Sunday Prayers March


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


 



 A MEMBER CHURCH OF THE CONGREGATIONAL FEDERATION


 A MEMBER CHURCH OF CHURCHES TOGETHER IN WALKDEN 


 



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PRAYERS FOR SUNDAY MARCH 6TH

FIRST SUNDAY OF LENT


Call to Worship

 

God says to everyone who thirsts, "come to the waters",

and to those that have no money, "come, buy, and eat."

God invites us, saying,

"Come, buy wine and milk

 without money and without price."

Incline your ear to the Lord and come to him. 

Listen that you may live.

We will seek the Lord while he may be found. 

We will call upon him while he is near.

Let the wicked forsake their way

and the unrighteous their thoughts.

Let them return to the Lord

that he may have mercy on them,

and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

 

 

Prayer of Thanksgiving, Confession and Assurance of Pardon

 

Jesus, you came that we might have life,

and have it abundantly.
You poured living water

into lives that were parched and thirsty.
You fed souls that were hungry with the bread of life.


Lord, we offer you our praise and thanks.

You brought healing through a touch

that knew no prejudice or barrier.
You brought Salvation through the cross,
You brought a means through which mankind

could be made right again with his Creator


Lord, we offer you our praise and thanks.

You brought comfort to the sorrowing, liberty to the poor
You accept us as we are,

and mould us into the people we were meant to be.
You enable broken lives and relationships

to be made whole again.


Lord, we offer you our praise and thanks.

 

Loving God, you are both our Judge and our Redeemer. 

Hear our prayer.

We know, O Lord, that you see not only our deeds,

but also what is in the depths of our hearts.

We come before you shorn of all pretence

and without cause for pride.

We come to ask you to forgive us

and to make us new once again.

We confess, O Lord, that when the pressure is on

we do not always choose your way.

We confess that when the choices are many

We do not always choose your way.

We confess that when temptation is great

We do not always choose your way.

Father of us all, as you have promised through Christ Jesus,

forgive those things we have done

that we ought not have done

and those things we have failed to do

that we ought to have done.

Help us to choose your way.

O God, touch us and make us whole. 

Amen.

 

Assurance of Pardon

 

Paul writes,

"if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Saviour

and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved."                                                    Indeed God hears our cries and reaches out to rescue us.

God is  here to bear us up, lest we stumble and fall. 

Therefore let us hear and believe

the good news of the gospel!  

In Jesus Christ we are forgiven! 

Thanks be to God. 

Amen.

 

 

The Lord`s Prayer

 

 

Prayers of Intercession

 

Lord, hear our prayers for ourselves at this time.

Bring to our minds the places we have compromised the truth for that which is convenient to us,

the times we have shut our eyes and ears

and hearts to the needs of others,

the times we have indulged ourselves

to our own detriment. 

Help us dear God to know that you forgive these things

and give us strength to resist them in the future.

 

Lord hear our prayer.

 

Lord, hear our prayers for others at this time,

for those who hunger for bread, but only find stones,

for those who seek justice,

but can find no advocate who will help them,

for those who are in danger

and have no one watching over them.

 

Lord hear our prayer.

 

Lord, speak to us in the silence of our hearts,

show us the way to go.

O Lord our God, listen to the voice of your church,

calling to you from the desert of this world. 

Protect us with your strong hand and outstretched arm,

that, nourished by the bread of your word

and fortified by your Spirit

we may proclaim the good news of your love to all people

in word and deed, even as Jesus showed us. 

We ask it in his name. 

Amen

 

The Benediction

 

May we find the road that leads to life;

may we take the turns that brings right relationships;

may we pause to accompany others on the way;

and may we journey with God through Lent,

and long for the horizon and dawn.

 

The Grace



PRAYERS FOR SUNDAY MARCH 13TH

SECOND SUNDAY OF LENT


Call to Worship

 

Give praise to God and rejoice in his love. 

Like a hen with her brood beneath her wings,

God has brought us together!

Rejoice in God's presence

and sing songs of praise to God's name.

