Sunday Prayers January 2023

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




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Call to Worship


A new day has dawned, a new year begun
O Lord, call us so we may hear Your voice.

The world turns to hopes and dreams of the future.
O Lord, keep us in Your ways and on Your path.

We enter this new year with hope and excitement.
O Lord, remind us that You lead us.
O Lord, guide us as we look to You and worship You.


Prayers of Thanksgiving and Confession


Great God of our lives, you have been faithful in years past.                              We thank you for your goodness towards us and for your grace which has sustained us. For the gifts of life and vitality, for friends and loved ones.

(time of silence)


Above all, we thank you for Jesus Christ, who is the foundation of our hope and the one who leads us in your way. May your purpose be seen in our lives and your grace and hope shine bright in this world. We ask no other prayer, other than that you would be with us in the new year which is about to dawn. Lead us into greater service as we seek to take Christ to others and may we do so without fear as faithful followers.

For all the things we have done wrong in the past against God and against people,
we now ask the Lord and one another

to forgive us.

Lord Jesus, yours are the seasons and the ages.
Give us a new heart and a new spirit:
Lord, have mercy.

Jesus Christ, you are the beginning

and the end of all that is,

including our lives.
Make a new beginning with all of us:
Christ, have mercy. 

Lord Jesus, you breathe your Spirit on all creation.
Make our old world new again:
Lord, have mercy. 

Have mercy on us, Lord,
and let your forgiveness and love
come down on us day after day.
Lead us to everlasting life. 




The Lord`s Prayer



Prayers of Intercession

Lord God, as we look ahead to the year ahead,                we do so with wonder and praise,             

knowing that whatever the year brings

You will be with us,                                   

knowing that however lost

we get you will find us,                             

knowing that you will be by our side.


We bring before you our prayers for the World.

Knowing that all are in your arms

and you love the greatest and the weakest;

the oldest and the youngest;

the wisest and the most foolish.


We pray for the World:

that this year may find the News

not dominated by greed and fear

and war and violence

but be full of hope and expectation

and that it may mark the end

of the numerous conflicts around the world.


We pray for our own country

that she may lead the world in diplomacy and peace.


We pray for all politicians this year

that they may be filled with a duty to the poorest

and weakest among us.


Lord, we pray for this church this coming year                  (mention any upcoming events or challenges)


We pray for the individuals who work together to ensure smooth running of our church.

And we pray that all who come here

may find a warm welcome.

We pray for (mention any local or national issues)

Lord you are with us at all times

and in all places.

Bless each one of us,

in Jesus Name






We leave today
going into a future
as yet unmapped.


Take faith with you as you go;
into the parts of your life

not yet traveled by love
into the parts of the world

unexplored by grace

let compassion and hope

be the roads that you follow
today and always




As you have been fed,

go to feed the hungry.

As you have been set free,

go to set free the imprisoned.

As you have been received – give.

As you have heard – proclaim.

And the blessing which you have received

from the Creator, Christ, and Holy Spirit

be always with you.




Call to Worship for Epiphany

(Inspired by Isaiah 60:1-3)


People of God, arise, shine,

for your light has come!
The light of Christ has come into the world.
God with us.

So arise, shine, for your light has come!
And we will follow the light–
when it shines brightly in the night sky
when it glows dimly on the horizon.

We will follow the light–
when it leads down familiar paths to expected destinations
when the road is unfamiliar

and the star rests above a dubious-looking home.
We will lift up our eyes and look around.
And when we see the Christ child,
may our hearts be overwhelmed with joy.

When we are in the presence of Immanuel,
may our knees bend in worship.
When our journey brings us, finally, to the heart of God,
May our hands open in generous sharing;
May our mouths open in generous praise.


Prayers of Adoration and Confession

Blessed are you, O Christ, our God;
you were before time began,
and came to the world to save us.

Blessed are you, Sun of righteousness;
you shine with the Father's love
and illumine the whole universe.

Blessed are you, Son of Mary;
born a child, you shared our humanity.

Blessed are you, son of David;
born to rule, you received gifts from the wise men.

Blessed are you, Son of Man;
baptised by John, you saved us from ourselves.

Blessed are you, heavenly King;
teaching and preaching, healing and comforting,
you proclaimed the kingdom.

With all the voices of heaven
we celebrate the coming of our Saviour.
Let heaven and earth shout their praise.

With all the creatures on earth
we sing and dance at your birth.
Praise and glory to you, O Lord Jesus Christ.


Gracious God,

we would like to be among those who saw the coming of the Christ Child,

those who dropped all that they were doing

and travelled to worship the coming of God's love into this world. 

We would like to be those who cared for God in infant vulnerability;

who tickled, cuddled, and comforted the growing child,

that he might know love and safety. 


