shepherd you guide me.
You lead me to an oasis of green,
to lie down by restful waters.
You refresh my soul for the journey,
and guide me along trusted roads.
The God of justice is your name.

Though I must enter the darkness of death,
I will fear no evil.
For you are with me,
your rod and staff comfort me.
You prepare a table before my very eyes,
in the presence of those who trouble me.
You anoint my head with oil,
and you fill my cup to the brim.
Your loving kindness and mercy will meet me
every day of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of my God for ever.

~ from the Order of Compline in the New Zealand Prayer book. Posted on the Sacred Pauses website.
http://www.sacredpauses.com/2009/11/psalm-23-from-the-new-zealand-prayer-book/

Spoken Resources

Call to Worship

We gather together to worship and praise our ‘Good Shepherd’,
who cares so well for us.
The Lord is our Shepherd,
and we have all we are ever likely to need.

We gather together to worship and praise our ‘Good Shepherd’,
who safely leads us
and give us strength for the journey.
The Lord is our Shepherd,
who allows us to rest and who renews our energies.

We gather together to worship and praise our ‘Good Shepherd’,
who offers us a feast when we are under pressure.
The Lord is our Shepherd,
who’s unfailing love is always there waiting for us. Amen.

~ Joan Stott, posted on the website Geelong City Parish UCA.

If used in shared worship, please provide an acknowledgement as follows: © 2011 Joan Stott – The Timeless Psalms, RCL Psalm Year A, used with permission.

Litany on Psalm 23

This has been another busy week.
I don’t know whether I can focus on worship this morning.
Something is nagging at my feelings.

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
Life is busy. There seems to be no end to work. I can’t relax.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters.

I have bad, painful memories. I am hurting inside.
He restores my soul.
I struggle with sin.
The good I want to do I cannot do.
The evil I do I do not want to do.
Who will rescue me from this body of death?
He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
I am getting older and may soon die.
Someone I love may soon die.
Even though I walk though the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me;
your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

My fellow workers look down on me.
My boss gives me a hard time.
I have few friends at school.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
Life is full of troubles.
My health is not as it should be.
Where can I find meaningful work?
You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
I am worried about the future.
Will I meet a partner?
Can I repay my debts?
Is my business going to fail?
Will my marriage last?
Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life.
Lord, I believe.
Help me in my unbelief.
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

~ by Bert Witvoet, posted on the Reformed Worship journal website.

Songs

Traditional Hymn: All the Way My Saviour Leads Me

Worship Together #599

All the way my Savior leads me,
What have I to ask beside?
Can I doubt His tender mercy,
Who through life has been my Guide?
Heav’nly peace, divinest comfort,
Here by faith in Him to dwell!
For I know, whate’er befall me,
Jesus doeth all things well;
For I know, whate’er befall me,
Jesus doeth all things well.

All the way my Savior leads me,
Cheers each winding path I tread,
Gives me grace for every trial,
Feeds me with the living Bread.
Though my weary steps may falter
And my soul athirst may be,
Gushing from the Rock before me,
Lo! A spring of joy I see;
Gushing from the Rock before me,
Lo! A spring of joy I see.

All the way my Savior leads me,
Oh, the fullness of His love!
Perfect rest to me is promised
In my Father’s house above.
When my spirit, clothed immortal,
Wings its flight to realms of day
This my song through endless ages:
Jesus led me all the way;
This my song through endless ages:
Jesus led me all the way.

~ Fanny Crosby, 1875.

Listen here: http://www.hymnary.org/text/all_the_way_my_savior_leads_me

Contemporary Hymn: Lord, my Good Shepherd

Lord, my good shepherd, I want for nothing:
in freshest pastures you let me lie;
by quiet waters gently you lead me;
tending my soul, you restore my life.

Shepherd, you show me your truest nature
guiding my footsteps in righteous paths;
and when I wander through the dark valleys
you reassure me with rod and staff.

For me, my shepherd, you set a banquet
right in the presence of all my foes;
my lowly head with oil you anoint, Lord;
my cup with blessing you overflow.

Shepherd, your goodness always pursues me:
all that I need your love provides;
so shall I live in God's home forever,
dwelling in joy by my shepherd's side.

~ Russell E. Sonafrank II. Words copyright © 1989 Hope Publishing Company. If you use this song in worship, be sure to report it on your CCLI license.

Tune suggestion:
BUNESSAN (“Morning has broken”)

Listen to it here: http://www.hymnary.org/tune/bunessan

Contemporary Song: You Never Let Go

Even though I walk
Through the valley of the shadow of death
Your perfect love is casting out fear
And even when I'm caught
In the middle of the storms of this life
I won't turn back I know You are near

And I can see a light that is coming
For the heart that holds on
A glorious light beyond all compare
And there will be an end to these troubles
But until that day comes
We'll live to know You here on the earth
And I will fear no evil
For my God is with me
And if my God is with me
Whom then shall I fear
Whom then shall I fear

Oh no You never let go
Through the calm and through the storm
Oh no You never let go
In ev'ry high and ev'ry low
Oh no You never let go
Lord You never let go of me

Yes I can see a light
That is coming for the heart that holds on
And there will be an end to these troubles
But until that day comes
Still I will praise You
Still I will praise You

~ Beth Redman, Matt Redman. Copyright © 2005 Thankyou Music (Admin. by EMI Christian Music Publishing). CCLI Song #4674166. If you use this song in worship, be sure to report it on your CCLI license.

Listen to it here: http://www.worshiptogether.com/songs/songdetail.aspx?iid=559516

Contemporary Song: The Lord’s My Shepherd

The Lord's my Shepherd I'll not want
He makes me lie in pastures green
He leads me by the still still waters
His goodness restores my soul

And I will trust in You alone
And I will trust in You alone
For Your endless mercy follows me
Your goodness will lead me home

He guides my ways in righteousness
And He anoints my head with oil
And my cup it overflows with joy
I feast on His pure delights

And though I walk the darkest path
I will not fear the evil one
For You are with me
And Your rod and staff
Are the comfort I need to know

~ Stuart Townend. Copyright © 1996 Thankyou Music (PRS) (adm. worldwide at EMICMGPublishing.com exclusing Europe which is adm. by kingswaysongs.com). CCLI Song #1585970. If you use this song in worship, be sure to report it on your CCLI license.

Listen to it here: http://www.worshiptogether.com/songs/songdetail.aspx?iid=576505

Images

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Additional Resources

Video: I Shall Not Lack (Psalm 23)
http://re-worship.blogspot.ca/2011/05/video-i-shall-not-lack-psalm-23.html

Notes

This worship resource was created/compiled by Christine Longhurst. You are welcome to use it free of charge, and where appropriate, please note the source. If you are printing any of the resources for distribution, please print the source as well. The content of the worship resource does not necessarily represent the views of the Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches, which oversees the Centre for Mennonite Brethren Studies. For more worship resources by Christine Longhurst, see http://www.re-worship.blogspot.ca or http://www.faithmatters.ca.

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