Due to copyright limitations, we are unable to print the words to the songs.  However, our musicians have chosen music to fit the scriptures.  We invite you to look up the words in your worship book and ponder them.  If you do not have a worship book, ponder the words to one of your favourite hymns and listen for God’s voice. Those who have internet may find the songs on YouTube.


To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.

~Martin Luther


Today’s readings incorporate several themes: negotiation, commands, persistence, and expectation. And surrounding all these themes is a bigger theme: boldness. Abraham is bold in speaking with God, so bold in fact that he not only negotiates with the Almighty, the Almighty willingly grants his request. Abraham had no fear in speaking in such a way to God, because he knew that God was listening and appreciating his concern. The disciples, too, speak with boldness. They don’t ask Jesus to teach them how to pray, they tell him to teach them how to pray. Their imperative sets up a pattern of imperatives as Jesus teaches them the prayer that has been prayed unceasingly in the church catholic. These themes continue in boldness as persistence is encouraged, even to the extent of being able to ask, search, and knock, knowing that the Lord says we will receive what we ask for. And God wants to give to those who ask God. We are to ask in boldness, which comes from being “rooted and built up in ” (Col. 2:7). Strengthened by the Lord’s supper, we are filled with God’s Spirit to speak boldly and to be persistent in our prayers, and to be ready to receive the things for which we ask. The question becomes, then, what is it we want and need?


We acknowledge that we gather to worship on Treaty 1 territory, the traditional gathering place of the Anishinaabe, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota and Dene people and the traditional homeland of the Métis people.

Every time we acknowledge this truth, we have an invitation and an opportunity to reflect on what we do and what we can do to make Manitoba a better place for everyone who lives here.


I lift up your name, Lord

because you lifted me out of the muck.

You did not let work, worry, or weary steal my joy.

Lord I cried to you, and you healed me!

You lifted me up from the pit of death.

You restored my soul from the dark hole I had buried it in.

Join with me, sing praises to God, you faithful ones

Give thanks to the Lord

who mends the broken into break-dancing,

who takes the crooked and shows them line-dancing,

who catches us in our fall and lifts us up above the crowd, who turns our mourning into dancing for joy.

Praise the Lord, God, forever give thanks to the Lord!

~The Rev. Nathan Decker is the pastor of the South Sussex Charge of the James River District of the Virginia Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church.


CHILDREN’S SONG: WOV 712  Listen, God Is Calling


Almighty and ever-living God, you are always more ready to hear than we are to pray, and you gladly give more than we either desire or deserve. Pour upon us your abundant mercy. Forgive us those things that weigh on our conscience, and give us those good things that come only through your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.  Amen.


We are not alone; we live in God’s world.

We believe in God:  who has created and is creating, who has come in Jesus, the Word made flesh, to reconcile and make new, who works in us and others by the Spirit.

We trust in God.

We are called to be the Church:  to celebrate God’s presence, to live with respect in Creation, to love and serve others, to seek justice and resist evil, to proclaim Jesus, crucified and risen, our judge and our hope.

In life, in death, in life beyond death, God is with us.  We are not alone.  Thanks be to God.


     Do you know the Lord’s Prayer by heart?  I can remember saying the Lord’s Prayer at bedtime as a child.  I think my earliest memory was about the age of 4.  I am now 59.  That’s a long time to be saying the Lord’s Prayer!

In case you were wondering where the church got the Lord’s Prayer, in today’s good news from Luke, we hear a few sentences that Jesus teaches the disciples.  In the other gospels, we hear a few more sentences, and so the church put the sentences together and now we recite the Lord’s Prayer.

If you pay attention to the words we use during worship, the words to the songs we sing, you will hear more sentences from the Bible.  There are so many good words to use from scripture!  Perhaps there is a phrase from the Bible that you like to use, such as:  the Lord be with you; the Lord bless you; Lord, have mercy; thanks be to God!…you get the picture.