We seek God's will

and pray that we may walk safely in his path.

Let everyone thank the Lord for his many benefits.

Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.

 

Prayers of Adoration and Confession

 

Jesus, as a mother you gather your people to you:
You are gentle with us as a mother with her children;
Often you weep over our sins and our pride:
tenderly you draw us from hatred and judgement.
You comfort us in sorrow and bind up our wounds:
in sickness you nurse us,
and with pure milk you feed us.
Jesus, by your dying we are born to new life:
By your anguish and labour we come forth in joy.
Despair turns to hope through your sweet goodness:
through your gentleness we find comfort in fear.
Your warmth gives life to the dead:
your touch makes sinners righteous.
Lord Jesus, in your mercy heal us:
in your love and tenderness remake us.
In your compassion bring grace and forgiveness:
for the beauty of heaven may your love prepare us.

 

God of mercy and truth,
we have strayed from you in thought, word and deed.
We have not loved you with our whole heart;
we have disregarded what is holy
trying to satisfy ourselves by our own means.

We have not loved our neighbours as ourselves:
and feel helpless against those
who seek to frustrate the hopes of the poor.

O God,
who is a God like you,
a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger,
and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness?
Lord God;
be our refuge and our deliverance;
by the presence and power of your Spirit,
change us so that we may delight

in your desire to do justice,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen

 

The Lord`s Prayer

 

Prayers of Intercession

 

Lord God,

in your Word today we heard that you call us,

that you ask us to come to you and that you seek us out

like a hen seeks out her chicks,

that you offer us the protection

and the safety of your strong wings. 


Help us O God to stop each day and to listen for your call,

to pause and allow you to overtake us,

to wait and to have your warmth

and your wisdom overwhelm us.

Lord hear our prayer.

 

Father and Mother of us all,  

you have given us many images of what you are like

in the law and the prophets

and through the ministry of Christ Jesus our Lord.

You have been compared to hen seeking out her chicks,

To a rock which cannot be moved,

to a mother suckling her child,

to a wind which cannot be controlled

and a fire which cannot be quenched,

to a woman seeking out a lost coin,

to a king who invites everyone to his wedding feast,

to an eagle who stirs up her wings

and shields the young in her nest,

and in each of these images  we learn more about you.  


Grant us, O Lord, a personal image of your presence,

an image which will sustain us as we seek to love you with all our heart and soul mind and strength and as we seek to love one another as Jesus loves us.

Lord hear our prayer.

 

Loving God,

we stop here today to think not only of ourselves

and our needs,

we pause not just to have our cups filled by your love,

we stop as well on behalf of others. 

We hold before you those whose cups are filled with bitterness and anger,

those who have lost their way and who worship success

and the idols of our world.

We name them before you

and ask that you give them new hearts,

hearts that are filled with goodness and with faith. 

Lord hear our prayer.

 

Lift too we pray, O God, the burdens that are upon us

for those around us here in our church,

our community and our world. 

We name these burdens;

we hold these people before you now

in the silence of our hearts and with the words of our lips.

Lord hear our prayer.

 

All these our prayers,

we offer in the Name and in the Spirit of Jesus.

Amen

 

 

The Dismissal


May God`s sheltering wings,                                              His gathering wings protect you.                                     

May God`s nurturing wings                                                His cradling arms sustain you                                            and hold you in His love.

 

The Grace



PRAYERS FOR SUNDAY MARCH 20TH

THIRD SUNDAY OF LENT


Call to worship

Come to the Lord whose love is better than life,
to the One who satisfies, sustains and supports.

Come to worship, to think, to spend these moments when,
together, we honour God, who is over all.

 

Prayers of Adoration, Thanksgiving and Confession


Everlasting, ever-gracious,

ever-seeking and ever-calling God,
Yours is the offer of life
because the gift of life itself is Yours.

You call the universe into being and,

through myriad interactions
space and time come to be,
stars and galaxies form,
their dust gives potential for life –
and we find ourselves here, alive, praising You.
We are awe-struck not only at the grandeur of Creation
but the miracle of incarnation.

