Feel free to use these prayers in any church service or setting.
They are particularly suitable for the Fourth Sunday after Epiphany, (Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time), Year C, and are inspired by 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 and Luke 4:21-30.
Opening prayers or Call to worship
You knew us before we were born,
You have watched us from birth.
You know what we are good at, and not so good at.
We know you imperfectly,
But we come to worship you,
To pour out our hearts to you
Because we need to.
Accept all we bring, and all that we are
and let our words and our hearts meet with yours
and be a blessing to all.
When we were younger we saw things differently,
Now things look a lot more complex to us –
More people to please, more things we know can go wrong, more choices to be made.
Simplify it for us again Lord,
Let our view be through your eyes,
Let our words be inspired by yours,
Let our motive be simply your love.
Let us always be patient,
Particularly with each other as we work together.
May we be inspired by the differences between us rather than being irritated by them.
Build us together so that, united, we can reach out to those around us.
Let us always be kind,
Wanting to give more than we want to receive,
Willing to help those in need around us, prepared to campaign for the needy far away.
Give us an open heart and a resolve to make a difference.
Let us always be truthful,
To ourselves and to you as well as to those we love.
Help us to understand our own motives and to address our shortcomings
So that we can serve you truly and be relied on by all.
Let us always believe,
Even when our days are dark and our minds are in turmoil.
Give to us an understanding and experience of your eternally loving nature
So that we can build up those around us as they build us.
Let us always hope,
Looking expectantly forward rather than longingly backward.
Give us a joy in life and a desire to find pleasure in all your creation
And let us in turn bring hope to those whose lives we touch.
Lord when you have stripped away our envy and self-importance,
Our rudeness and irritability,
Let our love remain, constant and clear,
At the centre of our being and the heart of all we do
Reflecting your amazing love for us.