Sunday Prayers Archive November -December 2023

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


 

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SUNDAY PRAYERS ALL SAINTS NOVEMBER 5TH


Call to Worship


Come, worship the God of Christ, who gathers the poor of the earth, who wipes away the tears of sorrow, who gives inheritance to the meek, who satisfies the hunger of the just.

Come, worship the God of Christ, who gives mercy to the merciful, who gives vision to the pure in heart, who adopts the peacemakers, who lifts high the persecuted.

Come, worship the God of Christ, who finds the lost and awakens the dead.

Come and worship!


Prayers of Thanksgiving and Confession


O Lord our God,

We thank you for the many people throughout the ages

Who have followed your way of life joyfully:

For the many saints and martyrs, men and women,

Who have offered up their very lives, so that your life abundant may become manifest.

For your love and faithfulness we will at all times praise you.


O Lord, we thank you for those who chose the way of Jesus Christ.

In the midst of trial, they held out hope,

In the midst of hatred, they kindled love;

In the midst of persecutions, they witnessed to your power;

In the midst of despair, they clung to your promise.

For your love and faithfulness we will at all times praise you.


O Lord, we thank you for the truth they passed on to us:

That it is by giving that we receive;

It is by becoming weak that we shall be strong;

It is by loving others that we shall be loved;

It is by offering ourselves that your kingdom shall unfold;

It is by dying that we shall inherit life everlasting.

Lord, give us courage to follow your way of life.

For your love and faithfulness we will at all times praise you.


Lord Jesus, you taught us that in Your kingdom,

“Blessed are the poor in spirit” —

but we have been rich in pride.


“Blessed are those who mourn” —

but we have not known much sorrow for our sin.


“Blessed are the meek” —

but we are rebellious by nature.


“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness” —

but we have great desire for evil and little longing for Your true goodness.


“Blessed are the merciful” —

but we are harsh and impatient.


“Blessed are the pure in heart” —

but we have impure hearts.


“Blessed are the peacemakers” —

but we have not sought reconciliation.


“Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness” 

but our lives do not challenge the world. “


Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you

and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me” 

but we have hardly made it known that we are yours.


Lord, have mercy on us and forgive us all of our sins.

Renew us and lead us by your Holy Spirit

so that we may seek first your kingdom and Your righteousness

and walk joyfully in the way of Your blessing.


Assurance of Pardon


Behold:

there is a new heaven, a new earth and a new city,

where the river of life flows,

where the tree of life bears fruit in every season.

This heaven, this city, this river, this tree are a vision of your life

reborn, restored, and renewed.


Thanks be to God!


Amen.



The Lord`s Prayer



Prayers of Intercession


O God, Heavenly Father: we thank you today for calling us your saints. In spite of our unholy lives you look at us and see Jesus’ perfect life and death covering ours. Thank you for this grace, the grace we received when we were baptised.


Thank you for every Christian who has helped us on our journey and encouraged us to keep believing when we felt like giving up. Thank you for all those who taught us the faith. Thank you for those who made the ultimate sacrifice of their lives to ensure others could hear of your love in Christ.


We remember the saints in heaven. Thank you for releasing them from the burden of sin and death in this life and for keeping your promise to them. We especially remember those from our community who have passed away in the past year.Give comfort to all those who grieve over loved ones no longer with us on earth. Give them the hope only your word can offer us.


We pray for your church on earth, that it may remain faithful to the apostles' teaching and that it will strive for unity. We pray for all Christians, especially those under persecution, that they may imitate the martyrs in bold witness to the gospel.


We pray for those who are not yet part of your church and for those who have left it, asking your spirit to convince them of your love for them in Jesus. And we pray for the enemies of the church, and those who curse your saints.


Bring peace to those nations in conflict and where there is political instability. Protect those who are poor and hungry and give them hope. Move those with plenty to share with those who have little. Help all people to love their neighbour as themselves.


God of life, we give thanks for the love you have shown to the world through all your saints, and we celebrate our continuing communion with them whenever we worship. We look forward to being part of the crowd around your throne in heaven on the last day. Keep us looking to Jesus and help us to keep giving a clear witness to him, living the holy lives you have called us to live by the power of the Holy Spirit.

In Jesus holy name we pray.

Amen.


The Dismissal


God invites us into his future,

where the one who makes all things new

has made his home among us.

We are called and chosen,

together embraced by the God in whom tears, mourning,

crying, pain and even death will be no more.

Remember God’s future, for this is our story.


