Sunday Prayers March 2023

 "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

Listen, hear the sound of the trumpets

and the song of the angels!

The feast is ready; Jesus is here to welcome us.

See the overladen tables, taste the peace and joy.

The feast is ready; Jesus is here to welcome us.

Here is food for the hungry, riches for the poor and paradise for those who follow. 

The feast is ready; Jesus is here to welcome us.


Prayers of Approach and Confession & Assurance of Pardon

Long ago, Eternal Majesty,

You called Abram and Sarah to follow You,

to leave their home, their family,

and all that was known and secure;

we thank You for their faith.


At night, Embodied Word,

Nicodemus came and spoke with You,

seeking to understand the demands You make,

yet not quite risking the commitment;

we understand his reluctance.


In our time, Enlivening Spirit,

You call us to leave our complacency,

to see our world as it really is,

and, through the simple things of bread and wine, 

You transform us. 


Help us, Eternal One,

to hear and respond to Your insistent call.

Forgive us when we hear but don’t follow,

when we turn our ears to other sounds;

when the silent music of Your praise

is overcome with our own noise.

Forgive us when we refuse to analyse the ills of our world,

and when we use complexity as an excuse to do nothing.

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


Assurance of Pardon


Hear, O people, good news!

Whilst we are still far off,

God runs to embrace and welcome us home.

Know you are forgiven,

know you are given time to change;

know you must forgive others

and find the courage to forgive yourself.       



The Lord`s Prayer


Prayers of Intercession

Eternal One, Majesty, Word, Spirit,

we bring to You the needs of our world,

of our nations, of our church and of our own lives,

knowing You hear our prayers,

give us grace and inspire us to make a difference.


O God, ancient, yet ever young,

we remember before you the places of pain in our world,

countries at war, nations in chaos, leaders usurping power,

the poor and the earth itself groaning with pain.

Bring to judgement those who do harm to Your people, Your creation;

bless with your wisdom those who work for peace.


In particular we pray for those on the move this day,

families fleeing war, terror and famine;

youngsters fleeing repression and oppression,

women seeking new lives for themselves and their children;

open our hearts, our wallets and our borders to Your bedraggled people.


O God, embodied in Jesus,

flesh of our flesh, bone of our bone,

we bring to you own nations,

those who can’t afford to pay their bills,

workers no longer earning enough to live,

NHS staff exhausted and trying to care as best they can.

Give us a new understanding, O God,

of the value of universal health care,

of the solidarity and security that it brings,

and eyes to see the effects of policy.


O God, Fire of Love,

we pray for those preparing for baptism this Easter,

that they may see the world as it is,

clearly see what they renounce and affirm,

that the Church, ever young,

will be renewed and our world changed.

Help us, in our congregation, O God,

to give a firmer witness and to live a deeper discipleship.


In a moment’s silence, O God of all compassion,

we remember those we love and worry about,

and our own needs.


Accept, Loving One, all these our prayers

in the name of Jesus,




Closing Prayer


May the One who, through the waters of baptism,

has made you part of the Church,

sustain and strengthen your faith.


May the One who,

through loving kindness,

feeds you with His own self at His own table,

give you the grace to challenge and change our world.


May the One who, in mysterious ways,

has guided the Church throughout the ages,

guide you in your everyday discipleship.



The Grace




Call to worship (based on Psalm 95)

Come let us gather
In the presence of God and one another.

Come let us gather
And worship God our maker

Come let us gather
We open our hearts to God.

Prayers of Thanksgiving and Confession

We thank You, faithful God,
for Your steadfast love –
in the times when we fall down and praise You
and when we're so caught up in our present difficulties
that we forget all that You have provided for us.

We thank You, all-embracing God,
for Your example of inclusion

and breaking down of barriers
for the assurance that we are part of Your beloved creation, and that we are all welcomed into Your family.

Gracious God,
thank You for the hope that comes from endurance
and the knowledge that we are reconciled to You
who loves each one of us beyond our imagining.

God, even when we are far from You
You are gracious to us
and You call us Your children.

When we fall short of Your glory,
be gracious to us
and in Your mercy, forgive us.

