Sunday Prayers February 2022


 "The Church of the Warm Heart and the Open Mind"


 



 A MEMBER CHURCH OF THE CONGREGATIONAL FEDERATION


 A MEMBER CHURCH OF CHURCHES TOGETHER IN WALKDEN 


 



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PRAYERS FOR SUNDAY FEBRUARY 6TH

FIFTH SUNDAY AFTER EPIPHANY


Call to Worship


It is by grace that we are who we are:

people who are called by Jesus, yet fearful to follow.

It is by God's grace that we can become followers:

people who are fearful, yet gifted with courage beyond wonder.

It is with God's grace that we become who we might be:

people who step out in faith, sharing the good news generously.

 

Prayers of Approach


Holy God, by your grace:

you touch our fears

with the fire of your compassion;

you touch our brokenness

with the fire of your forgiveness;

you touch our hearts

with the fire of your love.

 

Jesus Christ, by your grace:

you step into our lives

and an unpredictable journey begins;

you challenge us to new thinking,

with overflowing results;

you so confront our doubts

that we can cast away our fears.

 

Holy Spirit, by your grace:

you give us eyes

to see the emptiness of the world;

you give us ears

to hear the cries of the hungry;

you give us gifts

to bring hope and healing to all.

God in Community, Holy in One,

by your grace we are who we are,

your children, your people, your church.

 

Prayer for Forgiveness


God of wonder and joy, we look in the mirror and do not see holiness reflected back.  We long to be sisters and brothers with others, but don't want to be an intrusion in our friends' lives.  We yearn to be more compassionate, yet it is often spite and malice we offer to someone else.  We are so busy focusing on our own needs, that we have trouble hearing the cries of loneliness coming from those around us.


Forgive us, God who longs to be enthroned in our hearts.  You call us to different lives, so we might make a difference for all who hurt.  You invite us into your kingdom, so we might show the others the way.  You challenge us to take a risk by following Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour, so we might become your children once again.


Assurance of Pardon


The One who alone is Holy became wholly human so we might see the face of grace.  The One who is seated in the heavens endured the cross so we might see the face of salvation.  This is our good news:  we are forgiven!                                              By God's grace, with God's grace,

we are who we are meant to be:                               

forgiven, restored, called people.  

Thanks be to God.                                                    

Amen.

 

Prayers of Intercession


Loving God, like Peter and Andrew, and James and John,            we sometimes feel discouraged - we work hard at what we do –

we care for our boats - we tend our nets –

we batten down the hatches when the seas get rough –

yet - sometimes our labour seems to be in vain. 

Help us to not be discouraged - but rather grant that we might hear your voice and accept your direction and venture forth again in obedience to your word.  Guide us to the deep waters where the catch you have for us lies waiting - and strengthen our hands for the work it requires.


Holy God - we know that you seek messengers today

as you sought them in the day of Isaiah. 

You call us, as you called Peter and later Paul, to follow in the path of Christ Jesus and to bring to you all who are in need of you. 

Cleanse us, Lord, as you cleansed them,

touch us with coals from your altar,

lift us up from our knees where we fall before you,

pour your grace out upon us and help us to remember

that is your purpose and your power to which we bear witness, not our own. 

 

As you filled the nets of the disciples, O Lord,

so we ask you to fill the nets we cast at your direction.

Grant that our prayers for healing might be answered...

Grant that our work for justice might lead to a more equitable sharing of what this world affords

Grant that our words of forgiveness might bring reconciliation

Grant that our acts of compassion might satisfy those who are in need and grant that our way of being might prompt others to praise and glorify your name.

 

Grant us, O Lord, a resurrection faith, 

a faith that is radiant in the knowledge

of your victory over sin and death,

a faith that is confident in your care and your love.  

Bless now, we pray, with joy those who call

out in your name and those who labour as you have directed. 

Bless too those we hold before you and work a work of healing and salvation in their lives.

Lord hear these our prayers

which we offer in the name of Christ Jesus,

Our Lord and our Saviour. 