Our Lord says, “See, I am coming soon!”

and we respond, “Come, Lord Jesus!”

Amen.


The Grace



PRAYERS FOR REMEMBRANCE SUNDAY NOVEMBER 12TH


Prayers of Approach, Thanksgiving and Confession


Gather us into Your presence, God of peace.
We trust that Your vision for the world –
the great creation of Your imagination,
entrusted to us as a place for our flourishing –
is still there behind all the challenges of our lives.


We come today remembering that even in the darkest of days,
Your flame of hope and new life flickers
drawing us on to find the good
and to illuminate the world with Your Gospel of love.


Eternal God
You forget nothing.
All the days and events which have been lived
were done so under Your ever-loving and all-seeing eye.

You have journeyed with us and with our forebears,
and so while we must take the time to consciously remember,
You do so without forgetting a moment that has been.


We give thanks this day for Your faithfulness to Your people in every land and age,
for Your presence with them in the dark days that they have faced,
and we come to praise You that no matter what challenge lies before us,
You have promised to be with us.

We give thanks for all the good in our lives.
On this day, we hold with gratitude                                            the service of those who are peacemakers
in their service of our country.
We are grateful for a vision                                                          that will hold the darker forces of our humanity in check
with an ethos of cooperation, harmony and mutual flourishing.


We pray for the dedicated service of our armed forces in all the generations, remembering especially those who still remain with us from the Second World War and subsequent conflicts.

We thank You for their testimony

which reminds us of the tragedy of conflict.
Help us to hear it
even as we honour the sacrifices made in search of the good.


On this day when we are drawn together from many backgrounds,
and with faith flickering, strong, or with no faith,
we thank You that there are times and causes
around which we can all rally for the common good.
Help us to find that common ground more,
and to work through our differences.


May the example of Jesus, His boundary-crossing life,
His open-hearted embrace of all peoples,
be the inspiration for our weary and wounded world.

In scripture, Your faithful people                                                  have penned the dreams and challenges of our deepest thinkers,
our most creative and perceptive voices.
So we give thanks for the people who will look at our world
and will be the dreamers.
We pray too for the fixers:
for the people who will take the dreams and make them reality.
So we hold before You all of our leaders,
praying for tenacity, energy, and an open-eyed, open-hearted vision for our communities and the world.

We live in You, the great mystery of our being
which is beyond our understanding –
yet revealed – in the life, death, and resurrection of Your Son.
You are there underpinning our lives,
offering to us all that we need to live well.


All too often we grasp after our prosperity and our safety,
building walls of self-sufficiency,
storing up great resources in the barns of our nation,
finding "the other" and difference to be a threat to us.
We fall into ways of war when Your ways are ways of peace.

On this day of Remembrance,
when we pay tribute to those who have given so much
when war became the way,
we confess the faults of nations who have gone to war
and missed Your ways of peace,
and hold all of this before You now.


Assurance of Pardon


God of all,
Your ways are of mercy,
Your heart is for reconciliation,
so help us to accept the hand of forgiveness that You offer.
Help us to leave behind what has weighed us down,
to seek the ways of friendship and peace,
and to trust that You want the best for us.
Bring us the peace of being part of Your offering of forgiveness,
and to embrace our role of being peacemakers

in the course of our ordinary lives.       

Amen


The Lord`s Prayer


Prayers of Intercession


God of peace
We come this day in solemn remembrance and prayerful witness
to the courage, self-sacrifice and devotion to duty of those who have given of themselves in service to others.


We remember those who lost their lives                                      and the grieving families and friends they left behind.

We remember also those who came home                                    but who lost something of themselves on fields of battle.
Those who lost limb, or reason, or sense of self.

We pray that Your comfort will be known                                      by all who have seen the realities and dangers of war.

Ease the pain of those who grieve,
bring renewal to those whose health in body or mind

has been diminished.


We seek Your blessing upon members of our Armed Forces            and upon their families.
Grant to them safety in the fulfilment of their duties,
defend them as they face dangers of many kinds,
and grant to them wisdom and courage                                        as they work for peace and justice in our lifetimes.


We remember those who faced and continue to face                      significant challenge at home.
For families torn apart by war,
for those forced to leave the familiar

and seek safety and refuge elsewhere.
For those whose homes have been destroyed,
or who cannot return due to dangers caused by conflict.


We pray for lands where neighbours have become enemies,
where brothers have picked up weapons against one another
and we seek Your reconciliation and peace.
We give thanks for the times and places                                        where we can see seeds of peace growing.


