Sunday Prayers February 2023

 "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 CANDLEMAS (FEBRUARY 5TH)


Prayers of Adoration and Confession


Lord God, you are the source of everlasting light.              Your son, our beloved Lord Jesus                                    was presented in the temple forty days after his birth.        He was recognised by Simeon and Anna and welcomed as the promised Messiah.                                                  May we like them, behold the glory of the Lord Jesus.        Grant that we may stand before you with hearts cleansed by your forgiving love.                                                    We worship you, loving, listening God.                              We offer you our prayers and praises, drawn to your light and seeking your way.


Jesus said: I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me shall never walk in darkness But shall have the light of life”.


Let us therefore bring our sins into His light.                   


Father eternal, giver of light and grace,                            we are sorry that we have not behaved as you would wish us to, towards you and towards our neighbours.                We have wounded your love,

and marred your image in us. 

We are sorry and ashamed.                                             


For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, who died for us, forgive us all that is past; and lead us out from darkness to walk as children of light.                                             


May the God of all healing and forgiveness draw us to Himself and cleanse us from all your sins that we may behold the glory of His Son, the Word made flesh, Jesus Christ our Lord.                                                              Amen


The Lord`s Prayer

 

Candle Lighting


We are in the light, the love and the glory of the Lord,        Father, Son and Holy Spirit.                                              May all our lights together become one flame                    that warms the world to Christ.


We now light six candles.


The first candle is lit to remind us that Jesus Christ            is the light of all the peoples of the world.                                                                                     Christ is our light.

Give light to our path and guide us.


The candle of remembrance is lit to remind us                  of all those whom we have lost;                                        that Jesus holds each one and knows them by name.                                                                                          Christ is our light.

Give light to our path and guide us.


The candle of hope is lit to remind us                                that Jesus Christ scatters the darkness in our world.                                                                        

Christ is our light.

Give light to our path and guide us.


The candle of love is lit to remind us                                that Jesus Christ is the light

that shows us the way to the Father.                               


Christ is our light.

Give light to our path and guide us.


The candle of truth is lit to remind us                                that Jesus Christ is the light that leads us to eternal life.                                                                            

Christ is our light.

Give light to our path and guide us.


The candle of wonder is lit to remind us                            that the Good News is,

Jesus Christ the light of the world, is with us now.                                

Christ is our light.

Give light to our path and guide us.

 

Blessing of Candles


Blessed are you Lord our God                                          for you have called us out of darkness

to share in your light.                                               

The bright light of Christ

scatters the darkness from within                                    and is a lantern to our path.                                           


Bless these lights for use in our homes,

in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit: that they may remind us of your presence

and of your saving love revealed through Jesus Christ

to others in our homes and lives.                                      Amen

 

Prayers of Intercession


Let us pray to the Father through Christ

who is our Light and Life.


Father, your Christ is acclaimed as the glory of Israel:        Look in mercy on your Church, sharing his light.                Lord, have mercy.


Father, your Christ in his temple brings judgement on the world:Look in mercy on the nations,

who long for his justice.                                                  Lord, have mercy.


Father, your Christ, who was rich,

for our sakes became poor:                                        Look in mercy on the needy, suffering with him.                Lord, have mercy.


Father, your Christ is the one

in whom faithful servants find their peace:                        Look in mercy on the departed,

that they may see your salvation.                                    Lord, have mercy.


Father, your Christ is revealed as the one

destined to be rejected:                                                Look in mercy on us who now turn towards his passion.      Lord, have mercy.


Lord God, you kept faith with Simeon and Anna

and showed them the infant King.

Give us grace to put all our trust in your promises,

and the patience to wait for their fulfilment;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.                                          Amen.


Dismissal and Blessing


The Lord Jesus give light to your eyes,                              Give light to your mind’s,                                                Give light to your hearts,                                                  Give light to your whole lives,                                          That you may witness to Christ today and forever.


We turn from the crib to the cross.

Let us shine with the light of your love.


We go to carry the light of Christ.

Let us shine with the light of your love.


The Grace



PRAYERS FOR SUNDAY FEBRUARY 12TH

SECOND SUNDAY BEFORE LENT


Call to Worship

 

Our Lord, you bless everyone who lives right                    and obeys your Law.

May I never want to stray from your way.


