David S. Bell

Senior Design Partner

Offertory Prayers

January 4, 2015 - Second Sunday after Christmas
Holy One, your light has come.  Your light shines brightly in our humble lives.  We place this offering upon your altar as an outpouring of your light within us.  Glory halleluiah!  Amen.  John 1

January 11, 2015 – Baptism of the Lord
God of Power and Might, you effortlessly created light in the darkened void of our beginning universe.  Today, this light continues to fill the shapeless recesses of our lives.  Multiply these gifts so your beacon of light shines in every corner of the Earth.   May people everywhere receive your light with praise and thanksgiving.  We ask this prayer in the name of the one who proclaimed transforming redemption, Jesus the Christ.  Amen.  Genesis 1:1-5

January 18, 2015 – Second Sunday after Epiphany
Merciful God, you provide us with so many opportunities to follow Jesus’ teaching and to live as modern day disciples.   We sometimes respond to your call with enumerable excuses or unfounded worries.  We confuse our spiritual longing with the need for possessions.  Yet, these things only provide a false sense of security.   As we offer these financial resources, transform us so that we are stirred to hear your call on our lives.  We pray in the name of the Redeeming One, Jesus the Christ.  Amen.  John 1:43-51

January 25, 2015 – Third Sunday after Epiphany
God of Deliverance, we pause during this time of worship to return to you some of the monetary riches that you have given to us.  While we wait in pensive silence, we are reminded to set our hearts and minds on your steadfast love.  You alone are our rock, our fortress, and our salvation.  We experience comforting solace in your refuge.  Thanks be to God!  Amen.  Psalm 62:5-12

February 1, 2015 – Fourth Sunday after Epiphany
Awesome God, you sent Jesus to teach people firsthand the power of your love, grace, and authority.  Jesus washed away unclean spirits and performed countless other miracles so that even the faithless would experience your love.  You call us to be mindful and vigilant of the extraordinary miracles that you continue to work in our lives today.  May this offering undergird ministries that show others your miraculous love, grace, and authority.  We pray in the name of Jesus Christ.  Amen.  Mark 1:21-28

February 8, 2015 – Fifth Sunday after Epiphany
Living God, your love for us is so unfathomable.  Open our ears to hear the cries of your neediest children.  Open our eyes to see human injustice.  Open our minds to think about compassion in all circumstances.  Continue to increase our willingness to give so that we may lead lives fully focused on ministry to others.  We place these offerings upon your altar in gratitude for your guidance and love.  In Jesus’ name, we pray.  Amen.  Isaiah 40:21-31

February 15, 2015 – Transfiguration Sunday
Holy One, we seek your wisdom and guidance.  Many people face growing economic uncertainty.  The realities of the recession close in on our lives.  We experience realities like job loss, deflated investment accounts, increased grocery prices, delayed retirement plans, and mounting debt.  Lift us from the depth of self-pity and despair.  Save us from overwhelming fear and anger.  Free us from the bondage of money.  We place this money upon your altar as a gesture of our trust in you.  Despite challenging financial times, we give out of our love and gratitude for your kingdom.  In Jesus’ name, we pray.  Amen.  Mark 9:2-9

February 22, 2015 – First Sunday in Lent
God of the ages past and present, you are timeless and eternal.  You offer us today the covenant relationship that you first established with Noah.  May we openly receive your powerful and timeless love.  Pour out your blessing on this offering so that people throughout the generations respond to you with a resounding, “Thank you, Lord!”  Amen.  Genesis 9:8-17

March 1, 2015 – Second Sunday in Lent
Redeeming Lord, we find it extremely difficult to deny ourselves.  Our relationships and our future aspirations often seem absent of glorifying your holy name.  Instead, we deceive ourselves into equating good works with faithful discipleship.  The Gospel reminds us that we are called to bridge the gap between casual commitment and true discipleship.  We give this offering as a way to move toward closer discipleship with you.  In Jesus’ name, we pray.  Amen.  Mark 8:31-38