You choose, in Jesus the Christ                                        to be born as one of us,
living among us, showing Your grace

and telling Your love,                                                     

to be excluded from us, shunned and hated,
dying among us,

still showing grace and declaring love,                                to meet us risen,
inviting us to listen that we may live.                                God of endless goodness, we praise You.

We are glad –

for a world being renewed
as the darkness of winter is replaced by the light of spring, for relationships being restored as families visit,

friends meet up and colleagues collaborate face to face,

for lessons learned through pandemic
as communities are strengthened,

neighbours talk and distance is reduced

through technology,                                     

for humankind remembered by God
as grace and truth are shown in the Saviour's life.


We are glad –
that truth is more powerful than falsehood,
that love far outlasts indifference,
that hope is made new day by day,
that life triumphs over death
and that God is all in all.


Neither our thoughts nor our ways are Yours, O God.
Hearing Your call on our lives, we fall short:

Invited to come to You,
we ignore Your presence.

Encouraged to praise You,
we think we find better things to do.

Rather than trust in Your help,
we despair when facing violence, deceit and hate
and find ourselves powerless to respond well.

Rather than prepare for uncertain challenges ahead,
we prefer to enjoy the present –
then lament loss of lives, homes and hope
in the face of flood, fire or drought.

Rather than tend what may yet give life
we root out, rip up and discard
and in our consuming we find little peace.

Warned to take care in our living,

we do our own thing,
distressed by disaster,

we have no endurance to reconstruct,
seeking our satisfaction,

we trample on promises made earlier,
tickled by trinkets,

we hoard rather than give.


Our spirits thirst and faint –
Pardon us as we return to You,
have mercy as we turn from thoughts and ways,
which are unworthy of You
and lead us into life everlasting,
through Christ our Lord.
Amen


The Lord`s Prayer


Prayers of Intercession


In a world of uncertainty we pray for those who deal with risk –


those in the insurance industry,
protecting individual loss through grouping contributions from many.                       

Those concerned for issues of health and safety,
anticipating and addressing issues to protect from harm.    Those working in healthcare settings,
diagnosing and treating while the risk of infection remains.                                            

Those directing national life,
balancing many factors, may they add integrity to insight and they instruct.


In a world largely unknown we pray for those who are discovering -


Explorers and botanists,                                                    uncovering and describing a still unexplored,

wonderful world,
researchers in life sciences,                                              addressing illness and responding to ever-varying viruses,
engineers and technologists,                                            developing sustainable sources of energy for all,
astronomers and physicists,

looking back to time's beginnings.
Inspire discoveries of more of Your wonderful Creation,

Lord God.


In a world of forced migration, persecution and distress we pray for those who suffer –


people who are in immediate danger of starvation,
through conflict, COVID-19 and climate change.
Lord Jesus, may the fruit of faith
lead to greater sharing of the harvest of the Earth.

Where more than six in ten of the total human population
has received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine,
but only one in ten of those in poorest countries has had one jab,
where infection results in unemployment, missed schooling,
poverty, risk of abuse and untreatable illness –
Lord Jesus, may the fruit of faith
bring the benefit of scientific progress to all.

More than 22 million people in Afghanistan suffer starvation now as a result of poverty, conflict, pandemic and drought,
and are unable to flee and find little support where they are.
Lord Jesus, may the fruit of faith
bring food, warmth, shelter and work.

For Your Church in Your world at this time we pray.
May Your people be enthused to proclaim the Good News of the kingdom.
May new believers be welcomed, taught, baptised and nurtured.
May loving service be our ready response to human need.
May Your people work to transform unjust structures of society,
to challenge violence of every kind,

and to pursue peace and reconciliation.
May we, as Your children,

strive to safeguard the integrity of creation,
and sustain and renew the life of the earth

which You have entrusted to us.

These prayers we offer through Jesus Christ our Lord,        Amen.


Blessing


As we have met, so we part,
yet the glory of God which we gathered to praise
does not cease,                                                         

and the grace of Christ we recognise among us

remains always,                                                                and the Spirit's leading we discern in our fellowship
continues to guide us.


