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A Member Church of the Congregational Federation

A Member Church of Walkden & District Churches Together




PRAYERS FOR SUNDAY MAY 2ND                                      THE FIFTH SUNDAY OF EASTER

 

Prayers of Approach

As we focus our minds,
it is easy for our minds to shoot off
in so many directions.
We find it hard to slow down,
to remove all the clutter
and concentrate on You, Lord.
In the stillness of this place,
this time,
take from us the strain and stress
as we feel ourselves rest in Your eternal love,
in the everlasting arms.
Then quietly,
the small beginnings of praise well up
as we remember
what we have in Jesus Christ.
That we have one who is with us,
who guides and strengthens us.
Who holds us through every storm of life
who leads us to everlasting life.

We confess that sometimes the storms we endure
are of our own making.
A foolish word,
a thoughtless comment,

a misguided action,
a quick judgement.
Then we have to live with the consequences,
and the guilt.
Take all that stress from us too
and replace it with Your forgiveness and peace.
Heavenly Father,
in Your hands we are safe and secure –
we rejoice in Your eternal love
and all sufficient grace.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen

The Lord`s Prayer

 
Prayers of Intercession

Jesus Christ, the true vine,
in our need
we come to You,
in weakness,
needing Your strength
for we too easily become dry and lifeless
without Your life-giving spirit.
Jesus Christ, the true vine,
teach us to remain in You
and so to find Your life flowing in us
giving strength and vigour to our discipleship.
And as we come closer to You
our lives are drawn closer to others.
Our minds turn to images of violence we have seen
on the news in places of fear and terror,

to where people are at loggerheads,
over race, religion, land, power.
Our thoughts turn to Christians
living with persecution
who face danger, simply for being linked to You.
Father, prune back all that stands in the way of peace.
Our thoughts turn to people
in leadership and power –                             

who have decisions to make over the economy

and people whose jobs and livelihood will be affected.

We pray for our nation, and its leaders.

May changes and choices be shaped by the values of the kingdom.

On our hearts are people in need in our church and community.

Wherever hearts are breaking …

bodies are failing …

minds are confused …

families are ruptured …

Lord, come with Your help and healing.

Here, too, as Your church gathered today,

we give thanks for the saints of the past

and the fruit they have borne in our community and beyond.

Like them, help us to remain in You

that we may be fruitful

and bring glory to Your name.

Through Jesus Christ, the true vine.

Amen.

 
The Grace

 

 

PRAYERS FOR SUNDAY MAY 9TH                                        THE SIXTH SUNDAY OF EASTER

Call to Worship

Come and celebrate our common home.

We gather with the family of humanity.

The mountains, islands and deserts.

We honour the glory of God in creation.

The lakes, rivers and seas

We come to the source of living water.

With the land, its soil, seeds and sustenance.

We give thanks for God’s generous provision.

With the forests of great trees, the lungs of the planet.

We will sing with joy and clap our hands.

We join with the whole of creation,

inspired by those who have gone before

and the prophetic voices of today.

We dare to praise and pray for another possible world.   

Amen


Prayer of Confession

For the beauty of the Earth

desecrated by pollution, extinguished by forest fires, 

choked by plastic waste,

Christ, our God, forgive us for systemic greed.

For the urgency of this hour,

ignored by apathy or procrastination

wasted by ineffective decisions and denied by economic interests,

Christ, our God and Saviour, 

forgive us for selfish short-term behaviour.

For the joy of human love,

fractured by forced migration, crushed by bereavement,

lost to typhoons, floods and starvation.

Christ, our God, bringer of justice, forgive us for this climate crisis.

Amen.



The Lord`s Prayer

 Prayers of Thanksgiving and Intercession

God of abundant life,

we see Your goodness all around us 

and we thank You for every part of it:

from the plants and animals 

which play their part in complex ecosystems,

to the dry deserts and stormy seas which test the limits of life.

We pray that in this time of climate crisis and ecological emergency, 

You may help us to rediscover Your love of creation 

and to reflect that in our own lives.

 

God, in Your mercy,     

hear our prayer.

 

God who speaks through unexpected people,

We thank You for contemporary prophets

who are challenging us to act on climate change;

for indigenous people and their invaluable knowledge

of the land and sea where they live,

for scientists dedicating their careers to warning us

about changes to the planet,

and for young people striking for their future.

We pray that You will help those in power 

to hear their prophetic voices.

Help them to see beyond short-term political priorities 

and business plans.

Give them wisdom and courage when they face difficult decisions.

 

God, in Your mercy 

hear our prayer.

 

God of second chances,

we recognise the damage we have done to the Earth

and the injustice we see in society every day,

fuelled by worship of profit and possessions.

We pray for the coming of a better world

with justice, kindness and humility at its heart.

We ask that You guide us to be co-creators of this new world.

