Sunday Prayers January-March 2024

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




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Jesus didn`t reject anyone -

Neither do we - 

Whoever you are - 

Wherever you are on life`s journey -


You are welcome here!



Call to Worship

Arise! Shine! The light you have been waiting for is here!

Darkness has been banished!

God's light of hope floods the earth.

God's light comes to us all.

Lord, make us ready to journey to this Light.

Prepare our hearts to receive this Light.


Prayers of Approach 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.

Your prophets spoke of the coming light

which would call all the people to come together

in Your kingdom of shalom.  

We confess the ways in which we have rejected

Your vision of wholeness.


God of light and darkness,

we have seen the glimmer of your star-light beckoning to us,

but we have turned away and followed other paths.  

We confess that we have not loved you with all our heart,

with all our soul, with all our mind, and with all our strength.

We have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.  

Forgive us, Holy One.  

Strengthen our faltering steps

and guide us in your holy way of peace.  


Assurance of Pardon


Lift up your eyes and see the grace of God poured out into your lives.
The light of God shines through the darkness.  

Our hearts rejoice for Christ is in our midst.



Prayers of Intercession


God of wonder and mystery,
God of the stars and the universe,
God of winding ways and straight paths,
we gather today with gratitude

for the gift of your constant presence,
your trustworthy guidance,
and your daring risk-taking with us.
You dare to love us despite our inability to respond fully.
You dare to care for us, despite our challenge in caring for others.
You dare to walk with us, despite our fickleness.


On our own journeys

toward the stars and guiding points you put before us,
you continue to lead us forward,
guiding us by the teachings of Jesus
to seek justice, love kindness, and walk humbly in your loving shadow.

As we struggle with the political wrangling of this world,
the wars waged for both justice and greed,
the violence committed daily against the innocent,
let alone the pain of broken relationships and loss,
you remain steadfast in your care and devotion
for your entire creation throughout the universe.
It is almost too much to take in sometimes.
And even in our doubts and disbelief,
our struggle to understand and constant misunderstanding,
and our flat-out ignorance about your ways,
you remain constantly present to us.


We pray for peace in this world, Lord,
the kind of peace in which we celebrate diversity,
are joyfully challenged by adversity,
and share in the joy that is to be found everywhere.
We pray for those who are lonely,
that you might lead us to reach out and be friends.
We pray for those who are hungry,
that you might lead us to offer sustenance.
We pray for those who are lost,
that you might lead us to give hope and direction.


We pray for the countries of the world,
that we might find a way to work together to lift one another up.
We pray for our leaders,
that your Spirit might guide them

to set an example for our country and the world
to work together rather than against one another.

We pray for our Church and all Churches,
that we may seek to build up the Body of Christ
and seek to repair the divisions which keep us apart.
We pray for those in leadership,
that they may continually seek your Spirit

in their lives and their daily decisions
as they lead Your people.

And we pray for ourselves,
that we might continue on this journey,
learning the lessons you offer,
seeking the fullness of your perfection,
and live as you would have us live.



The Dismissal


Go in peace; love and care for one another in the name of Christ;

and may the Spirit of God which filled Jesus,

fill your hearts, souls and minds;

may the power of God which upheld Him,

strengthen you for each day;

and may the love of God which directed His every action

be your guiding light and your shining star,

both now and forevermore.                             


The Grace



Call to Worship

Come and see that the Lord is good.
Come and see all the Lord has done.                                                                         

Speak, Lord, for Your servants are listening.

Come and know that You are fearfully and wonderfully made.
Come and know that Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit.                                      Speak, Lord, for Your servants are listening.

Come and hear all the Lord is doing.
Come and hear that you are known and loved by God.
Come and hear the word of the Lord.                                                                        Speak, Lord, for Your servants are listening.


Prayers of Thanksgiving, and Confession

Creator God, You created us,
You knit us together in our mother's wombs,
You search our innermost thoughts and are acquainted with all our ways.
We praise You,                                                                                                          For we are fearfully and wonderfully made.