So go to live as the people of God,
and the blessing of God the Source, the Son and the Spirit
be with each of you.
this day, and always.                                                        Amen


PRAYERS FOR SUNDAY MARCH 27TH

FOURTH SUNDAY OF LENT


Call to Worship  (based on Psalm 34)

 

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God,

and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

Bless the Lord at all times. 

Let God's praise rise from your hearts

and be heard on your lips.

When we seek the Lord, He answers us. 

God delivers us from our fears.

Exalt the Lord with me. 

Glorify God's holy name. 

The Lord is good. 

Happy are those who take refuge in our God.

The Lord is near to the broken-hearted. 

God saves those who are humble and contrite in Spirit.

The Lord redeems the life of his servants. 

When those who seek to understand

and do His will, call upon him,

He rescues them from all their troubles.

 

Prayer of Approach

 

Gracious God, we gather before you this day

for many reasons.                                                    

Some of us seek no more than the peace and the fellowship of this sanctuary. 

Some of us are looking for encouragement

as we walk the path that you set before us. 

Others of us are hoping for a word from you, some wisdom,

some sign that will help us through a period of affliction

or show us how to deal with a problem that we have. 

Still others of us are here because we know that it is the right thing to do,

that it helps us and helps our families to grow together in love and understanding. 

Many are the reasons we have for coming before you

at this time O God. 

We ask your blessing upon us

and pray that you will answer the need that is in us

through Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour. 

 

Prayer of Confession

 

Gracious Father,

we acknowledgeand confess before you our sin.

We confess that we are easily led astray by our own desires and that we are reluctant to forgive those who offend us. 

We acknowledge too that we do not always delight in your joy over sinners who repent and that we often regard what we do for you as a burden. 

Forgive us those times when our faith has become a set of rules and regulations and our hope has become dependent on what we do or not do. 

Help us to draw closer to you

and to rejoice when you rejoice

and to weep when you weep.

Through Christ our Lord, restore us to our senses.

Lord have mercy.

 

Assurance of Pardon

 

It is written that "God made Christ, who never sinned,

to be the offering for our sin, so that we could made right with God through Him."                                     

Because of him, "God no longer counts our sins against us."   

Therefore I tell you, your sins are forgiven.                          If you would have the joy and peace promised by Christ,

be thou likewise forgiving. 

Thanks be to God.

Amen

 

The Lord`s Prayer

 

Prayers of Intercession

 

Loving God, we come before you today

aware of how you call us to be like You,

remembering that you made us in your own image,              that you entrusted to us this world and all that is in it,

that you gave to us brothers and sisters,

mothers and fathers, 

people to love and to enjoy and to work for and pray for. 

Help us dear God to remember our own sin before you

and how you forgive it, help us to remember the Cross of Christ, and why he died upon it. 

And make us messengers of your reconciling love,              ambassadors for your kingdom,

people who show forth your grace,

and celebrate with your joy.

Lord hear our prayer.

 

Father and Mother of us all,

we pray today for those of our brothers and sisters

who have misused you and the rest of our family. 

We pray for those who have broken their parent's hearts

and wounded themselves and those around them. 

We pray that they may return home safe and whole.

Lord hear our prayer.

 

We pray too O God for other people

who are upon our hearts this day.

For the father who is very ill,                                              for the daughter who soon will be dwelling in your kingdom,

for the brother who must face consequences of his actions,

for the sister who is living in a house of fear. 

Lord hear our prayer for these and for those whom we hold before you now in our hearts and upon our lips.

Lord hear our prayer.

 

Blessed be your holy name O God,

on account of your holy and redeeming love. 

Amen.

 

Benediction

 

Go in peace.

Love and care for one another in Christ's name; 

and may God so bless you  that all who see you or hear you

feel welcome in your presence;

may the Spirit so touch you

that others are comforted by your words and your actions,

and may Jesus dwell in you so richly

that others are drawn to God by you

both now and forevermore. 

Amen

 

The Grace