In the Episcopal Church one is invited to observe a Holy Lent by self-examination and repentance through prayer, fasting, self denial, and meditating on God’s holy Word. Each time I’ve preached I have focused on one of the above: fasting, self-examination, self-denial, and this Sunday, prayer. There has always been a connection to readings for the day, too, like the Numbers reading this week in the RCL. And, to make matters more, well, more challenging for me, I am preaching with out a manuscript. I am literally meditating on God’s holy Word all of Lent and then walking out on Sunday morning and preaching extemporaneously. I do have a plan of what I intend to say, kind of a beginning, middle, and an end, as well as how it connects to the scripture readings…but, what I actually say doesn’t always work out as I “planned.”

Anyway. What is your plan for this Sunday, midway through the Lenten season? Are you using the RCL or the narrative lectionary? What reading(s) are calling out to you?

Come join the party. I’ll be here all day, meditating on the readings and praying. I’ll pray for you, too.

Come join the party, here you’ll find support, ideas, prayers, and just good company for a Saturday of preparing to feed God’s people.


The Rev. Terri C. Pilarski is an Episcopal priest serving in Dearborn, MI. A member of the RevGalBlogPals and blogger since 2006, she blogs at


RevGalBlogPals encourages you to share our blog posts via email or social media. We do not grant permission to cut-and-paste prayers and articles without a link back. For permission to use material in paper publications, please email revgalblogpals at gmail dot com.

32 thoughts on “11th Hour Preacher’s Party: Prayer

  1. Ephesians 2:1-10 here. It’s been a horrid week full of sickness and church crises. I figure if I can’t preach about grace, then there’s bigger issues afoot. 🙂

    I got sidetracked and got some of the old Baptist hymns about grace stuck in my head… finally gave up and Youtubed one.

    🙂 Took me back… way back.


  2. almost 8.30 pm on Saturday evening, and i don’t have a firm idea what i am preaching on. well it will be something to do with Pilate and Jesus 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I used the just start writing method tonight, and here it is. a sermon based on John 18: 28-40, Jesus before Pilate Which Kingdom, Which Truth
    time for some tea and sleep…..
    and i have chocolates to share. i bought a large box to take to retreat last week, but i was to unwell to go, so lots to share.


  4. SO I have a title and word map… just have to finish committing ideas in an organized way. Here’s hoping it flows as smoothly as I’ve been thinking in my head. (Title: Snakes on the Plains! meshing the lifting up of the serpent in the wilderness and our healing through the cross.) There’s fresh coffee and my daughter is making oatmeal bread…MMmmmmm… great warm from the oven.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I love the title Snakes on the Plains. I may have to remember that for next time this comes through the lectionary cycle.


    2. HAH! That is a great title! I’m curious if you have specific instructions for how you do a word map or a good website or explanation on how to do a word map for a sermon (as opposed to English papers etc). Thanks!


  5. I have worship tonight, which will be great tomorrow with the time change, but right now, as none of the sermon is written, it’s a little less ideal.
    I’m in the Narrative, preaching Pilate and Jesus and Truth.


  6. I am preaching on numbers and john – trying to tie something together about even though the isrealites were complaining (hmmm, perhaps like us?) and nichodemus was in darkness (again, maybe like us?) God was present…and thankfully, God’s love (not judgement) for the whole world remains present.

    But, I am distracted…I just learned of the 3rd death (2nd suicide) in 2 weeks in our junior high. All though none of the families are connected to our church our kids are hurting and our parents are at a loss. We have a Wednesday night service during Lent that most of our kids attend. I am hoping to change our outline this week and allow time for silence, community grief, etc. If anyone has any ideas for readings, music or ritual I’d love to hear them. I know that this isn’t the exact purpose of this forum but I am at a loss.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my so much trauma and grief. Creating a safe place for all that they bring would be where I would start. It’s great they are a large number who come on Wednesday. I navigate to Taize music which is sung over and over…it begins to seep into our bodies (at least for me it does). O Lord Hear my Prayer is one I might use. Maybe a place for them write their thoughts/feelings/emotions and on the communion table and then offer them in the form of a prayer. Prayers go with you as well.


