These prayers of adoration and confession invite us to draw near to this great God of love and so be washed in his kind willingness to exchange spirits of heaviness for garments of praise as we stand from our knees of need to be vessels of his gracious love in the world.
A complete set of 220 prayers may be accessed by clicking on ‘Prayers for Worship’
***Prayers for Worship***
Or, browse through the first 52 presented on this page with daylilies from our gardens .
O God, all glory and power and honour and blessing belong to you.
Great is our rejoicing in Jesus the Son who has redeemed us with his blood.
Great things you have taught us:
to live in faith according to your ways,
to give ourselves wholeheartedly to you all our days,
to relieve burdens of debts,
to strive to express our joy in your salvation by speaking your name and your gospel reverently into the wretched heartaches and alienation
people feel within themselves, with others, and with you –
and so to participate with you in extending your kingdom of grace and mercy.
Great things you have done!
Yet, we become so easily sidetracked.
Our lives so quickly turn inward, focused on trivial pursuits,
and our inward eyes so faithlessly trivialize our own lack of love for you and our neighbour that our lips can form the words of praise without a thought for the moment by moment dynamic relationship we have with you through the Holy Spirit who desires to lead us and to guide our comings and our goings as those fully alive in Jesus Christ.
We have other things on our minds.
Lord, recapture us.
Recapture our imaginations to see you again in your awesome splendour and compassion
and so become truly present to bear one another’s burdens with kind humility.
Recapture our love,
and so renew and replenish our spirits in the experiential knowledge of your tender care for our souls opening the way before us to be your instruments of love to the world and so discover again –
Great things you have taught us!
Great things you have done, moving us to pray the prayer you taught us saying,
‘Our Father …’
Gracious God our heavenly Father,
We have come together as your people to find comfort and strength for the journey as you remind us of your goodness and grace, and of your desire to refresh our spirits with life giving precepts from your word and from the intimate whispers of your Holy Spirit into our hearts.
We have come also to acknowledge that it is your presence in our lives which sustains and guides us day by day, that gives meaning and value to the circumstances we face, blessing us with the certain hope that you, Shepherd of our souls, do all things well. You lead and guide us according to your providential will, shaping and refining us to be people of praise and witness to your awesome greatness and love.
As an act of worship, we express again our trust in you and in your unfailing promises to us in Jesus.
We choose not to lean on our own understanding, but to rely on the wisdom of your all knowing perspective, for you see the beginning and the end.
You are powerful to intervene and to protect and care for your own.
You grant peace that passes all comprehension.
You surprise us over and over again with joy as we maintain an attitude of prayerfulness.
Wonderful God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we lift our hand to you in confident faith that you will be a shelter and refuge to your people until we see you face to face.
We don’t want to miss any of the gifts you offer to us in relationship with yourself by seeking our security in anything or anyone but you.
We want your will and your ways to motivate spiritual growth in order that your profoundly good news might be clearly seen and shared in and through your body –
both the collective church and its individual members.
We want to be responsive to your voice urging us always to silence the noise of contemporary culture … to be still and know that you are God … and to follow you wherever you lead.
You, LORD God, are our Shepherd. We have everything we need in you.
Hear us, and help us to hear you as we pray the prayer you taught us saying,
‘Our Father …’
Loving God, you are the One in whom we find true joy and absolute delight,
the One who sets our souls to dancing and restores us to our true selves.
As little children we have come to learn through your extravagant grace that we are your beloved sons and daughters in Jesus Christ.
You lead us into a deeper understanding of those qualities and characteristics which you have given to us in union with yourself and then show us how to allow these attributes to bloom for your glory in wisdom and freedom as the Spirit brings them to birth in willing hearts.
We come to rest entirely in you and not in those things which formerly shaped our identity, for our truest identity is found in you Lord Jesus –
in your forgiveness
in your mercy,
in your holiness,
in your compassion,
in your kingdom where lions lie down with lambs and little children run and play and learn with no fear.
Thank you for leading us morning by morning.
Help us to grow in humility as little children, gazing upon you in the purity of your majestic love, keeping in step with the humility you revealed by coming to earth in the incarnation,
Jesus Christ, Son of God, Son of Man.
We tend to hold onto old images, redundant skills, and unhealthy patterns of relating rather than coming as children to a kind and wise father saying,
‘Abba, I know there must be more to knowing you and letting you love the world through us … through me. Take my spirit and purify its intent to live in continual worship and praise and adoration of your awesome glory so that my choices might be ever changing and transforming to increasingly reflect the life of the One I love living in me, Jesus my precious Saviour who taught me to pray together with his people saying ,
‘Our Father …’
Loving God, Gardener of our souls, we gather to rejoice in you, so grateful that you see the beauty of who we are in Christ, slowly transforming us in love to grow into who we already are in your eyes. You soften the soil of our roots by your Spirit that we might receive the gentle rains of your Word, words which nourish and relieve our thirst for goodness and purity and enable us to become who you have created us to be in open relationship with you.
In your wisdom and generousity you have planted a great variety of flowers and shrubs, trees and herbs, grains and vegetables with seed each according to its kind for our provision of daily food.
And, in the garden of our souls, you have surrounded us with many different spiritual blessings and gifts to raise us to maturity as we take them in and act upon your holy ways, asking you to prune and shape us as those who feast on who you are, reaching towards the Light as we celebrate your grace and kind mercy towards us in Christ.
Help us learn to drop these gospel seeds into the lives of family, friends, neighbours and strangers we meet along the way, praying that while we plant and water, you will reveal yourself as the One who has loved them with an everlasting love, more than able to remove the withered leaves of withered lives and allow new growth to flourish with newness of life in Jesus, your Son.
You watch over us night and day and place us where we need to be in order to thrive in the knowledge of your presence and glory. Just as each plant with particular needs requires certain conditions to bloom, sometimes arid, sometimes shaded, sometimes damp, sometimes in full sunlight, you do the same with us by planting us in certain settings with our unique personalities, strengths, weaknesses and characteristics to speak to us personally and to draw us closer to you.
You take both the dry and rainy seasons to cause growth in our wonder at your tender majesty, intent on sheltering and showcasing the garden of your people so that together we might be a delightful and refreshing place where others can see and experience your Father’s heart and desire to bless and receive us as your own.
Praying that this might be true of us, we pray the prayer you taught us saying,
‘Our Father …’
Our dear heavenly Father, you are the God of creation and of re-creation as you work in this world by your Spirit to restore your original design of beauty and abundance, peace and joy, satisfying discovery and exploration of your amazing handiwork to the praise of your glory and power –
a vibrant sunset on the horizon of a vast ocean;
a thundering waterfall cascading over rocky cliff faces;
gentle lakeshores with white pines leaning over reflected silhouettes on still waters nearing dusk; daffodils dancing in the sunlight;
all pointing to who you are as the author of all that is good and beautiful.
O God, to live in relationship with you is all that we truly need.
We trust you to direct our path knowing that you are our provider and that you guard and protect our souls in the simplicity of surrendered wills bowing to yours with all that we are and all that we have.
Lord, you are absolutely faithful and have given us many comforting promises of care for our walk with you in this world. And in your transformative love, you also shape and refine our spiritual life and character to be more like Christ as you lead us through seasons which convict and challenge.
We welcome your probing searchlight into our innermost places
to reveal any attitude,
any thought patterns,
any hidden desires,
any stagnant self-righteousness,
any self promotion
and, through faith in our Redeemer, Jesus Christ,
we confess it and lay it down to be captured by your grace and destroyed so that we might more fully live for you in every dimension of who you are creating us to be as your people.
Help us to truly place our hopes and dreams and plans before you to modify them as you know to be best for us and for our witness to Christ in this generation.
Holy Spirit, breathe your wisdom and wonderful words of counsel for the journey into us so that our faith in you is deepened, our devotion to you is strengthened, and our love for you fills every decision and action, sharing the good news as those who follow your Son, Jesus our Lord, who taught us to pray together saying,
‘Our Father …’
Father God, you have placed all things in heaven and earth under the authority of your Son, Jesus Christ. His name is exalted above every other name, crowned with majesty and glory as the great Redeemer of a human race who had fallen away from intimate relationship with the intimacy of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, bought back again by the death and resurrection of our precious Lord whom we love and adore.
So often, it seems, the thoughts and inclinations of our hearts fail to reflect this deepest desire to worship and enjoy him with all that we are. We want to live fully in Christ,
but we give in to old ways and habits;
we forget his kind love and try to earn what is already ours in his grace;
we become hoarders of the mercies of your generous love and forget about others.
We need you to speak freshly into our hearts, whispering peace and purpose,
equipping us to share the living way of hope and reconciliation
in a generation that appears to be spinning out of control –
where the darkness of immorality and abuse degrades human life;
where violence, greed and wars are constant reminders of the light of God grown dim in the human soul – spiritually dead until the Light of the world takes up residence and breathes new life into us by the power of your Spirit received by faith and lived out in faith in grateful surrender to your word, not our own opinions.
You are the King. You are the One who sits at the Father’s right hand.
You are the Way, the Truth and the Life.
Lord Jesus Christ, Light and Life, shine upon our inner being to wake us up to the hope you bring, as we pray the prayer you taught us saying,
‘Our Father …’
Father God, Sovereign One who reigns over all, we have been made by you and for you. Our ability to rest in peace and joy flows from being grounded in a deep assurance of your pleasure in us, your love for us, and your plans to use us for your glory. It comes from hearts which are prepared to receive your pruning so that our lives might become reflections of your holiness as we exercise our wills to be obedient to your commands. It arises from worship and praise for your infinite wisdom and grace in Jesus Christ which releases us from the disease of tending anger, bitterness, resentment, malice, slander, immorality, greed, laziness, deception, envy, jealousy, pride, and fear.
Father, we thank you for the power of the Holy Spirit in us to choose you at every turn and pray for one another that we will be consistently moved to act upon this gift and to bloom with the sweet fragrance of your Son.
Grow your church into a garden
where the cares of this world may be dealt with in prayer and kindness;
where the weary one may find refreshment;
where the sorrowing may catch again the vision of resurrection hope as buds and leaves and blossoms re-emerge through the changing season to bring new life;
where the nations of the world may find enough for all and so offer you honour and blessing for your great salvation which first renews the spirit and gives new life in Christ, and then transforms the heart and will to make visible the good news through ministries of hope flowing from the wellsprings within whose source is Jesus Christ bubbling up in his people.
