Category Archives: Prayers for Public Worship

Thanksgiving for God’s guidance in our lives

Oh God our Creator, in whom we live and move and have our being, we come again to thank you for your constant presence in our lives. Though we only dimly understand who or what you are, we acknowledge again that you shape our very existence. You guide our thinking, our decisions and our actions. You give us a reason and purpose for living. You share our delight in the natural world, in the laughter of our friends, in our achievements. You make us conscious of the needs of others, of our responsibilities and duties. Our lives are founded and fulfilled in you and we cannot turn away for we have nowhere else to go.

And so we are glad to be here again, conscious of the encouragement and influence of our friends, enjoying the age-old hymns and prayers; learning and exploring new thoughts and ideas. And we thank you again that you are here at our elbow – to guide, to restrain, to jolt and to shove us forward. We know you are present in our service – but help us now to be more conscious of it.

 Amen

A prayer for forgiveness for despoiling the earth

Oh God, whose love laid the foundations of our world, we confess that we have spoiled your Paradise and that others are often left to suffer the consequences. We are not evil people, but we are trivial; we do not do wrong intentionally but we are thoughtless; we do not mean to ignore the needs of others but we are self-centred. And now we are sorry about all those of whom we are nightly conscious, who continue to suffer through human hatred, corruption and greed.

We remember in your presence those who are abused because we have not spoken out on their behalf; those who are exploited because we want things on the cheap; those who feel unwelcome because they are different; those who suffer evil because it doesn’t affect us.

Give us the imagination to suffer as they suffer and help us to respond with generosity of mind and money as if they suffered on our doorstep. And make us ever mindful that your will is not done until we make it so. Amen.

A prayer for Sunday worship

Oh God, we are conscious that millions of people of faith have set aside some time today to worship you, and we are privileged to be counted among them. We are conscious, too, that for thousands of years, people of faith have take time out to worship you, and we are honoured to be counted among them. And so we come with gladsome minds, to acknowledge that our lives are shaped and enriched, are given meaning and purpose, through your presence in the world. We thank you for the life and teaching of Jesus which continues to guide our ethical understanding and decision-making. We thank you for the company of fellow Christians who encourage and inspire us. And we thank for those moments of certainty, despite the haziness and ambiguity of our beliefs, when we know that all things are indeed working together for good. You are the focus of our being, giving our insignificant lives significance and we gratefully come to worship you. Make us conscious of your presence among us tonight – illuminating, encouraging, guiding. Amen.

Thanksgiving for the gift of life

O God, our Creator and the sustainer of our lives, we come to worship you. We are grateful for the privilege of living – for your gift of life with all its fascinations and laughter, it’s complexity and profundity and its moments of inexpressible joy. We thank you for life’s endless possibilities, opportunities to learn, to develop our talents and skills, to mature as people and to deepen our faith. We even remember with gratitude those hardships and griefs, duties, and mistakes which have made us the people we are. Forgive us when we have taken life too lightly, wasting our time and abilities and talents, and avoiding the challenges and responsibilities which would have helped us grow. Help us to be the best we can be, that we may live life as you intended – and so fulfil your purpose for ourselves and others that your kingdom may come. Amen

A prayer for those who journey with us

Oh God who journeys with us, we are conscious that we do not travel alone and so we pause for a moment to remember others.

We remember those who were imprisoned, suffered pain and even death that we might live out our faith in freedom.

We remember those who have explored and shared thought-provoking ideas through fiction and poetry, dance and theatre, art and music and who continue to challenge us through film and television and the internet.

We are grateful for our fellow Christians who journey beside us, who have shaped our opinions, provided us with information for sound judgement, argued with us and opened our intellect and imagination to new thoughts, new ways of seeing and doing.

We remember those whom we love, many struggling against social forces and the pervading culture, left to drift with the tide of public opinion, easily persuaded by the cynicism of the media. Those whose inner light has never been nourished, who seem to be stuck in a groove and lack any sense of onward journeying.

We remember those for whom life is hard, full of pain and emptiness and disappointment. Those who are coping with broken relationships, who cannot find satisfying and rewarding work, who have only money enough to maintain them and not to live fully, who have never had or have wasted the opportunities to gain new skills and exult in their abilities.