We pray that Your Church will speak out with passion                    for the sake of those who are voiceless.                                                                                                Save us from silence or complacency and inspire us by Your Holy Spirit to prepare the way of the Lord today, and always.                                                                                                                We pray these things in the name of Christ,

Amen


The Blessing


God grant to the living - grace,                                                    to the departed - rest,                                                                to the Church, the King,

the Commonwealth and all people,                                              unity, peace and concord,                                                            and to us and all God’s servants, life everlasting;                        and the blessing of God almighty,                                                the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,                                        be among you and remain with you always.                                  Amen.



SUNDAY PRAYERS FOR NOVEMBER 19TH

SECOND SUNDAY BEFORE ADVENT


Call to Worship

 

We come to worship God, not because we fear God,                      but because we love God.                                                            We come to worship God not because God demands it,                  but because we choose to.                                                          Lift your hearts and minds beyond life’s day-to-day                        to worship our eternal and constant God.

 

Loving God

we gather today in deep expectation of encountering you.

We pray that the Spirit moves us to hearing and seeing,

so that your Word enters our hearts and minds

and burns within us with your passion

for justice, peace, faith, hope and love for the whole world.            Amen.

 

Prayers of Adoration & Confession

 

Creator God, we marvel at the wonders of your creation!

You have painted the sky with sun rises and sun sets,

you scattered the universe with stars and planets

so that we can be awestruck by your creative force.

You pay attention to each and every living creature,

no matter it’s size or assumed importance, including us.

 

You call us your children and made us the stewards of your work.

You taught us how to live, and how to move through the world      sharing love with others.

We thank you for taking such an interest in our lives,

for carrying us through the difficult days

and walking alongside us through the days of celebration and joy.

 

We know, God of All Creation,

that we have abused the responsibility of stewardship                    you have placed on us.

We have treated the world as if it were ours to use and misuse.

We have brought about the destruction of animals                      and environmental systems,

we have plundered our oceans, rainforests

and raided the earth beneath our feet for coal, gas, oil and wood.

We have exacerbated climate change.

We have bought into fast-fashion, fast-food, and fast-living,

all of which prevents us from loving our neighbours

and hearing the poor, oppressed and marginalised

as they cry out for justice and freedom.


Forgive us for not being the stewards and people

that you call us to be.

Unchain us so that we can become the Jesus followers

you have called us to be in the world.                                          Amen.

 

Assurance of Pardon

 

Hear the Good News                                                                    God has forgiven our sins through Jesus Christ! Alleluia!

Let us receive forgiveness,

embrace hope,                                                                            accept grace

and respond in faith and love.                                                      Amen.

 

The Lord`s Prayer

 

Prayers of Intercession

 

Loving God, you have called us to be in the world,     

to share the joys and sorrows of others

and to work and pray for the world.                                             

We come before you now praying for the world.

 

We pray for areas of the world where there is conflict,

for the people involved and the innocents

who become victims and cannon fodder.

We ask that the driving forces behind these conflicts;

greed, power, control and oppression of “the other” end

and that your peace and reconciliation come over those areas. Bring your healing and wholeness to all of those who have been affected by conflict.

 

We pray for refugees and migrants who have been forced to flee their homelands due to oppression and safety concerns.                Lead them to new homes and help us to welcome and embrace them, giving them the fresh start they need

to heal and build new lives.

 

We pray for the sick, that the medical staff around them                are able to use their skills to help heal them.                           

We bring before you those who will not be healed,                        we ask that you bring them and their loved ones to a wider wholeness and bring them comfort and peace.                                                                                                                              We pray for those who have lost friends and family,                      hold them in their time of grief and loss,                                      and surround them with people who can ease their sadness.

 

We pray for those who are lost and confused,                                those who are struggling to find purpose in their life.                    Place people and experiences in their lives to help them move towards their purpose, giving them more abundant lives.

 

We pray for those who are activists, community advocates and creators of social change and transformation, fill them with passion, tempered with awareness and self-care so that they do not burn out or become despondent to the uphill journey.

 

We pray for those in leadership, in the Church,                              from deacons and ministers to general secretaries and presidents  and in society, from local councillors to heads of state.                  Bless them with wisdom, courage, and a sense of duty                  to those whom they work on behalf of.                                        Help them be the examples of true servanthood that our world needs now and not to put their own interests ahead of those they represent.


These and all our prayers,

we bring before you in Jesus`name,     

Amen.