When we are weak and give into selfish desires,
be gracious to us
and in Your mercy, forgive us.

When we act as enemies and sow division,

forsaking the way of love,
be gracious to us
and in Your mercy, forgive us.

When we are boastful of anything but You,
be gracious to us
and in Your mercy, forgive us.

The Lord`s Prayer

Prayers of Intercession

As we worship together,
may we know Your presence with us,
inspiring us to worship in Spirit and in truth.

God of the living water,
Bring life, bring love.

There is so much going on
in all of our lives and our communities,
and we bring to you now the situations

that are closest to our hearts.


God of the living water,
Bring life, bring love.

There is so much in the world

that we do not see or hear about,
situations that we can feel disconnected from.
But God, You know all of Your children,
You so loved the world,
that You sent Your only Son.

God of the living water,
Bring life, bring love

Where there are boundaries and barriers that exclude,
meaning that some are left without dignity,
where basic human rights are stripped away
and access to even the most basic of needs is denied.

God of the living water,
Bring life, bring love

Where there is division and differences that cause fear,
when the beauty of diversity

is disfigured by mistrust and partisanship
and Your children are excluded or made to feel worthless.

God of the living water,
Bring life, bring love

Closing Prayer

When waters rage,
God's peace.

When waters still,
God's awakening.

When water is scarce,
God's blessing.

When water flows,
God's grace.


The Grace





Call to Worship

And Jesus said, "Come!"
To all mothers and all children: he said, "Come!"
To the motherless and the childless: he said, "Come!"
To all who long to be mothered: he said, "Come!

Come unto me all ye who labour and are heavy-laden,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
for I am gentle and humble of heart
and you will find rest for your souls."


Prayers Adoration and Confession

Gracious God,

as a mother loves her child so you love us.

For that great truth

we praise and thank you.


We owe our very lives to you.

You have watched over us from our birth,

tenderly nurturing us,

showering us with love.

When we have needed you, you have been there.

For that great truth

we praise and thank you.


You have given us strength in times of need,

comfort in times of distress,

encouragement in times of despair,

guidance in times of uncertainty.

Whatever we have faced, you have been with us.

For that great truth

we praise and thank you.


Gracious God,

we have not always appreciated your love,

all too often ignoring what you would teach us,

disobeying your instructions,

taking you for granted and wandering far from your side.

Yet through it all your love has remained constant.

For that great truth

we praise and thank you.


Gracious God,

caring for us more than you care for yourself,

sacrificing your all for our sakes,

loving us with an unquenchable love,

you have called us to be your children.

For that great truth

we praise and thank you.


Your care sustains us in each moment,

and your compassion guides us in each situation.

When we fall, you lift us,

when we fail you restore us,

When we are wounded, you nurse us,

when we grieve, you weep with us.


But we have failed to love as you do,

we have abused our bodies and those of others,

we have filled our minds with selfish dreams,

and violent plans,

we have made our hearts cold and empty of compassion,

we have forgotten our spirits,

and distorted your image within us.


As a mother disciplines her children,

we ask you to discipline us;

As a mother forgives the sons and daughters who hurt her,

we ask you to forgive us;


As a mother calls her children

to be reconciled with their siblings,

we ask you to lead us to reconciliation with one another.

In Christ's Name.



The Lord`s Prayer


Prayers of Intercession


Loving God, you who are both Mother and Father to us,    in this time of prayer we thank you for your love.

We thank you for Jesus who taught us of your all-encompassing parents’ love; the love that waits with anxiety for us to return home; the love that also runs down the road to gather us in your arms; the love that searches until we are found; that loved us so much you sent us Jesus.


We thank you that we are your children, called by name, called even before we were formed in our mother’s womb, called into your world-wide family, where there is such diversity, such individuality, such creativity, such beauty.


We ask that rejoicing in the diversity of humankind, we might always love as Jesus loved us; that we might always appreciate others of different faith and cultures, asking pardon for the times when we have failed you in love.


Remembering the world-wide family we are so much part of, we pray for places around the world…


We give you thanks for our own families, remembering especially our own mothers or those who stood in her place who took care of us, who met our needs, not only nurturing our bodies, but also in love and security. For the love of those who are still with us and for the love that is in your nearer presence we give you thanks.