And yet, merciful God,

we must recognize all the times we are more like Herod. 

Whenever we, in our actions or in our inactions, find our own need for control more compelling than the needs of others for health and safety. 

Whenever we cling to the security of our privilege, rather than standing up for the rights of the oppressed. 

Whenever we are complicit in the harming of innocents for the sake of profit,

or power,

or because we fear to know,

and to change,

the injustices of this world.


Loving God,

we confess our sins against you

and one another,

and pray that you will fill us with your light,

that we may live our lives as true disciples in your name,

without counting the cost. 

In the name of Christ,

the one who showed us the way, we pray. 


Assurance of Pardon


God's light is present in this world. 

Present in the Christ child,

born to lead us out of darkness. 

Present in the star,

in all that guides us to love. 

God's light is in the world,

and the darkness did not overcome it. 

God's grace is in the world,

and our mis-steps will not overcome it. 

We are loved, we are forgiven.  Alleluia!                                                   



The Lord`s Prayer


Prayers of Intercession

As the prophet Isaiah rang out,

“Arise, shine; for your light has come”; empower your Church, O God, to ring out the Good News of the Light of your son Jesus, which pierces even the deepest darkness.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.


As a star rose high into the night-time sky to draw the nations to the Christ-child; send your blessing, O God, on this nation, and every nation, and draw the whole world to your peace and truth.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.


As John the Baptist guided throngs of people to the edge of the wilderness and baptized Jesus in the River Jordan, we pray that you would guide our country and our leaders to the ways of justice and righteousness.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.


Like the Magi who travelled from afar to bring gifts and celebrate the Saviour’s birth; we pray for this community, and for those who celebrate their own birthdays and anniversaries; especially……………...
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.


As Jesus climbed the mountaintop, and proclaimed blessings on the people of the world; we pray for the sick and the distressed, the poor and the lame.              We especially pray for ……………..
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.


As Jesus called his disciples to leave their nets and boats and follow him;                  we pray for those we love and who have answered your call to follow Jesus to your Heavenly Kingdom. Give them your peace.
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.


Lord Jesus, Light of the World, hear our prayers, and make us reflections of your Light, that the places of darkness in our world would be pierced by your Light,

and that all nations would be drawn to you and be overwhelmed with joy.                  Amen.



May the transforming acceptance

of Mary and Joseph, 
the imagination of the shepherds, 
and the persistence of the wise men 
guide us as we seek the Truth, 
always moving toward the Divine promise. 
always aware God can be hidden

in the frailest among us, 
always open to the unexpected flash of Grace, 
to the showing forth of that Love that embraces us all.


The Grace


Call to Worship from Psalm 40


Happy are those who make the Lord their trust,

who do not turn aside to the proud.

I delight to do your will, O my God,                                  your law is within my heart.

Do not, O Lord, withhold your mercy from me;

let your steadfast love and your faithfulness

keep me safe forever.

Put a new song in my mouth,

a song of praise to our God.


Prayers of Approach and Confession


God of light and hope,

the grey days and long nights of winter

are not lonely and dark to you.

When the sky is cold and the curtains are closed,

we may welcome your presence.

Amid frost, fog and flood,

we declare your sure and steady grace.

We trace your purpose in the slow turning of seasons,

and we name your goodness in the waiting time.

In this hour of worship, we ask for new perspective,

for courage in our difficulties,

fresh love for our neighbours,

and a patient spirit of service,

that even in trials and fears

we may live as people of Jesus.


Jesus, Lamb of God,

named and known for your sacrifice,

for your life offered up as service, as offering, as gift,

In you evil loses its power,

and wrong and sin and fault and blame

are overcome by love and pardon and hope.

Jesus, resting place for the dove of heaven,

you release the Spirit across the earth

to flow as living water in parched and painful places,

to bring green and gladness amid the deserts of our days,

to slake and satisfy the thirst of our years.


Jesus, summoning and speaking as teacher,

in your company there is a world of new understanding.

You fulfil our dreams and deep desires,

we start to see ourselves as you see us,

and grow in ways we had not expected.


Jesus, of many names – love and life and truth,

we turn to you – to receive, to discover, to be changed,

and to you we give our trust and praise.


God of mercy,

we bring you the lives we have,

far from perfect, marred by selfishness and deceit,

and we ask again, humbly and confidently,

to receive the forgiveness for which Jesus died,

that we may go forward pardoned, clean and hopeful.


Assurance of Pardon


God shows his love for us,

for while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

So we rejoice in God, through Jesus Christ,

in whom we are now at peace with God.



The Lord`s Prayer


Prayers of Intercession


Let us pray that the light of Christ may shine upon the Church, the world, and all people according to their need.

Thank you, Father, for Jesus.