Thank you, Lord, for your patience. We know we often live out of mixed motives, attitudes anchored in self interest, worthless wavering and watering down of your holy word. Return to the gardens of your gathered people which have become grown up in weeds, where certain plants have taken over and overshadowed others necessary for the full beauty and blessing of a sanctuary for your healing Presence to be visible in its renewing power.
Send rain in answer to the prayers of your people in sun-baked lands.
Send spiritual rain to souls thirsty for the truth.
Allow fruit and grains to flourish and find their way into homes where meagre handfuls might turn into eager handouts.
Allow the fruit of your Spirit to ripen in each Christian and so bring your kingdom to bear
where justice and righteousness have become rare characteristics,
where the art of forgiveness is a forgotten ointment of mercy,
where a healthy moral compass has become stuck in a false magnetism to that which is perverse and profane.
You are the Vine, we are the branches. Help us to live out our high calling most fully by staying profoundly in love with you, Lord Jesus, who taught us to pray saying,
‘Our Father …’
Gracious God, you are mighty in all your ways and full of splendour in the glorious beauty of your holy and perfect character. We pause early in the morning to try and put words to the wonder we feel at who you are as the awesome and eternal God all creation;
knowing us each by name;
caring for each concern;
loving us without our having to earn it;
inviting us to respond to that love through faith in your Son, Jesus Christ, whom you raised from the dead as an everlasting shout of approval of his perfect sacrifice on our behalf.
Lord Jesus Christ, we have heard the story of your powerful resurrection and been moved by your Spirit to believe the good news that peace with the living God has been achieved by the forgiveness of our sin through your shed blood for us.
And so we live free!
Confident of your merciful kindness!
Secure in your unchanging reconciling love!
Hallelujah, what a Saviour!
When we shy away from speaking your precious name, or don’t give you due credit for your wonderful interventions in our lives, or hesitate to talk about our experiences of encountering you, the living Christ personally, we ask your forgiveness just as did Peter after his denial of you seeking courage to declare you before the world with gentleness and freedom, with boldness and deep concern for each person, that all might know the truth which can bring them home to you to rest in the peace and unshakeable hope of your great salvation.
Spirit of the living God, be among your people in power to draw us deeper into who you are. Involve us in bringing your kingdom more and more clearly to bear in our surroundings, infiltrating resistant hearts with your love.
And so to that end, we pray the prayer you taught us saying,
‘Our Father …’
God of glory and grace, you are the beginning and end. You had the first word and you will have the last. You are the sovereign One before whom we bow in adoration and praise and love.
In a counter cultural choice empowered by your Spirit, we confess the truth of your Word which tells us you are holy; that you are worthy of worship and honour from every person, tribe and nation, and that one day, every knee shall bend and every mouth declare that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God on high.
You first created us in your image, and now cleanse us from all that came to stand in the way of our relationship with you through Jesus’ life, death and resurrection for us.
We come to you in faith, believing the good news that you are for us, that your offer of grace and mercy is wide and deep, that as far as the east is from the west,so far have you removed our transgressions from us, giving us new hearts that search for you,
wanting to know you in all that you are,
wanting to walk in the light of your life giving precepts,
wanting to share this hope with the world.
Holy, holy, holy Lord. God of heaven and earth. All creation sings your praise and points us back to the goodness and kindness of your paradise where we live in the full provision of your presence and powerful love.
Open our eyes and hearts this day to the wonderful witness of that love all around us as we bow the knee again this day, praying the prayer you taught us saying,
‘Our Father …’
We worship you this day as Creator and Ruler over heaven and earth, and as our heavenly Father who has sealed our adoption as your children through the life and work of your Son in the promised Holy Spirit.
Our hearts call out to you in our desire to know and be known intimately in your perfect love and wisdom; to be lost and then found in the beauty of union with Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Your ways are perfect, combining justice and mercy in righteous judgments.
Your thoughts are ever towards restoration and re-creation, rescuing and redeeming a people who have lost that vital spirit connection with you.
Your kingdom is being established through each soul who bows to its authority in Christ Jesus, binding us together as one body to live as those empowered and led by your Spirit.
LORD God, reach out to a world whose systems of governance are corrupted by greed and oppression with the good news of equity and freedom in Christ.
Begin the refining work of your Spirit’s fire in our own hearts as you also blow through the collective life of your church.
Too often we grieve and quench your Spirit, ignoring those things you are calling us to do and be in your strength. We rationalize that it’s for someone else, when all along, your eye is on each one of us to be obediently and joyfully immersed in the life of Jesus flowing through us.
Stir us up to be filled with your Spirit and so to follow and honour you in the richness of life you offer, praying this as we also pray the prayer you taught us saying,
‘Our Father …’
Gracious God, our heavenly Father, glorify your name in all the earth!
You are altogether wonderful.
You have shown us what tender, tenacious, true love is really like, a perfect father full of wisdom and goodness attentively watching over your children that we might grow into maturity as sons and daughters who reflect the character of the One who has given us spiritual rebirth in Jesus Christ.
We praise and worship you
for the mercy you have extended to us;
for the patient kindness with which you have embraced us daily;
for the certain love with which you uphold us, independent of anything we might be tempted to consider meritorious in us;
for the peace which comes from allowing you to take the lead as the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the all knowing One.
Created in your image, we are most at home when we are being shaped by the spiritual life you freely give us as we exercise our spiritual will to be at home in practices which help us draw near to you and let your love love through us.
Thank you for your consistent welcome each time we approach you in spirit and in truth.
Thank you for a secure place at the table.
Thank you for living words which speak to our most painful wounds and give them new meaning.
You have revealed in your word what heals and what destroys.
You have offered communion with the Trinity in prayer and meditation and contemplation.
You have given us a universe to discover and challenge our curiousity and creative impulses, yet, you have also set boundaries through the mystery and wonder of your awesome greatness beyond our ability to understand.
You invite us into deeper faith responses to your steadfast faithfulness as a child to a father who has consistently demonstrated an unfailing desire to bless and see his children established in the righteous kingdom of God living in joy.
Father, we love you. Jesus, we love you. Spirit, we love you. Glorify your name in all the earth.
Hear us then as we pray that your kingdom would come as we pray the words you taught us saying,
You, O God, are the Light of the world. Remove the light of your Spirit’s influence and we would be plunged into darkness of every conceivable evil. You sustain us day by day. In you we live and move and have our being.
Wonderful Father, awesome God, we worship you as the One in whom all knowledge and wisdom reside. We have come ready to fully acknowledge your glory, your greatness and your grace with a desire to live accordingly. As the author of life, you are in your perfect right to order our lives as you see fit and to use us for your purposes. Your ways are higher than our ways and your thoughts are higher than our thoughts, so we have come to put our trust in you through humble obedience even when we don’t understand.
How grateful we are, mighty and merciful God that you clothed yourself in meekness through your Son who took on our humanity, thinking about and deciding to do what would never cross our minds … and that is, to lay down your life through him for sinful people such as ourselves who could never deserved your love but have received it anyway.
What an incredibly lowly act of complete acceptance of your Father’s will rooted in a deep knowledge and intimate experience of his infinite goodness and love. Profound humility. Lord Jesus Christ, you had all power available to you to prevent your arrest, crucifixion, and death, but instead, you surrendered to the Father’s will of your own accord that we might gain a new life by faith in you and in the benefits of your sacrificial death for us.
What astounding gentleness.
What beautifully mild strength, O God of the universe, caring so for us … for me.
You are altogether lovely, all together worthy, all together wonderful, and we praise and adore you with all that is in us.
Hear the confessions of our hearts as we acknowledge
our inappropriate self assertion,
our failure to willing servitude,
and our drive for power and control
We want to be emptied of self to receive your forgiveness and better allow the mind of Christ to live through us.
Holy Spirit, fill us with the fruit of your reigning presence as we too learn the meekness of seeking the Father’s will at all times, shaping us even now as we pray the prayer you taught us saying,
‘Our Father …’
Lord Jesus Christ, exalted King over all that is;
over the immeasurably vast universe billions of light years across;
over the nations;
over the church;
over each one of us;
we call to you as the One who came in solidarity with a fallen humanity made in your image needing rebirth into a living hope; as the One in whom your people have been baptized into the new covenant of grace and new life through the gifts of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. You have transferred your righteousness to us through faith in your cleansing blood on the cross as the One who is our faithful Friend and Redeemer … and we give you our thanks.
Through your unspeakably great name we gather humbly before you, the God of all creation, awesome in glory, splendour, power and authority. Humbly, but not without questions or acknowledging that there are aspects of your being that are confusing and hard to reconcile with our finite view on the human condition in light of who you are, but humbly nonetheless. For you are Who You Will Be, the great I AM. You are the starting point of all that is and the One in whom all of time and history will find its culmination. You are the Potter and we are the clay.
We fall in adoration and gratitude that forgiveness is ours because of your great sacrifice; that the kingdom of heaven might be open to us by faith; that we need not fear the hell of eternal separation from you, from your goodness, your beauty and your generous gifts and blessings; that we might know communion in union with your Spirit; that there is hope of release from those things within ourselves which hurt and enslave us.
We await the wonderful hope of resurrection to an eternal inheritance comforted by your grace and tender kindness forevermore when this war between our old nature and the new life in the Spirit ceases.
Abba, Father, help us make a thorough and deep confession this day where we may be resisting your rule over certain aspects of our character, attitudes, thoughts or actions.
Help us to grieve with godly sorrow over our offenses in light of your immense mercy and to give you the thankful and obedient response to your holy ways which you endlessly deserve, remembering too that this is the way for our own healing and joy to be realized.
Change our hearts, O God, as we invite you to stir our hearts to deeper devotion, praying the prayer you taught us saying,
Lord Jesus, you are King of kings and Lord of lords.
You are sovereign and will come again to establish your righteous rule among the nations.
You are high and lifted up.
You are deserving of all worship and obedience for your throne is established forever.
Kingdoms come and kingdoms go. Nations rise and nations fall.
But it’s in you that all things hold together,
and it’s in you and your ways that blessings and abundance overflow.
Lord, we love you and honour you for your gracious ways towards men, women, and children like us in need of your great salvation.
Holy, holy, holy God, we ask you to shine your glory upon this land in which we live so we might serve you and make your love known. Walking humbly in the light of who you are is the source of lasting hope for the many social, economic, environmental and personal dissonances we experience which cause such pain and distress.
May your Holy Spirit blow powerfully through your church so we will praise you as we ought. But we pray also for the movement of your Spirit among the many whose hearts search for the truth and love of your gospel but are afraid to gather in communities of faith for many different reasons.
We confess that while the church in Canada has discerned and acted well according to your word in many matters, we have also allowed ourselves to express the self-sufficient and self-indulgent attitudes of our western mindset and have often failed to be any different than those who do not profess to know you.
