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Archive for the ‘Prayers’ Category

At Christmas we celebrate the time that Jesus Christ came among us, left the glories, joys and love of heaven for the trials, sufferings and pain of life on earth. We celebrate the endless love of God that for us, He gladly “pitched His tent” with us.

The historical incarnation, 2000 years ago, reminds us that Jesus is as willing as ever to dwell in and with us, as comforter, saviour and friend. Christmas is a time of re-invitation, of asking God afresh to walk with us, of resting in His love and Grace.

We celebrate Christ coming to speak of justice and truth. Christmas is a painful reminder that 2000 years later, we live in a world as corrupt, unjust and sinful as the one that Jesus inhabited. It is a time of re-consecration to proclaiming mercy and justice, to feeding the hungry, to clothing the naked, to visiting the prisoner, to acts of charity and grace, and to speaking the truth of the Gospel, the truth of God’s love.

***

Let us pray for a renewed zeal in following the way of the King of justice and peace.

May we weep with those who weep, with those who are alone, afraid and dying.

May we once more, invite the compassionate and ever gracious Son of God into our hearts,

He who has always delighted in be amongst and alongside us.

Amen

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Call to worship

Come brothers and sisters to celebrate new life in Christ.

All are welcome to lay their burdens down at the feet of God’s throne.

All are invited to share in his mercies.

All are beloved of Him and all are offered His Grace.

Come.

Amen

 

Psalm 34

 

Prayers of praise

Gracious God,

As we look around we see the many blessings of your world

The love of others, your face reflected in the kindness of those we meet.

The sorrows of others, broken hearted like you for the griefs of the world.

The tears of those who have allowed themselves to be moved as you are

and the joys of those who have discovered your love.

Amen

 

Prayers of absolution

Lord, you have loved us.

Lord, you have known us.

Lord, you have forgiven us.

In the world where Christ walked there is no longer shame or sorrow, there is no room for the victory of sin.

God’s attitude to us is already one of forgiveness, hope and grace.

We confess our sins before God.

Silence

Amen.

 

Lamentations 3: 19-26

 

Prayers of Intercession

As we wander in the darkness

Lord preserve us

As we struggle to seek you

Lord preserve us

As the world strives for peace, not violence and compassion, not greed

Lord preserve us

As our neighbours confront sickness, distress and death

Lord preserve us

As many go to sleep afraid, unsure and alone

Lord preserve us

Amen

 

The blessing of the meal

Because of you infinite goodness

We have food to eat

and water to drink.

May we be sustained for your purpose and your love.

Ever remembering you as the source of all life.

And rejoicing always in your love.

Amen

 

John 11:17-44

 

We each wash the feet of the person to the right whilst singing or holding silence

 

Blessing

The name of the Lord is a mighty fortress

His love is unending and offered to all.

Eternal and gracious God

Bless and keep us.

Amen. 

 

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A Prayer for a Dark Day

Loving God,

It’s not even night time,

The night would be full of romance and stars.

This is just greyness, the indignity of total indifference.

Night time would promise music and the fresh breeze of summer evenings

or the sheet lightening of winter. Powerful and trembling.

It would inspire me.

At night, perhaps I could rest.

Or wear impractical shoes to go swing dancing.

This is deadness. A fluorescent light that doesn’t leave me.

A dull sky that looks uninterested.

A pit of dread that saps at the edges and suddenly bites.

A seductive nothingness that promised me stillness.

But didn’t deliver.

Give me the strength to be bigger than this.

To propel myself back into the night,

A chance at beauty.

Give me the courage to be powerless. To let go.

And trust I’ll end up in the night time

Ready for the start of the dawn. And the crisp early air of hope.

Amen

 

“You are lucky if you are sufficiently strong, to daily decide not to die”- Karine Polwart

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Prayers of Liberation

These are prayers for the Seeds of Liberation Worship that SCM will be leading at Greenbelt. Find us in the Galilee tent if you’re going to be there!

Liberation Intercessions

Liberation is being freed. Freed from the things that cause you distress, anxiety, pain and disorder.  Free to be the person God intended you to be. Free from the oppression of a society, system  or church that says you need to be this way or that. Free to experiment, to love and to live life in abundance. Every day seeds of liberation are planted. They’re planted when people say how they really feel. When people stand up for someone whose voice is being drowned out. When people love generously and include radically, reaching out to the unloved, protesting against slavery, poverty and greed. Let us pray together that we would sow seeds of liberation, that we would be bringers of freedom to those in chains.

Loving Father, we pray for those who suffer from addiction. Whose lives are controlled by an unmanageable craving for alcohol, drugs, self-injury, sex or anything that makes them powerless to resist. We pray for sobriety and for support. For freedom that is genuine and deeply rooted. We pray that addicts would not suffer from exclusion, that they would be loved, respected and trusted to give them a chance for healing.