You bless all those who follow your commands            from deep in their hearts.

May I never want to stray from your way.


Thinking about your commands                                        will keep me from foolishness.

I will do right and praise you;

do not turn your back on me.


based on Psalm 119

 


Prayers of Approach, Confession and Assurance of Pardon

 

Creator God,

we take this day, as a special day,

to celebrate the goodness of the world you have made,  the world you sustain.

The world teems with life and is filled with beauty, celebrating its creator.

You have breathed your life into each one of us,

made us in your image, called us to be your children.

We rejoice, and we are glad.

 

Saviour God,

we take this day, as a special day,

to celebrate Jesus' rising from the dead.

With joy in our hearts we can proclaim that he is risen!

He shared our life and suffered our death

so that we might share his life and his rising,

conquering death.

Because he lives, we too shall live!

We rejoice, and we are glad.

 

God-with-us,

we take this day, as a special day,

to celebrate the coming of your Spirit,

for you are not a God above and beyond us,

but with us and in us.

Your Spirit within us, we have a measure of your love,

of your joy, of your peace, of your power to live

as your children in the world.

We rejoice, and we are glad.

 

God of every day,

We take this day as a special day,

forgive us when we take it as the only day to rejoice and be glad in all you have given, for Monday and Thursday, Tuesday and Friday,

Wednesday and Saturday are your days too.

Help us to live as your children all the days of our lives. 

 

When we offer God our confession,

we join the beautiful work of reconciliation,

which begins with our reconciling with God.

Trusting in our Partner in grace,                                        let us make our confession, first in silent prayer.

 

Silence

 

Gracious and loving God,

open our hearts so that we can admit to you the fullness of our lives –

that which is beautiful and good,

and that which is hurtful and hateful.


We confess that we do not follow Jesus in all that we do.

We love with condition.

We judge and condemn.

We cast the first stone;

We keep the logs in our own eyes;

We do not turn to You as the source of our healing.


Forgive us, we pray.

Forgive our sin and empower us

to be imitators of Christ in love and service.

Amen.

 

Assurance of Pardon


Friends in Christ, know this:

the mercy of God is from everlasting to everlasting,

and I remind you of this surpassing grace,

in Jesus Christ, we are forgiven.

Alleluia!

Amen.

 

Prayers of Intercession

 

God,

You are a God of compassion and love.

Time after time

we have experienced your care and provision.

Time after time You’ve answered our prayers

and met our needs,

often in ways we could never have dreamed possible.

We praise You for Your faithful love toward us.

 

Because we have known Your love,

we come to You with confidence,

offering our prayers for the world that You love.

 

We see so much pain and suffering;

so much anger, frustration, and despair.

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the needs around us.

But we continue to bring our prayers to You in faith,

because we know that nothing is impossible for You.


You are the God who rained down bread from heaven,

and made water flow from a rock in the desert;

the God who resurrected Jesus Christ from the dead,

and who brings new life and hope to all who believe.

For You, all things are possible.

Hear our prayers.

 

We pray for those suffering the effects of recent natural disasters....

Because nothing is impossible for You, O God,
hear our prayer, and in Your love, answer.

 

We pray for areas of our world caught up in violence and threats of violence:

 

Because nothing is impossible for You, O God,

hear our prayer, and in Your love, answer.

 

We pray for those who live with serious illness,

those with chronic pain,

those without access to proper medical care,

those for whom treatment is no longer an option.

 

Because nothing is impossible for You, O God,

hear our prayer, and in Your love, answer.

 

Merciful God,

You sent Your Son, Jesus Christ,

to show us a different way to live,

the way of deep humility and obedience.

You’ve called us to love one another,

and to work together with one heart and mind,

balancing our needs with the needs of those around us.

 

Give us courage to follow faithfully, and with integrity,

with actions that bear witness to the words we speak,

and worship that overflows

into our daily tasks and relationships

so that our lives will bring glory and honour to You,

our Redeemer and Lord.

Amen.

 

 

The Dismissal

 

God has placed before you life & death,

blessing and cursing.
Therefore choose life, follow God’s way.
Go now, and be a people of reconciliation and integrity.
Let your “yes” be “yes” and your “no” “no”.

And in all the paths you walk
may God hold you steady and close.
May Christ Jesus bless you and every place you enter.
And may the Spirit give you length of days

and fullness of life.