The important point to remember from Luke’s good news is that the disciples demanded Jesus teach them to pray, and so Jesus did.  The important point to remember is that Jesus wants us to pray so that we stay in touch.  The more we talk to Jesus, the closer we will be.  The best part is that you can talk to Jesus anytime, not just at bedtime.  You can have Jesus comfort you and give you strength at any moment of the day.  To which I say, “Thanks be to God!”


MINUTE FOR MISSION :  Every Child Has a Right to Learn: Meshack’s Story

The Kenya Alliance for Advancement of Children helps break down barriers to education.

Where would you be if you had no education?

Every child has the right to learn.

Your generous support through Mission & Service means that children around the world can go to school thanks to partnerships with organizations like the Kenya Alliance for Advancement of Children (KAARC).

School fees, violence, child labour, and discrimination mean that too many children can’t go to or stay in school. KAARC brings together child rights organizations to share information about child protection and safeguarding and to support children in schools.

Thanks to your support, KAARC has established over 300 child rights clubs in schools. One of these clubs helped Meshack through primary school. A bursary program helps him pay his high school fees, and the child rights club at his school is teaching him how to be a positive role model.

“To start school was a problem. KAARC has helped me. They encouraged me a lot. They enabled me to start my primary school. Now I’m in high school,” Meshack says. “The club is helping us a lot, too. They give us role models to teach us what is bad and help us be confident in whatever we are doing. I’m very happy.”

Thank you for helping to break down barriers so every child can go to school, regardless of who they are, where they live, or how much money they have.


Lord, open our hearts and minds by the power of your Holy Spirit, that as the Scriptures are read and your Word is proclaimed, we may hear with joy what you say to us today. Amen.

Readings and Psalm:

First Reading: Genesis 18:20-32

In today’s reading, Abraham undertakes the role of a mediator between God and sinful humanity. Appealing to God’s justice, Abraham boldly asks for mercy for the city of Sodom for the sake of the few righteous people there, including Abraham’s nephew, Lot.

20Then the Lord said, “How great is the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah and how very grave their sin! 21I must go down and see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry that has come to me; and if not, I will know.”

22So the men turned from there, and went toward Sodom, while Abraham remained standing before the Lord. 23Then Abraham came near and said, “Will you indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked? 24Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city; will you then sweep away the place and not forgive it for the fifty righteous who are in it? 25Far be it from you to do such a thing, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous fare as the wicked! Far be that from you! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?” 26And the Lord said, “If I find at Sodom fifty righteous in the city, I will forgive the whole place for their sake.” 27Abraham answered, “Let me take it upon myself to speak to the Lord, I who am but dust and ashes. 28Suppose five of the fifty righteous are lacking? Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five?” And he said, “I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there.” 29Again he spoke to him, “Suppose forty are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of forty I will not do it.” 30Then he said, “Oh do not let the Lord be angry if I speak. Suppose thirty are found there.” He answered, “I will not do it, if I find thirty there.” 31He said, “Let me take it upon myself to speak to the Lord. Suppose twenty are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of twenty I will not destroy it.” 32Then he said, “Oh do not let the Lord be angry if I speak just once more. Suppose ten are found there.” He answered, “For the sake of ten I will not destroy it.”

Psalm 138

R:  Your steadfast love endures forever; do not abandon the works of your hands. (Ps. 138:8)

1I will give thanks to you, O Lord, with my whole heart; before the gods I will sing your praise.
2I will bow down toward your holy temple and praise your name, because of your steadfast love and faithfulness; for you have glorified your name and your word above all things. R

3When I called, you answered me; you increased my strength within me.

4All the rulers of the earth will praise you, O Lord, when they have heard the words of your mouth.
5They will sing of the ways of the Lord, that great is the glory of the Lord.

6The Lord is high, yet cares for the lowly, perceiving the haughty from afar. R 

7Though I walk in the midst of trouble; you keep me safe; you stretch forth your hand against the fury of my enemies; your right hand shall save me.