March 8, 2015 – Third Sunday in Lent
God of Grace, multiply these tithes and offerings so that this church’s ministry and mission radically change lives and create new evangelism opportunities.  We pray that these gifts may help all of your children build a temple within their own body that brings honor and praise to you.  In the name of Jesus who went to Calvary, we pray.  Amen.  John 2:13-22

March 15, 2015 – Fourth Sunday in Lent
God of Light, you gave us your only son so that we may experience eternal life.  We humbly give these offerings as a faithful response to this gift.  Money seems so insignificant when compared to your gift of life.  Yet, we place this money before you as a sacrificial gesture of our gratitude.  We pray in Jesus’ name.  Amen.  John 3:14-21

March 22, 2015 – Fifth Sunday in Lent
Glorious God, you sent Jesus to change our lives in bold and amazing ways.  Yet, we often are consumed by the pettiness of our own “to do” lists.  As we place this offering before you, help us to surrender completely to your love and to be stirred into fruit-bearing action that results in faithful stewardship.  In your holy name, we pray.  Amen.  John 12:20-33

March 29, 2015 – Palm Sunday
Blessed Lord, we are moved to be your faithful disciples.  Like the palms laid long ago in honor of your Son, we present these gifts for your reverent design.  We proclaim that your sovereign existence will transform the lives of all who believe in your Son, Jesus Christ.  Hosanna in the Highest!  Amen.  Mark 11:1-11

April 2, 2015 – Maundy Thursday
Heavenly Father, you are the true master of our lives.  By humbly washing the feet of his disciples, Jesus gave us the ultimate example of Christian servitude.  We are now called to be your servants and to love each other as we have been loved by Jesus. May these gifts serve as a vessel to wash away fear and distrust and bathe your children in love.  Amen.  John 13:1-17, 31b-35

April 3, 2015 – Good Friday
God of the Crucified Jesus, we are struck on this Good Friday by the brutal reality that Jesus knowingly, willingly, and obediently gave up his earthly life on a cross.  He offered the ultimate sacrifice at Golgatha, the Place of the Skull, so that we may be redeemed by his blood.  We now humbly give our financial resources.  These monetary gifts are a mere gesture of sacrifice in comparison to Jesus’ sacrifice.  Yet, we give with the hope of being washed in his blood.  Amen.  John 18:1-19:42

April 5, 2015 – Easter Sunday
Majestic One, today we celebrate the miracle that was created for all who are ready to receive.  Your absolute decree of the Risen Son reminds us that our faith is connected intimately to your amazing, unwavering love.  The unconditional love that you repeatedly uplift is our reminder to love all of your children.  Multiply these gifts so the promises of a seemingly distant heaven become more of a reality on Earth.  Glory Hallelujah!  Amen and amen.  Mark 16:1-8

April 12, 2015 – Second Sunday of Easter
Holy One, we do not doubt that Jesus, the Messiah, lives again.  Yet, only one short week from Easter, our thoughts are cluttered with finite, insignificant activities and agendas.  Instead of remaining focused on the abundance of divine transformation, we return to a pessimistic mindset of scarcity.  Refocus our attention on the joy of Easter, so that we may recognize all that we have received and be led to give cheerfully.  We pray in the name of Jesus Christ.  Amen.  John 20:19-31

April 19, 2015 – Third Sunday of Easter
Forgiving Father, we faithfully give witness to your work in this world by sharing these gifts and offerings.  You shared your Son, Jesus, so that we may repent of our sins and be saved.  Thank you for providing us with the example of how to place courageously your call of discipleship into action.  We pray that we may live each day according to your holy ways.  In the name of the Great Teacher, Jesus, we pray.  Amen.  Luke 24:36b-48

April 26, 2015 – Fourth Sunday of Easter
Glorious God, we know that your capacity to love is infinitely greater than our own ability.  Indeed, you call us to love one another in truth and in action.  We yearn to be active disciples, so that our hearts truly abide with you.  Use these gifts to increase our ability to be your followers.  In the name of the One who laid down his life for us, Jesus Christ, we pray.  Amen. 1 John 3:16-24