The Grace



PRAYERS FOR SUNDAY FEBRUARY 19TH

THE SUNDAY BEFORE LENT


Call to Worship

 

Beyond our busyness,

Above the cold winter floor

there is a glory rising born of heaven

and reaching out to each one of us;

a light that shines through the clouds

an invitation seeking all of who we are

that transfigures the world

that transforms darkness into hope

that brings life from a cross

where old life ends and new life is born

          In glory Jesus meets us here

          raising us from depths of valley to the height of the            mountain

          carrying the weight of our humanity

          to the heights of heavens glory.

 

Let us worship from the mountain and hear again

“This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!”

 


Prayers of Approach, Confession & Forgiveness

 

O God,
We open our eyes and we see Jesus,
the months of ministry transfigured to a beam of light,
the light of the world, your light.
May your light shine upon us.


We open our eyes and we see Moses and Elijah,
your word restoring us, showing us the way,
telling a story, your story, his story, our story.
May your word speak to us.

 

We open our eyes and we see mist,
the cloud of your presence
which assures us of all we do not know
and that we do not need to fear that.
Teach us to trust.


We open our eyes and we see Peter’s constructions,
his best plans, our best plans,
our missing the point,
our missing the way.
Forgive our foolishness and sin

          

We open our eyes and we see Jesus,
not casting us off,
but leading us down, leading us out -
to ministry, to people.

Your love endures forever.


We open our ears and we hear your voice,
‘This is my beloved Son, listen to him!’
 And we give you thanks.

 

Holy One,

We come before you,

many of us feeling like we have climbed

just a part of the mountain,

and there is so much more of a climb left

to even get to point

to dream that we might be dazzled by what is Divine.

 

Our loads are heavy,

with worry, with regret,

with fatigue, with illness,

with despair for all in the world

that is hurting, in danger, in bondage and more.

We trudge ahead, following you,

stumbling, hoping, praying...

breathing hard, hearts pounding, and yes,

even some of us are nimble and skipping.


Lead us Lord,

to the top of that mountain,

where we might be dazzled by your Light,

lifted by what is Divine,

filled by the sheer delight

of what is numinous and ethereal and grounded and real.

 

 

Assurance of Pardon

 

God is slow to anger and full of compassion.

The Most High forgives all who humbly repent and trust in Christ’s faithfulness.

There is, therefore, now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

You are forgiven!  Forgive others!   Forgive yourselves! 

Amen.

 

The Lord`s Prayer

 

Prayers of Intercession

 

It is a strange time of year, O God.

We linger between the seasons of Epiphany and Lent.

We are between the joy of your appearing

and the horror of your undoing

at the hands of those who would not or could not

embrace your way of life.

Perhaps we – like Peter, James, and John –

wait for your appearing in dazzling light and unmistakable clarity:

We are in need of a glimpse of Jesus

who is the way through the mix and mess of this life.

 

Our planet is fragile

and so is the life that claims it as home.

We wonder how long we can simply take what we want

with little regard for what it costs your creation.

We wonder if the planet is crying out for relief

in the floods that are really tears;

the earthquakes that try and shake our consciousness;

the gales that blow sighs, too deep for words.

    Renew and restore a vision of care for your creation.

    Remind us to take what we need and no more.

    Encourage us in a counter-cultural faithfulness

    that is not about consumerism.

    Spur us with new insight and deeper understanding

    that we may live mindfully each day,

    conscious of the impact of we do and fail to do.

We pray for the people of the world whose names we will never know,

whose faces flash across the TV screen in anonymity born of numbers;

those who bear the weight of earth's pain:

 

We are in need of a glimpse of Jesus who is the truth –

the truth that love is stronger than hate;

peace is possible;

and life can emerge even in the midst of devastation.

We pray for that truth to be known:

 

We are in need of a glimpse of Jesus who is the life;

inviting us to follow in his footsteps

as he trod the way of love and justice,

inviting us to follow him in prayer

as he lived out his faith

and made You known.

 

Draw us to the rhythm of Lent as it unfolds in our midst;

a sacred invitation to explore the corners of our soul.

Open us to your light that we might see ourselves clearly,

with all our fears and faults and faith,

with all our desires and dreams and duties.

