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We come to you in prayer, O God:
Your steadfast love endures forever.

Our world that is sick in so many ways:
creation cries out in pain,
too many nations are shaped by violence,
people are judged by the colour of their skin,
economies leave the poor behind.

We open hearts to you in prayer
because we do not know how to save ourselves.
Move within us and through us
that we may be channels of your peace.

We come to you in prayer, O God.
Your steadfast love endures forever.

We bring with us
those whose relationships are broken beyond repair,
those whose hearts are broken with grief,
those who bodies are broken and hurting.

We open our spirits to you in prayer
because we trust your promises
that Jesus has come to heal us
and make all things new.
Move within us and through us
that we may know what it is
you are asking of us
in the midst of such brokenness.

We come to you in prayer, O God.
Your steadfast love endures forever.

We pray for your Church,
sent to be a witness to your creative purposes;
sent to serve in Jesus’ name and in Jesus’ Way;
sent to be signs that your Holy Spirit is at work.

We open our lives to you in prayer
because you are the God
who takes our weakness and our need
and our yearning for new life
and fills it all with grace.

We pray in the name of Jesus
who opened his life
his heart
his arms
to draw us close to you.

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A prayer emerging from John 9

Lord Jesus,
You walk with us
day by day
lighting our path
showing us the glory of God
that shines in unexpected places.
And we miss it.

Your Spirit is at work
healing broken spirits
creating new life
making a way where there is no way.
And we miss it.

We miss it
because we are too busy
making our own way.

We miss it
because we are looking for
something different
something easier
something less risky
less difficult.

Touch the blind places in our souls.
Stoop low,
re-create us
give us new eyes to see
the world through your eyes.

Then
grant us courage
to walk the path
that you set us on.

Grant us courage
to speak the truth we know —
as much truth as we know
as truthfully as we can
giving witness to you
to what you have done
to who you are:
God in Christ
Holy Spirit
Community of holy love
who is working
in both the darkness and the light
in joy and in sorrow
in our doubt and in our faith
to reconcile the world
and to make all things new.

Generous God

A prayer that grew out of John 3: 1-11

Surely you, Lord, are present in the place,
in this time.

You are a God of abundance and joy.
You bless us beyond measure
and we are thankful.

You give us life.
You place us in your Creation,
a Creation full and overflowing with
beauty and goodness and fruitfulness.

You come among us in Jesus,
bringing comfort and peace,
challenging the smallness of our lives,
working your salvation through all that happens.

Your Holy Spirit moves in our lives,
setting us free from the fears that grip our souls,
inviting us into your new creation.

Yet, God,
so often your presence is hidden from us.
We keep forgetting how deeply you love us.
We lose sight of the grace that permeates all our days.

We get anxious
and afraid.
We try to keep ourselves safe.
We live with small horizons.

Rescue us.
Rescue us from living by our fearfulness
rather than out of your abundant, lavish gifts.

God of great blessings,
teach us to live more fully
in the company of Jesus
who trusted your faithfulness
and your generous goodness;
whose expansive love
pulls us all into your life-giving embrace.

Assurance

Never let fear or guilt determine your life.
Life is a great gift to be shared
with joy and and with great love.
Live out of this truth:
you are the beloved child of a gracious, generous God.

Creator God,
Lord of all history,
Holy Spirit, breath of God,
with angels and archangels
and all the company of heaven,
we join the chorus of those who worship you.

We come, seeking your holy purpose in our lives.
Our hearts yearn for your presence.

We bring to you
our great need to belong
to be loved
to know that our lives matter.

We bring to you all the wrong pathways
we have travelled
as we seek to meet that need.

Touch us again with your grace and your mercy.
Teach us to rest in you.
Open us to wonder and mystery,
then set us toward Bethlehem.
There show us your Son, Jesus,
and fill our lives with your light,
for you are the One we seek.

God’s Story

Call to Worship

God is telling a story in our lives.
It’s quite a story-
full of the promises God makes
and our struggles to trust;
full of mystery and angels
with surprising news;
full of hard endings
and unexpected new beginnings.

Come, hear the story
pay attention to the angels’ message
in your heart
in this place and time.

Then join all creation
in worshipping the God
who tells it
full of grace and truth;
who comes in Jesus,
the Word made flesh,
and makes our story holy.

Prayers of Adoration and Confession

Promise-making God,
your steadfast love and faithfulness
surrounds us all our day.

God of all time, Lord of all history,
you create new beginnings
where we have run out of possibilities;
you make a way
were there is no way.

Glorious Lord of hope,
You come into our lives
among the poor and the lowly.
You enter into our suffering.

For all these blessings to us,
in this season of waiting,
we praise you with open and empty hands.

Be born in us,
be present among us,
form us in your love and truth and life,
we ask in the name of Jesus,
whose coming we await.

Assurance of God’s Grace and Love

We are a people on a journey with Jesus. Along the way, Jesus gathers our lives into God’s powerful, redeeming grace. The work of Advent is to receive that good news with open hearts. Christ’s peace be with you.

A prayer of confession based on meditation on Psalm 40 and Genesis 37

Holy God,
your name we praise.
You have called us by name
and welcomed us into Jesus’ family;
You promise your presence
and your Holy Spirit to help in times of trouble;
You stand by us
even in times of failure and shame.

Teach us to praise you
even when life takes us through dark places:
when death takes those we love;
when loss shuts down the future we had planned;
when hurts and betrayals wound our spirits;
when trouble gangs up on us;
when guilt swamps our hearts.

Open our ears so we can hear
your Word that brings truth and mercy and love.
Open our eyes so we can see
your Holy Spirit who works in surprising ways.

Then, grant us grace and courage
to enter they mystery of your presence in our lives;
grant us grace and courage to abandon ourselves to you.

We wait.

We listen.

We watch.

Come, Lord Jesus,
become part of our very being.
Speak, Lord, for your servants listen.

 

Assurance of God’s Grace

Our hope is in Jesus’ victory over the powers of this world.

We and our world belong to him

and he will not rest until all things are made new.

Be assured that God’s grace

is at work in your life

overcoming everything that separates you from God,

carrying you deeper and deeper into God’s great love.

It is with joy and with gladness that we come to you, Lord Jesus.
You meet us in our weakness with a love that never lets us go.
You welcome us into your family and make us your own beloved brothers and sisters.
Your promises pull us into your new creation
where all are welcome,
and all are cherished
and all belong.

Turn us around, O God,
whenever we walk down a path
that leads us away from you.
Turn us away from the fear
that we aren’t good enough
or rich enough
or important enough.

Turn us toward you —
toward your great love
your welcoming grace
your resurrection life.

And, in our turning,
show us the others whom you love—
those who are lonely
afraid
without hope.

Open our hearts
our hands
our words to them.

Move us beyond our fear to caring
beyond our uncertainty to confidence in you
beyond our concerns to a generosity
that witnesses to your expansive grace.

We pray in the name of Jesus
who welcomes all to your Table of Life.

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