Let’s begin our time together with a short prayer
present with us here,
feed us by Your Spirit,
that we may go from here to tend Your sheep
and to do so
in Your name and for Your sake. Amen
Lord Jesus Christ,
when we forget that You are alive…
when we act as though You cannot speak for Yourself:
forgive us, we pray.
When we’re slow to ask for Your advice and to look for Your guidance;
when we think we know best and forge ahead regardless,
because we are sure we know Your mind,
again, please forgive us.
Remind us in firm but gentle ways of how close and active You always are –
You who are the ever-living,
Lord of all creation.
set God’s Spirit free to move among us here and now, we pray.
Give us the courage to let that Spirit renew and inspire us
as through Your Word, Your people and Your world,
You speak to us of hope and faith and love
and challenge us to live lives that are faithful to Your cause
of justice and peace.
Hear us now, as together with all Your people
we pray the words You taught Your friends, saying:
Thanksgiving for Recovery from Grave Illness
A Psalm. A Song at the dedication of the temple. Of David.
1 I will extol you, O Lord, for you have drawn me up,
and did not let my foes rejoice over me.
2 O Lord my God, I cried to you for help,
and you have healed me.
3 O Lord, you brought up my soul from Sheol,
restored me to life from among those gone down to the Pit.
4 Sing praises to the Lord, O you his faithful ones,
and give thanks to his holy name.
5 For his anger is but for a moment;
his favour is for a lifetime.
Weeping may linger for the night,
but joy comes with the morning.
6 As for me, I said in my prosperity,
‘I shall never be moved.’
7 By your favour, O Lord,
you had established me as a strong mountain;
you hid your face;
I was dismayed.
8 To you, O Lord, I cried,
and to the Lord I made supplication:
9 ‘What profit is there in my death,
if I go down to the Pit?
Will the dust praise you?
Will it tell of your faithfulness?
10 Hear, O Lord, and be gracious to me!
O Lord, be my helper!’
11 You have turned my mourning into dancing;
you have taken off my sackcloth
and clothed me with joy,
12 so that my soul may praise you and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you for ever.
A beautifully poetic psalm that through its words offers real life reassurance of the God who is with us in the depths as well as the heights.
In fact, this psalm goes further still and holds out the hope of a God, who not only meets us in our suffering, but who takes the sackcloth from us and clothes us instead with joy.
This is not to brush over the reality of the tough times and experiences that fall to the human lot. It is to talk of the God who accompanies us through them, sharing our tears, before bringing us to healing and wholeness. Very much in keeping with the new life theme of Easter and with the notion of God’s transforming, generous and saving kindness.
Prayers for others, the world, us
Lord Jesus Christ, risen to live forever,
Thank You for continuing to entrust us with Your good news.
Thank you for continuing to stand by us even when we let You down
and thank You for never faltering in Your care for us
and Your love for us,
even when we hurt and betray You.
May we in return, stand by You…
care for You….
and above all, may we work with You in feeding Your sheep.
Give us, we pray,
the courage as individuals and as communities of Your people,
the courage to listen for Your voice,
the courage to pick up the nets of old habits,
to follow You to different waters.
And when we fear where that might lead us,
when we hesitate, pulled by the safe and familiar,
reassure us of being held in Your arms
and embolden us simply to follow.
Ever with us Lord,
we bring to You a world You care for deeply.
Into those places where violence is rife,
bring Your peace, we pray.
Into those places where hatred and suspicion grow,
encourage understanding, we pray
and sow and nurture the seeds of love and respect.
Where poverty and disease make life miserable for people,
don’t let us turn away.
Help us to be Your hands:
For the planet itself, we pray –
giving You heartfelt thanks, Lord God, for its beauty,
A thing so great and yet so vulnerable.
We rejoice in seas, mountains, lakes, fields, beaches and gardens –
all of them gifts from You to be enjoyed and cared for.
Help us to make sure we do just that.
May we thank the Creator for all creation
and know and value our own part in it.
All these prayers we offer in Jesus’ name,
the Living God,
who sees so much more than we could ever think or know,
and who chooses to invite us to join in the divine mission
to bring love and life and light to this world.
Glory be to Creator, Son and Spirit –
One Living God,