8You will make good your purpose for me; O Lord, your steadfast love endures forever; do not abandon the works of your hands. R

Second Reading: Colossians 2:6-19

The writer of this letter warns the congregation in Colossae about “the empty lure” of philosophies and traditions that compromise faith. Through the gift of faith, the church is mystically connected with Christ in his death and resurrection which is enacted in baptism.

6As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, continue to live your lives in him, 7rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.

8See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the universe, and not according to Christ. 9For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, 10and you have come to fullness in him, who is the head of every ruler and authority. 11In him also you were circumcised with a spiritual circumcision, by putting off the body of the flesh in the circumcision of Christ; 12when you were buried with him in baptism, you were also raised with him through faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead. 13And when you were dead in trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive together with him, when he forgave us all our trespasses, 14erasing the record that stood against us with its legal demands. He set this aside, nailing it to the cross. 15He disarmed the rulers and authorities and made a public example of them, triumphing over them in it.

16Therefore do not let anyone condemn you in matters of food and drink or of observing festivals, new moons, or sabbaths. 17These are only a shadow of what is to come, but the substance belongs to Christ. 18Do not let anyone disqualify you, insisting on self-abasement and worship of angels, dwelling on visions, puffed up without cause by a human way of thinking, 19and not holding fast to the head, from whom the whole body, nourished and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows with a growth that is from God.

HYMN:  VU 292  Creating God, We Give You Thanks


Pentecost 7

Luke 11:1-13

Rev. Dr. Ali Tote

Assistant to the Bishop
Saskatchewan Synod


A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Luke, the 11th chapter:

He was praying in a certain place, and after he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.’ He said to them, ‘When you pray, say:

Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone indebted to us. And do not bring us to the time of trial.’

And he said to them, ‘Suppose one of you has a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say to him, “Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; for a friend of mine has arrived, and I have nothing to set before him.” And he answers from within, “Do not bother me; the door has already been locked, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything.” I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, at least because of his persistence he will get up and give him whatever he needs.

‘So I say to you, Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for a fish, will give a snake instead of a fish? Or if the child asks for an egg, will give a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!’

This is the Gospel of our Lord!

Sisters and brothers in Christ,

A life of prayer and thanksgiving, reliance in and trust of God, intimacy with God and love of the neighbour come together in the scripture passages assigned for this seventh Sunday after Pentecost. However, it is the theme of God’s generous and endless providence that frames our message on this day.

From the outset, if God is so benevolently generous, why is it that we are not as thanksgiving a people as we need to be, given how blessed we are in this part of the world? Why is it that we who live in the land where milk and honey flow, that we are slow to give thanks and to live out our call to be a thanksgiving people?

Psalm 138 is a hymn of praise and thanksgiving that reminds us to praise and give thanks to God always for God’s steadfast and benevolent love. Giving thanks at all times even in the midst of the challenges that we face is an act of faith that centres us in God who as the author of creation, cares for and nurtures us, and provides for our needs when we rise and when we go to bed, in the morning as well as in the evening, when we are aware and when we are unaware, in life as well as in death.

I was born and grew up in Cameroon where life expectancy was 46 years for the longest time. Now, life expectancy is around 57 years. This means that a person living in Cameroon could reasonably expect to live for 46 years on average. People died like flies when I was growing up. Many of my classmates died and the cause of death ranged from malaria, typhoid, tetanus, all kinds of infectious diseases, to accidents of all kinds. It seems that a month did not go by without either a classmate or an acquaintance dying, never mind a family member.

It’s hard to imagine that my mother turned 70 just a month ago, and that my father is still alive. I give thanks and praise to God for that.

In my family including extended family, we have had at least 15 family members die under the age of 40. Growing up, this environment where people died all the time led me to be very fearful of death. I was subjected to relentless trauma each time a young person died in my circle in the family or at my school. It’s really hard to imagine the kind of trauma that schoolchildren of Uvalde, Texas are going through, many of whom witnessed their classmates and teachers die in front of them. It is another reason why we are called to give thanks, we who live in a place of where enjoy peace.

