Pausing for Prayer: 4th week in Lent

Welcome to this online service – take a moment during the day to pause, pray and reflect as you journey through Lent. Simply scroll down at your own pace, saying the service alone or with others (appropriately distanced, in a virtual meeting, or on the phone). Please click on the audio file of the music to listen. Grace and peace to you as you share in the worship of the Church.

Opening Responses

Move among us, God; give us life;
let us be fully alive in you.

Give us again the joy of your help;
with your spirit of freedom sustain us.

God, make our hearts clean,
restore us in body, mind and spirit.

Prayer

We break from the doings of our day
and make space to notice you, God.
You are always with us
in surprising guises.

Jesus of the flesh, we meet you
in worker and friend,
stranger and pilgrim,
the needy and the needed,
the questioner and questioned.

So when we meet you,
may we deepen trust,
deepen life, deepen justice,
and deepen joy.

And when you meet us,
help us approach our activities
with presence and power,
with love and humility,
with courage and dignity.

Spirit of Wisdom,
take from us all fuss,
the clattering of noise,
the temptation to dominate
by the power of words,
the craving for certainty.

Lead us through the narrow gate
of not knowing,
that we may listen and obey,
and come to a place
of silence and stillness,
of true conversation and wisdom.
Amen.

Reading    Luke 1:78-79

‘By the tender mercy of our God, the dawn from on high will break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.’

Reflection

God of promises, sometimes we wait generations for the dawn from on high; sometimes only years. We wait for justice and hope and light and kindness to mingle in the tangle of our days. And we age while we hope. So may we age and hope with tenderness and truth. Because you are tender and true even though we sometimes wonder.

Motet   Psalm 130 by Lorne Betts, from "Six Psalms"

Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, o Lord. Lord, hear my voice: let thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications. If thou, Lord, shouldst mark iniquities, o Lord, who shall stand?
But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared. I wait for the Lord. My soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope. Let Israel hope in the Lord: for with the Lord there is mercy,
and with him is plenteous redemption. And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.

Prayers of Concern

Holy God,
who, in Jesus, touched the earth,
admiring its beauty and blessing its people,
we honour you for the gift of life
and all the gifts that life brings us:
food, shelter, company,
the experiences that make us think,
the people that bring out the best in us.  

Hear our prayers for the places in this world
where beauty has turned to ugliness,
food has been replaced by famine,
friendship has been forgotten
and fear, hostility and hopelessness
have the upper hand.

God, in your mercy,
bring healing, bring peace.

Hear our prayers for people who cannot pray
because of pain, loss or worry;
and for those who will not love themselves
and so cannot love their neighbour.

God, in your mercy,
bring healing, bring peace.

Hear our prayers for ourselves –
our private yearnings,
our secret hopes
and any doubt, jealousy or anger
to which we hold too tightly.

God, in your mercy,
bring healing, bring peace.

And hear us as we say the words Jesus taught us.
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name;
your kingdom come,
your will be done on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread;
and 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 for ever.
Amen.

Closing Responses

O God of life, of all life and of each life,
we lay our lives before you;
we give our lives to you
from whom nothing in us is hidden.

You are before us, God, you are behind;
you are around us, God,
you are within.

O God of life, O generous Spirit,
renew us with your life,
today, tomorrow, and always.
Amen.

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Liturgy: Adapted from Daily Prayer for All Seasons (a resource of the Episcopal Church in the USA);
The Iona Abbey Worship Book @ The Iona Community 2016; Daily Prayers with the Corrymeela Community @ Pádraig Ó Tuama 2017.
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