Help us to see our journey as a place of your appearing –

that like Peter, James, and John we may come down from the mountain

and set one foot in front of the other in your name and for your sake,

Amen.

 

The Dismissal

 

Come down from the mountain with mountain-like faith.
Walk on God's paths as bright, shining lights.
Live in God's ways with faith, hope, and love.
Go into the world transformed and renewed!

 

The Grace



PRAYERS FOR SUNDAY FEBRUARY 26TH

FIRST SUNDAY OF LENT


Call To Worship


Let us worship God,

who, at the beginning, freely offered the gift of creation

and who calls us to care for this gift.

 

Let us worship Jesus,

who struggled in the wilderness

and offered himself for us on the Cross,

before rising to new life,

in which we are invited to share.

 

Let us worship the Holy Spirit,

poured out freely on God’s people,

leading us to follow in God’s way

and giving us strength

for wherever the journey takes us.

 


Prayers of Adoration, Confession

and Assurance of Pardon

 

Loving God, you brought the world into being.

We praise you for your gift of creation,

given as a blessing for all time.


Gracious God, you offered the gift of your Son,

Jesus Christ, to be one of us,

wrestling like us,

and yet opening the door to your gift of new life,

even in the heart of suffering.

We praise you for what you offer us in Jesus.

 

Holy God, in your Spirit,

you lead us on the journey you have in store for us,

sometimes a journey of struggle and wrestling,

and at other times a journey of healing and joy.

We praise you that you are with us,

in difficulties and in rejoicing.

 

But as we come before you,

we are also aware of our own shortcomings.

We turn to our prayer of confession.

 

We aware of all that you offer us

and we see ourselves as we are, a mixture:

of hope and despair,

of joy and sadness,

of love and hatred,

of self-giving and self-seeking

 

Forgive us when we have neglected your gift of creation.

Forgive us when we have gone astray

and not let your love flourish within us.

Forgive us when we have given into temptation

rather than wrestling with it.

Forgive us when we have wanted to put you to the test,

instead of placing our trust in you.

Forgive us for when we avoid difficult issues

or forget to love our enemies.

 

Assurance of Pardon

 

God says, See, I am making all things new.                Rev 21:5

If anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation.           2 Cor 5:17

In Christ God was reconciling the world.                    2 Cor 5:19

Through Christ your sins are forgiven.


Thanks be to God.                                                      Amen.

 


The Lord`s Prayer

 


Prayers of Intercession

 

Loving God,

help us to walk unafraid

into the places of wilderness in our lives.

Give us the strength to struggle with what tempts us and leads us away from following your path to life.

May we discern this Lent

what to take up and what to give up.  


Lord in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

 

Gracious God,

we pray for your church,

that we may resist the temptation to be popular,

and rise to the calling of being faithful,

whatever difficulties and challenges

we may face along the way. 


Lord in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

 

Creator God,

we give thanks for the gift of your created world.

May we care for creation

and for all those affected by hunger and floods

and other misuses of the gifts of this earth.

Grant wisdom to our leaders to bring about change

and climate justice. 


Lord in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

 

Peace-making God,

we pray for this troubled world,

and those who are suffering through injustice,

abuse and oppression.

We pray for all who govern,

that they may have the gift of wisdom and discernment for all the peoples within their care.

We pray for places of war, that there may be peace. 


Lord in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

 

Merciful God,

we pray for those we know personally

who are suffering, in body or mind or spirit.

Come with your Holy Spirit and your gift of healing to those who we name in the silence before you. 


Lord in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

 

Eternal God,

we remember those who have died,

giving thanks for their lives, and we pray for all those who mourn their loss, that they may be comforted.  


Lord in your mercy, Hear our prayer.

 

Loving and merciful God,

we give you thanks that you hear our prayers,

both spoken and unspoken.

Receive now all that we have offered

in words and silence,

that it may be your will that is done,

and your kingdom that comes. 

In Jesus name we pray.

Amen

 

 

The Dismissal

 

Go, ready to face the wilderness.

Go, with the strength to resist temptation.

Go, to live in the way that God opens up.

Go, knowing that God is present each day

and surrounds you with love.

 

 

The Grace


 







Minister ~ Rev Alan Kennedy 07733153203 01612703296 alanrk1690@gmail.com