Dark times of year

This form of prayer is for use at times of the year when we feel daylight is short and nighttime is long. It is most suitable for late Autumn and Winter especially in Kingdomtide and even an alternate service in Advent.

As we start, a candle or candles may be lit or carried into the worship space.

In your word, O Light of the World, we live, move and have our being.
As you have lightened our darkness in the past,we ask, Everliving God, for your awakening within:
leading us from delusion to truth, and into your righteous way.
Lead us, Source of all Being, Father and Mother to us:
From darkness to light and into your gracious will.
Lead us, Christ, our Friend and our Brother;
From death to eternal life and into your infinite joy;
Lead us, Divine Spirit, empowering Life within
for we seek your enabling touch.
                            [Based on a prayer from the Church of South India]
Reader: The true light that lightens all has come into the world,
In your light may we see light.
              Psalm[s] and reading[s].At the end of the reading[s]:
Your word O Lord, is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path.
Sustain us according to your promise and we shall live.
              There may be a time of quiet and/or shared reflection. A framework for reflection, using the pattern of the Lord’s prayer may be used. At the end of the refliction time, we say together

A Canticle of Salvation
The peple walking in darkness have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of darkness, a light has dawned.
You have enlarged the nation and increased its joy.
The people have rejoiced before You
as they rejoice at harvest time
For You have shattered their burdensome yoke
and the rod on their shoulders,the staff of their oppressor,
For a child will be born for us, a son will be given to us,
and the government will be on His shoulders.
He will be named Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God,
Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
The dominion will be vast, and its prosperity will never end.
He will reign on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
to establish and sustain it with justice
and righteousness from now on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord of Hosts will accomplish this.

                            [Excerpted from Isaiah 9.2-7]

O Lord, open our lips
And our mouth shall proclaim your praise.
Blessèd are you, Sovereign God , judge of all, we give you praise and honour for the brightness of your kingdom lightens the darkness of this passing age and you show us the light of your glory in the face of Jesus Christ,
Father in heaven,
Hallowed be your name
              praise and thanksgiving, silent or aloud.

You desire the Light of Christ to illumine everyone. May your light shine on all for whom we pray and chase the shadows from the situations we are concerned about.
              … We bring our concerns for people or events to God, silently or aloud.

Your will be done:
Lighten our darkness.

Into the coldness of selfishness and greed bring the warmth of your loving generosity. Your will be done:
Lighten our darkness.
In times of frustration and lack of growth or development, bring the hope of springtime and redemption. Your will be done:
Lighten our darkness.

As we seek to walk in Light, you promise to give what we need….
              … sharing of needs, silently or aloud….
Seeking first your righteousness
All things shall be added.

Jesus says, “I am the light of the world, whoever comes to me will never walk in darkness but have the light of life.”
And yet our thoughts, words or deeds have sometimes revealed darkness
              We pause to recognise what of our life needs to change in the light of God in Christ

When the shadows we have cast have hidden the light for others,
Father forgive.
We offer the light of forgiveness for the shadows others have cast on our lives.
Father forgive.
You are the fountain of life;
in your light we see light.
Your word is a lantern to our feet
and a light upon our paths.

Let’s call to mind all that today may bring; the anticipated and the surprising. The pleasant and the painful.
              … We reflect on the coming day…
When we are tested by temptation
strengthen us.
When our commitment to your Love is put to trial,
save us.
When evil ensnares,
free us.
For yours is the kingdom, the power and the glory,
now and forever. Amen

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Creationtide

Creationtide starts on 1 September and goes through to 4 October.It is a time to pray for the sustaining of creation, the protection of vulnerable ecosystems and the promotion of sustainable lifestyles.It is a time to appreciate afresh the beauty and wonder of what God has made.

By wisdom God founds the earth;
by understanding God upholds the heavens;
by God’s knowledge the deeps opened up,
and the clouds drop dew.
[Proverbs 3:19-20]

Spirit of God hover over our unformedness,
Word of God speak wholeness into our unfruitfulness
Source of all being; remake us and renew us by Word and by Spirit.
Pause to open ourselves to God
Listen! Words of Wisdom, let’s focus and take to heart.
Psalm[s] and reading[s]. There may be a time of quiet and/or shared reflection. A framework for reflection, using the pattern of the Lord’s prayer may be used.

From the creation of the world, God’s eternal power and nature, though invisible, have been perceived and grasped through the things God has made.
[Rom.1:20]
You are worthy, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honour and power,
for you made all things,
by your will everything persists
and was created

[Rev.4:11]
The heavens tell out God’s glory;
and the skies proclaim God’s handiwork.
Day streams data to day,
and night declares knowledge to night.
This is not speech; there are no words;
their voices are not heard;
and yet their forthtelling propagates through the whole earth,
and their words to the world’s end.
[Ps19:1-4]
We recognise and celebrate God’s loving greatness…
So with angels and atoms,stars and saints, earth and sky and sea.
We hallow your name, joining with the eternal song of heaven
Holy, holy, holy Lord,
God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory,
hosanna in the highest.

Creator God, release your Spirit to brood over as yet unspent nature and enflourish the the deep viridity[i] of the world.
Send forth your Spirit:
And renew the face of the earth.