Give us confidence to follow the prophetic voices,

to stand against injustice to people and to planet.

So that together, in Your strength,

we stop this climate crisis.

 

God, in Your mercy                                                   

hear our prayer.   

                                                                              

Amen.

 

The Blessing

May God bless us with wonder at creation’s glory.

May God bless us with fury at creation’s spoiling.

May God bless us with courage at this critical hour.

And may the blessing of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,

Rest upon us and on all creation,

This day and for the future to come.                                  

Amen.

 
Christian Aid Week Prayer

Great God, Who makes the sun to rise, and opens the heavens, 

Hear the cry of the people Who sow in hope for rain, 

but reap only despair,

Hear the cry of the people

Seeking shelter from the storm, their hopes and homes submerged

Hear the cry of the people.

When creation is hitting back, with rage and resistance

Give us hope, grant us salvation,

Give us a new relationship with creation

With reverence to tend this gift from You

And say once again of the earth and all you created

It is good.                                                                                         

Amen

 

PRAYERS FOR SUNDAY MAY 16TH                                      ASCENSION SUNDAY

 

Call to Worship for Ascension Sunday


A new day has begun.

Hope wins!

A fresh start is granted.

Faith wins!

Today you have the opportunity to do something new.

Hope wins!

Christ is entering your life in a new way.

Faith wins!

Come, let us worship God, who is inviting us into life in a new way, 

a way that transcends death, a way of hope and faith.

Love wins!

Let us worship Christ, who overcame death to give us new life!

 

Prayers of Adoration and Confession


Lord Jesus, preaching good tidings to the people,

proclaiming release to captives,

setting at liberty those who are bound:

We adore you.

Lord Jesus, friend of the outcast and the poor,

feeder of the hungry,

healer of the sick:

We adore you.

Lord Jesus, denouncing the oppressor,

exposing the hypocrite,

overcoming evil with good:

We adore you.

Lord Jesus, pattern of gentleness,

teacher of holiness,

prophet of the kingdom:

We adore you.

Lord Jesus, dying to save us from our sin,

rising to give us eternal life,

ascending to prepare our heavenly home:

We adore you.

Almighty and loving God, you loved the world so much that you gave

your only Son to be our Saviour. 

You allowed him to empty himself of his heavenly glory 

and become a suffering servant. 

Yet by your grace we have beheld his glory, 

such glory as befits the Father's only Son, full of grace and truth.

Almighty God,  

we confess that we have our eyes set in the clouds

instead of on the earth You have given us.                             

We desire heavenly treasure 

but we keep believing that worldly means will help us attain it.   

Forgive us for our short sightedness.          

Draw us away from the temptations      

to seek worldly power and measures of success, 

and call us to the down-to-earth message of Your love,     

to care for the needs of those around us.       

You have called us through scripture 

to care for the widows and orphans among us;     

help us to see all those who are left out by society and are in need. 

Help us to break down the dividing walls that we have placed,    

so that we may truly be one,  

as You and Christ are one.                                                      

For it is in Christ’s name we pray.


Assurance of Pardon


We were made by God, brought forth from the earth, 

the earth that was called good when God created it.    

Your very being is good. 

You are blessed, earth-born,  

and called forth to care for the earth and all who dwell in it.  

Go, know that you are forgiven and loved

by the God who made the earth, and made you,  

and share the Good News.                                            

Amen.


 
The Lord`s Prayer

 
Prayers of Intercession


You are free, Lord,

your Ascension has set you free:

free from the constraints of human existence,

outside the limitations of time and space;

free to be here with us now,

in our worship and fellowship;

and free to be with us always;

for in your freedom

you have bound yourself to us with a promise:

“Lo! I am with you always even to the very end of time.”

We pray, Lord, for those who need to feel you close,

who need the assurance of your love,

the encouragement of your Spirit. [Silence]

 We pray for those who are persecuted,

who are discriminated against,

who are mocked because of their faith or race, 

sexuality or social standing. [Silence]


We pray for those who are imprisoned,

who are tortured,

who are exiled,

because they have fought, struggled and spoken out

for the rights of their people.[Silence]

We pray for those who are destitute,

who are hungry,

who are refugees,

because of the selfishness and apathy of the world. [Silence]

We pray for those who are filled with guilt,

who are broken-hearted, who are perplexed,

because a relationship has gone wrong. [Silence]

We pray for those who are feeling fed up,

who are in discomfort,

who are afraid, 

because they are ill in body, mind or spirit.[Silence]

We pray for those who are numbed,

who are angry,

who are desolate,

because they have been bereaved. [Silence]

We pray for those caught up in war,

and violence,

and hatred;

especially the innocent victims of these evils. [Silence]

We pray at this time of financial turmoil,

for those who have lost jobs,

those who struggle to pay bills,

and those who have the power to affect positive change. [Silence]

Be with us all, Lord:

in all our daily struggles as we seek to follow you.