Wonderful God, You know us by name,
You choose to call to us, sometimes in ways we do not initially recognise

or understand,
such knowledge is too wonderful for us.
We praise You,                                                                                                          For we are fearfully and wonderfully made.

All-knowing God, You know all of us, from the inside out,
You have made our bodies a temple of the Holy Spirit,
and joined us together in unity.
We praise You,                                                                                                          For we are fearfully and wonderfully made.

Inviting God, You invite us to come and follow You,
You invite us to be seen and fully known,
You invite us to see and be a part of greater things.
We praise You,                                                                                                          For we are fearfully and wonderfully made.

Loving God,
We come before You now, acknowledging that over the last week,
we have failed to love others as You love us,
we have not seen others in the way that You see them,
we have not followed You in the way You have called us to,
we have not invited others to come and see Your glorious deeds,
we have not sought to know You more deeply.

Forgive us God,
for those times that we have failed to live as You would have us live,
for those times we have not embodied our faith,
for those times that we have not glorified You with our bodies,
for those times we have thought everything is about us,
for those times we have not recognised You calling to us.

Forgive us God,
and make us whole once again,
renew us to be a community that sees the beauty in the world                                    and people around us,
a community that is known by You                                                                            and seeks to make You known in the world,
call to us afresh this day.


The Lord`s Prayer

Prayers of Intercession

Thank You, God, for giving us minds with which to think.
We pray now for those in our families, in our communities and in the world,
who use their minds to help us understand things –
teachers, researchers, scientists, engineers,
those who use their minds to write and create –
authors, actors, builders, artists, musicians, inventors,
and those who use their minds to help us tackle difficult questions –
strategists, politicians, professors, community development workers.
We pray that You will enable them

and us all to use our heads wisely.                                                     

God, we know that there are many people in our families and communities
that feel as if they are carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders.
Those who are constantly worrying about
whether they will be able to feed their family this week,
or if they have enough money to keep the heating on this winter.
Those who are making the difficult decisions
as to which employees to make redundant,
or which church buildings to close,
or how to tackle the climate crisis.
We pray that You will be with them                                                                            as they carry those burdens on their shoulders,
that they may feel seen and known by You in their time of struggle,
and that we too may come alongside them, offering what support we can.

God, it can sometimes seem as if the NHS is on its knees,
struggling to care for its staff                                                                                    as well as the people in need of its care and expertise.
We pray for all those who are on their knees caring for others,
for carers, nurses, doctors, and paramedics,
and in particular for all those who are feeling unseen
by those making decisions about how services are run.
God, equip them in their roles of service,
giving them the capacity to really see and know their patients
and the strength to get through the difficult days.

God, sometimes we think our toes are not an important part of our body,
but without them our lives would be much harder.
We pray now for those who bring us joy through their use of the toes –
for dancers, sports people and gardeners –
and for those who keep our society moving by using their toes –
for bus drivers, taxi drivers, train drivers and lorry drivers.
We pray that You will nurture them
and that we will become better at not taking them for granted.
Be with us too, as we seek to walk alongside people,
bringing beauty into unexpected places
and sharing something of our knowledge of You with them.

God, we pray for all those who use their gifts of the eyes, ears, mouth and nose.
We pray for those who see the world through eyes of compassion
and compel others to do likewise –
we pray for the work of Tear Fund, Christian Aid and other aid agencies
as they seek to respond to the situations they see around the world

of trauma and injustice.
We pray for those who lend a listening ear
and give space for people to share their stories –
for chaplains in our schools, universities, prisons, hospitals and workplaces,
and for those in our own pastoral care teams.
We pray for those who speak words of truth and kindness –
for parents, foster carers and newsreaders.
We pray for those who smell the freshness of each new day –
for children, chefs, flower arrangers.                                                                         

Be with us all as we seek to embody our faith over the coming days,
sharing Your love with all those whom we meet.



The Dismissal

Go forth from this place to be known completely by God
and to come to know God more deeply.
Go forth and see God in action and call others to see it too.
Go forth and embody God's love to all those you meet.

The Grace



Call to Worship


We gather this day, O God, Source of all that is,

to listen to Your voice, heard in scripture, sermon, song, and silence.

