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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Transfiguration

Transfiguration is normally celebrated on 6 August, recalling when Jesus’s appearance gloriously changed while on a mountain with some of his disciples. This prayer form might be used for a week or two following that day.

Lord, it is good for us to be here
For your Spirit is with us
              We pause to recognise God’s presence.
My heart tells of your word, ‘Seek my face.’
Your face, Lord, will I seek.
One thing we ask of you Lord
and that alone we seek:
that we may dwell in your house all the days of our life,
To behold your fair beauty and to seek your will.
                            [from Ps.27]
              A song may be sung. Bibles are made ready to be read from.
As we hear the scriptures
may we listen to your Beloved.
Overshadow us and speak to us
for this comes from the Lord, the Spirit
              Psalm[s] and reading[s].
Our Lord Jesus Christ received honour and glory from God the Father whose voice was conveyed to him by the Majestic Glory, saying, ‘This is my Son, my Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.’ By the same Spirit, we hear this voice from heaven, We have the prophetic message more fully confirmed. Let us be attentive to this as to a lamp shining in a dark place.
              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.

Canticle of Solomon
Blessed are you,
O God of our ancestor Israel
for ever and ever.
Yours, O Lord, are the greatness,
the power, the glory,
the victory, and the majesty;
for all that is in the heavens
and on the earth is yours;
yours is the kingdom, O Lord,
and you are exalted as head above all.

                            [1Chr29:10-11]
              Collect or theme prayers may be said.

Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens,
your faithfulness to the clouds.
Be exalted, O God, above the heavens.
Let your glory be over all the earth.
We honour you and thank you that in Christ we are your beloved children, with whom you are well pleased. In Christ you are transforming us from one degree of glory to another by the working of the Holy Spirit.
[And now we give you thanks because … ]
And so we laud your name:
Holy, holy, holy God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory
Hosanna in the highest.

In the stories and hopes of Moses and Elijah, we glimpse a world transfigured, we ask for transfigurations of here-and-now realities into anticipations of the new heaven and new earth.
              …
Your kingdom come
your will be done on earth as in heaven.
Give us wisdom to share sensitively with all people the good news so that all may behold your glory in the face of Jesus Christ. …
Your kingdom come
your will be done on earth as in heaven.

As we accompany Christ to the wheres and whens that touch glory, be our provider
              …
Your kingdom come
your will be done on earth as in heaven.

Forgive us that in various ways, big and small, we have grieved the Spirit as we have resisted being transformed into the likeness of Christ Jesus.
Gracious God, glorify your name,
We glory in your forgiveness.
Enfold our forgiving of others in your transfiguration of creation that we may continually participate in the transformation of the world.
              …
Give us grace to forgive:
Work your glory into our forgiveness.
Lead us so we do not sleepwalk into sin
awaken us to the signs of glory around us.
Preserve us from attempts to make permanent the provisional;
And from the paralysing fear of the new and awesome.
In the midst of the strange and misunderstandable;
Give us ears to hear you and heart to follow Jesus.
Yours is the Kingdom, the power and the glory,
now and forever. Amen.
We go being transformed into Christ’s image,
from one degree of glory to another;
This comes from the Lord, the Spirit.
Amen.

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Pentecost

During Pentecost (which we might take to be up until Trinity Sunday) we recall first and foremost the gift of the Holy Spirit. Firstly in the coming of the Spirit on the disciples fifty days after Easter -related in Acts 2, and then on the Spirit’s presence and action in the Church and the world.

Together with all in Christ, we wait
Come Holy Spirit; soak into our deepest being
We pray together with all your people
Come Holy Spirit; breeze through our staleness.
We will hear the scriptures together
Come Holy Spirit; fire up our imaginations for good
We will rejoin you in the world
Come Holy Spirit; spice us with the savour of Christ

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,so that we may be equipped for every good work
Psalm[s] and reading[s] 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.
We affirm our loyalty to God as we say:
What we have received
is not the spirit of the world,
but the Spirit who is from God,
so that we may understand
what God has freely given us.
No one can say, “Jesus is Lord,”
except by the Holy Spirit.

[1Cor 12:3b ]
Collects may be said.

We did not receive a spirit that makes us slaves to fear
We received the Spirit of adoption
Your Spirit testifies with ours that we are your children:
By your Spirit we cry “Abba! Father”
Appreciations of God’s goodness and greatness may be shared…
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 at our core 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 damaged by overweaning desires.

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 .

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.

Send forth your Spirit: And renew the face of the earth.

Let there be justice, let there be peace and let there be healing

       …prayers or biddings may be voiced 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 our worlds.

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.
Make our hearts clean, O God
And remake a right spirit within us.
Let us attend; Christ breathes upon us the peace and forgiveness of God.
A moment for quiet reflection on our forgiveness.

The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because God has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
God has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.

[ Luke 4:17-19 and Isaiah 61:1-2 ]
As we seek to walk in the Spirit, let us pause before the likely events and involvements and the unpredictable happenings that face us.

Since we live by the Spirit,
let us keep in step with the Spirit.
[Gal 5:25 ]
Now to you who by the power at work within us are able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, to you be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
[Eph.3:21]

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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.