Prayers of Adoration & Confession

Holy God,
You who created the earth and all its beauty,
Surprising us with warm days,
and the scent of jasmine,
We are shocked and disarmed by your generosity.
You are brave enough to change your mind,
and choose to show extravagant grace
even to those who least deserve it.
Remind us that even in
the darkest of Winter, Spring will return.

Compassionate Christ,
You who give wholeness to the outcast,
Surprising us with love for those
who society has rejected,
We are heartbroken and
threatened by your sacrifice.
You give all that you have,
even to those who least understand
your gospel’s message.
Remind us that even for the most broken,
wholeness will return.

Nurturing Spirit,
You who breathe within us and among us,
Surprising us with moments of connection
and clarity in the midst of disagreement.
We are awed and challenged by your presence.
You replace fear with hope,
even in those who are overwhelmed
by the world and do not expect for things to change.
Remind us that even in our darkest despair,
happiness will return.

Holy God, Compassionate Christ, Nurturing Spirit,
We turn to you, aware of our humanity and our failings.
When we seek revenge, forgive us.
When misguided anger burns within us, forgive us.
When we fail to look beyond our own comfort
to recognise the needs of those who suffer, forgive us.

Holy God, Compassionate Christ, Nurturing Spirit.
Help us to see our own blindness.
Help us to open our arms to the stranger, whatever the cost,
Help us to forgive, as you forgive us.

Sisters & brothers,
When Jesus told the parable of the workers in the vineyard,
he said “the last will be first and the first will be last”.
Know that God’s grace knows no end and, through Christ,
God’s forgiveness is for all.
Remember the good news of Christ: our sin is forgiven.
Thanks be to God.

In celebration of God’s forgiveness,
let us look each other in the eye as we share the peace.
Christ’s peace be with you.
And also with you.

Natalie Sims, offered for worship 24/9

Prayers of the People

Come to a time of prayer for ourselves and others:

Loving God, we come to you
with our prayers and concerns this morning,
not always understanding, sometimes confused
and even angry about what is happening in the world.
Teach us to pray and teach us how to be
part of a community that offers healing and love.

We bring to you friends, family members
and loved ones who are on our minds.
We think of those we know who are struggling,
sad, uncertain or facing big decisions.
We particularly pray for those
who are feeling the harm caused
by the negative messaging and debate of the marriage survey.
We think of people we know who
need to be re-assured how much they are loved
by you and also by us.
May those on our minds be enfolded by love,
may they be reminded of your strength, peace and grace.

We pray for the ministry of this church,
and for other churches in the local area.
May we be passionate about your kingdom,
may we know what is important,
and be willing to give up unimportant concerns.
Loving God, help the churches of this area
to live out our calling as the people of God
and the body of Christ.
Help us to be servants, to speak out against injustice,
to be both passionate and compassionate,
help us to love, we pray.

We bring those situations where
answers seem unclear and problems intractable
and where change seems to take forever.
We continue to hold heavy hearts for the victims of war
and oppression everywhere in the world,
where political forces and vested interests
conspire to perpetuate conflict rather than seek a resolution.
We pray for cool heads and humility
for world leaders in response to the
provocative actions and reactions around North Korea.
May calming mindfulness replace
the bellicose rhetoric that seems
to dominate the world stage at the moment.

And still, dear God we pray for peace.
Despite the distance and complexity,
help us to stand with the victims of conflicts everywhere.
Help us, somehow to support peacemakers
and those who are seeking negotiations rather than conflict.
May they find wisdom and courage to keep going.

We pray for the Caribbean hit by so many hurricanes
and for Mexico now overwhelmed by two earthquakes.
May we all be part of a world family
that cares about their ongoing plight,
contributes to their recovery and works to reduce
the causes of so many extreme weather events.

Closer to home, we pray for our leaders,
that they will find the courage to stand up for justice,
care for our environment, work for peace,
care for people experiencing homelessness and hardship.

And today, we are also conscious of the burden
of our lives and lifestyles on our planet.
Forgive us for our poor stewardship of your creation.
Forgive us for ignoring signs of beauty, creativity
and abundance that you have provided.
Forgive us for the choices we make
that diminish, destroy and consume.
As worshippers of the Earth’s Creator,
help us as stewards of your creation.

Dear God, in all these things, hear our prayers.
May we be strengthened to seek your Kingdom.
May we be reminded that you are at work in this world,
and may we have the insight to see your presence here.
May we be renewed with your compassion.
May we learn, again, to listen what you would say to us.
And continue to give us the courage to live as your people. Amen.

Tim & Meredith Budge, offered for worship 24/9