Prayers for the week commencing Sunday 19th December 2021

Servicing the Bald Hills and nearby Communities

Prayers for the week commencing Sunday 19th December 2021

Prayer of Praise and Confession

(from Uniting in Worship Red Book p290, An Aust Prayer Book p184, , Opening Prayers p9,): –

  All Nations sing your praise, Almighty God, all Peoples sing of your merciful kindness, because of the great hope that is represented in the incarnate Jesus Christ, your Word clothed in our likeness, but whose nature is so very different to ours.  For in Christ we see the brightness of your glory and the fullness of your love for your Creation.  For in Christ we see the blessing that is ours because you walk with us and share every minute of our lives.  Yet, who are we that you should come to us?  Who are we that you should consider redeeming us?  It is solely because of your great love that you have brought about your

mighty and wonderful work in the World.

    We are truly humbled and amazed that Jesus should so readily leave the glory of Heaven and of fellowship with you so as to enter the World in such a humble way; but more, that he was humbly obedient to the point of death on the cross.  He made Himself a servant to show us how to lead.  He gave his life so that we might live.  He suffered so that we might share in his glory.  He took the full burden of our sin as our scapegoat.  He is the living proof that you, O God, are with us and for us, and if you are for us, of whom should we fear.

Yet merciful God, we acknowledge that we are no different to those of the World.  We confess in contrite humbleness that we too transgress your Law of Love and Obedience.  We are ashamed of that within ourselves which makes neither for good will towards others nor growth for goodness within ourselves.  We show neither hearts of compassion nor do we live lives of kindly service.  We seek the company and favour of the popular, and neglect the humble and the lonely.  We forget the joy that should be ours because of your promise to come to us and to be with us.  We do not express our thanks for the many things that you provide for us out of your bountiful goodness.  We deliberately rebel against you and are shameful.  Our guilt and disgrace is all too evident to you, and we stand in judgement.

    Take away our sins and renew our souls, so that we may know the joy of sins forgiven and of our spirits being in fellowship with You.  Lord, have mercy upon us and incline our hearts to listen to your voice and to follow your commands.  Lift our minds to hear the voice which announces the glory of God made flesh, and open our hearts to receive the Spirit who prepares us for the coming again of the Christ.  Reign in us so that we may experience the unity of the Holy Spirit for which you desire.  May we know with assurance the righteousness that is ours because your have loved us so dearly and have bought our reconciliation by the death and resurrection of your beloved son, Jesus Christ, our Lord.  To your glory and honour we pray.  Amen.

Assurance of Forgiveness 

(from Hebrews 10: 10) 

The writer of the book of Hebrews tells us that because Jesus Christ did what God wanted Him to do, we are all purified from sin by the offering that he made of his own body, once and for all.  Having confessed our sins before God, we have the assurance then that our sins have been forgiven and that we have been put right with God.

Thanks be to God.

Prayers for Others

Let us come before God with our cares and our concerns.

Almighty God, we pray for the Church, that our hearts may leap for joy as we recognize that you are with us in the people and events of our lives.

We pray for all believers, that we, like Mary, may believe that you will do great things in and through our ordinariness.

We pray for a spirit of joy, that we may be grateful for all the gifts and opportunities that you offer us and rejoice in the blessings which come to us each day.

We pray for new parents and expectant parents, that you will bless their children with health and help them to care for and nurture their children both physically and spiritually.

We pray for all children who are at risk, who have run away, who are in institutional settings, that you will guide them to someone whom they can trust and bring them to safety.

We pray for all who live in Bethlehem and the hill country of Judah, for Christians, Jews, and Muslims, that your Spirit will open new pathways of peace and bring forth new hope for all who live in fear.

We pray for spiritual companions and guides, that we may each find a wise and trusted soul who will accompany us as we discover how you are at work in us and the world around us.

We pray for refugees who have fled violence or oppression, that you will protect them from harm, give them strength to face their challenges, and guide them to places of safety.

We pray for anyone experiencing fear, anxiety, or depression, that the birth of Christ may bring light into their lives and freedom to their hearts.

We pray for all who are traveling during this season, that they may arrive safely and have renewing visits with family and friends.

We pray for all whose lives seem unimportant, that they may listen for God’s call and advance God’s saving plan through their lives and deeds.

We pray for the sick, that God will heal all who are suffering, give them hope, and renew the strength of all who are caring for them.

We pray for all who are away from home during the Christmas season, particularly missionaries, aid workers, and members of the military, that you will fill their hearts with peace and reunite them with loved ones in the New Year.