For this we humbly repent.
We confess that too often we take a defensive stance when our weakness is exposed instead of letting the soft shower of your convicting word transform us to be more like Jesus.
For this we humbly repent.
We confess our reticence to share the old old story of forgiveness and new life in Christ as it has affected us and are then surprised to discover a younger generation making monumental ethical decisions as the relate to technological advances and social norms apart from a reverent fear and acknowledgement of accountability before a Supreme Creator.
Lord, have mercy upon us. Draw us again into the life-giving streams of lifting up your name in all things and so let us see the parched ground of famines from hearing the word of the Lord turn into fields ripe for harvest. Challenge our resolve to stand in the gap for this nation as we pray the prayer you taught us saying,
Awesome God who flung the stars in place,
who spoke the word and all creation came into being out of nothing;
who formed humankind from the dust of the earth in your own image, male and female;
you have shown yourself to be love,
magnificent mercy and overwhelmingly generous grace … perfect love.
We are here to humbly worship you, acknowledging our questions, but also embracing by faith your answers in the person of Jesus Christ through whom the universe was created, and in whom our sin is forgiven that we might live in union with you, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Enable us to set aside our doubts and distractions to receive with fresh eyes a glimpse of your greatness and indescribable glory. Correct our faulty perspectives of self importance with the wonder of who you are, and with the incomprehensible gift of relationship you hold out to us in Jesus.
The powerful shaking of an earthquake is as nothing
when compared with the birthing of stars in billions of galaxies.
And the shaking of our rebellious self-reliant fists is as nothing
when confronted with the power of the Holy Spirit to birth repentance and new life in our hearts for all eternity, surrendered to a holy God of love, united with his people, and sent out to share the earth shattering news that God is for us.
Wonderful Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer, speak your message of hope clearly to us today, touching our deepest needs and drawing us to rest securely in your mighty love.
For blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honour and power and might belong to our God for ever and ever. Amen!
How great Thou art … and so we pray the prayer you taught us saying,
Praise my soul the King of heaven!
You love us with an everlasting love, a divine love completely pure and undiminished.
You are filled with selfless generousity.
You are good, and you have created us to reveal your goodness and glory through your amazing invitation and provision to be in relationship with you through Jesus Christ.
In his death and resurrection you have redeemed us as sons and daughters, promising us new life in an eternal kingdom, an inheritance that will
never spoil or fade away,
never lose its value,
never be taken from us,
for your Holy Spirit is the guarantee granted to us upon receiving Christ Jesus as Lord, as Saviour, as Friend.
By faith, our names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. We are secure in him and then sent out to share the good news with others. Awesome God, how can we ever thank you and praise you as you deserve?
Father, you have set before us the path of life – life to the fullest – showing us how to die to the false constructs we have shaped for ourselves riddled with inclinations that miss the mark of your glorious design for humanity, and how to become fully alive in Christ as you shape our heart and mind by your Spirit.
You are full of patience and compassion.
We are too often quick to react, failing to lay down our lives for another.
Father forgive us, and turn us around to actively be a blessing to others.
You are filled with wisdom and knowledge.
We often run ahead or lag behind your leading in pride and resistance to change, thinking we know best.
Father forgive us, and turn us around to stay in your word and walk close to you.
You are gracious and merciful.
We too often are the antithesis of such characteristics – judging, condemning, distancing.
Father forgive us and turn us around to be communities of hope, healing and embrace.
And so, to that end, we pray the prayer you taught us saying,
LORD God, each new day brings the possibility of living before you in wonder of your greatness; in adoration of your beautiful character; in joy of the health producing ways you teach us to walk; in love as we open ourselves to the gift of your love to us in Jesus Christ.
While we may be distracted and busy, trying to give our lives meaning and purpose based on our own ideas and pursuit of pleasure, you are shining the light of truth through your word and Spirit, and through examples of faithful godly lives whose devotion to you is seen in selfless choices and Christ-like demeanor.
Lord, we thank you for the care and blessing you have exercised in our lives this year and ask you to fan into flames the spiritual flame of new life within so that together, your church may burn as a clear and compelling witness of your good news and way of salvation.
How will anyone know that God is with us if we don’t allow your Spirit to conform us to your perfect plan us?
How will anyone know that God is with us if our character, our words and thoughts, look and sound no different than the person who makes no claim of encountering you in a real and life-changing way?
How will anyone know that God is with us if we fail to serve one another in love, or take seriously the wounds and hurts, the suffering and pain in people looking for relief, needing to find a way to make a fresh start – needing to find you?
Your mercy and patience is high and wide and long and deep.
In confessing our weakness and shortcomings with a sincere desire to change, you cleanse and renew; you set our feet on the right path; you communicate with us personally, whispering in our heart, ‘this is the way, walk neither to the left or to the right, but filled with my power, go straight into the world and share my love, pointing others to the grace extended in me to heal and set free.’
God of grace, always with us, we bless and exalt your name this day knowing that there is life and healing to be found in you. It is with sincerity of heart we pray the prayer you taught us saying,
Loving Father, bless your people this day.
You are full of love and unswervingly faithful to your word, so fill us with assurance that you are at work in every situation of our lives, inviting us to entrust ourselves to your goodness and powerful desire to transform us that we might live in your peace.
Change us at the core of our being to be continually at rest in your loving presence.
For you are mighty to save!
Your name is high above all other names.
I AM who I AM. Adonai. El Shaddai. Jehovah Nissi. Jehovah Rapha. Jehovah Jireh.
You frame your plans to deliver and bring peace to human hearts and to the socio-political constructs in which we live as societies and nations through Jesus Christ, showing us our need to have a humble response of faith to his work on our behalf with a deep submission of our wills to be at your disposal, with a confidence in your promised empowerment to set us apart as authentically yours in him, with freedom from past sin and spiritual weapons to fight in the ongoing struggle of the old nature, with comfort and healing from wounding and conditioning that would keep us from the joy and blessing of walking in the light of your presence as your sanctifying work goes deeper and deeper.
Lord Jesus, your amazing invitation to embrace us as your own is a phenomenal declaration of our worth in your eyes, all the more amazing when we look at our imperfections and failures to live up to your holiness … and we wonder again at your grace.
Your amazing grace.
Your astounding love demonstrated at the cost of sacrificial death on a cross preceded by
In this darkest of hours, your forgiveness flowed and we were offered life where we had formerly only known a hopeless chasm separating us from you. Endless thanks to you!
Faithful God, you set in motion a plan of salvation from all eternity. Help us see you in the full weight of your glory and love, your perfect justice and judgements, and so praise you forevermore beginning right now as we pray the prayer you taught us saying,
Holy God, there is none like you –
so quick to forgive,
so ready to offer hope,
so willing to pour out your love and bind up the spiritual, emotional and physical wounds that are part of a human race which is broken and splintered.
We regularly live in the consequences of walking outside your perfect parameters to guard the welfare of our brothers and sisters from every tribe and nation, and to honour and trust your great name and precepts in all that we are and all that we do. For to honour you is to respect each one made in your image, each one in need of being positioned before the grace and kind mercy of Jesus Christ, in need of seeing the old pass away and the new come into view through the rebirth of your Holy Spirit in us. We have failed to set aside our fears and prejudices to live together as those inheriting the fullness and largeness of life as one body.
But in Christ, we are one to the glory of God who has redeemed us and bound us together in unity.
Forgive us for our inward self-protective attitudes and actions, and breathe new perspectives, godly ways of being, scriptural outlooks that are concerned with bringing the good news of Jesus Christ in word and in concrete demonstrations to all for the common good.
Spirit of the living God, at Pentecost, you came upon your waiting disciples with great power and blessing, filling them to be agents of grace in the ongoing ministry of Jesus in this world.
Fill us now as we wait with surrendered lives.
Fill us now as we call upon the name of Jesus in faith and in a decision to turn away from worldly entanglements to follow him with all that we are.
Fill us now to replace the spirits from which we often operate:
lukewarm commitments to Christ and your church,
resistance to your correcting word to avoid disclosure of our shortcomings.
Fill us instead with the fruit of your Spirit:
love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, self-control.
Fill us also with a loving boldness to speak the life-giving name of Jesus into every sphere of life, praying as we go the prayer you taught us saying,
‘Our Father …’
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, holy are you, One God in three persons, you are worthy to receive our praise. Glory is due your name from the rising of the sun to its setting, during the day and throughout the evening as it darkens into night.
For you have created the heavens and the earth; all that is seen and all that is unseen; all that is known to us and all that is yet to be discovered.
Open our eyes to the vastness of who you are
in your power and splendour;
in your patience and love;
in your goodness and good pleasure to lift broken and stained people from the curse of a fallen world into the light of your presence through the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ.
Having formed a new humanity filled with your Spirit, those called out to become your church, you then send us into the day to day events of our lives to worship you with the witness of our words, attitudes, choices, and behaviours which speak of gratitude to a holy God who gives us all good things.
We celebrate your provision for our every need.
Help us to open our hands to the magnitude of your gifts, gifts meant to be distributed through us to bless others in your name.
Deepen our trust.
Enlarge our faith.
Strengthen our weak knees so we will serve others as you have served us with joy in all holiness.
Thank you for inviting us to participate in your mission of re-creation and rescue until you come again to reign with absolute authority for the healing of the nations in the light of your holy presence.
Awesome God, what a glorious hope we have in you.
How foolishly we hold back from full surrender to the completeness of your will when you are the very author and source of life itself!
How faithless to hold back from sharing the blessings of your daily bread when you are the very Bread of Life who can feed the whole world.
Holy, holy, holy LORD, we trust in your kind covenant of grace, and so pray the prayer you taught us that you might continue to form us according to your will.
‘Our Father …’
How grateful we are that you are Lord above all.
You have shown that there is no one like you.
You are love Incarnate:
love demonstrated through obedience to death, even death on a cross;
love made clear through suffering;
love selflessly enduring the tomb of waiting;
love so explosively great that death was shattered and its hold over us defeated!
New life! A re-creation!
A genesis of revitalized spiritual union with the living sovereign God over all.
As the risen Lord, you intercede for your church, your bride for whom you are preparing a great wedding feast at the end of the age.
You are at work in our lives stripping away our pretentious pride both conscious and unconscious.
You are binding up our wounds,
You are inviting us into communion with yourself so that we too might live resurrected lives right now where new aspirations of investing in eternal values are born and formed according to you will; where suffering can become for us a wise teacher which causes us to live in the hope of what is truly necessary in the end; where God given dreams so faint from years of waiting burst into new beginnings, altered and refined but full of life where weariness and wandering had set in.