May 3, 2015 – Fifth Sunday of Easter
Holy Lord, you have perfected love among us by sending your son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins.  We humbly acknowledge your gift is an overwhelming pronouncement of grace.  We share these tithes and offerings today with the hope that your children everywhere will be anointed with the knowledge that your perfect love casts out all fears. 1 John 4:7-21

May 10, 2015 – Sixth Sunday of Easter
Victorious Lord, we offer these gifts to be used in celebration of your steadfast love.  We give joyfully so others may join our unending common voice of praise.  Let all people sing a new song of thanksgiving that is not merely noise but is a faithful celebration of your love and grace.  Thanks be to God!  Amen!  Psalm 98

May 17, 2015 – Seventh Sunday of Easter/Ascension Sunday
Holy Father, we desire to be sanctified in your grace like the disciples whom Jesus commissioned with your word.  We do not want to squander our lives and resources on meaningless consumption.  Open our hearts and our hands to respond to giving appeals in a generous manner.  Give us the courage to embrace a lifestyle centered in your teaching, rather than one dictated by marketing trends or unhealthy spending habits.  We offer you these gifts as an act of responding to you in faith.  Amen.  John 17:6-19

May 24, 2015 – Day of Pentecost
Holy Spirit, come upon us this day.  We feel your joy and delight as we celebrate this glorious day.  With a sense of happiness and gratitude, we eagerly offer you these financial gifts for your ministry in this community and beyond.  May all who call upon your name be saved from selfishness and filled with God-honoring habits of generous giving.  All praise and glory be unto you.  Amen.  Acts 2:1-21

May 31, 2015 – Trinity Sunday
O God, our possessions often bring us a sense of safety and reassurance.  We are too quick to place our faith and hope in earthly things – homes and cars and bank accounts and investment savings and technology.  You invite us to place our faith in eternal, heavenly things.  Today, we give you one type of earthly possession – money.  In giving, we accept your invitation of the true security that is offered through your son, Jesus Christ.  We pray in the name of God, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Amen.  John 3:1-17

June 7, 2015 – Second Sunday after Pentecost
Holy and loving God, bring calm to our lives this day. At times, we look at the problems of the world and feel that there is little difference we can make. What can our offerings in this congregation do in light of the turmoil, the hunger, the disease, and the pain in this world? At other times, we feel proud of ourselves for our generosity. As we give these gifts this day, O Lord, help us live in the tension between thinking we can do everything and fearing that we can do nothing. We give in faith and with faith. In the name of Jesus, who had nothing but possessed everything. Amen.

June 14, 2015 – Third Sunday after Pentecost
Heavenly Father, you have offered us such abundance.  We are so very blessed.  Yet, we often think that we have so little.  Some of us may even feel as though our gift is too small.  Thank you for reminding us that even our mustard seed-sized gift may grow beyond our individual possibility.  So, today we place before you all amounts of gifts – some quarters from children, some $1 bills from adults, some larger bills and checks – knowing that you transform our scarcity into your abundance.  Thanks be to God.  Amen.  Mark 4:26-34

June 21, 2015 – Fourth Sunday after Pentecost
Abundant One, we offer you these gifts in gratitude for your steadfast guidance in our lives.  We pray that these resources will provide ministries to the suffering, food to the hungry, hope to the poor, a spiritual presence to the needy.  In the name of the one who suffered for our sake, Jesus Christ, we pray.  Amen.  Psalm 9:9-20

June 28, 2015 – Fifth Sunday after Pentecost
Nurturing God, each day we witness untold miracles that are a testament of your love.  Some spectacular miracles reverently remind us of Jesus’ healing miracles.  Other everyday miracles are quiet and soft like a gentle mother’s whisper filled with beauty and wonder.  We prayerfully ask that these gifts be used to reach those needing to experience the miracle of your love. In Christ’s name, we pray.  Amen.  Mark 5:21-43

