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Prayers of Adoration and Confession

Emerging from praying Jeremiah 18: 1-11, Psalm 139, and Luke 14: 25 -33
Used with the sung refrain: “Take, o take me as I am” (Words John L. Bell and Graham Maule)

You have invited us in, Jesus,
into this community,
into your loving presence,
into a life shaped by God’s grace.

We have come
singing praise to you for all your goodness.
We have come
bringing our real selves
sometimes joyful
and grateful
and filled with hope
but also sometimes
broken
and hurt
and anxious.

We come
looking for healing
and purpose
and a place in your love.
We come
because you have promised to meet us here.

(sung) Take, O take me as I am . . .

You know us, God,
you know us through and through.
You know our minds
when they are clear
and when they are muddled.
You know our hearts
when they are overflowing with love
and when they are smothered by hate.
You know our spirits
when they are restless and searching
and when they find their rest in you.

Here, in this time of worship,
we open ourselves
to your Spirit’s transforming power.
Take us as we are.
Make us what you have created us to be
Draw us closer into your heart
till like your Son Jesus
we love beyond limits
and live to your glory.

(sung) Take, O take me as I am,

Assurance of God’s grace

Our God is a God of grace and transformation.
What we have offered into God’s good care,
the Spirit will redeem and renew and make into
an instrument of Jesus’ grace. You are the Body of Christ,
the community of his Life, sharing God’s peace and love and hope with a hurting world. May the peace of Christ be with you.

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A prayer based on Acts 16: 16 -36, said after “Morning Has Broken” has been sung

Morning has broken,
like the first morning
and we bring to You our praise
for You are among us
making all things new.

We do not always see your work, God.
We see problems that we cannot fix.
We see people caught up in struggles that threaten to overwhelm them.
We see paths ahead of us blocked by obstacles that loom large.

We come here,
hoping for a word
that will open our eyes
our hearts
our minds
our spirits
to your Spirit’s re-creating work.

Speak that Word, God.
Speak it in ways that break the chains that bind us.
Summon us from our weariness
and hopelessness
and resignation.
Pull us into your transforming power.
Set us free to live
creatively and joyfully.

Speak, Lord,
for your servants listen.

Assurance of God’s Grace
Sunday by Sunday,
God gathers us together
to speak again the word of grace into our lives:
you are God’s beloved child.
Nothing can ever take you beyond
the reach of God’s love and grace.
Let that truth permeate deeply into your lives.
Let that truth shape every situation.
Live into the freedom Christ gives.

A prayer for Good Shepherd Sunday, after singing “Fairest Lord Jesus“.
Scriptures: Psalm 23, Revelation 7:9 -17; John 10: 22-30

We sing our praise to you, fairest Lord Jesus,
Ruler of all,
living among us,
moving in our neighbourhoods,
bringing your salvation and blessing
your beauty and grace.

We sing our praise to you, fairest Lord Jesus,
for You shepherd us like a good shepherd:
you lay down your life for us;
you protect us from the powers that would
take us from you;
you come looking for us when we get lost.

We sing our praise to you, fairest Lord Jesus
for you lead us to living waters,
immersing us in love
that is deeper than our fears,
inviting us to drink deeply
at the fountain of your mercy;
filling our hearts with your courage and strength.

We sing our praise to you
even as we bring to you those times
when we were stumbling through
the valley of the shadow of death
and could not feel you near us;
we bring to you those times
when we were in the presence of enemies
and not at all sure that
you knew what danger we were in;
we bring to you those times
when our prayers seemed only to echo
in a vast emptiness.

It is mystery to us
that you are present
even there.
It is mystery to us
that you care
even for us.
It is mystery to us
that even now
you are seeking us out,
calling us by name,
yearning for us to
hear
and answer
and come to you.

It is mystery to us
but we lean into that mystery
and sing our praise to you.

Hymn: Sing Your Praise to God Eternal

Prayers of Adoration and Confession

Eternal God,
strong and loving,
victor over the powers of death,
we sing your praise.

We sing your praise because
you bless us with days of gladness
and your goodness and steadfast love
summon our songs.

We sing your praise because
you meet us in our times of sadness
and your comfort and your peace
enfold our hurting souls.

And, now, we set ourselves
under your Word,
waiting,
listening,
yearning
for the words that will
draw us deeper into your love,
into your grace.

Come among us
with your words of peace.
Show us your hands and side,
your broken body,
the mystery of our salvation.
Breathe your Holy Spirit
into us
and send us out again
to speak your words of
love and mercy
grace and forgiveness.
Then we shall sing your praise
with lives made new in your grace.

Assurance of God’s Grace

The mystery of our faith is this:
Christ meets us in the broken places of our lives and says, ‘Peace be with you’. We belong to him and, whatever happens, we are held in God’s powerful care. The Holy Spirit is working within you and among us, pulling us deeper and deeper into God’s heart. Receive God’s gift and share the peace he gives.

A prayer for Easter

You are risen, Jesus!
You are alive and loose in the world.
You are speaking “Resurrection!” into our lives.
So we bring to you our hymns of praise:
we join with angels and archangels
with your people past and present
to sing of your powerful love
that is stronger than hate,
stronger than grief,
stronger than death.

We bring to you hymns of praise
but we also bring to you
those places where your good news has not yet reached us:
the places in our lives
where we are still held by fear and anxiety
over what the future might bring;
the places in our lives
where we are still held by grudges and resentments
and wounds that do not heal;
the places in our lives where we are weary
and do not have the strength or courage we need.

We bring them to you and wait:
come, Lord Jesus,
with words that open up new possibilities,
with your life that surprises and stuns us.
We would have our whole lives
be a song of praise to you.

A prayer for worship after “This is the Day” was sung.

This is the day that you have made, God.
permeated through and through with your beauty,
full of your faithfulness
full of your holiness.

We give you thanks.
We open our hearts and our minds and our spirits
to your transforming presence.

It is not easy to open ourselves to your presence, God:
our hearts are restless,
finding it hard to settle into your love;
our minds wander,
caught up in urgent cares and worries;
our spirits are uneasy before the mystery of your holiness.

It is not easy
and we are grateful that you don’t give up on us.
Even as we turn away from you,
you keep turning toward us.

So, here, now, for this time together,
we ask you to move among us,
awakening us to your Spirit reaching out to us,
calling to us,
showing us your new creation in our midst.

This is the day that you have made, God.
We are open
to your grace
your love
your summons to join your holy work,
in Jesus’ name. Amen.

We wait for you, God of truth and freedom.
We wait for you, Holy Spirit.
We wait for you, Lord Jesus, full of the glory of God.

God of goodness and grace,
you summon us into a world
made large by your expansive, creative salvation.
Open our eyes and ears and hearts
to your unexpected presence in our lives.

You know the ways we wander from your love and your truth:
the fears that drive us to make our world small and manageable;
the selfishness that shuts down our hearts;
the arrogance that limits our reach towards the ones you love.

Immerse us again and again
in your lavish grace.
Bathe us once more in the
cleansing stream of your truth.
Send your Spirit flowing through the
dried-up, worn out places.
Bring life — your life,
your wondrous, abundant life,
for we pray in the name of Jesus,
the Way, the Truth, the Life,
your Word made flesh,
your love that transfigures our world.
Amen.

Assurance

St. Augustine said, “The glory of God is men and women who are fully alive, but all have sinned and fall short of the divine splendour.” We are not what God created us to be; but God is lavish with mercy, overflowing with grace. In Christ, God makes us a new creation. Live this week rooted deeper and deeper into the powerful, redeeming love of God.