I wondered always whether my turn would be next. The schoolchildren in Uvalde Texas, wonder if going to school will lead to their turn being next. Next to worrying all the time of my passing was my mother’s who had significant health issues very early in life. I started caring for my mother when I was not even 10 years old, and my mother was not even 30 years old. My prayer was initially that God would grant my mother to be 40. Growing up, 40 years was a big milestone. My mother almost did not make it to her 40th birthday. I remember her stay in hospital that lasted about three months with a significant amount of that time spent in intensive care. Finally, when my mom reached 40, I pray that God would grant her to see her 45th birthday.

After her 45th birthday, I prayed that she would see her 50th birthday. Miraculously, my mother turned 50. My prayer for my mom’s 50th birthday was that in thanksgiving, I would serve God for the remainder of my life, in full time ordained ministry. When my mom turned 50, I was already in Canada at that time, and I did not even remember the pledge I made to God. So, don’t fooled! I am not an ordained minister because I kept that promise! Still, I continued to pray that she would turn 60, and she did by God’s grace in 2012. Then I prayed that she would see her 70th birthday, and she just did last month. Wow!

You are probably asking yourselves what my prayer is now. From this point on, I am giving thanks to God for everyday that my mother is blessed to spend with us, and that we are blessed to spend with my mother.

Like Abraham in Genesis 18:20-32 who bargained with God over the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah and God kept saying yes to his supplication, I bargained with God on behalf of my mother for more and more time with us. What is important to note in my journey with God concerning my mother’s health is my personal growth in intimacy with God. God taught me that despite the tragedies around me that had scarred and traumatized me, that I could rely on God. Even when tragedies happened in the family, I had already journeyed with God enough to continue to hold on to the hand of Christ extended to me. I had been enabled by the Holy Spirit to continue to trust God in the midst of the tragic events I could not understand and for which in my grief and anguish I blamed God for not intervening. Like the Rev Dr Erwin Buck once taught me, “Hang onto Christ even when you wonder and struggle”.

It is the hanging onto to God in the midst of life’s ebbs and flows that we are called to embrace in the gospel text of Luke 11:1-13 that we just read. We are called to a life of total reliance on God who is the provider for our every need. We are called to recognize the incarnation as being real in our lives, bringing God not just to us in a real and tangible way, but more importantly in a familiar and intimate way. God is not simply our distant creator who from the heavens unleashes creation into being and into action. Rather, God is this parent who walks with us, who holds us by the hand, on whose chest we lay our head for comfort, nurture, and reassurance. God is a parent who is intimate, and whom we call with the most intimate name. God is more than our mother or father. God is like our mommy or daddy. That’s how close God is to us.

The disciples who asked Jesus to teach them to pray like John who taught his disciples to pray, are simply asking to mimic what they hear others do. They want to be able to belong. They are alike my daughters who want to have a smartphone because their friends all have a smartphone. They’re like my younger daughter who harassed me to see the premieres of movies such as “Thor” or “Top Guns” because all her friends are going to see them and she does not want to be left out of the conversation.

Even though we do not know the reason behind the disciples’ request to be taught to pray other than the fact that they want to be like John the Baptist’s disciples, it is easier to imagine that they just want to belong. They seem to hang their value and self-worth on their capacity to be like others. Peer pressure and societal pressure have a significant impact on our lives. In our increasingly materialistic world, the measuring stick we use is always how we compare to others. In our quest to be at least like the neighbour if not more, we seek more and more things and we acquire more and more things.

The impact of such a materialistic view of life is seen in how more and more things are concentrated in the hands of the very few, leaving our economy and the majority of the population very vulnerable. The recent shortage of baby formula in the United States and in Canada to some extent is due to the concentration of too much power in the hands of very few. Farming difficulties with increasing costs of production have pushed small farmers out of the farming business with a smaller number of farming entities now responsible for crop production. This state of affair is rendering us vulnerable to even minor hiccups in the farming industry. Challenges in the past, absorbed by a multitude of farmers with little to no impact now have the capacity to cripple the farming industry.

