Sunday 23rd February 2014 – Epiphany 7A (5)

Perfect Lord,

filling us with the Holy Spirit,

You make us a temple of belonging.

In Your presence

we are assured that we are Yours,

and that You listen to our prayers

as the continuing work of creation unfolds.

 

May we Your church make our solid foundation

on the knowledge and understanding we have of You.

With the wisdom of Your guiding Spirit

may our lives build upon

all that has inspired us to follow You.

 

Make us bold in our relationships with other people,

so that our responses

may offer signs of Your Kingdom breaking into life

in unexpected ways.

Where we see signs of poverty,

encourage us to give generously,

and to love actively

as we seek justice for those who are marginalised

by their communities or their governments.

 

We pray for those who are persecuted

because of their beliefs, their colour, their gender, or their occupation.

May those who lead the communities of our world,

who hold power and authority,

break through the barrier of evil and oppression.

We remember this morning the people of Kiev and the Ukraine.

We think of families of who have lost loved ones;

people who have been witness to unnecessary death;

and we pray for justice and the ending of violence.

We pray for hope in a difficult situation.

 

At times our church communities

can seem to be at odds with the communities of which we are part.

The rapidly changing values of the world

can leave us floundering

to discern Your path and Your knowledge

as we translate the language of Good News

to present circumstances.

Inspire us as we hold fast to those values

that mark us as those who seek to serve the world in Your name,

and make us courageous as we venture

into changing circumstances that ask us to reinterpret our understanding of You.

 

We pray for our neighbours –

for those with whom we argue

that we might be willing to listen and sometimes accept that we are wrong;

for those who struggle to make ends meet;

for those who who are ignored by government policy and social care;

for those who need care and compassion

as they live with ill health, loneliness or grief.

 

God of all good things,

may our lives reflect

the love You have placed within the heart of us

that invites all to step our boldly in Your name

and in humility speak of Your justice and grace

in action in all life.

Amen.

 

Sunday 23rd February 2014 – Epiphany 7A (4)

Lord of the Gospel,

Your teaching asks us

to grow into Your love

that the fruits of our lives might show maturity

in how they are shared.

Asking us to give generously

from all that we have,

we offer

the talent we have hidden;

the time we would squander;

and the wealth we store away.

In what we give

may others come to know

that they are treasured by You,

and live lives that speak of Christ’s love.

Amen.

 

Sunday 23rd February 2014 – Epiphany 7A (3)

Lord of wisdom,

Moulding hearts and minds with Your love

You shape human life

to fill its emptiness

with the nourishment of Your words.

Within Scripture and in the stories of faithful lives,

the promises of time

well spent in the embrace of God

are preserved.

For You long for us to be holy

as You are holy.

Your law is to be delighted in,

for it is not a burden

but a pathway

to the freedom of Your grace.

 

Yet we find the notion of “holiness” a burden.

We struggle to be perfect,

as we fail to grasp how to live

as though we belong to the Lord alone.

We use law to beat others down

when we feel wronged.

We wallow in disgrace

as we mark our days

with how we have failed You.

Help us to look beyond our sins

to greet the breadth of Your forgiveness.

 

Silence

 

Unfailing in Your love,

You welcome us as Your people.

Enable us to live as those

who know they belong to You

and through Your love are made perfect

in the lives we lead in Christ’s name.

Amen.

Sunday 23rd February 2014 – Epiphany 7A (2)

The Lord says,

“Be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy.”

In these words

the Lord issues an invitation

to place our lives in His hands

and to discover that the value of life

is more than the property or possessions we acquire.

Instead inspiring faith communities

to live together with love and respect,

the Lord is present in the guiding words

that create communities of hope.

 

May we know we are holy,

because the Lord our God is holy.

May we seek His presence

in the relationships we build

and the compassion we offer.

 

May we be holy,

because the Lord our God is holy.

Sunday 9th February 2014 – Epiphany 5A (4)

Generous God,

who surrounds us with Your presence

in many ways,

we are overwhelmed by the endeavours You make

to demonstrate Your love of Your people.

We praise You for the flavours You bring to creation,

the salt that preserves

and enhances flavours.

We thank You for the smallest of light

that brightens up the darkest of places,

allowing us to make new discoveries

and increase our knowledge.

Within community,

You work away to encourage people to reach beyond

what is familiar

and step into the world beyond,

bringing from the long held prayers

an opportunity for others

to experience the kingdom of heaven.

 

Lord of community,

we pray for Your church throughout the world:

and remember those who are the flavouring of their communities

as they seek to bring new knowledge of relating to others

to the places they live.

In the love they offer,

the justice they proclaim,

and the hope they bring

may they be the salt

that pulls differences together.

 

We pray for our own church

as we seek to be the bearers of Your light.

May we be willing to let your light shine

in our encounters with others,

whether in this building or beyond.

 

We pray for Governments and World leaders

that they might shine encouraging lights

into the lives of those they have been elected to serve.

May the leadership they offer

be marked by the light of integrity,

and may we be willing to challenge the injustices

that cause some to be rejected

by their communities.

 

 

We pray for those communities

desperately seeking light this week.

As our country continues to be washed with rain,

we remember those whose homes and livelihoods have been affected.

As some move and await the overwhelming waters to subside,

may they find assurance and comfort

to sustain them as they think about what the future may hold.

 

Remembering those who have brought Your light into our lives

and worked with us

to produce Your flavour in our activities,

may we, like them,

allow others to meet You

in all we do in Your name.

Amen.