Thank you for making him our doorway into your heart. Thank you for making him your Lamb,

the sacrifice for our sin.

Thank you for making him the light of the world,

and of our lives.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Lord, cause your Church to preach like John the Baptist. May it always point to Jesus, and say, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.”

Prune away every program or teaching that does not serve that end. Let Jesus use the Church to draw new disciples to himself, and to shape them into his likeness.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Make disciples of everyone in this congregation.

Help us to use our spiritual gifts to glorify you and build up our community of faith.

Make us bold to tell others, “We have found him of whom the Scriptures speak! Come and see the Son of God who takes away the sins of the world!”

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Bless the Church wherever it is persecuted on account of Jesus. By its patient witness, turn its enemies from hatred to repentance. For missionaries throughout the world, for our seminaries, church colleges, and schools, and for all who seek to proclaim the Gospel in word and deed, we also lift our hands, hearts, and voices in fervent supplication.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Today we remember the birthday of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Thank you for his witness. Teach us to value one another not based on race, creed, or gender, but because you have created all people in your image.

By your Holy Spirit, make the content of our character reflect your will, so that we treat each other with respect, justice, and charity.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Enlighten the minds and purify the hearts of those who take counsel for the nations. Turn them from the idols of power, prestige, and ideology, and teach them your ways. Heal the divisions that beset our country. Bestow your favour upon it, so it may be a beacon of righteousness, justice, and freedom for all.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Stoop down, O Lord, and hear the cry of all who are afflicted by suffering or sorrow, especially......

Lift them out of their desolation; make their footing sure; and put a new song into their mouths.

Restore them to all who love them.

Let them proclaim your merciful deliverance.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Most gracious Father, thank you for those who have died to us, but whose lives are safely in your hand.

Sustain us with that same strong and merciful hand.

Help us trust and follow Jesus as he touches the lives of those who need him so much.

Sustained in fellowship with Christ and his family, may we be found guiltless on that day when he is revealed to the world. Then, make us fit to dwell with him in the glory he shares with you and the Holy Spirit forever.

Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

All these things, and whatever else you see that we need, grant to us, dear Father, for the sake of your Son,

our Saviour Jesus Christ.                                              Amen.


The Dismissal


May the light of the glorious gospel of Christ

shine in your hearts, transform your lives,

and brighten the world.


The Grace



Call to Worship

People who walk in darkness,
come now to follow the great light of Christ.

People oppressed by the yoke of the world,

come now to follow the liberation of Christ.

People walking the journey of faith,

come now to follow in the life of Christ.



Prayers of Approach, Thanksgiving and Confession

God who calls,

we open our hearts to hear your Word today.

We have left many jobs behind,

unfinished reading or writing,

incomplete tasks in the kitchen or garden,

and have followed into your presence.

In this time with you,

we gather to hear your Word,

to be inspired by your gospel

and to be challenged by your Call

as we come in adoration and praise.


Father, we thank you that in our darkness,

you show us light.

In our daily lives,

you call our names.

In our community,

you show us love.

We thank You that we can know your light and love
as you speak to us now through your Word.


God of opportunity,
in the darkness of the world,

we do not always shine your light.
We fail to live your gospel boldly;

with the full commitment you ask of us.
We do not always speak out for the oppressed and weak,
and we do not live your joy and liberation in the world.

In response to your Word, and in silence,
help us recognise the opportunities we have

to better respond to you,
as the followers you call us to be.

Assurance of Pardon

For the message about the cross

is foolishness to those who are perishing,

but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

(1 Cor 1.18)

Thanks be to God.



The Lord`s Prayer


Prayers of Intercession

As we bring our prayers of concern for all peoples,

nations and languages, let us pray:

In a land of deep darkness: may your light shine


We pray for all peoples of the world:
for those like us and known to us
and those who are unknown to us

or from different backgrounds.
Your world is a diverse and exciting place,
full of cultures and peoples

with many backgrounds and traditions,
a kaleidoscope of people

with whom we share much or little.
Yet we are called to love and share together in your kingdom.


We pray for those peoples who are treated as outsiders,
refugees and asylum seekers, who come looking for love.
We continue to pray not for uniformity

but unity in our communities,
where people can know love irrespective of race, gender, sexuality, age, disability, religion or belief.
We pray that those who fail to show love

by attacking and abusing others

because of their difference,

may transform into people of love,
and know the kingdom God is calling us into.


In a land of deep darkness: may your light shine


We pray for all nations of the world:
for those in our closest relationships

and those furthest away.
In a global society, we are interlinked across the world
with governments making decisions that affect all nations.


We pray for those in leadership of all types.
We pray for those who lead Churches and faith groups,
those who work together for unity in a world of disunity,
and all those who reach across denominational divides
to speak, share and shape the gospel in the world.