 

The Dismissal

 

Go now, back into the world,

to walk with Jesus day-by-day,

sharing the good news of the Gospel.

May God’s Spirit fill you and change you.

May you burn with a fire to be part of God’s Kingdom building.

 

The Grace



SUNDAY PRAYERS FOR NOVEMBER 26TH

CHRIST THE KING


Call to Worship

 

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth.
Serve the Lord with gladness;
come into his presence with singing.

Know that the Lord I It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people and the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him; bless his name.

For the Lord is good;
his steadfast love endures forever
and his faithfulness to all generations.



Prayers of Approach and Confession

 

Gracious and loving God,

we are your people,

we find ourselves loved and free.

We see the wonder of your love all around us, each and every day.

We see your love in relationships, in creation,

in kind acts and in each other.

We are blessed by you in so many ways.

We experience your love in our lives,

your hope in our hearts and your inspiration in people,

situations and places around us.

We come before you and we worship you as parent, sibling, confidante,

protector, sustainer, enabler and holy, divine love.

We are humbled by all you have been, are and will be

in this world and in our lives.

 

Yet we still mess up, we still get it wrong, and we still fail,

often despite our best attempts and efforts.

We come with our prayers to give ourselves time to consider          where we have got things wrong,                                                where we have abused our positions of power,                            where we have failed to speak out for those on the margins,          where we have fallen short on the way.

 

In a moment of quiet, let us all to hold before God                      the things for which we are sorry.                                                The personal, relational, community and worldwide situations that we have not challenged or questioned or not responded to            in a more loving and compassionate way.                                      The things we have done or left undone                                    that would have helped others or made a difference for good.        The things we have avoided or ignored because it felt too much.

 

Gracious God, these words we offer,

seeking to make amends and to change.

But knowing that, even if we continue to fall short, we are loved.

 

Assurance of Pardon

 

Jesus reassures us that we are forgiven.

Let us hear his words:                                                              Come to me all you who are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
We claim that rest and seek to forgive ourselves

and forgive others.

Amen

 

The Lord`s Prayer

 

Prayers of Intercession

 

All powerful God,

you are present in the universe

and in the smallest of your creatures.

You embrace with your tenderness all that exists.

Pour out upon us the power of your love,

that we may protect life and beauty.

Fill us with your peace, that we may live as brothers and sisters, harming no one.

 

O God of the poor, help us to rescue the abandoned and forgotten of this earth, so precious in your eyes.

Bring healing to our lives,

that we may protect the world and not prey on it,

that we may sow beauty, not pollution and destruction.

 

Touch the hearts of those who look only for gain

at the expense of the poor and the earth.

Teach us to discover the worth of each thing,

to be filled with awe and contemplation,

to recognize that we are profoundly united with every creature

as we journey towards your infinite light.


We thank you for being with us each day.

Encourage us, we pray, in our struggle, for justice, love and peace.

 

Loving God, we know our responsibility to your world

and those alongside whom we live.

We pray for those we do not and may never know.

Now in a time of quiet,

we offer our prayers for those people,

places and situations known to us.


We pray that you will hear and hold these words

and may we never forget that our prayers change us

as well as changing your world.

 

All these we pray in the name of Jesus:

King of Kings, Lord of Lords,

Shepherd, Compassionate healer and divine Son.

Amen.

 

The Dismissal

 

Let us go out as Christ’s hands and feet,

sowing seeds of harmony and community,

challenging injustice and promoting peace,

dancing together in the eternal dance of humanity,

united by the love of God and empowered by the Holy Spirit.

 

The Grace



SUNDAY PRAYERS FOR DECEMBER 3RD

ADVENT SUNDAY


Call to Worship


O Advent God,

come to us we pray.
Enter our hearts this day,
as we worship, bring our prayers and our praise to You.
As we light the candle of hope in our hearts,
may we hold the small flickering flame throughout this week.
May the flame of Christ's love stay within us

and be close by us.

 

Prayers of Thanksgiving and Confession


We thank You God for this time of Advent
to prepare our hearts for the coming of the Christ child.
The wee baby born in a lowly stable
who was Christ the King, Christ our Saviour.


The mornings are chilly with the cold and early frosts of winter.
As we wake and look at the swirling misty hills, fields and valleys,
such views bring us hope; hope that Your creation is always turning and we can have certainty in its glory and beauty throughout the seasons.


O God of mists swirling in the elements
You brought the mystery of the Christ child to earth
You sent us hope of His coming.
The hope of the star, that pointed the way.
The hope that brought the shepherds and the wise men.
Come Advent God,

come, be in our hearts today.                                                    Light the flame of hope in our hearts.