We pray for these and all other spiritual blessings to be manifest in the lives of your people as you continue to build your church against which the very gates of hell will not prevail.
Lord, may the certainty of your resurrection quiet any doubts that you are able to take our lives and set us on a new path far from that which has burdened us by changing our heart and perspective.
Rise in our hearts this morning!
Lord, may the certainty of your resurrection provide a solid refuge of comfort for those who long for the day of being reunited with loved ones.
Rise in our hearts this morning!
Lord, may the certainty of your resurrection challenge your church, your beloved bride, to give up whatever you ask and to receive from your hands whatever you know we need to be fully alive in you.
In dying to self and in rising again in you, prepare us to bear our cross in your powerful love for the peace of the world and the glory of your great and wonderful name, praying the prayer you taught us saying,
‘Our Father …’
Gracious God, you deserve our all. You spoke and the universe came into being with power and wondrous diversity. You created this astoundingly beautiful planet, designed and positioned in such a way within the galaxies to sustain life. The slightest difference in the physical laws which govern our world and life could not exist. You had us in mind from the very beginning – creatures formed from the dust of the earth, made in your image, and filled with the breath of your Spirit giving us both physical and spiritual life to live in union with you within the fellowship of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Yet, so like our great adversary the devil, who wanted glory for himself rather than to live wholeheartedly and gratefully in the light of your perfection, we too chose to worship the idea that we could be gods ourselves. We have repeatedly chosen patterns of thought and behaviours that have belittled your authority and uniquely singular rule and left us disconnected from you on a path to self-destruction. We find ourselves hurting others and dishonouring your good creation having forfeited that intimacy with you. No wonder the world is in such a mess. No wonder we go from one dilemma to the next with selfishness, pride, greed and fear at the core.
Lord, we come humbly today to contemplate the reality of our need for a Saviour, One who can heal our diseased souls, restore us to our right minds, and give us the hope of resurrected bodies in the life to come which will come totally under your Lordship upon your return through the finished work of atoning grace in our precious Lord, Jesus Christ.
Priceless Friend of sinners who knew no sin yourself,
when arrested you did not fight;
when insulted you did not go on the offensive;
when heaped with the lies of fearful fallen men and hated with the spiting, striking blows of those who mocked their only hope of deliverance, you did not retaliate against their cruel ingratitude and foolish self-importance.
You allowed yourself to be led as a lamb to be slaughtered – the Lamb of God slain from the foundation of the world. You created us in the full knowledge that your redeeming love for us would require the greatest expression of suffering love imaginable, death on a Roman cross where God’s mercy and wrath were met in you for the blessing and healing of the world.
‘When I survey this wondrous cross, on which the Prince of Glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss and pour contempt on all my pride.
Were the whole realm of nature mine, that were a present far too small.
Love so amazing, so divine, demands my life, my soul, my all. ‘
‘Our Father … ‘
Gracious God, Lamb of God, Advocate for sinners, we confess that you are our all in all.
Redeemer, Saviour and Lord, it is in you, in your perfect life given in substitution for ours that we come with quiet and thankful hearts, praying today that you would strengthen our faith and deepen our joy in the wonder that your kingdom has come among us; that we are your children whose place with you for all eternity is already determined through your finished work on our behalf having. We have scorned the self- righteousness lurking in ourselves and come to you in faith, believing and resting in your grace alone because of your Spirit’s work in our hearts.
We pray that through your merciful and magnanimous heart you would stir in the spirits of those who may be sincerely searching for you;
those pondering spiritual things;
those questioning humanity’s relationship to an Intelligent Designer who has made yourself known in scripture;
those considering the claims of Christianity which declare you to be the Author of Life and all that is in and through Jesus the Son.
Show yourself to be the open door to a certain hope in which we can be eternally held by your grace and love which pardons and forgives all our offenses and so sets our feet on a new path. Give us clear eyes of understanding to accept your verdict on our condition apart from Christ, and enable each one wrestling with the truth to see their inability to ever pay back the failure of not living up to the glory and holy standard of a God who made humanity to live openly and freely in his holy presence. Help us to see the depth of loving relationship being missed.
You are a personal God who is involved in the world, in the church, in the lives of individuals, and it is in you, Jesus the Christ, the only Mediator between God and mankind, that we discover the deep peace of belonging and the richness of being intimately known, loved and accepted – gifts we all crave.
Holy, holy, holy LORD, God of glory and grace.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD!
Hosanna in the highest form of worship we can think to offer!
Thank you for inviting us into the kingdom of heaven right now, near at hand, lifting us across the threshold with arms once outstretched on a cruel cross now ready to lead us in glad obedience into the beauty of your kingdom’s precepts and so experience renewed hope in living this life fully, and to the glory of God.
Hear us then as we pray the prayer you taught us saying,
Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on us.
May we be spiritually woken up as we were recently woke up to a clean snowfall; to the sparkling beauty of your cleansing grace and forgiveness for past offenses against your holiness and perfect goodness.
We give you thanks and praise for new beginnings.
In you Lord Jesus, we are renewed day by day.
In you, old patterns of thought and actions are covered by your blood and we are transformed step by step to increasingly embrace our identity as new creations through your gift of spiritual rebirth.
In you, the past is past and we are given opportunity to enter each morning with stillness of heart to contemplate your splendour and majesty displayed all around us in creation and to hear you in your word calling us to follow in the path of Christ with trusting faith and worshiping souls whatever else is swirling around us; to be very present with you right now and to move into the future in the knowledge that you are already there.
Wonderful Counsellor, Everlasting Father, intimate Friend and Saviour, when you cover over the allure of temptations, ungodly judgements, and unhealthy aspirations with the truth that sets us free, we quickly see the emptiness which comes from feeding our minds and spirits on anything that is not is conformity to your will and your ways.
You are the wholesome Bread of Life for which there is no comparison. No wonder we have craved the something more, the deep connection with true purpose and belonging before discovering you, for our hearts are indeed restless until they rest in you.
And so we come, with eyes lifted up to you, asking once again for your grace and mercy to overflow, bringing a new measure of healing and wholeness to each one gathered with humility of spirit before your awesome greatness and profound kindness that stooped to save sinful people such as we ourselves.
hank you for covering us in your love and not with the judgement we deserve.
Lord Jesus, the new beginning you offer is the fresh start we all need to usher in hope to a hurting culture long exposed by its inadequacies to shape lasting peace and joy.
Fill us then with your Spirit to pray the prayer you taught us in spirit and in truth saying,
We quiet ourselves to draw near to you, the LORD of glory and salvation, to ascribe to you the weight of honour due your name, and to worship you in the splendour of your holiness.
Let us begin to take in the image of your holiness more richly than ever before and so be changed for having met with you.
We stand secure in the wonderful and certain hope that you have redeemed us in love through Jesus Christ and we rejoice that we are yours. While so much crumbles around us, while nations rise and fall, while vibrant faith in a personal Creator God who chose to walk among us in your Son has fallen dramatically in this past generation within this country, we gather with deep conviction through faith in the living word mercifully at work in us to declare before the world that you reign in power and that you bring new life to those who call on your name for saving grace.
As those who long to see your righteous reign come in all its power, we recognize that we live in a wilderness wild with aggressive ways and the glorification of the self; a wilderness dry from spiritual wells long since emptied on fruitless pursuits, spilled out for nothing of lasting worth.
We live in a barren land where a famine of hearing the word of the Lord has left us with only a skeletal form of wisdom unable to lead us into the abundance of character, virtue, values, and lasting solutions to our human need which only you can provide.
We live in arid places where the often echoing silence of limited biblical and theological reflection, ethical discourse, and spiritual conversation allows our minds to instead be filled with media bias and voices which call good evil and evil good.
Rescue us and restore us to our right mind where we have become prey to the jackals of this age.
Fill us instead with your truth as we prepare for and await your glorious return when the deserts will turn to lush fields of vegetation.
Fill our mouths with words of witness to your living presence in us and in the world.
Fill our hearts with praise and build our resolve to make straight paths in the spiritual desert of our time by speaking and showing the powerful love of Christ as we worship in a manner worthy of you, a God for whom our words of adoration are always so small.
We are unable to truly express the depth of awe we know belongs to you.
All knowing, all powerful, everywhere present God, we give you thanks that we also know you as a loving Father who taught us to pray through the words of your Son,
LORD God of
Hosts, together it is our joy and the anchor of our souls in these changing times to declare your mighty power and supreme rule; to proclaim that your kingdom of light and glory has broken into the kingdom of this world, a world under the influence of powers and principalities in opposition to your authority, and a world which resists your unchanging word. You have established a victorious and enduring stronghold of love and grace through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
That which you have begun, you will bring to full completion.
You will reign forever and ever and therefore we have hope in the face of deeply concerning realities confronting our global village.
While the nations rage against one another and against your sovereign right to rule; while corporate and individual greed expands at alarming rates; while instability in economic, social and political systems teeters too often on the verge of insanity, you, holy, magnificent, and awe inspiring God of the universe across its vast number of light years and beyond, are more than able to move all of history with its good and evil towards a culminating moment – the Day of the LORD – when your righteous judgement will be perfectly brought to bear as every knee bows and every tongue confesses that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.
Father, we go forward with your praise in our hearts and also publically on our lips.
Be Lord of our lives, of this congregation of your people, of this country in which we live, so that we in turn might point to you as the only living God, high and lifted up, having recommitted ourselves to being transformed into a people of even greater praise as citizens of your kingdom.
Hear us then as we pray the prayer you taught us saying,
Gracious God, as your people, washed, cleansed and made spiritually alive in Jesus Christ, we gather to celebrate your loving kindness, your mighty power to renew and recreate, and your perfect wisdom to exercise judgement with righteousness in the affairs of the nations, and in the inner thoughts and motivation of each living soul. Glorious King of the universe, born into a corrupt and disintegrating Roman kingdom to gain a stronghold of infiltration, you have shown us your determination to deliver us from our sin-filled predicament. We are utterly dependent on your mercy and kindness having fallen prey to the sinful inclinations of our hearts, minds and wills. We have therefore rightfully stood in separation from you, a holy and pure God.
We acknowledge that to give you less than full and grateful surrender exposes our innate tendency towards self-promotion as our own god of choice, unable to recapture the innocence of sinless lives.
We listen and give in to that which we deem to be pleasurable or gratifying in the moment.
We fail to love either you or our neighbour as we ought.