In a land of deep darkness: may your light shine


We pray for those who feel lonely

in a world of communication.
We keep in mind those who have been cut out of communities or families,
those who will spend tonight on the streets,

and those who are unable to talk about their mental, physical or spiritual concerns.
We pray for all who reach out in love, as families and friends, and all those who work in wellbeing

and support services,
for the love, dedication and words they use to break down barriers.

In a moment of quiet, we remember all those known to us

whose concerns rest heavy on our hearts today



In a land of deep darkness: may your light shine


Ancient One,
as we pray for the coming

of an everlasting kingdom of love,
we ask for your strength and support in our own lives.
Help us know of your true love for ourselves,
and the truth to which we are called.
May we be inspired by the love of your Call
and be your hands and your feet in the world.
For the Kingdom, the Power and the Glory are yours,
for ever and ever.




In a world of noise,

may you hear your name being called.

In a world of light,

may you see the way you are called to follow.

In a world of opportunity to respond,

may you be compelled to share

the good news of the Cross.


The Grace



Call to Worship


How shall we come to worship God?

What gift can we bring to our maker?

What rite or ritual should we perform?

What sacrifice would be worthy?


The desires of God’s heart are no secret.

We know what is required of us:

that we do justice, and love kindness,

and walk humbly with our God.

Based on Micah 6:6-8


Prayers of Approach, Confession & Assurance of Pardon


Loving God, our souls sing out in worship

and all of creation bursts forth with praise!


For you look with compassion on all who suffer.

You shed tears of sorrow with those in grief.

You kneel in the dust to lift up the humble

and shoulder the burdens of those who are bowed down.


Great and mighty is our God, who meets us in weakness.

Sure and strong is our God, who meets us in our fear.

Glory be to Jesus,

who stands shoulder to shoulder

with those who are in pain,

who opened his arms wide on the cross

to hold all the hurts of the world.


Holy One:

You invite us to come to you just as we are.

Your arms are open wide to welcome us.

And so we approach you with trust and honesty,

asking for your forgiveness.


If our words and actions have done harm…

God of mercy, forgive us.

If our silence and apathy have done harm…

God of mercy, forgive us.

If we have failed to do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with you…

God of mercy, forgive us.


Repair our relationships.

Redeem our brokenness.            

May our fault-lines be the cracks

through which your light can flood in:

liquid gold to fill the gaps

and transform our jagged edges

into something beautiful,

our fragments into something whole.


Hear the good news and rejoice!

There’s nowhere we can go,

and nothing we can do

that would put us beyond the reach

of God’s forgiveness and love.


And so, liberated by grace, let us say together the words that Jesus taught us to pray:


Our Father…


Prayers of Intercession


God of justice,

we pray for those whose dignity is eroded by poverty.

Those whose choices in life are limited.

Those who are trapped by debt.

We know that you see and hear

those whose suffering is hidden from view.


Help us to help in practical ways,

to hold those in power to account,

and to use what power we have to dismantle injustice.


Your kingdom come, Your will be done.


God of compassion,

bring your comfort

to all who are walking through the valley of grief.

May they sense you walking beside them.


Make us gentle companions,

generous and warm in our listening,

faithful witnesses to suffering and bearers of your peace.


Your kingdom come, Your will be done.


God of mercy,

we pray for the places where mistrust

and violence simmer.

Where communities are divided.

Where old tensions smoulder or are fanned into flame.

We pray for refugees,

and those attempting to live their lives

amidst the carnage and wreckage of war.


This morning we remember… (name places and situations where there is conflict)


Into these places and situations:


Your kingdom come, your will be done.


Holy Spirit,

we give thanks for the way

you move among and between us,

overcoming barriers of class and culture,

driving us out of our comfort zones,

leading us into encounter.


We give thanks for places and projects

where glimpses of your kingdom can be seen…

(name some examples dear to your congregation here…)


Through the small and the ordinary,

and through our own imperfect, hopeful actions:


Your kingdom come, your will be done.

Finally, we pray for ourselves.

In our suffering, may we know your solidarity.

In our apathy, kindle hope and a hunger for justice.

May compassion break us open,

open to hear other perspectives,

open to dream new possibilities.


In our hearts and in our lives:

Your kingdom come, Your will be done.






May God bless you with discomfort at easy answers,

half-truths, and superficial relationships,

so that you may live deep within your heart.


May God bless you with anger at injustice,

oppression and exploitation of people,

so that you may work for justice, freedom and peace.


May God bless you with tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation, and war,

so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them

and turn their pain to joy.


And may God bless you with enough foolishness

to believe that you can make a difference in this world,

so that you can do what others claim cannot be done. Amen.



The Grace



Minister ~ Rev Alan Kennedy 07733153203 01612703296