O Lord, though You have given us great hope, at times we doubt.
We know our faith is weakened by challenging events in our lives.
Sadness and despair drown all hope as the tears fall,
and we are washed away

in the floods and torrents of regret and fear.
Forgive us Lord we pray

and give us renewed strength for our weakness.

 

Forgive us Lord, when we become too immersed
in the hurly-burly of Christmas.
Forgive us when we get stressed about all the preparations.
Forgive us if we become overwhelmed by all we have to do.

We are truly sorry that at times we lack faith,
we lose hope, we do not hold onto Your way.
We stumble on our journey towards the stable.

Teach us to be more like the wise men
who never doubted the journey they had to make,
following the star.
Teach us to be humble like the shepherds
who travelled with the star.

May we follow the Advent star and may the star of Christmas Hope be with us this day and all through Advent.
Amen.

 

The Lord`s Prayer

 

Prayers of Intercession


O Lord, we give thanks that we are all Your children

and You love us all equally.
We are all included in your love.
Whether we have a disability,
wherever we come from,
whatever our background or experience,
whatever our ability and our talents.
We are all here together to share in prayer with You.

Let us build a house where all are welcome!

 

O Lord, we pray for all those with unique disabilities today.
Those with a physical disability,
those who are blind or deaf,
those with a rare condition.
We pray for strength to overcome their daily struggle.
We pray for more funding for equipment like wheelchairs,
for a faster response for support workers
and carers and PAs to be employed.

Let us build a house where all are welcome!


We pray for anyone we know who is suffering in body, mind or spirit and feels a lack of hope.
Covid is still with us and has been devastating

for so many families and individuals,
who have lost a family member or a close friend or neighbour.
We pray for those who are lonely who may have lost a loved one.
We hold them up to you now Lord.

Let us build a house where all are welcome!


We pray for all churches everywhere,
that they can open their doors wide and their hearts to all,
to accept everyone.
We pray our churches can always be a place of acceptance,
kindness, understanding and love.
We pray that we find a welcome wherever we go,
and in our communities.
We pray that those we meet on our life's journey

will be open to learn,
to understand, to show compassion
and accept our beautiful differences
and include us in their worship.

Let us build a house where all are welcome!

 

O Lord, we pray for hope for those who may feel despair this day.
Those who may feel lost in their lives.
Those who may have no faith.
We pray for those who are worried about money                       

to pay for heating or food at this costly time of year.

Let us build a house where all are welcome!


We give thanks for the NHS,
we pray that those working long hours can continue to have hope.
Hope that they are making a difference to people's lives
and hope that they can help someone get back on track

with their health.
We give thanks for all professionals who support those who've been ill or are disabled:
the therapists, the specialist teachers
and all those working daily to assist them to develop new skills,
allowing them independence in life.

Let us build a house where all are welcome!

These prayers we offer in Jesus`name,

Amen. 


The Dismissal


May the Lord, be your hope in the days to come,
May the Lord be the flickering flame in your hearts.
And may the God of hope, love and joy
be with you all as you wait and prepare for the birth of Christ.

The Grace

 

 

SUNDAY PRAYERS DECEMEBR 10TH

SECOND SUNDAY OF ADVENT


Call to Worship


The voice of God summons us to worship.
Prepare the way of the Lord.
The paths before us may be rocky and dangerous but God goes before us.
There are new places to visit, fresh angles on familiar places.
Wherever the path may lead us, God is always there –
and here among us today.

 

Prayers of Thanksgiving and Confession

Generous God,
You are the one who gave the vision that brought this church to birth long ago,
placing it as a visible beacon of hope and new life within this community.

 

Faithful God,
We give You thanks for the generations before us –
for their sacrifice and resilience over many years
in the face of social change,
the tragedy of warfare,
and a falling away of Christian commitment.

 

Creative God,
Inspire us to reimagine a worshipping community
that can share the good news of Your love in fresh ways for today's people.
Give us wisdom and courage to grasp new opportunities wholeheartedly.
Inspire us by Your Holy Spirit
to see the people around us with a renewed vision.
Infuse us with a holy boldness
as we invite others to come and follow the way of Jesus.
And may everything we do reflect the values of the gospel,
transforming not only ourselves but the wider life of this community.

