Prayers of Adoration & Confession

O God,
all your children are written on your hands:
you are a mother who neither forgets
nor forsakes her own.
All creation is held within your very self.

Before we were born, you knew us.
In our mothers’ wombs, your Spirit formed us.
All creation is held within your very self.

Before all beginnings,
you called us by name.
Beyond all endings,
you will remember us in your heart.
All creation is held within your very self.

You, O Wisdom, O Christ
do not forget your children;
like a hen, you gather your chicks.
All creation is held within your very self.

How can we live without you,
outside you, beyond you?
And yet we confess today
that we have failed to love you
and one another with all that we are.

Forgive us.

As we hope to be forgiven,
teach us how to forgive;
and help us to live as those
held in the heart of your love.

We pray as Christ’s people on the breath of the Spirit.

This is the best of all:
when we are empty, God fills us;
when we are disheartened, God is compassionate;
when we are wounded, God brings healing;
when we confess our failure to love, God forgives. [UIW2]

In Christ, through Christ and because of Christ,
our sin is forgiven.
Thanks be to God!

Ian Ferguson, offered for worship, 28/1/18

Prayers of the People

Yearning is halfway between emptiness and desire
We stand on the brink of courage and failure
A moat of nothingness surrounds us
And we know what we need with all our hearts
But the fear of leaping across that moat
Holds us still
Savouring the pain, as it makes what we are dreaming of sweeter, or more powerful
Inspiring Lord, help us to break free of the fear to move
And take hold of our courage with two hands so that we can
Reach out to the world and make a difference

Sung response
O God we call, O God we call,
from deep inside we yearn,
from deep inside we yearn,
from deep inside we yearn for you.

The opposite of yearning, is doing
It is sawing the planks of wood needed to get across the moat of emptiness
And building a bridge.
It is stretching out an arm to take hold of the arm of a person
Standing on the other side, with the risk that they may let go.
It is jumping across the void
And landing on the other side, where yearning is action
Loving God, give strength to our muscles as we push past our boundaries
To support those who cannot support themselves because of war, fear, famine,
mental illness, substance abuse or political oppression,
Helping others, just as Jesus did.

O God we call …

In French they do not say yearn, they say Mourir d’envie de faire
I am dying from the wish to do
In Spanish they do not say yearn, they say Ansiar
I am anxious
In Italian they do not say yearn, they say Bramare
I am burning
Holy Mother, help us to look inwards and choose our words
To inspire ourselves to feel the strength of burning, of anxiousness,
Of dying to do and transform them all into the immediacy of action
Of answering the call to love our neighbours, to share our wealth,
To stand up to those who hold down minorities.

O God we call …

Jesus moved immediately, he acted. He reached his hand out
Across the divide between men and women, to heal,
To cast out demons and unclean spirits,
And sought answers through prayer.
God, give us the strength to move our yearning
Into action, to heal our world, to bridge divides between
Peoples and cultures,
Here in the Kulin Nation,
and to be the hand that holds
Steadfast as others try to cross the empty moat.

Lord, Hear our prayers.

Kylie Doust, offered for worship, 28/1/18