Help us to listen.


We gather this day, O God, our Saviour and Sovereign,

to rest, recharge and repent, to be confronted, again, with Your powerful Word.

Help us to listen.


We gather this day, O God, Spirit of fire and energy,

to be inspired and provoked to show our love and life to a hurting world.

Help us to listen.


We gather this day, O God, Source of tender love,

that we might learn to be Your Church, obedient to Your will and faithful to Your call.  Help us to listen.



Prayers of Approach, Confession and Forgiveness


Great God, Source of life,

we come to worship with our praises and prayers,

needing to both rest in Your presence

and find food for our journey.


Great God, Guide through life,

we come to You in worship with our pain and our protest,

needing to find both forgiveness and passion for life.


Great God, Goal of life,

we come to You in worship with our weariness and our yearning,

needing to find both energy and inspiration.


Most Holy Trinity, forgive us when we have

avoided Your call,

denied what Your actions,

and decried others who seek You.

Forgive us, Great God, and give us time to change. 


Assurance of Pardon


Hear good news! God loves us and when we turn back,                                                runs like a loving father to welcome us home.  

Hear good news! God is like a fierce mother who looks out for us,

grieves when we suffer and delights in our joy.  

Hear good news! Like a rock, God is steady and sure giving us a firm foundation.  

Hear good news! You are forgiven,

have the strength to forgive yourself.



The Lord`s Prayer



Prayers of Intercession


Eternal One,                                                                                                            we hear Your call to love our world                                                                            and we bring You now its praise and pain, its power and protest.


We pray, O God, for all who are displaced by war, terror, persecution,                            climate change, and poverty.                                                                                    We hear Your call to be justice and peace makers                                                        knowing that this risks anger and hatred. 

Give us the strength, O God, to follow where You call us.


We pray, O God, for those in despair, those who think life is not worth living,                who can’t make ends meet, who struggle in insecure and poor accommodation,

who yearn for asylum to be granted, who long to live with dignity.

Give us the strength, O God, to follow where You call us.


We pray, O God, for those who are ill in mind, body or spirit,                                        and those who care for them.                                                                                    Give us the strength, O God, to follow where You call us.


We remember those who are lonely and isolated

and for those whose grief seems overwhelming.

Give us the strength, O God, to follow where You call us.


We pray for ourselves, O God, that we may reject any tendency to be judgmental

but respond to Your call with eager longing.

Give us the strength, O God, to follow where You call us.


These prayers we offer in Jesus`name,                                                                      Amen.



The Dismissal


May the One who has called you since before the ages began,

the One whose eyes have gently smiled at you,

the One who accepts your nets and your labour,

bless you,

that you may proclaim the good news,

show gentle love to those around you,

and accept all who are placed in your path.


The Grace



Scripture Sentences


The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience,

kindness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

Against such things there is no law.

Since we live by the Spirit,

let us stay open to the Spirit's calling. 

Seek the Lord while he may be found. 


Speak the word he gives; bless him and proclaim his greatness.

God is here, near at hand.  His Spirit is all around us. 

We will rejoice and worship the Lord. 

We will do all that God has commanded.



Prayers of Approach and Confession


We bless you O Lord for your power and your might 

and for how you care to use your authority over all things

for good instead of ill. 

We give thanks that we can turn to you, O Lord,

because we can trust you to do what is right.


Lord, keep our minds and our hearts fixed on the example of Jesus

Christ, our ears and our eyes focussed on the word you speak and

write for our good.  Awaken within us the awareness of the

authority you have given us to act in your name.                                                        When we work, help us to do it by your power,                                                            when we speak,  to do so with your wisdom,

when we step forth,  to do so in the fullness of prayer

and the presence of your Spirit.


Merciful God, from you comes all truth, all healing,                                                      all that makes our world good and whole.

Forgive us, O Lord, those times when we have listened                                                to those who do not speak for you.

Forgive us for the weakness that has led us at times to seek

the water of life at springs which can never satisfy.