Amen

 

BENEDICTION


Go in peace, love and care for one another in Christ's name; 

and may the God of all grace

who has destined you for eternal glory in Christ Jesus

restore, establish and strengthen you in faith,

may you know the fullness of his blessings

and the glory of being witnesses

to his saving and redeeming love both now and forevermore. Amen



PRAYERS FOR SUNDAY FEBRUARY 13TH

THIRD SUNDAY BEFORE LENT

RACIAL JUSTICE SUNDAY


"Ever present God,
you called us to be in relationship with one another
and promised to dwell wherever two or three are gathered.
In our community,

we are many different people;
we come from many different places,

have many different cultures.
Open our hearts that we may be bold
in finding the riches of inclusion

and the treasures of diversity among us.
We pray in faith.                                                              Amen."                                                                                 


Revd Dr Martin Luther King Jr


Call to Worship


God our Maker
You call us here to worship You together.
To bear witness to Your creativity
seen, heard and found in all who gather.
We are all Your children,
bearing Your divine image,
shaped by Your imagination and breath.

You have gifted us
with the beauty of difference
the blessing of diversity
the pleasure of individuality
and the bond of love and peace.


Gathering Prayer


We come from scattered lives to this place,
seeking unity in the Spirit,
seeking the grace of the Christ of all people,
seeking the peace of the God of All.
God's people have gathered,
in our glorious diversity and difference,
as God created and intended.
Let us worship God together.

 

Prayers of Adoration and Confession


God of all,
You alone are worthy of praise,
from every mouth
in every nation and time.
You created the world in Your infinite grace,
and by Your everlasting love redeemed it.
Hold us to the shared task of loving one another
as You have loved us.


Merciful God,
You made us in Your image,
with minds to know You,
with hearts to love you,
with wills to serve You.
But our knowledge is imperfect,
our love inconstant and immature,
and our obedience incomplete and self-serving.


Help us to day by day grow in Your likeness,
which is so widely displayed in the diversity of creation.
Help us to understand our own prejudices

and narrow mindedness.
Help us to love our neighbour as we ourselves long to be loved.
Help us to serve others with humility and gratitude.
Do not hold our sin against us,
but help us to repent of outdated and inappropriate world views.
Help us to mature in our thinking, loving and serving.

Amen.


The Lord`s Prayer


Prayers of Intercession


God our Maker,
in whose image and likeness each of us has been created,
with a human dignity worthy of respect.
Listen to the cry that rises

from every corner of this fragile earth,
from our human family.


To world leaders and decision makers,
grant the wisdom to reach beyond boundary and border.
May our common humanity drive policy
and foster peaceful dialogue and constructive collaboration.


To those who misuse their power or take power from others,
through violent action or hateful speech.
Grant mercy and grow in them a humble heart of compassion,
peaceful dialogue and constructive collaboration.


To the innocent ones robbed of dignity, possession, or shelter,
to the victims of these forces

who have had life taken from them,
we entrust them in Your everlasting arms, O God,
that are wide enough to embrace all of Your creation.                Amen.


Closing Prayer


Lord Jesus Christ,
who crossed boundaries and borders,
help us to love our neighbours

and break down barriers in our communities.


Wounded Healer,
who made blind eyes see and deaf ears hear,
enable us to perceive the reality of racism,
bigotry and racial injustice in ourselves and our society.


Prince of Peace,
Inspire us to celebrate difference and reconcile division
and help re-imagine this world

as a place where justice and peace kiss
and freedom abounds.                                                            Amen.

 

The Grace



PRAYERS FOR SUNDAY FEBRUARY 20TH

SECOND SUNDAY BEFORE LENT


Call to worship


Come before the God of love.
Come as you are, no pretence, no judgment,
come with your thoughts and your feeling,

in the highs and lows of life,
come with your successes and failures,
come knowing that you are loved unconditionally.


Come before the Lord your God,
in the quiet spaces and the busy places,
in worship, praise and thanksgiving,
for all we have and all we are is a gift from God.


Prayers of Approach Thanksgiving and Confession


Eternal and everlasting God,
You came to our world in Christ.
You shared in our humanity, You walked with us.
You still come to us through the presence of Your spirit,
sharing in our experiences each and every day,
sharing in our worship whatever our number,
for where two or three are gathered, You are there.


