Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Sunday Worship Prayers - Advent 1 - First in Advent - Nov 27

Approaching God


Welcome and Announcements

Gathering Song

Lighting of Advent Candle

Family: Today, the prophet Isaiah describes a future shaped by peace for all nations as they walk in the light of the Lord. We wait in hope for this prophecy to be fulfilled.
Congregation: We light the candle of hope to proclaim that God's light is coming into the world
A purple candle is lit.

Family:           God of all nations - You spoke to Isaiah and You empowered him to speak welcome words of peace and hope to the people of his time.
Congregation:            We need to hear Your word anew to us today as the darkness of despair is still experienced wherever peace and hope are absent.

Family:           Strengthen us with the power of the Holy Spirit so that we may be Your prophets in this day and age - teaching Your ways to release people from darkness through words and work of love, peace, and justice.
Congregation:            In Jesus' Name we pray. Amen

First Hymn:
Prayers of Adoration and Confession

Guide:                         Divine Maker of all creatures and Mighty Sustainer of every life, we humbly bow before Your holy presence and peacefully place our lives into Your hands. Living God, who knows all of our ways and whose love has never let us go, we gather together as one people, who are thankful for Your blessings and grateful for Your goodness.
People:            Gracious Lord, in the midst of our hardships and distress, we sometimes make rash and selfish decisions. We allow fear and anxiety, anger and pride to undermine our faith and diminish our devotion to You. When we treasure our troubles or nurse our wrath, when we gloat over other people's mistakes or neglect to help those in need, forgive us and pardon our sins. Here us now as we personally pray to You alone.

- Silent Confessions -

Guide:                         Almighty God, You have given us Jesus to be our Burden Bearer and Sin Receiver. He has borne Your wrath and endured the punishment due for our sins. He alone has the power to free us from our unprofitable and unworthy ways.  Without Jesus, we have no everlasting hope. Without His mercy and grace, we have no future life in eternity. In His Name, we bring our confessions and continue to pray in His precious words, saying, “Our Father...THE LORD’S PRAYER” (debts/debtors)

Promise of the Gospel

Guide:                         The Law of God demands justice and punishment for our sins. Jesus is our only Redeemer and His testimony before God, on our behalf, releases us from oblivion, and restores us to the everlasting favor of God. To Christ, be glory, thanksgiving, and power, both now and forever. Amen.

Gloria Patri(sung unison): Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. Amen.

Family Sermon (parents and all children, including Elementary school students come forward)

Encountering God

Choir Anthem

Prayers for Health and Healing
Pastor:             Please answer us, when we call to You, O Righteous God. Grant us relief from our distress and hear our prayers. Forgive us, Lord, for doubting Your compassion, because of our emphatic fears and worries.
People:            O Living God, be merciful and listen to our heartfelt pleas. Enable us to set aside our anxieties by trusting in Your holy power. Search our hearts and deliver us from all that stops us placing our lives into Your care.

Pastor:             Help us to focus our prayers on You and to put all that concerns us into Your hands. Let the light of Your face shine upon us and all our loved ones, O Lord.  Heal all of us from everything that harms us in body, mind, heart and soul. Hear us now as we quietly pray.

Silent Prayers for others and ourselves. A candle is lit.

Pastor:             The Lord fills our hearts with hope and joy, strength and peace. In Christ's Name, we make these prayers. Amen.                        (Healing prayer based on words & phrases from Psalm 4)
Singing of '"Jesus Draw Me Close."

Prayer of Illumination
Reader:            Holy Spirit, let the promises of God touch our hearts and transform our lives through His Sacred Word. May Christ take possession of our minds and souls through His message and teaching.  In Jesus' Name, we pray.  Amen.

Scripture Readings

The Message & the Apostles' Creed

Serving God

Offering & Offertory

Dedication (unison): Lord Jesus, throughout the ages Your word has come alive in the hearts and minds of millions of people. Today, we join with them through the giving of our lives to the holy service of Your sacred kingdom. Bless the tithes and gifts that we bring before You. May they be used for the ministries and missions that You have appointed to this congregation.  In Your Holy Name, we give and pray. Amen.

Closing Hymn:

Benediction (unison): May Christ's grace be experienced by all of us and made evident in our daily lives; may the Father's peace endow our hearts with fortitude and strength;  and may the Holy Spirit grant us courage and compassion, so that we may effectively witness to the One, Triune and Living God, both now and always. Amen.

Doxology        May God's Blessing & Postlude

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