Forgive us for not testing the spirits that are around us:

forgive us too for how we play with empty knowledge

and delight in useless wrangling that helps neither us

or those around us.

Have mercy on us and speak to us once again.

Help us to hear the word you send

and to turn away  from the words that come from false prophets

and those who do not know your ways.

Lord, touch us and make us whole.


Assurance of Pardon


This is the promise of God,

"If my people humble themselves and pray and seek my face

and turn from their wicked ways,

then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin

and will heal their land.”


Therefore I tell you, as you have confessed, so you are forgiven. 

Listen to the Lord and to the Lord only

and his mercy will cover you and all that you do. 



The Lord`s Prayer


Prayers of Intercession


We pray Lord for all those in the world

who are given earthly authority for the sake of others;

we think of doctors who are charged with the task of healing,

of judges who must decide what is just,

of rulers who must care for their people,

of teachers who must nurture their students.

We pray that each of these may seek your wisdom

before acting, and that you would bless them with the insight

and the power and the will to do good.


Father, you sent Jesus to take upon himself our burdens

and to replace them with his yoke, the yoke that is gentle and easy. 

We pray today for those who are burdened and afflicted,

help us as a church to minister unto them

and to grace them with the comfort of your Spirit. 


We especially pray today for those who bound by

the demons of fear, of deceit, of hopelessness, and of despair.

We also lift before you those people who are upon our hearts

who face grief and sorrow,

those who struggle in the courts and with the legal systems of our world,

those who face poverty and financial oppression.


Bless us, O Lord, your church, with the power shown by Jesus.

Make us as caring and as effective as he.

We ask all this in His name,



The Dismissal


Go in peace  

and may God's Word direct your every step;

may God's Spirit sustain you in every act,

and may God's Living Love fill your every moment.


The Grace




Scripture Sentences

In the beginning God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light,                            and God saw that the light was very good, and he separated light from darkness.”

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


Prayers of Adoration and Confession

Lord God, you are the source of everlasting light.                                                        Your son 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 Christ.                                                              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.

Father eternal, giver of light and grace,                                                                      we have sinned against you and against our neighbour,                                                in what we have thought, in what we have said and done,                                            through ignorance, through weakness,                                                                    through our own deliberate fault.                                                                              We have wounded your love and marred your image in us.                                          We are sorry and ashamed, and repent of all our sins.                                                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.

Almighty God, who forgives all who truly repent,

have mercy upon us, pardon and deliver us from all our sins,

confirm and strengthen us in all goodness, and keep us in life eternal.

Like Simeon, may we grow old in hope and wonder.                                                    Like Anna, may we be in love with you all our days.                                                    May we be open to truth, open to surprises.                                                                May we let your spirit into our lives.                                                                        May we let your justice change our behaviour.                                                            May we live in the brightness of your joy.                                                                    Amen.                  

The Lord`s Prayer


Prayers of Intercession

Almighty God, we give thanks for the welcome given to the child, Jesus,                      by Simeon and Anna, seeing that in his life there would be joy,                                  sorrow and suffering, and for the example they have set us.

As we remember the older and retired people in our churches,                               

we thank you and pray for their work with children, young people and families

in our communities.

We pray your Holy Spirit may inspire them to use and share their experiences of life with wisdom, humility and gladness.

We pray for the work and service of all homes and day centres for the elderly

and those in need.

Jesus Light of the world, shine in our darkness.

Lord, we pray that world-wide churches may always be ready to travel along your way and in your direction.
Bless and guide our ministers and leaders.
As we enter the Lenten season of penitence and discipline,

help us to be alive to your Spirit, who searches all our hearts and renews our lives        as we offer our faith and obedience.

Jesus Light of the world, shine in our darkness.

We pray for nations and leaders as they live through conflicts

and struggle with identity. We think of Ukraine and the Middle East.
We remember those suffering in natural disasters and extreme weather both at home and abroad; whether it be floods or famines.
We pray for all those people sacrificially working to bring aid and help                          where it is most needed.

Jesus Light of the world, shine in our darkness.

We pray for the families and communities we represent                                              asking that we may have a spirit of generous love, understanding and respect

for those who are different from us.