God  who loves us, Let Your justice roll like thunder and Your mercy like a river

Lord, we pray for those living in poverty. For those who don’t know when they’ll next eat, whose water is infected with deadly disease, who cannot afford medication or support. For those who are denied, by location or economics, a chance for meaningful employment. For those who have always known poverty and the pain of having nothing and those who knew affluence and have had everything stripped away suddenly.  We pray for those who ignore poverty and prioritise greed. We ask for the transformation of hearts and minds, from an attitude of selfishness to compassion.

God  who loves us, Let Your justice roll like thunder and Your mercy like a river

God, our Mother, who cares for us like new-born children, we pray for Your children who are enslaved. For young women and girls trafficked far away from home to be sold for sex. For the hundreds of unheard domestic slaves, abused and beaten by the affluent. We mourn with our enslaved brothers and sisters that there are more slaves in the world now, humans who believe they can own other humans than before the abolition of slavery. Have mercy on our hurting world, give us the courage to proclaim freedom to the captives, to the unjustly imprisoned.

God  who loves us, Let Your justice roll like thunder and Your mercy like a river

King of heaven, we pray for the sick in body, mind and spirit. We pray for those whose anxiety and depression is overwhelming and dampens their freedom. We pray for those who work in mental health services, they are bringers of resurrection and new life; helping people to reach new liberation, new freedom. We ask for your blessing on counsellors, therapists, nurses and doctors and for those who are the primary carer for a loved one. We pray for those who suffer from all kinds of sickness and who are angry at the turn their lives have taken. We know you hear their anger, as you heard David in the Psalms. Save us from platitudes and help us to weep with those who weep.

God who loves us, Let Your justice roll like thunder and Your mercy like a river

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Let us confess our sins in faith and penitence.

 

Almighty Father,

We have sinned against You, in thought, word and deed.

We have been deliberately disobedient when we knew, in truth, what we should have done

And we have allowed ourselves to remain in ignorance and not sought out the good.

We have not loved You, others or ourselves as You have commanded.

Search our hearts and reveal to us where we have strayed

That we might turn to you and repent.

We call to mind our transgressions.

 

Father, I confess I have sinned.

Have mercy on me Lord

Pardon and deliver me in your goodness.

 

Brothers and sisters, I have wonderful news. Because of the great love of God for us, through Christ our sins are forgiven and we are set free from guilt and shame. He has proclaimed that our transgressions have no more power over us, no more dominion. Give thanks to the Lord and amend your lives.

We are loved to the very ends of the earth.

Amen

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The night approaches.

Do not leave us Lord,

alone;

in the darkest of twilights

that heralds a dawn of blood. Of sacrifice.

At this dinner,

you bow low.

To us, who are undeserving. Weak and full of betrayal.

We need you to be our King and our God.

Let us join with Peter and say “my hands and head also”

For fear that we might perish.

Amen

The Gospel for this evening is John 13:1-17, 31-35.

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The LORD is my light and my salvation- whom shall I fear? Psalm 27:1

All too often it is You Father whom we fear.

We see only Your wrath and expect only Your punishment.

In the midst of anguish and despair at our wrongdoing we lose sight of Your light and plunge ourselves into darkness that seems infinite and vast. We believe ourselves lost.

And truly, we have sinned.

Truly we are wretched.

***

Forgive us Lord, have mercy on us and, if You will it, give us the Grace to press ever onwards towards the heavenly prize You promise us.

***

It is our confession that we have sinned but you declare How beautiful you are, my darling! Oh how beautiful.[1]

You promise to trample our sins under your feet and throw them into the depths of the ocean![2]

You see as worth the sacrifice of Your son Jesus Christ, who died that we might know love. That they may have life, and have it to the full.[3]

Give us the strength and the hope, in obedience with Your word, to see ourselves in Your mirror.

The mirror that says Come now let us reason together… Though your sins are like scarlet they shall be as white as snow…[4]

The reflection that reminds us that God so loved the world that He gave His only son[5], that He gave us all the glories of creation that we may marvel and be sustained by His majesty. Whose love was so wide that He has called us sons and daughters.

Would that we might see ourselves as You see us. Treasured. Loved. Protected. Accepted.

***

We pray that we would see Your love, not wrath.

The gentle rain of mercy not the violent storms of anger.

Your Grace not guilt.

Your restoration not retribution.

The LORD is my light and my salvation- whom shall I fear?

Amen.


[1] Song of Songs 4:1a

[2] Micah 7:19b

[3] John 10:10

[4] Isaiah 1:18a

[5] John 3:16

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