 

Lord God,
we have sinned against You;
we have done evil in Your sight.
We are sorry and repent.
Have mercy on us according to Your love.
Wash away our wrongdoing and cleanse us from our sin.
Renew a right spirit within us
and restore to us the joy of Your salvation,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

 

The Lord`s Prayer

 

Prayers of Intercession


Creator God,
You have entrusted us with the fragile beauty of the earth.
Break open our hearts to the lives and lands

laid waste by human action,
the tide of storm and tempest, fire and flood.
Be beside all in the midst of climate disaster –
losing homes and loved ones through famine, fire,

flood, and desolation.
Enable those who cherish the earth,
and encourage all calling for climate justice.
Change the hearts of people polluting lands and sea for profits –
to act justly, wisely, quickly, that together we may heal the earth.


Transforming God,
whose Spirit brooded over the face of the waters

before the world began,
we hold before You the wounded places of this world.
Naming before You Israel and Gaza, Sudan, Ukraine, the Middle East and all places affected by violence.
Hear the cries of our hearts.

Bring peace in war.
Restore hope in despair.
Loosen bonds of oppression, injustice, and fear.
Inspire all who bear burdens of leadership to love mercy
and use their power for good.
Enable us to pray for our enemies
that Your ways may be known upon earth,
Your saving power among all nations.


Abiding God,
be beside all who are far from home
and any who have no home to go to.
Protect those fleeing violence, disaster or poverty.
Cherish all who've left loved ones behind
or have lost themselves on the journey.
Encourage those coming to marginal places
seeking refuge, opportunity or belonging.
Open our hearts and minds,
transform fear of stranger into welcome of brother and sister
that all may find a home.


Loving God,
comfort all who mourn.
Give peace in despair,
restore lives laid down by regret or longing for purpose.
Be alongside any who feel anxious, lonely, or abandoned.
Encourage all in mental distress,
those living with trauma or addiction,
those who hear voices
or who cannot see Your light within their darkness.
Uphold all in pain or fear
and those facing violence or living with injustice or death:
may they know themselves safe in Your love,
their story enfolded in Your eternal story.


God of many names,
send Your Holy Spirit to pray in our hearts                                    with sighs too deep for words.
Accept these prayers                                                                for the sake of Your son,                                                            our saviour, Jesus Christ.
Amen.

 

The Dismissal


Go from this place full of hope,
knowing that the way may not be smooth but God is already there.

Go as people of expectation,
looking for that new thing God is doing.
Go as people bearing good news
for the disadvantaged, the oppressed – and the successful.

Live as gospel people in this Advent season
as the world once again looks for peace, joy and community.
Share the hope, expectation, and good news

with all those you meet.

The Grace



SUNDAY PRAYERS DECEMBER 17TH

THIRD SUNDAY OF ADVENT


Call to Worship

 

When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion,

we were like those who dreamed.

Our mouths were filled with laughter,

our tongues with songs of joy.
Then it was said among the nations,
“The Lord has done great things for them.”
The Lord has done great things for us and we are filled with joy.


Psalm 126:1-3


 

Prayers of Approach and Confession

 

Living God, in this season of Advent, we wait on you.

We are expectant, getting ready.

We are looking for something special.

Help us, as we look and listen for what you are doing                  and what you want to say to us,                                                  to see those moments of incarnational joy                                    that contribute to a transformed world.

Accept our offering of worship. 

May those who sow in tears reap with shouts of joy. 

Open our eyes that we may see

the great things that you are doing.

 

Loving God, forgive our frequently shabby response to your love. 

Forgive our failure to be your people,

living and loving in the way that you have called us to walk. 

Remind us to live out our baptism. 

Remind us that we are forgiven people.

Remind us that we are called to be your people.

So, help us to leave behind all those things that take us in wrong directions and rather to shine as your light, 

to offer influence for good,

just as salt makes food tasty.

 

Assurance of Pardon

 

The Good News is that we are forgiven. 

The promise is that in Christ all things are made new. 

God’s love is freely given. 

And it is abundantly generous. 

You are invited to make the words of the Psalmist your own,

words offered to God: 


I know that your goodness and love will be with me all my life; 

and your house will be my home as long as I live.


Thanks be to God!

Amen.

 


The Lord`s Prayer

 


Prayers of Intercession

 

Advent God, come close to us now. 

In this time of waiting, as we look for the Christmas event,

as we prepare ourselves to rejoice

with angels, shepherds and wise men at the news of a birth,

hear our prayers for those places and situations

where so much more good news is needed.

 

Loving God, we pray for a world

that is struggling in so many ways.