Be with us all, Lord:

in our periods of doubt and despair;

and in our times of happiness, health and loving.

Be with us all, Lord:

until that time

when in your in your Kingdom of Love

our joy will know no end.                                                                  

Amen.

The Grace

 


PRAYERS FOR SUNDAY MAY 23RD                                      PENTECOST SUNDAY

 

Call to worship - Psalm 104:


31 May the glory of the LORD endure forever; may the LORD rejoice in his works–
32 who looks on the earth and it trembles, who touches the mountains, and they smoke.
33 I will sing to the LORD as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have being.


Gathering prayer


May the exuberant Spirit of God, bursting with the brightness of flame into the coldness of our lives warm us with a passion for justice and beauty.

May the exuberant Spirit of God, sweeping us out of the dusty corners of our apathy breathe vitality into our struggles for change.

May the exuberant Spirit of God, speaking words that leap over barriers of mistrust convey messages of truth and new understanding.

May the exuberant Spirit of God, flame, wind, speech; burn, breathe, speak in us; filling our world with justice and joy. Amen


Approach to God


“The heavens are telling the glory of God. The wonder of his work displays the firmament.”

Let us join with the heavens in wonder, to marvel at creation and to praise God, our Creator who both creates and sustains, and in every generation gives new life to the earth.

With awe, humility and gratitude, we worship our God, who, amidst the vastness of creation, still reassures us that the ‘very hairs of our head are counted’.

But in the presence of such grandeur and such Love, we do not always know how we ought to pray. We give thanks for the Spirit who makes our pleas to God in ways words cannot express.

On this day of Pentecost, we delight in the Holy, sprightly Spirit of God, dancing among us, filling the world with joyful possibility, revealing the music of the Creator.

We rejoice at the Spirit’s daring spontaneity and find ourselves caught off guard by her unexpected communications.

In a world that can seem predictable, the Spirit sparks into being new possibilities; inspiring us to forgive ourselves for past mistakes, freeing us from our bondage to past wrong.

In a world that can seem drab, the Spirit weaves ever-changing patterns in the fabric of our being.

In a world that can be hostile, mediating love, building a path from loneliness to conviviality, from antagonism to co-operation.

In a world that appears purposeless, the Spirit’s vitality shouts out a mighty ‘yes’ to life and declares the source of all living to be in the One in whom we all live, move and have our being.


Prayer of Confession


We call to mind our contrition for the state of our world in the presence of the Pardoning God, Sender of the Spirit, and Spirit. In our sorrow may we meet forgiveness pouring out on us even before we have thought and spoken and prayed and wept. So, when creation is defiled; when homes are broken by war and violence; when oppressed people long to overthrow the tyranny of the greedy and powerful, may we be assured that love prevails in individual hearts all along.


A prayer of affirmation.


May our need for blessing bring us into the nearer presence of the Comforter God, Sender of the Spirit, and Holy Spirit.

May our weakness be filled by strength from beyond our own resources because we try to follow Jesus’ way in faith and commitment.                                                              So, when we try to do the right thing, we are reminded that Spirit works for good through our lives all along.                  When we muster all our courage in the face of our fears, the Spirit calms the fears of the world all along.                        When we wake up tomorrow and do not relish that day,   the Spirit is ahead of us walking through the cool of the evening with the troubles of the day vanquished all along.  We offer these prayers in the name of Jesus Christ, who promised that Spirit to his disciples.


Prayers of Intercession


On the day when we celebrate the Churches founding,          let us pray for her work across Christ’s world, in places whose stories we know and in places we can only leave to the knowledge of the heart of God.                                    And especially we remember those places where those who confess Jesus as their Saviour are still persecuted for His sake.                                                                            May they know the emboldening power of the Spirit of Pentecost and the loving assurance of the Comforter.


We pray for the Church in our land, for the Congregational Federation and all denominations that share her mission in cities, towns, villages and countryside.                                May they be guided by the Spiri and discern God’s will for the Church’s future and her witness.


[Some may wish to add prayers reflecting matters of concern – or celebration – in their own congregation or community.]


We pray for those experiencing illness in body or in mind,    and for those who practice the healing arts of medicine and nursing. We remember families and communities emerging from pandemic still feeling the pain of loss of loved ones.      May they experience God’s love and comfort through our actions and our words.

 

And as we pray for those whose are feeling despair through the loss of employment or opportunity, we also pray that despite our feebleness we, with the assurance of the Spirit, may bring hope through the practical resolve of the church to bring healing and renewal.


Let us pray that in this land and in the world, the Spirit will inspire and raise up women and men, young and old, to dream dreams and share a vision of a world where oppression is defeated by justice, where anxiety is vanquished by hope.