July 5, 2015 – Sixth Sunday after Pentecost
Powerful God, multiply these gifts so that our faith community is empowered to minister to the needs of your children.   Often our ministry is focused on global outreach and mission needs.  However, in today’s Gospel reading, you remind us to be minister to our family, friends, and one another.  We are secure in knowing that by serving our brothers and sisters locally and globally, we serve you faithfully.  Accept these gifts, in Jesus’ name.  Amen.  Mark 6:1-13

July 12, 2015 – Seventh Sunday after Pentecost
Blessed One, you offer a redemptive inheritance sometimes beyond our imagination.  You graciously bestow each of us with your wisdom, grace, forgiveness, and love.  Joyously, we share these tithes and offerings.  As you call us to give, you remind us to place our hopes and dreams in your love and grace.  Thank you, God, for giving us your Son and our Savior, Jesus Christ.  We pray in His name.  Amen.  Ephesians 1:3-14

July 19, 2015 – Eighth Sunday after Pentecost
Glorious God, we like to practice random acts of kindness.  Your Word even confirms that we further your kingdom when we show kindness and compassion to another person.  We pray that Jesus’ life and teaching may be our example for sharing intentionally our talents, prayers, time, and offerings.   We humbly give this offering as an expression of our faith.  Amen.  Mark 6:30-34, 53-56

July 26, 2015 – Ninth Sunday after Pentecost
Awesome God, Jesus fed thousands of people with seemingly little effort.  Yet, we have grave difficulty feeding children in our own country -- let alone the entire world.  Even while we are praying this prayer, someone has died from starvation and the lack of food.  When we share resources with care-giving ministries, your hand is upon our shoulders, just like it was upon Jesus’ shoulders the day he fed his followers.  Thank you for giving us this opportunity to change lives by becoming generous caregivers of the resources that you first gave to us.  In Jesus’ name, we pray.  Amen.  John 6:1-21

August 2, 2015 – Tenth Sunday after Pentecost
O God, we humbly admit that we search so often for bread that perishes, rather than the bread of eternal life.  We foolishly think that happiness and fulfillment can be attained from our own hands, rather than from your hands.  We offer these gifts with the promise that you have already given us the bread of heaven.  You are the Bread of Life.  We come seeking to never be hungry or thirsty again.  Amen.  John 6:24-35

August 9, 2015 – Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost
Gracious God, we joyously place before you our offerings.  May these gifts support our ministry so that others may gather in your name and follow your path of love and peace.  We, your beloved children, seek to be “imitators of God” and live in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us.  In Jesus’ name, we pray.  Amen.  Ephesians 4:25-5:2

August 16, 2015 – Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost
O God, we are taught to give as an act of faithfulness.  We are reminded that giving is a Christian responsibility.  Like Paul taught the early Christians, we are taught to be careful how we live – to live as wise people.  Yet, sometimes we are drawn by the insufficient promises of our everyday culture.  We end up giving with a begrudging attitude, a hesitant heart, or selfish reluctance.  Forgive us!  Enable us in this very moment to give “thanks to God the Father at all times and for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  Amen.  Ephesians 5:15-20

August 23, 2015 – Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost
O Lord of Hosts, we are so happy to offer you these monetary gifts.  We recognize that we are able to worship here because of the generous giving of this congregation.  Yet, our giving and our prayer extend beyond us.  We pray that these offerings and tithes will be used to reach out to others in the community and around the world who need to find a joyful trust in you.  “Happy is everyone who trusts in you.”  All praise and glory to you!  Amen.  Psalm 84

August 30, 2015 – Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost
Holy God, we are grateful for your constant presence in our lives.  We acknowledge that every perfect gift in our lives is a gift from you.  We have listened to your guidance, directing us to offer you our first fruits.  So, we now join in this generous act of giving.  We pray that these resources may care for your children everywhere who are experiencing distress.  We pray in the name of Jesus Christ.  Amen.  James 1:17-27