We get news of conflict,

of desperate poverty leading to desperate migration,

of the potential catastrophes of climate change,

and so much more that concerns us.

Bless the leaders of the nations.

Give them hearts that will seek justice and peace.

Bless those in the spheres of politics, business,

the media and education

who have great swathes of influence and degrees of power.

May they use that which is given to them wisely and well.

We pray for a better world that reflects your Kingdom values,

asking that you will enhance the efforts

of those who have the gifts and skills to contribute effectively to that.

 

We pray for the Church.

Help us to proclaim your Gospel in what we do,

as well as in what we say.

May we provide good examples of co-operation and reconciliation.

 

And we pray for our friends, our families, our neighbours,

especially those who will be lonely this Christmas.


Accompanying God,

be alongside those who most need to feel your presence.

Hear our prayers for those who have been bereaved,

those who are ill,

those who are anxious,

those facing new challenges,

those struggling with life.

Help us to love as Jesus loved,

taking special account of those ignored

or marginalised by the majority. 

As John shouted out, may we ‘shout out’ for those who need our voice of support.

 

Lord, you know our deepest longings.

You hear our prayers.

Hear now, the prayers spoken aloud

but also the unspoken prayers of our hearts,

which we bring now in the Name of Jesus,

Amen.

 

The Dismissal   

 

So, wait on the Lord.

Prepare yourselves for what God has in store.

Know that you are loved and valued by God.

You are a child of God.

 

The Benediction



PRAYERS FOR CHRISTMAS

 

A Call to Worship


A boy has been born for us; a child has been given to us.

Once we were no people; now we are God’s people.

Once we walked in darkness;

now we have seen a great light.                                               


(from Isaiah 9 and 1 Peter 2)

 

Prayers of Approach and Confession


Loving God, we come,

through empty expectant streets and lanes,

on the one day of the year that feels really different.

 

We bring with us to worship on Christmas day

the excited child inside us

and the harassed, overworked grown up,

the person who aches for the loss of someone once here

and the joy of love or life so cherished.


We come bringing the person we are everyday

and the person we would like to be and hope to be.


We come like the shepherds,

because someone told us to come.


We come like the wise men

because we’ve worked out for ourselves that this is wisdom.


And we come like Mary and Joseph,

because it’s what we always do

in response to your call.


We come in awestruck praise

like people visiting any baby

and we see, as if for the first time,

the miracle of your love for us.

 

As we worship you, and see what you reveal to us this day,

give us a different place from which to look at the world,

to let go of our old selves,

and to be human beings newly born.

Like parents of a new child, change us forever.

 

Before the wonder of your gift to us, of your very self,

may we know that you offer nothing less

than forgiveness, hope and peace,

and may we receive these gifts this day and all our days,

for they come from your open and loving hands.


Assurance of Pardon

 

Today, a child is born, and we are re-born,

forgiven, free, remade, restored,

to start again on the way of life,
with the news of our redemption, fresh and joyful,

on this holy day of new birth.


Thanks be to God.                                                                      Amen!

 

The Lord`s Prayer



Prayers of Intercession


God, born as a baby,
we pray for children who cry and are not comforted,
for parents who fear for their children’s future,
and for the lonely who are scared to let people into their lives.
Infant Jesus, help us to have compassion on each other,
to overcome our own fears, and to find ways to shine your love
into the lives of those we meet each day.


God, for whom there was no room at the inn,
We pray for those denied shelter or asylum,
Those who are trafficked for profit,
And those for whom a safe haven suddenly becomes dangerous.
Jesus, through whom God risked all to reach us,
help us who have a voice to speak wisely,
to encourage justice, and offer hope and hospitality.


God, whose coming was announced with words of peace and joy,
We pray for a world where conflict dominates news headlines,
where the indecision of a few leads to hardship for many,
and where the gulf between wealth and poverty widens.
Jesus, in the humility of your birth,
help us to recognise where we risk adding to the world’s strife,
and inspire us to seek ways of bringing people together,
for the benefit of this community and to the glory of your name.


God, who came to bring salvation to the world,
we pray for those who do not recognise or know you,
whose hearts have become hardened to your message,
through a loss of trust and the pain of past hurts.
Jesus, who brought forgiveness of sin and the hope of the resurrection,
help us to acknowledge our mistakes,
to make room in our hearts for the apologies that others offer,
and to receive the gift of your Son as a living witness,
to the new life that you bring.


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

 

The Dismissal


May the Christ who by his Incarnation
gathered into One things earthly and heavenly,
fill you with the sweetness of inward peace and goodwill.