As a result of this greed, devastating consequences are being felt throughout the fabric of our communities. We are moving away from reliance upon each other and community solidarity to self-reliance, self-centredness, and the disintegration of community solidarity.

It is in this context of seemingly seeking to compete with each other and outdo one another that the disciples ask Jesus to teach them to pray. How is Jesus going to address the fundamental issue with their request? How is Jesus going to tackle the apparent sin that is motivating their request? Not by rebuking them, but by showing them how reliant and dependent on God they are to be. If they can affirm in their prayer reliance and dependence on God, they will grow to be reliant and dependent upon one another.

“Give us today our daily bread”. Not give us today “my” daily bread, but our daily bread, us together; not me alone, but us together.

“Give us today our daily bread”. Not give us today our “weekly” bread, or our “monthly” bread, or our “yearly” bread, or our “centennial” bread, but our “daily” bread. Daily!


Because tomorrow we will come again and depend on you for tomorrow’s bread and the following day for the following day’s bread. It is in that dependence on God the provider of our needs daily that lies the gospel. God walks with us at all times and the material bread is a metaphor for all our needs, together.

As Jesus prepares the disciples for the task of ministry, of the proclamation of the gospel together, two by two, as a group of 12, as a group of 70, as a group of many regardless of the number, and then as a body, the church, we as disciples need to learn and grow into being in the image of God, the Triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, three in one and one in three, the community of God.

Sisters and brothers in Christ,

It is that image of the intimate God who walks with us daily and provides generously for our needs out of God’s benevolent love that we are called to proclaim to others. In praise, adoration and thanksgiving, we journey humbly with the neighbour sharing the generous love of God with all, and responding to the needs of other the way God has responded to our needs. We no longer live in fear because our Lord Jesus walks with us. We no longer need to amass things for ourselves and seek to secure our future in competition with or at the expense of others because our value is in God who deems us precious.

Let us turn to God each and every day in humble adoration and prayer, seeking God’s provision for the day, and sharing that provision with those around us.

As we do that, may Almighty God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, bless the word in our hearts and in our minds.


HYMN:  VU 385  Spirit Divine, Attend Our Prayers


Trusting in God’s extraordinary love, let us come near to the Holy One in prayer.

Rooted and built up in Christ, we pray for the church. Embolden church leaders to take risks for the sake of the gospel, and equip the baptized to proclaim your extravagant love for the whole world. Merciful God,

receive our prayer.

Rejoicing in the works of your hands, we pray for the natural world. Make rivers and lakes, oceans and all waterways, sparkle with your radiance. Protect water sources and strengthen those who defend them. Merciful God,

receive our prayer.

Interceding on behalf of the vulnerable, we pray for the peoples of the world. Inspire all rulers and governing authorities with your justice. Guide the work of legislators and public officials, that they advocate for the well-being of those they serve. Merciful God,

receive our prayer.

Persistent in prayer, we pray for our neighbors in need. To all who have hunger, give daily bread. To all who have bread, give hunger for justice. Open us to the cries of those who suffer. Merciful God,

receive our prayer.

Abounding in thanksgiving, we pray for this congregation. Bless the prayer and fellowship ministries in this place. Call us together in times of praise and blessing, trouble and sorrow, in your holy name. Merciful God,

receive our prayer.

Buried with Christ in baptism and raised with him to new life, we give thanks for your saints who rest in your eternal presence. Join our voices with theirs as we sing of your great glory. Merciful God,

receive our prayer.

Receive the prayers of your children, merciful God, and hold us forever in your steadfast love; through Jesus Christ, our holy Wisdom.



SENDING SONG:  MV 76  If I Have Been A Source Of Pain


The God of peace + bless you, comfort you, and show you the path of life this day and always.


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