Be with us now as we come to You to share in worship,
whether at home or at church,
for we know nothing can separate us from Your love,
and whether we are together or apart,

we are still part of the body of Christ.


So, as we come before You in worship,                                      to read Your word and listen for Your voice,
open our eyes to Your presence in our lives
and open our lives to Your grace and power.


God of all creation,
You have given us so much and we are truly blessed.
We thank You for Your constant guidance throughout our lives,
for Your wisdom in all things
for the way Your word encourages, inspires,

feeds us and sustains us
in our daily spiritual lives.


You Lord, speak to us through Your church

and the fellowship of others.


You Lord, speak to us in the seasons,

the landscape and the weathers.


You speak to us in the stories of old and the word of the prophets.


You speak to us in the leadership and ministries of today.


For all the ways You have guided us, supported us
and for all the ways You continue to lead in our lives,
we give You our heartfelt thanks.


When we are foolish, You hear us and respond in love.
We acknowledge and give thanks

for all that enables our spiritual growth.
You Lord are our rock and refuge in times of trouble,
and for that we give thanks.
When the storms of life come,
we are assured we can lean on and trust in You.
For this and a whole lot more,

we are truly humbled and thankful.


Gracious God,
We come celebrating the awesomeness of Your love
And the wonder of Your grace.
Even though we fail You time and time again,
You never walk away and You never fail us.
Undeserving though we are, You show us mercy.
You do not turn away in the moments our faith is feeble
in the moments when we doubt,

or when we are hesitant disciples,
reluctant to share Your word and witness with others
for fear of what that might mean for us.


God of never-ending patience,
even in the times we fail You,
You understand our weaknesses

and help us to put our faults behind us.
You dust us off when we have fallen from grace

and help us to start again.
We offer so little, yet You give us so much,
our love is so weak, yet You respond richly,
Your grace defies expression
too wonderful for us to fully comprehend,
and though we fail You, You never fail us.
Lord, continue to grant us, unworthy as we are, Your grace.
Amen.


The Lord`s Prayer


Prayers of Intercession


Loving God,
You have called us to be a living community.
A people bound together as the body of Christ,
and a family united in love.
Yet Lord, in our broken world so many are suffering,

so many are hurting.


Hear our prayers Lord


For those whose lives are ruled by hate and vengeance,

rather than love and justice.
For those whose homes are not places of love or safety,

but places of fear and violence.
For those who have no home to speak of

and have become invisible on our streets.
For those who are stigmatised because of status,

ill-health, ethnicity, religion.
Lord, You asked us to love our neighbours,

all of them, not just the ones we choose.
Enable us and equip us to carry out Your command
and to make a positive difference in the lives of those who are our neighbours and are struggling.


Hear our prayers Lord


For all those in our congregations and communities

who are ill at home or in hospital –

bring Your healing hands and soothing balm upon them.
For all who are anxiously awaiting treatment,

results, or appointments due to the impact of COVID-19

and our overwhelmed health service.
For anxious relatives and carers who are exhausted

and there is no rest, and no end in sight
while the much-needed care packages are few and far between.
Lord equip us, Your servants and disciples,

to assist them in their time of need.
Enable us to be beacons of light in another dark day.


Hear our prayers Lord


For all our medical, public health, nursing and ancillary staff
and the difficulties they face and over-stretched work environments.
For the vaccinations to sustain us through Covid and for the variants in the virus to subside.
May we also play our part, Lord, in protecting others.

Lord, You tasked us to do good to those who hate You,
which can seem difficult and to some unfair.
It's hard to love those who belittle, who shun,

who exclude and who racially abuse.
When we feel we should get our own back,

You ask us to turn the other cheek.
Inspire us to be willing advocates for truth,

justice and reconciliation.
Hate does not lay a healthy soil

that enables love to grow and flourish,
but walking in faith in the footsteps of Jesus,
You call us all to make a positive difference

and to heal Your broken world of its hurt and its divisions.
For we can all make a positive difference

in Jesus' name and for His sake.
Amen


Blessing


Go now and share God's love with all you meet.
Go now and share the joy of Jesus.
Go now and share the inspiring breeze of the Spirit.
Go in peace assured of God's love.
Amen.