 

The Grace



PRAYERS FOR NEW YEAR`S EVE


Opening Words


O God, our help in ages past                                                        We bring our praise and thanksgiving to you

at the close of the year.                               


O God, our hope for years to come                                              We look to you as we begin a new year.


O God, our guide while life shall last,                                            We seek your leading in our lives each day.


O God, our eternal home                                                            We come as your children, trusting you for our tomorrows.


 

Prayers of Thanksgiving and Confession


Good and gracious God, as we stand at the close of another year,  we give you thanks for your help                                                in times of illness, bereavement, perplexity and stress.                 


Almighty God,
You have been with us in every circumstance and situation.
You have stood with us,
Carried us,
Met us in the beauty of the stillness and the horror of the storm.
You have been with us in hospital waiting rooms,

office discussions,
And family arguments.
You are always faithful.                                                               


You are the Creator of all things, snow and hail and frost,              the ice of winter as well as the warmth of summer,                        and we marvel at the mysteries of Your providence                        in the shaping of our world.                                                                                 

We thank You for the future                                                        which is Your gift to us in the coming year year of 2024.                We thank you that through your grace alone we are enabled          to live in hope, not fear, in love not cynicism,                                in resolution not despair.


Lord, you have set before us the way of life

in the person of you Son,

but we confess our slowness to learn of him,

our reluctance to follow.

You have spoken and called but we have not given heed.                Your beauty has shone forth, but we have been blind.                    You have stretched out your hands to us                                      through stranger and neighbour,                                                  but we have passed by on the other side.                                      We have taken great benefits but with little thanks                        and been unmindful of your changeless love.                               


Forgive our neglect of fellowship and the means of grace,              our hesitant witness and foolish pride.                                          Forgive us when we have wasted our time                                    or misused our gifts.                                                                    Forgive us when we have cherished the things that divide us from others, when we have made it hard for them to live with us,          when we have been thoughtless in our judgements,                      hasty in our condemnation and grudging in our forgiveness.


Eternal God, who can make all things new,

we humbly bring before you the record of our lives

in the year now ending.

And so, where life has been good to us,                                        we give you thanks and praise.                                                    Where we have been good to others,                                            may our reward be your smiling face.                                          Where we have fallen short of your good pleasure,                        forgive us and free us from our sinful past.


Holy God,                                                                                  cleanse us by your mercy,

guide us by your truth,                                                 

fill us with your love,

and lead us forward in hope,                                              through the grace of Jesus Christ.


Hear these words of assurance of pardon;


“As far as the east is from the west, so far hath He removed our transgressions from us.”


These prayers we offer in the name and in the spirit of One

who taught us when we pray, to say together;


“Our Father, who art in heaven…….


 

Prayers of Intercession


Gracious God, at the start of a new year                                        we bring you our hopes for the world and for its peoples.


We pray for the world to which you came

in the Babe of Bethlehem,

bringing forgiveness where there is guilt,

and new life where there is suffering and death.


We commit to your loving care all who face tomorrow with no hope because their situation today is hopeless.

We pray for the weak, the vulnerable and the voiceless.

We pray for those who have the authority to effect change,            whether global or local, politicians and business leaders.

Instil in all a desire for justice and goodwill.


We pray for our church, your gathered people in this place.

We thank you for one another, in all our diversity and recommit ourselves to one another as brothers and sisters.

We pray for all those who have come through the doors of this place over the past year, from all walks of life.

We pray for all those have joined us in worship

either in the meetinghouse or online.

We pray that we might welcome new people with kindness,            to serve one another with grace                                                  and to forgive one another with sincerity.


May our church over the coming year,                                          be a place of safety for those who are vulnerable                          and a place of challenge for those who are comfortable.

May we be a community of inclusion for those who are excluded    and a community of defiance for those who would exclude.


May we be your people, in this place, at this time,                        created by you and called to live lives of courageous                      and Christ-like love.                                                                    We ask all this, in the name and spirit of Jesus,                            Amen.


The Dismissal


Trust in the Lord with all your heart

and lean not on your own understanding;

in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.


For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord,

plans to prosper you and not to harm you,

plans to give you hope and a future.


The Benediction


The Lord bless thee and keep thee.

The Lord makes his face to shine upon thee

and be gracious unto thee.

The Lord lift up the light of His countenance upon thee

and give thee peace.                                                       

Amen.









Minister ~ Rev Alan Kennedy 07733153203 01612703296 alanrk1690@gmail.com