Jesus Light of the world, shine in our darkness.

We pray for all finding their life-journey tedious, lonely or uncertain,
those who are ill or vulnerable.                                                                                Be their strong comfort in times of need.                                                              Bless and protect their families and their careers.

Jesus Light of the world, shine in our darkness.

Lord, we pray for those who have died                                                                    and those who miss and grieve for them.

Jesus Christ is the light of the world,                                                                          a light which no darkness can quench.                                                                        May our candles today be a symbol of your love and warmth and hope.
We pray for the families and friends of Norma Kay and Lesley Paine.
You turn our darkness into light, in your light shall we see light.
Grant us and all who have known you in their hearts                                                  a share in your eternal kingdom.

Jesus Light of the world, shine in our darkness.

In the silence of these moments, we make our particular concerns known to God.

Open our eyes, Father
To the light of your glory
In the world you have made
In the people around us
And in the face of Jesus Christ our Lord.                                                                   

Jesus Light of the world, shine in our darkness.

Merciful Father, accept these prayers                                                                          for the sake of your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ.                                                      Amen.

Nunc Dimittis

Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace                                          according to thy word.                                                                                              For mine eyes have seen thy salvation;                                                                    Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people;                                               To be a light to lighten the Gentiles                                                                            and to be the glory of thy people Israel.

The Dismissal

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

Turn from the crib to the cross.                                                                                  May you shine with the light of Christ`s  love.                                                            May you go to carry the light of Christ.                                                                    May you shine with the light of Christ`s love.

The Grace



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 and Confession

Eternal Mystery

Wholeness and Goodness,

Light and Life

Beyond our understanding

Offering us the breath of life

That we might breathe life

Into a world in need of peace.


We come into your presence

In this Holy place

Where we have met you before

And have given attention

To your mandate of love

That flows through our communal life.


We come knowing

That as much as we have learned

There are still mysteries

that we do not understand

there are still paths that you have made

where we have been afraid to journey.


Forgive us

We often cling

To our own earthly rules

And our positions of safety and power

Instead of holding onto your hand

Held out firmly truth and grace

That we might journey with you

Into the world

And into the future

That you have prepared.


God open our eyes.

Christ open our hearts.

Spirit open our Way.

Help us

To see more clearly,

To love more deeply,

To journey more courageously,

Carrying the truth and grace

Of the one we proclaim as Christ

With us

For others.


That this world might be transfigured by your glory,

That your light would be hope

For humanity held in darkness.

That all would come

To the mountain of God

And rest there

Knowing the peace

that Christ promises.


The Lord`s Prayer


Prayers of Intercession


Comforting God

we come with your disciples here,

like your disciples of old,

sometimes confused by life

and yet knowing

that you free us from fear

and call us to your service in prayer.


Today we pray for a troubled and restless world

where so many agendas vie for attention.

humanity is confused about its purpose

and leaders seem to care

only for themselves and others

who are in powerful places.

Send your Spirit of wisdom and peace

and help Leaders to understand the truth

of your love for all

of your desire for a great sharing

of what you offer

that justice and peace might be known

by even the least of your little ones.


Bring a world transfigured

by the true king.


Send your Spirit of comfort and peace

and help those who are in dark places

having lost someone

being short of money

suffering ill health

to know the light that is there for them

to discover the hope that can hold them.


Create life transfigured                                                                                              By the true king.


Send your Spirit of truth and grace

and help those,

even those who have found you

to be comfortable in the cloud of unknowing,

to be unafraid of the mystery,

to seek you in heart and mind and soul.

That we might breath easily and with love

encountering you in surprising places

even serving you in surprising ways

as you unfold your purpose in our lives.


Leading lives transfigured

by the true king,    

namely Jesus Christ our Lord.



The Dismissal


Go now,                                                                                                                  and speak of what you have seen of God’s glory.
Do not cling to the holy moments
when heaven overshadows you,
but as the Lord lives, listen to Christ and follow him
from the places of revelation
to the places of mission.