Sustainer of all, in the searing of uncaring trade and the smearing of human toil let there grow renewal, justice and peace.
Send forth your Spirit:
And renew the face of the earth.

Loving and out-reaching God, as you touch and woo every heart, let there grow a reverence for all you have made and freedom to respond to your grace.
Send forth your Spirit:
And renew the face of the earth.

…prayers or biddings may be added here, the leader ending with:
Send forth your Spirit:
And renew the face of the earth.
May we know your comfort and provision as we seek your will for life and cosmos
…prayers or biddings asking for God’s provision may be added here the leader ending with
Send forth your Spirit:
And renew the face of the earth.

We are debtors to the ecosystem you have provided for our nurture.
We have trespassed on the resources you made for others to use.
We have abused your hospitality and befouled the earth.
Send your Spirit forth
And renew the face of our lives
We have pointed fingers at others yet refused to be held accountable
Send your Spirit forth
And renew the face of our lives
We are debtors to mercy and heirs of grace. Thank you for bearing our disgrace. We are forgiven in your determination to bless.

Lead us into gracious and merciful living;
generous and respectful in all you have made.
As we contemplate your creation, O God,
we see wildness and order,
chance and necessity,
Freedom and limits.
Grant us to use lovingly our freedoms
to be wise in using the order of things
And wary of our vulnerability to misleadings.
For yours is the kingdom, the power and the glory.
Now and forever, amen

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[i] Viridity is a term from Hildegaard of Bingen, a medieval mystic, writer and artist who led a convent. It comes from the Latin for ‘greenness’ and so captures nature’s sign of health and growth.

Monday

Many of Monday’s prayers pick up the themes of creation and the Holy Spirit.

How lovely is your dwelling place O Lord Almighty!
My soul longs, even faints for the courts of the Lord.
My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.

Who is it that we seek?
We seek God: Sender, Sent and Sending.
Let’s seek God with all our heart
Amen. God be our centre.
Let’s seek God with all our soul
Amen. God be our vision.
Let’s seek God with all our mind
Amen. God be our wisdom.
Let’s seek God with all our strength
Amen. God be our souls’ shelter.

God, by your Spirit, move over the face of our hearts and minds.
bring order to our decisions, enliven our attitudes and
enlighten our thinking; enticing reflection towards  your Wisdom.

Reader: Let us listen for the word of life.
The Psalms and readings are announced and read. When all have been read:
Reader: God has sent forth the word
May it not return empty.
A framework for reflection, using the pattern of the Lord’s prayer may be used.
A Song of Ezekiel
You take us from the nations,
you gather us from every land,
You sprinkle clean water upon us,
and wash us from all our uncleannesses,
as from all our idols you cleanse us.
A new heart you give us,
a new spirit you put within us.
You remove from our body the heart of stone
and give a heart of flesh.
we are your people,
and you are our God.

[based on Ezekiel 36.24-26,28b ]

Hallowed be your name, Father, through the Son in the Holy Spirit;
as in the beginning, so now and for ever. Amen.

Collects may be said.

Everliving God, the heavens declare your praise and yet cannot contain your glory. May your name be kept holy in our heartfelt praise.
Prayers and/or songs of praise and thanks may be shared here
Blessèd are you, creator God;
to you be glory and praise for ever!
Your Spirit hovered over the unformed creation, and overshadowed Mary as the Christ was enwombed, and now your Holy Spirit flares up among us assuring that we are your children, intimating to us your delight in us,
Our God In heaven, father and mother to us:
Hallowed be your name!

Creator God, release your Spirit to brood over the desolations of human society; deformed by discordant voices, and decentred by competing desires.
Let there be justice,
let there be peace
and let there be healing
prayers or biddings relating to this heading may be added here the leader ending with:
Send forth your Spirit:
And renew the face of the earth.
Everliving Lover of our souls, you draw all people to yourself, wooing us Spirit to spirit. We remember before you the work of the gospel as it goes forth not to return empty.
prayers or biddings relating to this heading may be added here. The leader ends this section with:
Send forth your Spirit:
And renew the face of the earth.

Passionately faithful God; may the eternal flame of your Spirit burn in our souls and warm the lives of those whose lives we touch in person, process or in prayer.
prayers or biddings relating to this heading may be added here the leader ending with
Send forth your Spirit:
And renew the face of the earth.

Be the wind in the sails of our lives and as we are blown forward by your Spirit may we know your comfort and provision
prayers or biddings asking for God’s provision may be added here the leader ending with
Send forth your Spirit:
And renew the face of the earth.

There have been times when we have quenched your Spirit in our self-serving or grudge-bearing

We ask your help so that we might truly repent
and know
and offer
joyful forgiveness,

Blow upon us your peace-making breeze:
And renew the face of our lives.
Let us attend; Christ breathes upon us the peace and forgiveness of God.
a moment for quiet reflection on our forgiveness.
Father may your Spirit overshadow us in all that tests us: do not let us fall away from you.
before God we think about the coming hours.
When we are becalmed
blow us forward into your purposes.
If we grow cold towards your Reign and righteousness,
Rekindle your love in our spirits.
If we find ourselves tested in a dry place,
Water our souls.
In our living of this day:
yours be the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.