We seek a loophole by asking ‘who is my neighbour’ and so applaud ourselves by our own standards.
hat’s why the shout of praise and thanksgiving for your entry into this darkened place flows so easily from your people this day! You have bridged the unbridgeable gap by leaving heaven and coming to earth for us to make the way of salvation! Amazing love! Amazing grace!
And so in love for you and your mighty work for us,
we confront our pride and bend the knee to declare our need to conform to the love we have seen in you; to name those with whom we are out of step and bring your love to bear in those relationships:
it could be the family member with whom we have quarrelled,
persons who have hurt of offended us,
nations struggling in poverty by our inequitable practices,
individuals we encounter in situations of challenge or injustice needing a faithful advocate or friend to bring grace, truth and justice to bear upon their circumstances or inner turmoil.
We see in the face of the Christ Child who came to earth how very much we have distorted the expression of true love.
We have made it into something far less than the divine agape love of God where we, as the beloved children of God, are meant to become living channels of your love to others empowered by your Spirit.
Help us to cradle the Christ in our hearts, attentive to all that means, as we pray the prayer you taught us saying,
With shouts of joy we will praise you.
With quiet acknowledgment of your greatness we bow our hearts and will before you.
With worship that seeks to reflect the fact of our utter dependence on you for life itself and everything we need, we come into this sanctuary seeking your face, holy, righteous and loving Father.
You are Creator of the universe with its unfathomable depths. You are Creator of each one here with our intricate and complex bodies, minds, and personalities. We are humbled and amazed that you not only take notice of us, but you pour out your grace and mercy upon us in ever fresh ways that reminds us of your goodness; ways that speak to us personally and as a community of faith; ways that remind us of your enduring presence and faithfulness, not only in the past, but also in the present and into the future ahead.
You have drawn us to yourself with strong cords of love to be a people of praise where the light of your kingdom may shine and be experienced by all who meet us. You have had us in mind for such a high purpose even before we had it in ourselves to turn to you. While we were yet sinners, you sought us out and made a way of reconciliation and peace through your Son, Jesus our Lord.
And yet, our sin-soaked thoughts and actions still persist and drive us to your throne of grace over and over with gratitude for the wonderful promise that when we confess our sin before you, you are faithful and just to forgive us through Christ’ shed blood on the cross. We deserve your judgement yet you offer us your pardon. When we gaze on your beautiful character of compassion, when we consider your purity of intent and action, we become aware once again of your great beauty and our great need for cleansing.
Thank you Father, that in Jesus Christ, our sin is blotted out and remembered no more.
Holy Spirit, Counsellor and Guide, fill our lives this day.
Still our racing thoughts that we might hear you speak to us.
Break down our walls of resistance and fear so we might be embraced by your everlasting arms and find rest in our spirits.
May we begin the week ahead in our call to minister together with renewed hope and passion for our great Saviour, who taught us to pray together saying,
‘Our Father … ‘
Almighty God, the wonders of your mighty acts give us pause to exalt your name. You chose for yourself a people, rescuing them from an impossible situation as slaves in the land of Egypt and revealed yourself as the all powerful and victorious LORD whose will cannot be thwarted.
Father God, we adore you this day because you continue to redeem your people. You deliver us from our condition of sin natures which are unable to enjoy fellowship with you by breathing new life into us by your Spirit. Where we had been bound by our own pride and rebellion, you sent your Son to bring about salvation, release, and a life of resting securely in your mercy and grace through the gift of faith and repentance. You, Lord Jesus Christ, died for our sins while we were still sinners.
Hallelujah! Thanks be to you, O God.
Our voices join with all who have bowed before you in awe and gratitude; with all the hosts of heaven who never cease to give praise to you night or day because your greatness and majesty never dim or fade.
You alone are God. There is no other.
We confess to you that we do not always acknowledge your amazing involvement in our lives and attempt to take the credit for ourselves.
Lamb of God, have mercy on us.
We strive and struggle to bring things to pass without checking with you through prayer and the study of your word to make sure that we are truly seeking your will.
Lamb of God, have mercy on us.
We live for our own wants and desires instead of abandoning self-centredness and making you, Lord Jesus, the very centre point of each thought and action.
Lamb of God, have mercy on us for these and every other offense with which we have grieved you. We long to be restored and cleansed that we might take delight yet again in the depth of your love towards us, singing and dancing with joy-filled lives given over to you.
We thank you for your presence with us to nurture, guide, and heal.
We pray that our service of worship to you will witness to our desire that all will live in your love and saving power.
May your name be exalted by our praise, even as we pray the prayer you taught us saying,
Holy, holy, holy LORD, God Almighty, who was and is and is to come, you are worthy to receive glory and honour, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.
Dear heavenly Father, although you invite us in Christ to call you Abba, Daddy, we readily acknowledge that you are far beyond our ability to comprehend.
You are perfect. We are marked with weakness and imperfection.
You are holy. We waffle between actions that reflect your goodness and those smeared with selfishness full of impurities in a multitude of large and small ways.
You are from everlasting to everlasting. We are finite creatures with our days numbered and ordained by you, even though we often act as though we are in control.
We confess that we have missed the mark of your holiness.
Teach us to number our days in light of our knowledge of you as revealed in your word by your Spirit; in light of the brevity of life; in light of Christ’s death, resurrection, ascension, and sure return, a day when all will bow the knee and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.
Our hearts grow heavy when we see how we see how deeply we have failed you … but you never fail us! Your grace and mercy have been poured out on us through no merit of our own.
Praise flows from our hearts and across our lips to join with the hosts of heaven in saying WOW! You are a God of incredible compassion, and we love you. Everything is being made new in you.
Along this path of life we sometimes come across obstacles or difficulties which threaten to derail our resolve to trust in your goodness:
poor health, disappointing news, fears for our safety, witnessing great suffering
where famines persist,
where people are forced to flee homes,
where children live and die on the streets,
where wars erupt, where natural disasters destroy without mercy.
Help us come to you this morning remembering that this is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it because we know the Sovereign God who watches over us without ceasing. Make us instruments of your peace.
Gracious God, touch us all again this day with the grace of our baptism. Give us new lives for old: new spirits, new faith, new commitment in place of all that has grown tired and stale and dead in our lives. Thank you for the great cloud of witnesses that has gone before us and cheers us on to faithful living. May we follow them by resting in your all sufficiency.
Hear us then, as we pray the prayer you taught us saying,
O LORD God, none can stand in the presence of your full glory, majesty and splendour. You are utterly pure and holy with not even a trace or hint of anything impure. Perfectly good. Totally loving.
We praise and thank you that you did not abandon us when we fell into the proud and sinful state of wanting to be our own god and thus rejected your kind and intimate presence. Our innocence was replaced with insolent ingratitude and we’ve been feeling the effects ever since. Even in our redeemed state, our old natures fight with the Holy Spirit within, derailing our best intentions to honour you as we desire and know you deserve.
We become sidetracked in wilful ways.
We are marked by compromising thoughts and actions.
We are neglectful of seeking your face in our decisions.
We fall into idolatry of many different varieties as we place other things in a more important place than you.
How absurd …
for surely, when the God of the universe is speaking and calling for our attention,
what could possibly be more important?
How could we, mere created beings, think that we would ever be able to better set our own guidelines?
Righteous God, your words are life, and you alone give us deep and abiding peace.
Thank you that you invite us to know you and be known by you in loving relationship with all the glory rightfully yours for so great a gift as this.
Thank you that our salvation is secure because of your promises and not our ability to somehow measure up.
We worship you for your amazing grace and mercy to us, for the forgiveness which flows from the sacrifice of your Son Jesus Christ, for the power to live new lives through the Holy Spirit poured out within.
We long to know the joy of your presence loving us, shaping us, comforting us and guiding us so we present ourselves to you in honest vulnerability to receive your word.
Spirit of the living God, speak to each one of us today as we wait on you with expectancy to meet us here, even as we prayer the prayer taught to us by our precious Saviour,
In all the changes and uncertainties of life, this one thing we know … you are LOVE.
Mighty God our heavenly Father in a world of constant change and unpredictability, you are the bedrock of our souls. In the living out of our lives with trust and obedience in your perfect word, you anchor us on a solid rock, unshakeable in the fiercest storm.
Nothing in all creation can separate us from your love, neither death nor life, angels or rulers, things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation … for you hold the future and we are yours.
You are ever present with us in the joys and concerns of our days making all things work together for good for those who love you are called according to your purposes.
And, you transform our past with its mixture of good and evil, light and darkness into that which can shape us into people of praise and hope, ready with a word of comfort for others in the name Jesus whom we love and adore.
Mighty Lamb of God, reigning in all authority at the Father’s right hand, you confirmed our eternal security at your great victory over sin and death by rising again and ascending into heaven as our Advocate and Saviour, fully God and fully man. As has been recorded in your holy word, the day will come when you will return, when heaven and earth will be made new, when you will take your throne and pass judgement on the world, calling your people home forevermore through faith in your righteous work for us. You will dwell in our midst, and the glory of your splendour and holiness will be the light by which we live.
LORD, we would fall on our faces before you alongside the prophets and apostles, the elders and the heavenly hosts who do your bidding day and night, and all those who have rested in your grace and now see you face to face.
We are forever grateful you have rescued us.
Spirit of the Living God, help each one to relinquish control and give you the reins, to receive your forgiveness, and to commit or recommit to loving and serving you fully from this day forward into an eternal future with you who taught us to pray together saying,
Almighty God, your reign will last forever for you have no beginning and no end.
From infinity to infinity, you are God.
Creator, Sovereign Lord, King Supreme, we are bombarded with fears and threats of disastrous proportions when we listen to current world events, but nothing takes you by surprise, Lord God of Hosts. You knew the times in which we would live before they came to pass and so we will cling to you as our fortress and our place of refuge.
We are comforted by the sure knowledge that underneath the uncertainties of life are the everlasting arms of a heavenly Father who knows each care, who hears each sigh, who records our tears in a bottle, who knows the very number of hairs on our head.
You, O God, are all powerful, and you, O God, are utterly good.
We confess, though, that in our secret thoughts, we sometimes shake an angry fist.
We wonder why you would allow such evil in a world
where people die unjustly in wars,
where tiny infants and children go without food,
where lives are damaged or lost at the hands of cruelty and hatreds imbedded in distorted psyches.
Yet, we confess that we fail to acknowledge with thanks the gift of freewill so we might know the joy of loving you freely as your Spirit opens our eyes to your kindness.
Forgive us for our resistance to your will,
planting ill-will by our neglect,
harvesting discomfort through our gossip,
living for ourselves through runaway greed.
O God, have mercy on us and on the world and move us by your Spirit to freely choose your love.
