Sunday 3rd February 2013 – Epiphany 4C (5)

God of all Love,

You have gifted Your creation Love

in its myriad shapes and forms,

and in the life of Jesus Christ

You inspire us to use love with wisdom

as we build up one another

and care for Your creation.

We thank You for loving relationships,

between parents and children,

husbands and wives,

friends and neighbours.

We praise You for those moments

when we recognise You

in the hands and eyes and touch

of those we’ve never met.

In our prayers we remember those who do not feel that they are loved,

and those who sometimes love too much.

We think of children, women and men

caught in abusive relationships

yet who struggle to have the courage to speak out

because of the strength of their feelings

for the abuser.

We prayer for those who abuse their power

or the trust others have placed in them,

hoping that they will gain insight into

the harm they cause others.

We remember the love we have for our country,

for the ideals and values

that encourage us to take pride in who we are,

where we have come from,

and what we might become.

May our politicians and community leaders

be inspired by the practicality of love

and recognise that it is not just a romantic notion

but a firm basis in which to establish community living.

With love as the basis of law and leadership,

may Your desire for a community

where all people are respected, valued, protected and cared for

become more than a hope,

and instead a living reality.

In loving our world,

we think of the care of creation.

Encourage all people to use resources

wisely and with care.

May we all be willing

to pass on to future generations

the beauty of all You have created.

Loving our world,

we remember those nations

that struggle to love one another.

As political desire for power,

and long held divisions threaten,

may healing words of love be spoken

that offer unity and hope.

As we love Your church,

and the faith we have encountered here

in words, music and others

we praise You for the traditions and innovations

that have given voice to Your presence.

Encourage us

as we grow in our love

to learn from each other

and other experiences

of Your presence within Christian communities.

We remember the members of this congregation,

and we remember the other congregations

with whom we share this city.

As we offer a vision of Your kingdom,

may You Spirit lead us to new ways

of being Your people.

In love we uphold those we know and are yet to meet

who find life a struggle,

and are bowed down with weight of ill-health, grief or work.

May they find the strength and support

that offers the assurance of Your presence with them.

May we all

be supported by Your love shown by others

that brought us to faith in Jesus Christ.

Amen.

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