September 6, 2015 – Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost
Healing One, we are reminded so often in Biblical narration that you are capable of miraculous actions.  But, your miracles are not limited to these ancient times.  People still experience miracles in these ordinary, everyday times.  We recall those many miracles that have touched people within our own congregation.  We are astounded by those miracles that we witness each day.  We are so thankful!  Today, we offer you this money as a sacred gesture of our gratitude.  All praise and honor be given to you!  Amen.  Mark 7:24-37

September 13, 2015 – Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost
Father, you challenge us to deny ourselves in order to follow you.  We are not accustomed to denying ourselves often.  The pop culture promotes instant gratification.  Self-help experts profess self-care as the key to contentment.  Financial consultants advise clients to pay themselves first.  Yet, you call us to give in return for life, to deny ourselves to follow you, to set our minds on divine things rather than human things.  Help us in this offertory moment to focus on you as we sacrificially give our tithes and offerings.  In Jesus’ name, we pray.  Amen.  Mark 8:27-38

September 20, 2015 – Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost
Jesus said: “Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.”  Precious Lord, your love for us is amazing.  You have blessed us in so many ways.  The children of this congregation are an extraordinary example of your blessing.  We are thankful for the numerous ministries of this church that reach out to children and families.  May a portion of this money continue to support those ministries that welcome children in our midst.  Amen.  Mark 9:36-37

September 27, 2015 – Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost
Gracious Lord, we join together in prayer.  We recognize that daily prayer impacts our spiritual health.  Likewise, offering our tithes to you impacts our spiritual health.  The acts of praying and giving unify our church community and place our collective attention on you.  As we practice these spiritual disciplines, we hope to draw even closer to you.  We pray in the name of the Jesus Christ who offers salvation to all throughout our world.  Amen.  James 5:13-20

October 4, 2015 – Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost
Heavenly Father, we often hear that children are a gift from God.  Knowing that each person is created with unique fingerprints and DNA, we are reminded that we, too, are your gift to others.  You have given us this gift of life and our many possessions.  During these offertory moments, we joyfully and faithfully return this money that ultimately belongs to you.  In the name of your son, Jesus Christ, we pray.  Amen.  Mark 10:2-16

October 11, 2015 – Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost
Almighty God, you continue to bless our lives in many intrinsic and intangible ways.  When our financial gifts are used to support mission and ministry, we see other people blessed in very tangible ways.  Our desire is to place you first in our financial decision-making.  May this offering be a time when we do place you first and when we are grateful for the opportunity to support mission and ministry in your name.  We pray in the name of the One through whom all things are possible.  Amen.  Mark 10:17-31

October 18, 2015 – Twenty First Sunday after Pentecost
God of Grace and Mercy, you call us to be servants in your Son’s holy name.  While popular culture often diminishes self-sacrifice, we know that being a servant leader is a worthwhile calling.  Help us to focus on the Christian practice of hospitality by freely giving to others in your name.  Accept this offering as a profound gesture of our desire to serve you today and always.  In Jesus’ name, we pray.  Amen.  Mark 10:35-45

October 25, 2015 – Twenty Second Sunday after Pentecost
Redeeming Lord, we continually seek your comfortable refuge.  You deliver us from our unfounded fears and provide us with miraculous examples of your love.  In response, we offer these gifts.  We pray that these funds will provide an outreach that warms people with your resplendent love.  As a church community, we exalt and praise your holy name.  Amen.  Psalm 34:1-8, 19-22

November 1, 2015 – Twenty Third Sunday after Pentecost/All Saints’ Sunday
O God, you call us to love you with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength.  We seek to focus on you as our highest priority.  Help us to make lifestyle decisions based on your commandments.  We, your kingdom-seekers, offer you this money as a means of placing you first in our lives.  May these gifts provide ministries of love and compassion to our neighbors.  In Jesus’ name, we pray.  Amen.  Mark 12:28-34

