Every now and then, I am especially pleased with how elements of our services turn out. As we end our month-long series on the stories of Moses, I wanted to share with you all the prayer that I wrote around the story of the ten plagues as well as the new hymn that I wrote for the occasion.
Holy One, God of the living water, we pray that all people might have access to clean water. We remember when the Nile ran red with blood, but we also remember when Jesus turned water to wine, and the waters of our baptism are precious. Be with us as we protect our water sources and the beautiful earth You gave us.
Holy One, God of sacred silence, we pray that all people are able to find time for peace and stillness to pray, to contemplate, and talk with You. We remember when armies of frogs swarmed through every home. Be with us as we seek You and as we praise Your name.
Holy One, God of hearth and home, we pray that all people have safe living conditions to stay dry and warm, without fear of bedbugs, fleas, cockroaches, or termites. We remember when ghosts of gnats descended on the flesh of humans and animals. Be with us as we remember to be thankful for the blessings of our own homes.
Holy One, God of peace, we pray that all people might live in harmony, without violence, without war, without bullying, without domestic abuse, without hatred, without discrimination. We remember when hordes of wild animals raged through the land of Egypt. Be with us as we work to create peace in the world.
Holy One, God of all animals, we pray for the health of animals, for those facing extinction and the loss of habitat, for the animals we rely on for food and income, and for the animals who have joined our families as pets. We remember when all the livestock of the Egyptians died overnight. Be with us as we care for the animals of Your creation.
Holy One, God of our bodies, we pray that all people may have access to healthcare, the opportunity for good health and healing, the chance to become and stay sober from drugs and alcohol, the support to maintain personal fitness, and the ability to stay safe from physical harm. We remember when the skin of the Egyptians was covered in boils and sores. Be with us as we care for all Your children in sickness and in health.
Holy One, God of the skies, we pray for all people affected by Hurricane Florence, that they may have the ability to leave for safety, that they may have supplies to ride out the storm, that they are able to keep in contact with friends and loved ones, that first responders are prepared for every eventuality, and that the hurricane passes over the coast with as little damage as possible. We remember when the Egyptians sought shelter from thunder and hail. Be with us as we wait for the news after the storm.
Holy One, God of the earth that provides for us, we pray for all crops, that they may be harvested in abundance, that all people may have enough good food to eat, that food be shared willingly, and that no one should have to suffer hunger or wonder where their next meal will come from. We remember when the earth was swarming with locusts who ate every last growing thing. Be with us as we break bread in Your name.
Holy One, God of our hearts and minds, we pray for all people experiencing darkness, whether it is the darkness of grief, or of doubt, or of fear, the darkness of depression and other mental illnesses, or the spiritual emptiness known as the dark night of the soul. We remember when the land of Egypt was covered in a thick darkness, darkness so thick that it might be felt. Be with us as share the light of Christ with the world.
Holy One, God of all children, we pray that all people will have the opportunity to receive a good education, that all young people may live happily in stable homes, that all children may grow up surrounded by love and care, and that they will never lose the ability to make choices for their own lives. We remember when God passed over the homes of Hebrew families but the angel of death stole away the firstborn sons of each Egyptian home. Be with us as we care for the children of this congregation and of the world.
“Remember That the Lord is God”
lyrics by LR Battaglia (2018)
Deuteronomy 6:4-6, Psalm 105:28-36
(to the tune AZMON, e.g., “O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing,” #610)
Remember that the Lord is God
And teach your children well;
Let heart and soul and might be awed
That in God’s love we dwell.
God sent a darkness o’er the land
So thick it might be felt;
God changed the Nile that lapped the sand
By streams of blood men knelt.
God gave the sign, and swarms of flies
Through Pharaoh’s country flew;
And croaking frogs drowned out his lies
As his heart in hardness grew.
Next, God sent down great storms of hail
That battered homes and fields;
Then swarms of locusts like a veil
That soon devoured all yield.
Then finally, one tragic night
Egypt’s first sons were killed;
The heart of Pharaoh shook in fright
God’s promise was fulfilled.
And so the slaves from Egypt fled
Slipped past the Pharoah’s hand;
Through waters safely they were led,
And towards the Promised Land.
shalom and agape,
Rev Leia Rose Battaglia