We remember those who are reaching the end of their journey, routinely living each day as it comes, conscious that life is ebbing away and fearful of the next stage.

We bring all these before you, known and unknown, confident that you will encircle them with love, ready to take their hand and lead them onwards whenever they ask. And may we also be quick to do the same.

Amen

A prayer of worship for our Creator

Oh God our Creator, when we look at the world you have created and it’s place in our universe we know we cannot hope to comprehend you.Our astronomers tell us how vast and timeless is our universe and we glimpse eternity. Our biologists tells us how infinitely varied is our plant life in colour and shape and texture and we glimpse the infinite variety of your mind. Our zoologists tell us how curious, how intricate, how delicate is our animal life and we glimpse your humour, your intelligence, your diversity. Our scientists tell us how balanced, how efficient, how orderly our world is and we glimpse your consistency and symmetry. Through our artists, and poets and writers we glimpse your creativity. And through the teaching of Jesus we glimpse your overwhelming love for us. And so we stand in awe of you, struggling to understand the unfathomable, the immeasurable, the profound, the all-loving.

Yet we are made in your image, incomplete and misshapen without you, and thus we come to worship you. AMEN

A prayer for others

Oh God, we would not meet together as a group of people who call themselves Christians without remembering in your presence those who for whom this night will close in agony and despair. And so we commend to your loving care those who are cower in fear, those who have fled from their homes, those who have seen their wives raped and their husbands and children slaughtered, those for whom butchery has become a way of life. We think of families who are separated, who are hungry, who lack water, who are cold and who have learned to live with hopelessness.

And we remember those closer to home who nightly risk their lives to board lorries, whose only contact with the world is through the visits of council carers, who are scared of broken relationships, of children who are bullied at school, of the sick and dying in the great hospitals around us and of the desperate who can simply cope no longer.

In the face of this litany of human suffering may we never grow cynical or complacent. May we be generous with our time, our money and our attitudes. And help us by the checked comment, a quick smile, a ready handshake and an offer of help, to heal and not to exacerbate. Remind us again and again of our own dependence on your love and of the promises we have made till frightful a nightfall no longer folds rueful a day for our anguished world. Amen

A prayer for the suffering of the world

As a company of God’s people and in the presence of God, let’s reflect together on the suffering of our world. Let’s pray.

O God our Creator who has formed us in love, cradled and parented and nurtured us in love, given us the immeasurable gift of life in all it’s diversity and laughter and richness, provided for our every need and brought us together this morning among our loving church family, we worship you.

O God, we know you love us:

Help us to love you more.

And conscious that, as you love us so you cherish all mankind, we remember before you now the suffering of our world.

  • We remember those who have been killed or maimed or who grieve through the violence of others;
  • We remember those whose homes and livelihoods have been ravaged by war, by floods, by drought and by earthquake;
  • We remember those who are desperately anxious about money because of rising interest rates, devaluation of their currency, debt and ill-paid work.
  • We remember those whose relationships have broken down causing heartache for wives, husbands, partners, parents and children;
  • We remember those who feel impotent, undervalued and misjudged because of their faith, their colour, their sexual orientation, their age, their lack of education or ability.

We bring them all into your loving care,

O God, we know you love us:

Help us to love you more.

But we are conscious too that, as a creative, all-loving but vulnerable spirit, you seek our help to ease the suffering of mankind. And so this morning, individually and collectively, we willingly offer you our service once more.

  • We offer you our intellect and understanding that we may be aware and well-informed of the needs of others through our reading, viewing and discussion;
  • We offer you our imaginations so that when we see the suffering of men we see our husbands and sons and brothers; when we see the despair of women we see our wives and daughters and sisters; when we see the misery of children we see our little ones; and when we see the sorrow of the old we see our aging parents.
  • We offer you our courage and passion to confront the triviality of much that passes for argument, the false analyses, the biased reasoning, the shoddy thinking, and the superficial assumptions.
  • We offer you our time to sit with those who need us, to answer emails, to make telephone calls, to provide coffee and scones, to do the shopping and to hold another’s hand.
  • We offer you our income to support those who work in a thousand desperate situations.
  • And we offer you our very selves: our eye contact with others, our smiles, our ready handshake, our laughter and our tears so that all mankind might know, through us, how much you love them.

O God, we know you love us:

Help us to love you more.

Amen