Sunday evening prayers

Gathering prayer

The light is spreading.
It started off one Easter
when tombstones rolled and graves were found empty,
Jesus was alive.
The news spread from disciple to apostle,
from followers to strangers.
It spread like a fire among us, this news of new life.
It spreads still today, among us
who dare believe that life and death is not all there is.
In this place new light is streaming,
the Good News still has power to unfold and renew.

We come to re-weave the unravelling fabric of community.
To re-connect once more with the larger human family.
To find once more that place of calm.
To remind ourselves that we belong.
And to remember what it is we belong to.
We are many, as the stars that fill the night,
as the cluster of the grapes upon the vine,
as a flock of birds in flight,
as the branches of a tree,
as the waves upon the ocean.
We are also one body, and the work of Christ is done
when we learn to live in true community.
We come –
To centre ourselves,
to open ourselves,
to remember ourselves.
And to celebrate the life we share together.

We enter into this time and this place to join our hearts and minds together.
To remember what is most important in life.
To be challenged to live more truly, more deeply,
to live with integrity and kindness and with hope and love,
to feel the company of those who seek a common path,
to be renewed in our faith in the promise of this life,
to be strengthened and to find the courage
to continue to do what we must do,
day after day,
world without end. Amen

Prayer of concern (i)

May we hang around for people,
may we linger with intent… to care,
may we breach the peace… with justice.
May we not just look for a new thing, but follow it through,
not just have an idea but make it happen,
not complain about this and that, but do something about it.

In all our joys and in all our concerns, may we be ever mindful
Of the presence of God among us

May we turn our words into acts,
our thoughts into reality,
our intent into a way of life.
May we move beyond the word,
becoming the word
and move with the word,
becoming flesh.
May we walk the talk,
speak of good things,
and find ourselves living them as well.

In all our joys and in all our concerns, may we be ever mindful
Of the presence of God among us

So may we dare to speak of setting people free
and find ourselves working towards a freedom
bound up in each other.
May we dare to speak of justice
and find ourselves proclaiming that justice here,
in everyday acts of compassion.
May we dare to speak of welcome towards the stranger
and find ourselves among strangers here,
and loving them into community.

In all our joys and in all our concerns, may we be ever mindful
Of the presence of God among us

May we pay Christ more than lip-service
but serve Him with our whole lives. Amen

Psalm 97

The Lord is king! Let the earth rejoice;
   let the many coastlands be glad!
2 Clouds and thick darkness are all around him;
   righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.
3 Fire goes before him,
   and consumes his adversaries on every side.
4 His lightnings light up the world;
   the earth sees and trembles.
5 The mountains melt like wax before the Lord,
   before the Lord of all the earth.

6 The heavens proclaim his righteousness;
   and all the peoples behold his glory.
7 All worshippers of images are put to shame,
   those who make their boast in worthless idols;
   all gods bow down before him.
8 Zion hears and is glad,
   and the towns of Judah rejoice,
   because of your judgements, O God.
9 For you, O Lord, are most high over all the earth;
   you are exalted far above all gods.

10 The Lord loves those who hate evil;
   he guards the lives of his faithful;
   he rescues them from the hand of the wicked.
11 Light dawns for the righteous,
   and joy for the upright in heart.
12 Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous,
   and give thanks to his holy name!

Psalm 97 confesses God as the sovereign who rescues the faithful. The Psalmist affirms that God’s throne, a symbol of power, is founded on justice. Such foundations will stand, in contrast to the unjust foundations of power shaken by the earthquake in Acts

Prayer of concern (ii)

Make in us a captive conscience, quick to hear, to act, to plead;
make us truly sisters, brothers of whatever race or creed –
Teach us to be fully human, open to each other’s need.

May God bless us with a restless discomfort about easy answers,
half-truths and superficial relationships,
so that we may seek truth boldly
and love deep within our hearts.

May God bless us with holy anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people,
so that we may tirelessly work for justice, freedom,
and peace among all people.

May God bless us with the gift of tears
to shed with those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation,
or the loss of all that they cherish,
so that we may reach out our hands to comfort them and transform their pain into joy.

May God bless us with enough foolishness
to believe that we really CAN make a difference in this world,
so that we are able, with God’s grace,
to do what others claim cannot be done. Amen


We go now for the Spirit of God is alive in the land.
We go in the power of love,
with the blessing of God upon us. Amen

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