We are struck by your awesome gift which invites us to recapture a harmonious life, empowered to live by your Spirit. Cleanse us for our part in the complex inter-relationships of global systems and personal relationships that fail to bow and submit to your Lordship through refining love. O God, may your kingdom come through us in power in these challenging times. With this our desire, we pray the prayer you taught us saying,
Dear heavenly Father, we lift our hearts up to you! Eternal God, loving LORD, you revealed yourself to your people long ago as the covenant keeping God who would never go back on your word. That which you declare is true, and does not change.
For those you choose as your own in Christ, you do not fail to be to them a saviour, a friend, a king. Your faithfulness will never run dry or become polluted with inconsistencies. You are the pure source of our life beyond our ability to control.
What a comfort that your greatness cannot be diminished;
that you are holy and in no way complicit in our sin;
that you are compassionate and continue to call out to us through your word and Spirit.
We can then cry out to you in confident expectancy of your mercy instead of the judgement we deserve.
You are our Rock, a solid place to stand in a world where change is a constant and where we see that our lives are like the grass and flowers of the field – thriving and vibrant for a short while, but in no time at all, fading away and gone.
You invite us again today to enter into your protection and peace found in your anointed One, Jesus Christ, the Messiah.
We claim our position as your children through your gift of faith
when we recognize our frailty in the face of your omnipotence;
when we acknowledge the dark corners of our lives in the face of your perfect and unapproachable pure Light;
when we in repentance turn away from them and race towards your righteousness with joy and desire to live forgiven and free.
Thank you, O God.
We confess our proud spirits that far too often refuse to bend the knee at so remarkable on offer. We simply don’t grasp how very lost we are. We are deceived into thinking that there is nothing we can’t solve or overcome.
God of glory and grace, we confess our sin and our need of your saving intervention throughout our lives to bring us safely home. Hear us then as we pray the prayer you taught us saying,
‘Our Father …’
O God, our souls ring out with songs which wonder at your greatness.
Yet, we confess there are times when we come to think of ourselves more highly than we ought.
Creator of all that is, Lord of heaven and earth, we thank you for the reality checks of worship rooted in your self-revelation when we are reminded of our smallness in light of your supreme glory and power, love and truth.
O Father, we focus on you whenever we enter a space of rest and thanksgiving; whenever we consider all that you have done in and through your Son, Jesus Christ.
Still our racing thoughts.
Hush the external distraction.
Diminish our awareness of the rituals and customs that may sometimes obscure a clear vision of you and your holy presence.
‘God With Us’, you are here to meet your people in the songs of communion and love, forgiveness and new life, hope and direction.
We intentionally desire to keep a steady gaze on you, Lord Jesus, so that all we do and say and think will be in response to your generous grace. We confess that in the past we have done things to impress others without being concerned whether we are being pleasing to you or not. Our actions have been motivated by selfish concern rather than by a secret inner joy of serving you in joyful obedience and hidden ways because there is nothing else we would rather do.
And yet, for the sake of the joy set before you, you went to the cross in glad obedience and at great personal cost to restore a fallen humanity; to make us into new creations who are set free to live for you: learning to live in freedom from desire for earthly reward of wealth or praise, power or prestige, and instead, showing us how to be content in every situation, holding a godly desire to store up treasure in heaven, waiting for the coming of your kingdom with patient endurance.
Lord, Jesus Christ, thank you for giving us a renewed perspective of the privilege which is ours to sing to you with our whole being.
Holy Spirit, come and lead us into a choir of voices who blend as one saying the prayer you taught us,
Your kingdom, O God, will last forever. For who or what could ever depose you from your throne as Creator, Sustainer and Redeemer? Your glory fills the full extent and majesty of the universe. Your glory fills the farthest reaching expression of love ever shown, displayed for all to see on the cross where justice and mercy met perfectly in Jesus Christ. We fall to our knees this day, humbled by the greatness of your love and worthiness of our praise and adoration.
We come to you, most holy Father, as your adopted children, sprinkled clean and restored as yours.
We come in faith and with a deep desire to reject our old destructive patterns of condemnation and anger and bitterness.
We come seeking new life, a life rooted in the peace and love that flows from our crucified and risen Lord who has promised to come again and set all things right.
We confess that we often fail to let your word judge and transform us into your likeness.
We confess how quickly and easily we try to step into your role as judge even though we know you alone can see the beginning and the end, and you alone can accurately assess the inner thought and motives of each soul.
Father, forgive us.
We confess that as citizens in your kingdom we sometimes seek to set up our own kingdoms based on personal preference, societal values, ego. We confess that we sometimes tear down that which you are doing either by outright attack or simple neglect.
Lord, have mercy.
You alone sit at God’s right hand to rule with justice and righteousness.
You alone are able to build your church and cause it to flourish.
Holy Spirit, help us make a good confession so the snowdrifts of our own self-deception are plowed away and a way is cleared to come in honest search of full submission to your love and to your call on our lives to love one another without discrimination.
Lead us forward as you help us take another step in the direction of becoming the people you have designed and redeemed us to be:
a place of acceptance and welcome;
a place of fresh starts;
a place of learning and growing together as Christ is formed in us to the glory of God and for the healing of the nations.
May this work start within our closest relationships and then move out into every contact and interaction we have with others. Reign in our midst we pray, using the words you taught us saying,
Lord God, we pray for fresh insight to gain a deeper understanding of the depth and height, length and breadth of your love for us in Christ Jesus you Son. Shine your penetrating light of purity and holiness into our hearts by the moving of your Holy Spirit so we might see clearly our need of grace; so we might humble ourselves to receive your gifts of forgiveness, change, and new beginnings this day; so we might overflow with thanksgiving and praise at so great a salvation as you have given to us.
O Father, you hold onto your children with a tenacious grasp of unquenchable love which is stronger than death: redeeming, reconciling, refining and revising our opinions through the bright light of your living word.
We confess that we often make false judgements of ourselves.
We are blind to the habitual patterns and thoughtless actions that disrupt our lives and cause you pain.
Lord in you mercy, forgive us and re-form us we pray.
We confess that we often think that the wrongdoings in someone else’s life are much worse than our own and we fail to allow you to do an honest appraisal of our attitudes, our less than perfect motivations, our godless thoughts shaped more by popular culture and pride than by your word .
Lord in your mercy, forgive us and re-form us we pray.
We live in situations where we could easily react in fear and thereby create a devastating trail of actions which do not exhibit Christ’s suffering love for others. Instead we try to cover up, to rationalize.
Lord in your mercy, forgive us and re-form us we pray.
O God, your love is perfect and drives out fear. You call us into the communion of eternal life in fellowship with Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. You invite us to rise above the debilitating power struggles on every scale by lifting our eyes to our resurrected Lord, Prince of Peace, Wonderful Counsellor, Almighty God.
And so, we invite you now to build us up as your people bowing before you and praying with joyful hearts the prayer you taught us saying,
You are the majestic King of heaven and of all the earth.
You are the Lord of hosts who will one day move your hand and put an end to all war and strife.
You are the almighty God who can never be forced out of office or be removed as the Sovereign of your kingdom, no matter how much we raise an angry or arrogant fist against you in your authority to reign.
We praise you that you are unshakeable, for then we can rest in you regardless of what we can see around us with our eyes, walking by faith instead of by sight. For we know you are holy and you will be faithful to bring your people safely home to yourself through Jesus Christ who loved us and died for us, breaking the power of sin and death over us.
Thanks be to you our Father for drawing us into the embrace of your love and protection for our souls through the Holy Spirit’s work in our hearts:
causing us to bend the knee and express our need of your grace,
changing us to lend ourselves in service to you, our loving Saviour,
challenging us to send forth the word of your gospel as has been done for centuries ss within the life of your gathered people.
Thank you for the awesome privilege and responsibility of being part of the community of faith.
We don’t always value this treasure of eternal inheritance with sufficient gratitude or loving response.
We neglect to tell others who are spiritually hungry where to find the living Bread.
We take our eyes off the risen Lord Jesus and lose our footing on slippery paths of distorted thinking and deceptive lies.
Loving Triune God, we seek your forgiveness and set ourselves apart for you with fresh resolve to live as your people in the times in which we find ourselves to the glory of God and as a witness to our only Saviour, Jesus Christ, a faithful friend who stays closer than a brother.
Holy Spirit, come, as you continue to build your church. We remember what you have done in the past and are encouraged to move joyfully into the future.
Cause the words of our Lord’s prayer to burn in our hearts with a sincere desire to surrender to you.
O Lord God, our cry goes up to you this day. We are weak and frail, quick to settle into a half-hearted expression of our faith; slow to recognize the futility of spending our energy and time in the drama of daily life apart from you.
We acknowledge that you are the God of life: its source, its sustainer. Without you, our lives are but shadows of all that you would accomplish in and through us.
O Breath of life, come sweeping through us.
Stir us up to see your greatness and your goodness that we might praise you as we ought.
Grab hold of us, lay your hand upon us, get our attention, so we may realize more deeply the wonder of our salvation in Christ Jesus and experience the joy of following you faithfully. Do a work of power and grace in dry bones, weary bones, bones that struggle through daily existence in a state of spiritual deprivation and death.
O Holy Spirit, rather than allowing you to take the driver’s seat of our lives, we too often ask you to simply come along for the ride to bless and protect our plans.
Forgive our arrogance and fear of holding back from giving ourselves completely to you.
Forgive us when our desires do not line up with yours.
Forgive us when we speak of your holiness, justice and love yet fail to act as though you even exist.
We give thanks to you for entering the lives of your people, the church for whom Christ died, and invite you again to lead us into full participation in your mission
bringing all things together in Christ,
bringing life where there has been no conceivable hope,
bringing courageous love and loving solutions to difficult situations,
and watching your kingdom advance for the good of all to the glory of your name.
Soften our critical hearts of stone. May we be as clay in the Potter’s hands.
Sprinkle clean our garments smudged with self indulgence, and may we be freshly clothed in the righteousness of Christ to live for you, ready to be instruments in your hand.
Seal us by your Spirit until the day when you return to usher us into the wedding feast of the Lamb.
May you have complete control so our prayer may be voiced with conviction and longing to see Jesus Christ exalted, regardless of the cost; remembering the incredible cost of your shed blood for us.
Hear us then as we pray the prayer you taught us saying,
Out of a week perhaps filled with ordinary routines, perhaps from refreshment in travels or special times shared with family and friends, perhaps with long hours of concern and care from unexpected challenges or turns of events, we gather together as one body to rejoice in your unfailing presence and to turn our focussed attention on you.