November 8, 2015 – Twenty Fourth Sunday after Pentecost
Forgiving God, people give for so many reasons – guilt, joy, obligation, gratitude, obedience, hope, control, thankfulness.  Remind us of your call to examine everything that we have; after all, our money and possessions are really gifts from you.  You call us to use them wisely – to share them openly – to give them generously.  So thank you for this celebration of giving.  Receive this offering and release us from the foolish temptation to believe that it is best spent on ourselves.  Amen.  Mark 12:38-44

November 15, 2015 – Twenty Fifth Sunday after Pentecost
Father God, we watch the news and believe that you were speaking to our time when you spoke privately to the disciples on the Mount of Olives.  You caution us not to be lead astray.  We are trying, Lord, to keep our eyes fixed on you.  We have worshipped you in song and prayer.  We have listened for your Word.  Now, we humbly place before you these offerings and tithes.  May our resolve be strong to do your will and follow your path.  For the sake of Jesus, we pray.  Amen.  Mark 13:1-8

November 22, 2015 – Christ the King Sunday
Great and Glorious Savior, we listen attentively to your voice.  We place our trust in your truth and grace.  We generously give in gratitude for your truth in our spiritual journey.  We pray that these monetary gifts may help others to see your kingdom, to draw closer to you, and to find ultimate peace.  We pray in the name of the One who sustains us throughout life’s journey, the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End.  Amen.  John 18:36; Revelation 1:8  

November 29, 2015 – First Sunday of Advent
O God, we offer you these gifts and tithes.  We pray that these funds may abound in love for one another throughout the world.  Strengthen our hearts in holiness as we faithfully give, so that our ways may be directed by you.  We pray in Jesus’ name.  Amen.  I Thessalonians 3:9-13

December 6, 2015 - Second Sunday of Advent
Gracious and Giving God, we once again prepare for the birth of your chosen Son.  Through the voices of prophets and preachers, you have been heard in the driest deserts and the steepest valleys.  Unfurl our hearts and open our minds so that we may hear your salvation story anew.  Giving this money is a worshipful gesture of our unending alleluias to you.  We dedicate this offering to your Kingdom work.  Amen.  Luke 3:1-6

December 13, 2015 - Third Sunday of Advent
Lord of Light, you gave yourself to this world by the birth of your Son, Jesus Christ.  We thankfully rejoice and praise you for your peace and light shared with all nations. Now, center us on the King of Glory during these prayerful moments of giving.  We present these gifts as your humble and willing servants in the name of the One who comes to us anew, Jesus the Living Christ.  Amen.  Philippians 4:4-7

December 20, 2015 - Fourth Sunday of Advent
God of Glory, we eagerly anticipate the joy-filled celebration of Jesus’ birthday party.  We recall now in the quiet recesses of our minds the thrill of receiving your message of salvation.  As we open ourselves again to this holy wonder, accept these generous gifts.  May the ministries that these gifts support invite others to receive the saving message of the Christ Child.  In His name, we pray.  Amen.  Luke 1:46b-55

December 24, 2015 - Christmas Eve
We celebrate the birth of the Holy Child!  Although born in humble surroundings, Jesus’ presence surrounds all who call upon his name.  The hope born in a manger long ago is birthed again.  We gratefully offer these financial gifts as a way to provide hope for all God’s children. We rejoice in knowing that your ministry is strengthened by our gifts and prayers.  We pray in the name of the Babe in the Manger.  Amen.  Luke 2:1-14 (15-20)

December 27, 2015 - First Sunday after Christmas Day
King of Kings, we join the angels in singing your unending praise.  You alone created the universe in all of its glory.  We present these gifts knowing that they will be transformed into ministries of Good News.  Bless this offering so our giving honors your glory.  In the name of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, we pray.  Amen.  Psalms 148 

 

Copyright © 2015 David S. Bell.  Any local church, regardless of denominational affiliation,
may reprint any or all of these prayers provided that the following copyright notice appears:
"Copyright © 2015 David S. Bell.  Reprinted with permission from www.DavidSBell.org."