The Grace



Call to Worship 

Lent calls us to journey, this and every day,
following Jesus wherever he leads us.                                                                     

Lent calls us to journey:
to the place where God covenants with us,
to receive the new names we are given.

Lent calls us to worship together,
to tell future generations the good news.                                                                   

Lent calls us to practice justice,
to bring God's hope to all people.

Lent calls us to faithful living,
to trust the One who gives us life.                                                                             

Lent calls each of us to take up our cross,
to trust the One who bears it with us.

Lent calls us to journey with God.                                                                           

Let us worship God, who walks with us,
this and every day.

Prayers of Approach, Thanksgiving and Confession

Lord God, faithful in Your love,
we come before You as we are,
to worship You at the start of Lent.
We come before You as we are,
to hear what You have to say about our human journey.

We come before You as we are,
to seek Your help and strength for the week ahead,
and for every week.

We give You thanks for a world of wonder and mystery,
with so much to discover, and so many ways of doing that.

We give You thanks for the variety of human life,
and for the gospel which has been taken to every part of the world.

We give You thanks for everything good that has happened this past week,
for people whose kindness never meets the media,
for prayers which have been answered,
for situations which have resolved.

We give You thanks for opportunities to praise and rejoice,
for opportunities to learn and to grow,
for opportunities to reflect and be quiet.

We give You thanks for this Lenten season,
and for the One whose season it is.

We give You thanks for all things that make our life simple and special.
good friends and good food,
good leaders and good lives around us.

We give thanks for all who have walked before You in faith, and hope and love,
and especially for those whose path has been part of ours.
Above all, we thank You for Jesus Christ,
who walked before You in trust and in truth,
whose walk has inspired us and given us light,
whose walk has taken Him to death and beyond for our sakes.

We confess that we have thought too much about ourselves,
and too little about Your ways.
We confess that we have lived too much for ourselves,
and too little for the sake of others.
We confess that we have been taken up too much with ourselves,
and too little with the demands of Your kingdom.

Forgive us when we go the wrong way or the foolish way.
Have mercy on us, and upon the world we inhabit.
Be patient with Your people and help us to walk wisely and walk well.
And all through Jesus Christ, in whose words we say together,

Our Father …


Prayers of Intercession

We begin with a moment of silence,
to wonder at the mystery of prayer,
to reflect on our journeys and the journeys of others,
and to collect our thoughts before God . . . [pause]

We pray for those in leadership,
that they may bless the life and peace of the nations,
our common life here,
and especially the lives of the poor . . . [pause]

We pray the hungry might be fed, in body, mind and spirit,
that the thirsty be satisfied,
that God will hear the cry of those who long for justice . . . [pause]

We pray for those we meet each day,
at work or in the street, online or in person,
at home or on the phone . . . [pause]

We pray for those who teach, in college and school,
in church and community,
praying that knowledge may build up and not puff up,
and that wisdom might guide the feet of all who walk our world . . . [pause]

We pray for those with prophetic gifting,
that they hear rightly, and share rightly,
and that they have a wise community to assess what they say . . . [pause]

We pray for the ministers of all the churches  in this area,
that they may serve with unity, with love and with joy . . . [pause]

We pray for one another,
that we grow up in faith during this period of Lent,
that we renew our hope,
that we open our hearts to the deep love of God . . . [pause]

These and all our prayers, both spoken and unspoken,                                                we offer in the name of Jesus Christ,


The Dismissal


May the dust of the wilderness hold your footprints lovingly,

shaped as they are by your hurt, for dust remembers.


May the journey into wilderness unfold honestly,

for honesty is the gift your soul recognises as you.


May your time in this wilderness be shaped by space

rather than minutes, so there is time enough for all of you.


May the stones in this wilderness cry out your name loudly,

that your spirit recognises the voice that has been calling you always.


And may you know this wilderness has been expecting you

and you find between the stones a promise growing.


The Grace



Call to Worship


Lord Jesus, 
You are a Lord who walks beside your people. 
You are a Lord who raises up those who are bent low. 
You are a Lord who feeds the hungry 
You are a Lord who celebrates the small and the insignificant. 
You are a Lord who says, ‘Follow me’.