  7. 10 a.m. and no clear thoughts. I am slightly off the Narrative Lectionary but doing a series on John”s “I AM” sayings, which a number of us following the NL are doimg. Last week was the first half of. John 10 with I AM the gate. Tomorrow will be the better know Good Shepherd. One member suggested we sing the verse ?to God and to the Lamb who is the great I AM” after these reading in Lent because of the I Am tie-in. So thinking about Jesus as Good Shepherd while singing of Jesus as lamb has me thinkung about mixed metaphors. Pondering talking about how seeing Jesus as the Paschal Lamb influences our thinking about what Good Shepherd might mean. Decent start but that is it. I don’t hold to substitionary atonement and I think that is why I am stuck.
    Boy Wonder has a jr high basketball all stars tourney that is a fundraiser for a local coach battling lung cancer. His sons will be playing, one in 7th and one in 8th. My son is friends with the 8th grader. Most of my afternoon will be spent at the tourney. I’m hoping aome brain rest and the poignancy of the afternoon will gel ideas into something that will preach. There is a pot of chili and a pot of chicken noodle soup on the stove. Leftover cornbread too. Help yourselves.


  8. I am in the lectionary and preaching John. It seems to have ended up being mostly on 16 and 17 (i.e. you can’t preach 16 without 17). I also worked with re-working the language to better reflect what we think is the original meaning.


      1. Teri, I have said in my sermon…this is MY best attempt to garner the depth and breadth of those two verses. I took a playful approach and called told them it is the RRPV version…Revised Rev Purple Version.

        Here is what I have:
        16 “For this is how God loved the world
        That God gave his unique son
        that whoever trusts in him
        Will not die
        But will have life…life abundant…right now.
        17 Indeed, God sent the son into the world so that the world might enjoy healing, life, and a spacious wide life lived in the unending presence of God.”
        John 3: 16-17 (RRPV) Revised Rev Purple Version
        This is how God loved…


        1. I just saw this tweet from Diana Butler Bass:
          Preachers: Tomorrow is John 3:16 day in the Lenten cycle. You might be helped by the new D.B. Hart translation (it’s a good one!): “For God so loved the cosmos as to give the Son, the only one, so that everyone having faith in him might not perish but have the life of the Age.”

          Liked by 1 person

  9. I’ve spent the entire day playing: some Goodwill shopping, a trip to Ulta for some new fun stuff, a mani-pedi (did it myself) and a facial (also did it myself), and some bleach highlights (also did it myself). Trying to get over the winter dull drums by brightening up a bit. Now I better get on to thinking a little bit about this sermon – I know it will be on prayer, and I’ll make reference to Numbers and probably John….but how? I haven’t figured that out yet…


  10. Went for a wonderful hike with my daughter, to a Mexican restaurant for lunch, watched some tv, and finally finished my sermon. It took me two days of mulling things over to figure out the changes I wanted to make to two sentences. Do I get to say I worked for 48+ hours on my sermon?

    It’s about snakes and the cross and how we have to stare down that which destroys us in order to heal. Ran with an idea which someone else brought up at our lectionary group. Have a nice evening (if that’s still ahead for you)!


    1. Yes. Mulling over even a small portion for 48 hours counts as time worked on a sermon. I’ve been so tired from working nonstop all Lent that it’s been a relief to stop today and play a bit. There’s still a lot of work to do, but it will have to wait. I’m going to relax tonight, too.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I’m checking in for the late-night party. I spent part of the day at a “how to talk about race and racism at church” workshop, which was really helpful. And then another part of the day puppy-supervising. And not enough time sermonizing, so here I am.

    We’re following Holy Week through Lent, according to Mark’s chronology. We’re up to Wednesday, which is Judas agreeing to betray Jesus and the woman anointing him with the costly ointment. The congregation and I both have really enjoyed diving deeply into this section of Mark, though after Lent we’re going to need something less serious!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Ugh. Anyone else still sermonizing? This one just won’t write itself! Going with Ephesians, and the TV show The Good Place. Have a nice intro and summary of the show, and how the Bible can be used to justify point systems to determine getting into heaven. But that’s not what we believe.

    And… so what? Not sure how to conclude. Hoping that something materializes soon!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am! Love The Good Place. Good on you for trying to bring it all into one sermon. As for the so what…go with the second season trial (have you watched all of the episodes?). I don’t want to really write spoilers here but can message you through facebook if needed.


  13. WordPress is making me sign every time I try to comment on this post this morning, so I’m going to wrap it up with this one comment. I’ve read all your comments, am grateful for those who kept the lights on for the late night partiers, and I will hold you all in my thoughts and prayers this morning. Blessings on your day.


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