You, our gracious heavenly Father, set up camp in the midst of your people to renew our hope and strength in the light of your greatness and glory. Our faith sometimes flickers and falters in the face of fiery trials, but we will not fear the dark valleys. You remain faithful, a covenant keeping God, who, by your Spirit, fans into flames our confidence in your living word as the source of light for whatever circumstance in which we find ourselves. We thank you for your persevering love and kindness day by day that is seeking us out even before we are yet turning to seek you.
Holy, holy, holy LORD, God of heaven and earth, you are awesome in power and righteous judgement, but you are also stunningly beautiful in tender mercy and compassion.
We draw near with an acknowledgement of our need to be washed clean from the thoughts, the actions, or the inactions which have missed the mark of full surrender to the lordship of Jesus Christ.
We view the price with which we have been redeemed as we remember the cross, and worship the Lamb slain for us from the beginning of the world.
We offer our gratitude and confess our intent to honour you, to love you with heart, mind, soul and strength, and to love our neighbour as ourselves as is fitting of those who bear your name.
Your forgiveness astounds us and we receive your comfort and counsel as an act of worship, setting aside our proud striving to declare your sovereignty in all things.
Your invitation to linger in your presence is a sound of joyful welcome to each heart aware that our true rest is found in you alone.
We bow down through the broken body of our Lord whose perfect sacrifice opened the way to this wonderful peace and security of belonging.
And so, we enter the goodness of your presence, asking that you would continue your transforming work in our lives for Jesus sake, who taught us to pray together saying,
Amen and amen.
You, King Jesus, Son of God and Son of man, have been given the name that is above every name both in this age and in the age to come. You are seated in the place of honour and authority in the heavenly realms where all the hosts of angels adore you without interruption, for everything they do is an act of worship of loving obedience.
Anointed One of God, a day will come when every knee will bow and declare your Lordship over all; when human pride will be exposed for the lunacy it is in the presence of your awesome power and holiness; when your loving kingdom’s rule will abolish injustice and unrighteousness and replace our self-destructive greed, corruption and violence with your great and deep shalom as we live together in peace.
That very hope burns in many hearts.
Our love for you increases when we contemplate your glory in the context of your forgiveness, of tender care, of endless companionship, of guidance, and of faithful protection over the souls of your people whose citizenship is with you in the heavenly city; whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
You are the Shepherd King already caring for your flock.
We don’t want to wait until your return to prostrate ourselves before you, but gladly do so right now.
Spirit of the living God, fall upon us to stir us up to bless you in a worthy manner.
Open eyes blinded to the epic story of who you are and who we are as those created by you, cherished to such a degree that you came to earth as a servant leader, ready to lay down your life for your people.
Free us all from the gods of this age so we might truly live in you, praying the prayer you taught us saying,
Father God, it is by resting in you that we are renewed to experience wholeness and hope.
We so often search for that deeply satisfying inner knowledge of peace and ‘fullness of being’ by over scheduling our own versions of pleasure and purpose apart from life- giving intimacy with you.
We look for more fun, more entertainment, more leisure time, or conversely, more effort, more outward success, more busyness all the while missing the quiet voice of your Spirit inviting us to step away from our frenzied search to just be with you.
Just to be … with you … whether in the silence of the heart surrounded by solitude and sunrises or in the midst of busy and necessary responsibility, we want to be in an attitude of heart where our soul rises up to meet you and finds itself loved, cherished, received by your grace; where our spirit is lifted up and refreshed by the wonder and worship of your glory, your grandeur, your overwhelming gift of vital connection with the fellowship of Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and with all your people who so abide, dwell and take up residence in you.
O Lord, do not turn away from us when we fail to make room within to truly listen, to wait for your voice, to find joy in your presence.
Thank you for your patience.
Forgive the wanderings of this past week which have kept us at a distance as we turn again to you in recognition that you truly are our all in all. Everything else fails to measure up, for you are mighty and strong. You are gentle and full of compassion. You are righteous in all your ways. And you alone are worthy of our praise.
Be thou the vision of our hearts, drawing us near with tenderness to meet our greatest needs, and to receive our intense gratitude for your amazing love which compels us to pray the prayer you taught us saying,
O God, our help in ages past, in the present day, and in every day to come, we pause to remember a very sobering time in humanity’s history still lingering within living memory in the minds of those living during the wars of this past century.
To reflect on the horrors incurred when nations take up arms against one another is to realize with renewed clarity how far the human race has fallen from its created design to display the beautiful glory of God’s love, fully alive and endlessly responsive to the perfection of the heavenly kingdom where your reign in Jesus Christ permeates every thought and consequent action:
to exhibit your holiness,
your ethical standards,
your organization of social and political interaction in perfect equity,
your respecting the dignity inherent in the human soul as image bearers of God,
your great shalom,
Merciful Father, send your Spirit into war torn areas today to bring life and resurrection hope into places of death and despair. Bind demonic strongholds and set people free to live in the abundant life for which we were made.
So very often throughout history we see the effect of lies from the deceiver having taken root in individuals and in groups of people which insist on domination, control and power. The god like ego of fallen humanity asserts itself and makes demands of the other to be sacrificed and subjugated to its desires.
Fights, struggles and showdowns instead of light, peace and harmony.
Mankind has risen in rebellion to our created order as those under your authority, a God who is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. Yet, we fail to seek your forgiveness through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ to daily take up the battle against the sinful inclinations of our hearts and so instead, we perpetuate the drama of quarrels, divisions and strife at the local and global levels of our lives.
O God, give us your wisdom to discern the times for war and the times for peace, the times for taking a stand and the times for letting it go, entrusting our whole being to your sovereign rule as Christ, the Prince of Peace is honoured in our decisions, praying that your kingdom would come as we pray the prayer you taught us saying,
Father God, we will rejoice in who you are.
At times the stuff of life can become burdensome and threaten to overwhelm, but you walk closely, intimately, with your sons and daughters to restore their hope, to renew their faith, and to deepen their understanding and personal experience of your steadfast love and kindness, even and perhaps most particularly in the storms.
At other times, we are in the midst of joyful celebrations and our lives easily resonate with wonder and thanksgiving, and here too you are present with your grace and mercy to help us integrate a worshiping heart, mind and will flowing from our whole being in every season.
We acknowledge that you are God, and that you are good, all the time.
You are holy, infinitely holy, righteous and pure.
You are eternal love.
In your Son, Jesus Christ, who cleanses us from our sin, we rest day by day in your arms of amazing grace through faith in the new covenant of redemption bought with his blood.
So, in this new day, we will rejoice in who you are.
Creator of an astounding world teeming with life, we give you praise. We repent of the ways in which we dishonour and misuse your gifts of provision.
Author of the human race made in your image, we bow before your glory. We repent of stubborn pride which insists on independence from our very source of being who alone is perfect in knowledge and wisdom.
Redeemer of a broken people, we express our adoration. We repent of thinking which insists our faults and short-comings are insignificant and instead, we welcome your healing touch to mend our hidden and not so hidden messes.
Advocate, Counsellor, Holy Spirit of the Living God, we ask you to move among us, urging us to receive all the blessings and benefits of knowing and being fully known by you in the love of Jesus who taught us to pray together saying,
Above all kingdoms, above all powers, you, O God, are enthroned as the LORD of Host, ruling heaven and earth in your supreme wisdom and authority.
There is much we don’t understand; much about your plan and perspective on history that is simply beyond our ability to make sense of; much we can’t imagine as good and loving. Yet into these places of fear and doubt, we invite your unchanging glory in the face of Jesus Christ to strengthen our faith and to cement our conviction that you are not only somehow involved at a distance, but you are intimately near to your people to bless and to guide according to your covenant promises.
You are the great I AM, the self-existent One; the actively present One.
Nothing, absolutely nothing, is too difficult for you.
You hold all creation together with your powerful word, and you hold your sons and daughters securely in the palm of your hand by your grace and love offered freely in your Son, Jesus Christ.
We bow our hearts, minds and wills, prostrating our very selves in worship and in acknowledgement of our dependence on you for all things.
You are holy, infinitely full of glory, and deserving of continual, unending praise and obedience.
You are the author and source of life with complete authority to act decisively as you see fit in ways which are consistent with your holiness and essential character.
Mighty Source and Discerner of truth, you burn away our self-delusions. You confront us with the light of gospel hope. You warm us with the heat of your loving choice to redeem and adopt us as your own.
We declare our desire to step out of the shadows of our past and to draw near to you this morning, asking you to heal our wounds, forgive our sin and set us anew on the path of joy, a path filled with communion and service by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Hear us then as we pray the prayer you taught us saying,
We rejoice in you, O God.
Teach us in every season, morning by morning, to know you as our certain hope, for you are our Refuge, urging us to apply your word in every situation and showing us your strength and wisdom to lead according to your ways.
We rejoice in you, O God, because you are always prepared to equip us to stand secure by faith, to sit in peace by faith, to lie down in restful assurance by faith that you are at work even in our most difficult trials and complex realities.
We rejoice in you, O God, for you have blessed us to be a blessing and give us signs of your presence which call us into faithful obedience and trust.
Anyone or anything but you, loving Father, can let us down.
Our sight is limited, our wisdom incomplete. But you are unshakable, unchanging, all knowing, and full of compassion.
Train us in righteousness, truth and love that we might worship you and glorify you with all that we are: with lips full of praise and with hearts raised in submission to your glorious gospel.
In the knowledge of our weakness contrasting with your perfection, we anchor ourselves to your word, your commands, your instruction, your provision, and your promises. We invite you to give us the mind of Christ, both when it’s convenient and when it’s not. Transform us we pray. We turn away from our inclination to take matters into our own hands based on sight, and we ask you to confirm our belief from your word that when we trust you with all our heart and do not lean on our own understanding, and when we acknowledge your right to rule over every action and attitude of our hearts, minds and wills, you will direct our steps towards life and blessing to make your name great among those who are watching.
This, and every day belongs to you … we want to honour and follow you in each one you give to us.
Forgive our lack of faith, our fears and frustrations that fail to claim a deep conviction regarding your sovereign care; our forgetfulness of your kindness; our fixations on challenges rather than a fixed attentiveness on you and your blessings; a focus on worldly principles instead of spiritual truth.
Open our eyes to the wonder of who you are once again today that we might be quick to seek the Spirit’s direction in all things.
We take delight in you, and pray that we will worship, pray, meditate and respond in such a way that you will also be able to take delight in us as we give you our thanks and praise.
Most gracious Father, hear us as we pray the prayer Christ taught us to pray saying,
Spirit of the Living God, give us ears to hear what you are saying to the church across our land and in our specific context.