And so we come this morning,                                                                                  as your people, yet bent low, hungry and small.                                                          We pray for courage and faith in our hearts 
that we may take up the cross and find it leads to life.


Prayers of Approach and Confession

Father God, we give you thanks that though people may turn their backs on us,
you do not hide your face from us.
Though others may try to take away our hope,
you assure us of that future waiting for us.
You speak your name,
Inscrutable Creator,
and it is enough.

We give you thanks that when we try to dictate our fears to you,
you invite us to follow you into self-denial and service.
As we struggle to shape our lifestyle to yours,
you carry us with you wherever we go.
You speak your good news,
Teacher of open hearts,
and it is enough.

We thank you that though we have done nothing to earn them,
you pour out the gifts of grace and mercy upon us.
When we stumble over our lack of trust,
you set us back on our feet,
to follow you into the kingdom.
You speak your peace,
Breath of Holiness,
and it is enough.

Jesus calls us to deny ourselves.
Yet we trust in our own works                                                                                    rather than in God’s grace.

Jesus calls each of us to take up our cross.
Yet rather than allow our selfishness and sin to be put to death,

we cling to what we know.

Jesus calls us to follow him.
Yet we fear where faith will lead                                                                                and what it might change in our lives.

In this moment of silence,                                                                                        we confess the sin that separates us

from one another and from God.




Assurance of Pardon

People of God, hear this good news.                                                                          God’s covenant with us is true.

God is faithful even when we fail.

Through the Holy Spirit,

God gives us the gift of faith and makes us righteous.

Believe in the good news

that you are set free to live as children of God.
Thanks be to God!                                                                                                    Amen. 


The Lord`s Prayer


Prayers of Intercession

God our Friend and resourceful Helper,

as we call to mind other people in their numerous needs,

we pray that you will encompass them with your loving Spirit

and enable your churches to find practical ways of ministering to them.

Somewhere at this moment there are thoughtful, kindly men and women who are staring at prison walls because they dared speak out for truth and justice.            Loving God, give your people the faith to counterbalance despair                                and the love to outweigh self-interest and neglect.

Somewhere today children are whimpering after days of hunger, and their parents can only look on with the pain of a love that feels impotent.                                              Loving God, give us the faith to counterbalance despair                                              and the love to outweigh self-interest and neglect.

Somewhere right now oppressed people are working like slaves for scant rewards while their exploiters are living is luxurious leisure.                                                      Loving God, give us the faith to counterbalance despair                                            and the love to outweigh self-interest and neglect.

Somewhere at this hour persecuted Christians are meeting for worship in secret, knowing that sooner or later someone might betray them.                                      Loving God, give us the faith to counterbalance despair                                            and the love to outweigh self-interest and neglect.

Somewhere this morning people are facing major surgery, while others are being told that they have a disease for which there is no remedy.                                          Loving God, give us the faith to counterbalance despair                                              and the love to outweigh self-interest and neglect.

Somewhere this day innocent people are suffering the chaos and brutality of war, homes are ravaged, bodies mutilated, hatreds enlarged.                                            Loving God, give us the faith to counterbalance despair     

and the love to outweigh self-interest and neglect.

Somewhere at this hour of prayer, some silent members of this congregation,

and of other churches in our community,

may be secretly facing crises which threaten to overwhelm them.                                Loving God, give us the faith to counterbalance despair                                              and the love to outweigh self-interest and neglect.

Somewhere, near or far away, there are folk caught up in the raw grief of a recent death, so distressed that they wonder how they will ever be able to go on living.        Loving God, give us the faith to counterbalance despair                                              and the love to outweigh self-interest and neglect.

These and all our prayers, both spoke and unspoken                                                    we offer in the name of Jesus our reconciler and healer.                                              Amen!


The Dismissal

Jesus said:

“If anyone would be my disciple,

let them deny themselves, take up their cross and follow me.

For whoever would save their life will lose it;

and whoever loses life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it.”


Learn from Christ, trust him, delight in him,

give your whole daily affairs to him,

and you will never walk alone

or serve without that special happiness

which cannot be taken from you.   