We pray for all who were injured or lost homes or businesses in the recent disasters, that God will heal their wounds, keep them safe from further harm, and help them access the resources that they need.

Copyright © 2021. Joe Milner. All rights reserved.<br> Permission is hereby granted to reproduce for personal or parish use. 

We pray for parents who are struggling to care for their children.  Please guide them to an appropriate agency or Church service who can provide the guidance and assistance needed.

We pray for the hungry and despairing, that people will be led to where there is need and led to feed and clothe and shelter those who cannot feed themselves, or clothe themselves, or who have no place to lay their heads.

At this Advent time, we pray that you will open the hearts of people to comprehend the real Christmas story and respond to your love and grace with humble trust and obedience.  Give courage to the Church that we may proclaim with joy and gladness the Good News announced by the angels and the Magi of your control over History and of the coming of your Kingdom.

We pray for a cleansing wave of repentance across our Nation, washing away the impiety, corruption and deceit that is rampant in people’s lives and in business and government decision making.  Let truth and justice be the grounds for stability and compassion in our Nation.

We pray that you will console those who are mourning the loss of family member or friend.  Please give to them your comfort and your reassurance of your continual love and care for them.

We pray for the oppressed, those who are taken advantage of or who face discrimination in any form.  May those experience your close presence.  May they experience your comfort and consolation.  Inspire the Church Worldwide to speak out against those who discriminate, those who oppress, those who spread hatred and not peace and reconciliation.

  (David Hostetter in Prayers for the Seasons of God’s People Year C p22, Raymond Chapman in Leading Intercessions p88) 

We pray for the Church in Bali as they face the disapproval from family and neighbours for choosing to worship the living God and not the false Hindu gods.  We thank you for the example they set in support neighbours through this pandemic.

We pray for the Evangelical Christian Church in Timor who have faced the social and economic costs of a recent cyclone and the pandemic.  Encourage and strengthen them as they support other to rebuild their lives and livelihoods.  

We pray for the Leprosy Mission in Nigeria and their provision of ulcer care treatment to those affected by leprosy.  We pray for the Leprosy mission in Nepal as they work to transform the lives of people affected by leprosy.  We pray for the staff of primary health centres in Indonesia and East Timor as they receive training to detect and diagnose leprosy.  We pray for Natasha Smith, stationed in Papua New Guinea as she manages leprosy care projects and the training and support of staff at the Leprosy Mission office.

We pray for School chaplains as they enjoy a time of rest and recuperation following the end of the school year.  May they find their holidays a time of refreshment and rejuvenation.  We pray for the leaders and volunteers associated with Scripture Union camps being held over the Christmas holidays.  Please enthuse and encourage them as they seek to present the Good News of the coming of the Christ child and what that could mean for the lives of individuals.

We pray for the peoples of Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam.  We pray for those who have experienced years of conflict and oppression, who continue to bear physical and emotional scars.  Please give to them healing in body and spirit.  We pray for the Church in these countries who bear witness in the region even though they are small in number.  Please give to them the courage to bear witness to the truth of the light and love of Jesus.  We pray for victims of monsoons and other disasters in the region, that they will be  provided with the needed humanitarian assistance and rebuilding.  We pray for economic development to improve life for all people and the environment.  We pray for political stability amid competing powers, and for the repatriation of refugees from these countries, so that they can return to their homes and families.

We pray for Palestinian refugees in Gaza, in Jordan, and in Lebanon, who have been displaced from their homes for decades, some who have only known life in a refugee camp.  We pray for a change in the heart of those with power and in power, that they will look with compassion on those who have no home and no positive outlook for the future, that they will humble themselves before you and do what is right and return land and autonomy to those from whom it was taken. 

We pray for refuges in Syria, displaced because of the civil war, who have experienced the terror of the bombing, who cannot return to their villages and their homes because of the conflict, who suffer from lack of water, food and medical aid, who cannot see a future with any hope.  We pray for an end to the violence, an end to the rule of politics and power, and a desire by all peoples for reconciliation and social renewal.

We thank you for the work of Kylie, the chaplain at Bald Hills State School, for her dedication to the welfare of the children at the School, of their families, and of the staff at the School.  Please continue to guide her as she identifies areas of need and as she seeks your peace for them.

We ask that you will the Congregation and the Church Council as we consider our future as your people in our community as Bald Hills.

Loving God, we bring these prayers to you, trusting in your compassion and care.  To your glory we pray.

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father in Heaven, hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come,

your will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.

Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil,

For the Kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours,

Now and forever.  Amen.