We long to encounter you in Spirit and in truth so we might worship you with hearts that are truly being transformed to naturally, consistently and compellingly live in full allegiance and aliveness to Jesus Christ.
Loving Father, you are so patient, so full of grace and mercy, but we would not forget that, as Creator of all, as the generous Giver of life and of redeemed life through the great sacrifice of your Son, you are worthy of our deep love, our quick obedience, our full devotion .
You are full of righteous judgement, seeing clearly into our inner thoughts and the motivation behind our outward responses, calling us to account.
You lead us into faithful Christian witness as we regularly repent of that which has been declared contrary to your glorious name.
You have exposed the ways in which your church of the past needed renewal, and you caused a reformation of biblical integrity and passionate faith to arise from distorted expressions of your beautiful good news of faith alone, grace alone, scripture alone, Christ alone, to the glory of God alone.
Search our hearts today through the readings and meditation on your letters to the church. Work a mighty reformation in us to take seriously your condemnation of certain behaviours which failed to honour Christ in all his majestic power and ruling authority. We take your longsuffering love for granted, but these letters show us again, that it is not endless.
Move among us to give us contrite hearts where we have become accommodating to the ways of the world and help us respond with a new depth of love towards you to establish even greater commitment to live in accordance to you will for the church and as individual believers who profess faith in your Son, he who taught us to pray saying,
From everlasting to everlasting, you alone are God.
You have been our help in ages past, and you are our hope in days to come.
You are our source of strength in this present day to fight the good fight of faith as you teach us through adversity to be shaped into the character of Jesus Christ while we wait for you to do what you will do with trust in your goodness.
You are our anticipated fullness of joy in the future when your kingdom comes in power to rule the nations in righteousness and peace when we will live in your presence forevermore.
You are God Most High, Adonai, Lord of Hosts, and we give you the worship of our hearts, minds, will, and strength. The majesty and glory of your wisdom and justice will make proper and complete judgement in your appointed time. You will set all things right, restoring that which is broken, renewing that which has succumb to weariness, or discouragement. Your perfect love will be at the centre of our communion with you and with all your people causing wonder and joy to fill us continually.
Father, we call out this morning, ‘How long?
How long will the nations rage?
How long will power and greed corrupt?
How long will oppression and injustice have a voice?
How long will devious schemes and destructive behaviours create havoc in human relationships?
How long will the inner battle rage within ourselves as we seek to be holy as you are holy?
How long before the final trumpet sounds and a new age is ushered in with Christ himself, the King of the heavens and earth, reigning in all his amazing splendor?
We need your merciful intervention in a world spinning out of control, in individual lives who have lost their true north, in situations where the enemy of human souls has built strongholds against your gospel of grace.
We need you, Lord, to show yourself as the strong and mighty One who protects your bride, bringing to her mind the truths of your word and the ministry of the Holy Spirit to comfort, guide, and equip us should we need to stand courageously against evil without and within.
We want your name to be lifted high for all the world to see, to be drawn to you, to be rescued and delivered from the gods of this age, to rejoice in your great salvation.
And so, we pray the prayer you taught us saying,
You, O LORD, are the covenant keeping God who has fulfilled all your promises to deliver us into a hope-filled inheritance for all eternity in Jesus Christ through whom we come to worship you today.
Loving God our Father, we acknowledge that you have met our deepest and real need of being spiritually revived, and have offered the gift of belonging and being loved in relationship with you.
Forgive us for searching in superficial ways for these needs to be met in other people or things.
In so doing, we fall into compromising situations.
We do things we wouldn’t normally do.
We become people we would not have wanted to be.
We fail to trust you as the author and provider of our most sincere desires.
Your befriending love has given us an identity, a purpose, a family, and a grace to accept that we are broken people in need of being made whole by the gift of the Spirit through the blood of Jesus Christ. You have given us a place at the table because of the salvation accomplished through his work on the cross. You continue to comfort and care for us day by day as we seek to live out our high calling as your children. Thank you, our precious Lord.
We open our hearts to you again this morning with all that we are, recognizing that you are forgiving, compassionate, abounding in love and wanting to bless the world through your mercy and grace.
Help us then to approach you in humility with lives surrendered to your refining Spirit who sanctifies us so we will come to have the same mind as was in Christ Jesus.
Unite us with your church universal as members of your one body to serve the world in your name with character traits giving evidence of the Spirit’s rule and presence to the glory and praise of who you are.
Fill us with peace as we rejoice in your great gift of communion with you and your people to live in harmony and hope in the assurance of your eternal embrace.
You are all together wonderful and so we ask that you would stir us up to share the good news, even as we pray the prayer you taught us saying,
LORD God, our heavenly Father, in the silence we can hear again the cavernous echoes of your mighty word declaring that you alone are God. It is in you that we live and move and have our being, taking each breath because you have ordained this day as another opportunity for us to glorify you and enjoy your good pleasure towards us in Jesus Christ. You are the well-spring of life for our thirsty souls, and we turn again to you in humble praise and worship for your powerful love and promise-filled precepts by which we are to live.
Isaiah speaks of your ransomed people feasting in a land which was once a desert, a wilderness which will bloom like the crocus of spring rejoicing with joy and singing. He speaks of waters breaking forth from burning sands where your people are blessed and refreshed. Lord God, creator of this amazingly beautiful and resource rich planet on which you formed humanity, hear the confession of those gathered here this morning, that we have used and abused your gifts in greedy pursuit of self-gratification, seeking to gain pleasure from them which only you can provide. We have worshiped the gifts and ignored the Giver.
Forgive us, we pray, that we might learn more deeply to honour you, that we might live graciously with one another in community, sharing together as needs arise, and that we might care for your creation as good and faithful stewards of your incredible handiwork.
We live in a time of rapid decline of wholistic well-being at many different levels.
We live in a generation in the western world of rapid decline in reverence for your holy name and ways.
You told your people of old how to experience the built-in blessing of your goodness, and you also warned them of the devastating effects of ignoring the way this world, pulsating with life in its many forms, has been designed by you, its Author. We have failed, enslaved in prideful greed. We have been unwilling to come to you, the only hope and healer to receive mercy and to mend our ways through the power of the Spirit changing us to give Jesus full reign in all that we are and all that we do.
Lord, in the midst of a growing drought right here, we see how quickly the land you have made for abundant provision can turn to powder and its produce, wither and die in the crisp fields once lush with spring’s promise of new life.
And, in the midst of a growing spiritual drought, where there is a famine of hearing the word of the Lord across our land, we see social and political structures once lush and green with sincere thought for the welfare of all severely shrivelled and dying, unable to support life with the peace and blessing we know you provide because we do not first seek your righteousness and justice in spirit and in truth as an act of worship towards you.
Hear our prayers for mercy. Hear us as we ask that there would be a turning to you in humility to receive your grace and to follow your ways. And Lord, in your kindness, heal our land; heal the thirst in empty and hurting lives; heal your church; and heal us where we have yet to allow your Spirit full entry and control, praying the prayer you taught us saying,
‘Our Father …’
Holy God, by calling you our Father, we are declaring that we have embraced your gift of new life by faith in your Son, Jesus Christ, and become your children. Help us to see you as you truly are so we grow in confidence to walk with you by faith and not by sight.
We confess our gratitude for your mercy and grace which has redeemed us from a life which came under the dominion of the gods of this age and were thus subject to your righteous judgement.
We were blinded to your goodness and glory;
blinded to your absolute right to ask for holy lives which truly reflect our Maker’s pure and perfect character;
blinded to the fallen state of our human natures separated from your life-giving Spirit.
Father, we are coming near with open hearts to be shaped by you,
to receive the wisdom of your holy word,
to be strengthened in our conviction that your majesty is worthy of all worship,
to take upon ourselves the cross of bearing your gospel of reconciliation and peace in a generation
where nations conspire against nations,
where violence and hostility are rampant,
where the very fabric of society in the structure of family units too often resorts to neglect or otherwise painful behaviour patterns,
where tongues are uncontrolled and tensions unpatrolled by supple godly consciences which would otherwise bring us to our knees in repentance and thanksgiving for your patient compassion and forgiveness.
Father, we love you. You alone have secured a living hope for us in Christ Jesus. You have done it all.
So, in co-operation with your Spirit’s work, we still our racing minds and changeable hearts to marvel at your awesome beauty and power, to confess that our lives are in your hands, and to come near in faith believing that you hear us when we pray in spirit and in truth the prayer you taught us saying,
Gracious Father, today is yet another gift from you, time in which we can quiet ourselves from the routines and rush, the endless gush of hollow chatter, the thoughtless time and energy spent and lent hoping for a good return raising up our own egos or pursuit of pleasing others with their temporary accolades, and instead, to return wholeheartedly to you: to repent;
to be renewed by your grace and freedom;
to fall in love with you again, wanting only to please you.
Lord, you alone have the words of eternal life, of spiritual life, of heavenly life. Where else can we turn?
You alone can quench the thirst for days and moments filled with the knowledge of being fully loved. You alone can satisfy the hunger for joy and peace and hope.
You are our Creator, making us for intimate relationship within the perfect fellowship of the Trinity.
You are our Redeemer, buying us back from our fallen condition through the forgiveness of our sin in Jesus Christ.
You are Spirit, powerful, life-giving Spirit of the only living God in whom we are drawn to your Son, and through whom we are restored as whole persons to the praise of your amazing covenant love that was sealed in the blood of Jesus, broken for us.
We give thanks for your faithful presence maintaining a witness of your great salvation through each congregation of your people. We long for your continued blessing and presence, and so, we commit ourselves afresh to you. We are part of your one body, and so we pray also for the wider church with whom we share a partnership in the gospel witness in our communities.
Lord God, we come hungry and thirsty for an encounter with you: a comforting touch, a convicting word, a challenge to let you so speak to us that we will live by faith, not by sight, filled with wonder at the simplicity of your good news and its power to change lives, its power to change our lives.
Whether we have heard the Christian message many times, or whether we are new to being in a church setting and are trying to understand what has so captivated people down through the centuries as to stake their whole being in life and in death on you, we pray, Lamb of God, to open our hearts, minds, and wills to a new depth of engagement with you, the One who has offered yourself so feely, so generously to us to give us hope.
In your mercy, take away any blindness to the glory and majesty of this ultimate love story, uniting us together with you in Christ, full heirs of every spiritual blessing in him, and helping us to run the race set before us, citizens of heaven, living for you and so becoming a blessing to the world.
Hear us then, as we pray the prayer you taught us saying,