The peace of God which surpasses all understanding,

keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge of God

and of his true Son, Christ Jesus our Lord.



The Grace



Opening Prayer and Call to Worship


O God, you are the gathering one 
who calls us into community 
with each other 
to love and work, 
to support and heal.


You are the gathering one 
who calls us into community 
with all people; 
to bring justice and hope, 
freedom and truth.


You are the gathering one 
who calls us into community 
with the whole creation; 
to live in harmony, 
to cherish and renew.


Let us worship the God 
who makes us one.



Prayers of Adoration, Confession and Assurance of Pardon


Loving God,
we come to you in worship and thanksgiving.
We acknowledge that You are greater than we can understand;
open our eyes that we may see the wonderful truths
you have shown to us in Jesus.
We acknowledge that You are more loving than our hearts can respond to;
help us to give ourselves to you in worship
so that we learn what you want us to be.
We acknowledge that You are wiser than we can know;
still our minds as we worship you
so that we can understand the things you are saying to us.
Loving God, in Jesus
you chose to come to the world in humility.
You chose the path the world saw as foolish.
You used what the world considered weak.
We worship and adore you. 


Truth be told, Lord,

There are lots of tables that need overturning in our lives;

Beneath the veneer of respectability

the tidy rows and neat regulations

hide dark addictions and angry judgements,

hungry greed and heartless rejections

We know the pain—and so do those around us—

of keeping up the facade;

What a relief it would be to have it all

upset, smashed, scattered, destroyed.

Come amongst us Lord, today

and help us to radically rearrange

the furniture of our lives.


Assurance of Pardon


God shows steadfast love
and blesses to the thousandth generation
those who walk in God’s ways.
In love, God sent Jesus
to bless and redeem God’s people.
God forgives us our sins
and restores us to new life.
Let us rejoice in God’s mercy.                                                                                    Amen.


Prayers of Intercession

Liberating God,

in love You have set us free:

free from slavery to sin and self,

free to know and love You,

free to follow and serve You.


We praise You for Your faithful love toward us,

and for the many ways You have demonstrated that love to us.

We see Your love in the natural world around us—

in the sky and trees and rivers.

We see Your love in the gift of Your commandments—

the rules for living that guide us into right relationship with You,

and with the people around us.

And we see Your love in Jesus Christ,

who lived and died to bring us life.


Because we have experienced Your love,

we come before You with confidence,

bringing our needs and the needs of our world.

God, in your unfailing love, hear our prayer.


We pray for those who live surrounded by violence—

whether from war or political unrest, crime or domestic abuse.

We pray for those who have been victims of violent crime,

and for those whose loved ones have been injured or murdered.

God, in your unfailing love, hear our prayer.


We pray for those who find themselves involved in crime,

whether by choice or through coercion;

those caught up into gangs or prostitution,

those who have turned to crime to pay for their addictions,

those who are imprisoned.

God, in your unfailing love, hear our prayer.

We pray for our homes and families:

for parents juggling the responsibilities of work and family,

for husbands and wives whose marriages are breaking down,

for children chafing under parental authority or expectations,

for men and women caught up in adultery or adulterous thoughts.

God, in your unfailing love, hear our prayer.


We pray for the many people in our world who do not yet know You

and have not experienced the new life that comes from knowing Christ Jesus;

who continue to search for purpose and meaning.

God, in your unfailing love, hear our prayer.


Merciful God,

give us strength and courage to keep Your commandments,

to live in faithful obedience to Your will.

Guard our hearts and minds from all that might distract us

from living out our commitment to You.

Help us to find our true worth in knowing You more fully,

and serving You more faithfully.

In the name of Jesus Christ, our Cornerstone.                                                            Amen.


The Dismissal


May the One whose wisdom danced at the first light of day,

the One who overturned religion,

the One who is found in unexpected places with unexpected people

give you the grace to dance with the wise,

overturn powers that subvert the kingdom,

and find grace in unlikely places.


The Grace



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Minister ~ Rev Alan Kennedy 07733153203 01612703296