For mothers at the start of the adventure of motherhood that you will give them all they need.


For mothers who are stretched in patience and love, who find things hard, with too much to do and not enough time to it, with babies who don’t sleep, or children with special gifts, running out of energy and patience.


For mothers whose children do not have clean water, or enough food to eat, or proper medication;


For mothers experiencing miscarriage or babies still born, or those unable to have children, that their motherly natures would be used in nurturing others.


Loving God, in You we find life, health, and strength. Through Your gifts we have everything we need and so we bring our offerings to you.

Take them and use them

and use our all our good intentions

for the growth of your kingdom on earth.

In Jesus’ name, 



The Dismissal


As a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you” 

(Isa. 66:13).

Go now in the comfort and peace of the One who gave birth to us.

Go in the assurance that the Comforter is with us always.

Go to give comfort and peace to others.


The Blessing


May the Lord who brought us to birth by his Spirit,

strengthen us for the Christian life.

May the Lord who provides for all our needs

sustain us day by day.

May the Lord whose steadfast love is constant as a mother's care,

send us out to live and work for others.


And the blessing of God Almighty.

the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,

be with you and remain with you always.




Gathering Prayer

We watch and wait for You, God our maker.
Bring hope!

We watch and wait for You, Lord Jesus Christ.
Bring love!

We watch and wait for You, Spirit of God.
Breathe life!


Prayers of Thanksgiving and Confession

God of the valley of dry bones,
we thank You that there is life after death.
That with You there is always the hope of resurrection.

God of the tomb and friend of Lazarus,
We thank You that You call us out of dead spaces,
To live in fullness and to go with You to the heights and the depths.

God of Hope
You are the only one with the power to resurrect that which is dead or dying.
We thank You, that You do not leave us alone before tomb,
but You stay with us, You weep and grieve and mourn with us.
When healing means death – You wait.
When death brings opportunity for new birth – you watch with us
and You call us to respond, with Your everlasting love as our support.

When we set our mind to flesh, forgive us O God,
and re-orientate us to see the way of the Spirit, of life, and of peace.

When we make decisions that divide and dehumanise,
when we support systems of oppression through our silence or sponsorship,
when we choose these ways of flesh and death,
Come Spirit and bring life and peace.

When we act without compassion or consideration,
when we make no room for the needs of others, seeking only selfish desire,
when we choose these ways of flesh and death,
Come Spirit and bring life and peace.

When we speak words of hatred and discord,
when we condemn or misrepresent with unwise words and narratives,
when we choose these ways of flesh and death,
Come Spirit and bring life and peace.

Help us look to Your resurrecting love.                                                                                      Amen


The Lord`s Prayer


Prayers of Intercession

Loving God,
You are with us and You do not leave us.
In our grieving and despairing You are attentive to our cry.
In our waiting and watching You are with us.

God, in Your steadfast love we anchor our hope.

We pray for all who find themselves in the depths –
whether it is despair, or debt, or too much work and too little time,
whatever their circumstance and need,

God of hope,
Breathe Your life and peace.

for all who find themselves waiting, wondering about what next –
whether it is a choice about next steps, worrying about their next pay cheque or meal,
whatever their circumstance and need,

God of hope,
Breathe Your life and peace.

for all who find themselves watching, perhaps feeling bound,
whether it is a fear of stepping out, or of moving on,
whatever their circumstance and need,

God of hope,
Breathe Your life and peace.

You care for all Your children.
And so we wait and think of all those who are journeying from death to life,
from grief to healing, from despair to hope.
There are those we recognise on the journey,
and so many that we do not know or cannot yet see.
Whatever their circumstance and need,

God of hope,
Breathe Your life and peace.                                            Amen



God of the living and of the dead,
unbind us and call us forth into Your world
to live by Your Spirit,
rejecting the ways of death
and instead,
conforming to the way of the Spirit,
May we bring life and peace                                            to wherever we are sent.


The Grace









Minister ~ Rev Alan Kennedy 07733153203 01612703296