Where creation is cherished and the earth’s resources are harvested responsibly for a just sharing.               

Where people everywhere will not be judged by the colour of their skin, or their gender or their creed or their orientation but by the content of their character.    

Where hate is overcome by love,                                        and where the ‘earth will be filled with the knowledge          of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.’                                                                                              All this we ask through Christ Jesus, our Lord,                    Amen.


The Grace

 


PRAYERS FOR SUNDAY MAY 30TH                                    TRINITY SUNDAY


Call to Worship (from Psalm 29)


Let us give to the Lord the glory of His name;

We shall worship God in holy splendour

His voice thunders over the waters and shakes the wilderness;

All in his church cry ‘Glory!’;

May God give us strength;

Let us seek his blessing of peace


Prayers of Thanksgiving and Confession                             


Loving God, this time, these moments are precious – set apart from all that we have to do in our lives,
A haven where we can seek together the grace you freely give, God the Father,
The peace of Jesus your Son,
And unity amongst each other, to draw near as brothers and sisters in Christ through the Holy Spirit.

God our Father, as You bring light into darkness
And hope to our world.
As Your son Jesus bring comforts to those suffering
And a full life for all.

As the Holy Spirit brings joy to our hearts
And everyday miracles of change in our world.
We come to worship You and to offer our praise.

As we look towards a life where we can live more openly as restrictions ease from the pandemic, we offer our gratitude for the strength You have given us to persevere through all the hardships of the past year, and praise You for the prospect of new beginnings.                                              We thank You, Lord God, that You have always come to Your people in the past, for Your presence and guidance through centuries of faithful worship and service in the churches of our land:
You have led generations through the wilderness that life can be,
When they have been lost, You have searched for them,
When they have been in deepest struggle and exile,            You have brought them back home,
For Your love and commitment to all people which stays so close, we praise You, God.

We thank You, God, that You come to us now in our lives      as we look ahead once more,
In worship, You speak to us,
In our journey through life, You go with us,
When we look for a way, we can see it in Your son Jesus,
For Your love which calls us to follow, we praise You, God.

We give thanks, God, for the times when You will come to us in the future,
When our lives are troubled, You will be there for us,
Your promises will remain, You will hold us fast,
Your son Jesus will give us the strength, peace and comfort to go on,
For Your love which holds us forever, we praise You God.

Lord, for the times when we have ignored the path that You have laid for us, when we have rejected Your promises of change, forgiveness and hope, when we have spurned Your generous hospitality,
For the times when we have been too busy to do the right thing, in Your name, even though we know we should have,
For the times when we’ve made excuses rather than act,
Forgive us Lord.

We are but sometime sinners and ragged saints,
Help us to be renewed and refreshed once more, to rejoice again in You,
To live every day as a step forward,
Living our lives always in Your light,
And to spark that light to shine again in church and nation.
We offer You these prayers in the name of Jesus, our saviour who lived and died for us,                                      Amen.


The Lord`s Prayer


Prayers of Intercession                                                   


We are a world that is desperate for You, God.

When powers struggle for dominance,
and war, oppression and abuse result;
When groups of people oppose one another
because of ideology, religion or culture;
We need a God who is bigger than ourselves,
and our personal interests.


(Prayer may be offered for specific areas of conflict in the world.)


When people are disregarded and devalued
because of poverty, geography or disease;
When compassion and justice is withheld to some
because of sexuality, race or gender;
We need a Saviour who is more compassionate than we are
who includes even those we would exclude.


(Prayer may be offered for specific people and places of suffering in the world.)


When resources are mismanaged and abused,
and the world and its creatures are destroyed;
When motivation is scarce and creativity is in short supply
to address the challenges that we face;
We need a Spirit who is more powerful and more creative
than we could ever be.


(Prayer may be offered for specific issues that we struggle with in the world.)


Lord God, Loving Saviour, Empowering Spirit,
we offer You these prayers
because we need You so desperately.
Captivate us, call us and fill us,
that we may be carriers of Your eternal life
to this world that You love so dearly.                                  Amen.


Closing Responses (from Isaiah 6:1-8)


Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts;

The whole earth is full of His glory.

We were lost and distant from God;

But the Lord has forgiven you.

Whom shall God now send?

Here are we, Lord, let us hear Your voice calling us.

 

Benediction


As we walk onward with God, Three in One,   

May we be called once more to faith by our rock and redeemer,                                                                        God the Father,

Sent again to meet the need of the world through our Lord and Saviour,                                                                      Jesus the Son,

And inspired anew by the gusting winds of our restless provoker,                                                                        the Holy Spirit,


And may the blessing of God Almighty,                                Father, Son and Holy Spirit,                                                be upon each one of us,                                                    and everyone whom we love,                                            this day and for evermore.                                                Amen.