PRAYERS FOR SUNDAY FEBRUARY 27TH

THE SUNDAY BEFORE LENT

TRANSFIGURATION SUNDAY


Call to worship


For what is beyond, not invented or made up
Let us offer God our thanks and praise.

For thoughts and ways that are not ours,
Let us offer God our prayers and reflections.

For the love that loves first and shows us what love is
Let us offer God our fellowship and service.

For the light that shines from the face of Jesus Christ                and enlightens every human being.
Let us offer God our joy and worship.

 

Prayers of Adoration, Thanksgiving and Confession


Holy, holy, holy, God,
to You we come
rejoicing in who You are.
You are light and in You there is no darkness at all,
You are faithful and true and there is nothing false about You,
You have shown us how much You love us in Jesus Christ,
who became one of us and for our salvation.

Freely, gladly we bring ourselves to You.
Holy Spirit help us,
that with all that is within us,
we may bless Your holy name.


We give thanks for every good and holy joy,
for gifts of eye and ear, for the varied arts that we enjoy:
music, song, art, sculpture, video, poetry and prose
and all that points us to You.


Transfigured Jesus – Crucified, Risen and Ascended Lord –
who gives gifts to humankind, we thank You for all that You have done for us
and for the love with which You reach out to every human being.

For the presence of Your life-giving Spirit in the Church,
in our world and in our lives,
we give You thanks.

For the liberty the Spirit brings to be whose we truly are
and to work out together what it means to be church in these days,
we give You thanks.


Holy Spirit move and prompt us,
show us how to reflect Christ's glory
that many may know the light of Christ is with them.

Receive our gifts and prayers, we humbly ask.
We offer them in faith and love.


Saviour God, whose well-meaning disciples

sometimes missed the point,
help us to keep our focus on You.
Forgive us, we humbly ask,

when we have been overtaken by our own projects
rather than nurture the life of Your Kingdom.
We have looked other ways,

and not been mindful of You.
We have hurt others and ourselves.
Draw us close we pray;

may You speak words of forgiveness within us.
Re-ignite the fire of faith and inspire us

with the breath of Your Spirit.
With the glory of Jesus Christ reflected upon our faces              may we shine for You each day.


In the words Jesus taught His disciples let us pray together,        saying the Lord's prayer:-


Our Father …

 

 

Prayers of Intercession


Living God, joyfully we find in Jesus what it means to be fully human.
You give us hope that one day we shall be like Him.
May all His sisters and brothers know fullness of life and God's glory be seen.


Silence


We pray for people who are hungry or thirsty, in need of food and drink,
for strangers hoping for a welcome,
for people without proper clothing,
for those who are ill at home or in hospital,
and for people in prison and all affected by crime.

Lord, these are our sisters and brothers too,
help us to do what we can to care and to ensure adequate support.


Silence


We look to the day when all of creation will be set free from decay
to enter into the glorious freedom of the children of God.
We pray for the climate crisis
that the world's governments may not falter in their commitment to reduce global temperatures.
We pray for the work of NGOs, charities and faith groups
raising awareness, lobbying governments and garnering support.


Silence


Lord God, who has made it known that You love justice and equity,
we pray for a better sharing of the world's resources,
for an end to poverty and inequality.
We remember the work of Christian Aid
working with some of the world's poorest communities
and we pray for the work of Covax,

the World Health Organisation's body
tasked with the equitable sharing of vaccines.
You invite us to collaborate with You

and our sisters and brothers
towards the day when Your kingdom is complete
and poverty and injustice will be no more.


Silence


Compassionate Christ,
as Your disciples did in Galilee,
as the man in today's gospel did for his son,
we bring to You now people we would ask You to bless,
in moments of quiet we pray for them.


Silence


Gracious God, as Lent approaches and we journey with Jesus towards the cross,
may we ever be aware of His glory.
Amen

 

Closing prayer


As you leave this time apart

and return to the needs of the world,
may you know Christ goes before you,
that there is nowhere you will be without Him.
May you find joy and hope

as you discover Christ is by your side.

 

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ,
the love of God,
and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit,
be with us all now and always.
Amen