Prayer of the Church, Christmas Eve/Day, Yr B

Prayer of the Church, Christmas Eve/Day, Year B

Lectionary Readings: Isa 9:2-7; 62:6-12; 52:7-10; Pss 96; 97; 98; Titus 2:11-14; 3:4-7; Heb 1:1-4 [5-12]; Lk 2:1-14 [15-20]; Jn 1:1-14

P: Holy One of Israel and All Nations: On this marvellous festival day, the whole cosmos is united in an en-ending medley of hymns, prayers, praise and thanksgivings. All creation bows in adoration and worships you, O Blessed Holy Trinity! Our lives are overflowing with oceanic joy as we celebrate the birth of Jesus our Messiah! Joy to the world: C: The Lord is come!
P: God of Good News: We thank you for your Glad Tidings as it winged its way from ancient Israel to the ends of the earth. Bless all who preach, teach and hear your Word; that with the work of your Spirit, all people might see the salvation of our God. Joy to the world: C: The Lord is come!
P: Divine Ruler: We are truly grateful that, at the appointed time, the fullness of your majesty and mystery was perfectly revealed in your Son. O Christ, your realm is eternal; we, together with the angels are subjects of your benevolent reign. Rule over us always Christ King of kings and Lord of lords! Joy to the world: C: The Lord is come!
P: Eternal Word: On this holy day we celebrate your becoming flesh and dwelling among us. Shine your light into all the darkness of this world—especially where there is oppression, persecution, war and destruction. May the light you give us reflect outward into the dark places of this world. Joy to the world: C: The Lord is come!
(Additional intercessions and thanksgivings may be included here, ending with: Joy to the world: C: The Lord is come!)
P: Jesus our Healer: Remember on this holy, joyous day all people who are suffering from loneliness, depression, abuse, poverty, hunger, illnesses and injustice of all kinds—be they mental, physical or spiritual. Grant comfort and healing to them all, that they may receive the fullness of your grace and truth. Joy to the world: C: The Lord is come!
P: Grant peace on earth and good will toward all human beings; for the sake of Jesus Christ, the Prince of peace. Lead us in the ways of peace now and always Jesus our Prince of peace; in whose Holy Name we pray. ALL: Amen! Hallelujah!

Prayers 5 Easter Yr A

Prayer of the Church, 5th Sunday of Easter, Year A

P: God of saints and martyrs: Today we praise and thank you for the life and faith of Stephen. He boldly preached the Good News and, while dying a martyr’s death, he did not seek vengeance against his executioners. Rather, he prayed that their sin not be held against them. May we be inspired by Stephen’s example to forgive our enemies. Christ our risen Saviour: C: Have mercy and hear our prayer.
P: God our Refuge and Fortress: You are like a rock giving us strength and protection. Our times are in your hands; and we ask you to deliver your people from the hand of their enemies and persecutors. Shine your face upon your servants; save them in your steadfast love. Christ our risen Saviour: C: Have mercy and hear our prayer.
P: Christ our Head and Cornerstone, Chosen and Precious: We your people are like living stones, built into a spiritual house. We give you praise and thanks that, by your all-sufficient grace, you have made us a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that we may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called us out of darkness into his marvellous light. Christ our risen Saviour: C: Have mercy and hear our prayer.
P: Jesus the Way, the Truth, and the Life: We are grateful that through you we come to the Father’s house. You have given us the promise that whatever we ask in your name, you will do it. Grant us a deeper faith to trust in you and this promise; that your redeeming grace may prevail among us and throughout the world. Christ our risen Saviour: C: Have mercy and hear our prayer.
(Additional prayers may be included here, ending with: Christ our risen Saviour: C: Have mercy and hear our prayer.)
P: God of Israel and the Gentiles: We pray for all who deeply long and work for peace and justice in Israel, Palestine, and other Middle East countries, Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Canada; bless and prosper their endeavours. Christ our risen Saviour: C: Have mercy and hear our prayer.
P: All of these and other prayers that serve your holy will and purposes we pray in the name of Jesus our Risen Saviour. ALL: AMEN.

4 Easter Prayers Yr A

Prayer of the Church, 4th Sunday of Easter, Year A
P: Gracious God: We praise and thank you for the faithful example of the apostles and those first generation Christians; who, day by day, devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers; who shared what they had with one another, as any had need. LORD our Shepherd: C: Our cup runs over with your mercy and love.
P: Gracious God: You are like a Good Shepherd to us. You provide for our physical, mental and spiritual hunger and thirst. You give us everything that we need to live meaningful lives. Even in our darkest days; in days of suffering, sorrow and when disease, illness and death draw near; we do not have to fear evil, for you are with us. We look forward to that day when we shall dine at your heavenly banquet feast with you. LORD our Shepherd: C: Our cup runs over with your mercy and love.
P: Gracious God: We praise and thank you for the perfect example of Jesus who committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth. When he was abused, he did not return abuse; when he suffered, he did not threaten; but he entrusted himself to the one who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that, free from sins, we might live for righteousness; by his wounds we have been healed. Help us to follow in his steps. LORD our Shepherd: C: Our cup runs over with your mercy and love.
P: Gracious God: We praise and thank you Jesus our Good Shepherd; you call us by name and lead us in righteous pathways; help us to listen to your voice and follow you wherever you lead us. You are our gateway that leads us into life; for you have promised us that you came to give us abundant life. LORD our Shepherd: C: Our cup runs over with your mercy and love.
(Other thanksgivings and intercessions may be added here, ending with: LORD our Shepherd: C: Our cup runs over with your mercy and love.)
P: Gracious God: As Shepherd of your Church around the world you would gather us together as one flock. Pour out your Holy Spirit upon all Christian Churches; that they may live in unity with one another to serve the needs of all people; that through the unity of your Church, your Holy Presence might draw others into your fold; that the Church might be your instrument of justice and peace in the world. LORD our Shepherd: C: Our cup runs over with your mercy and love.
P: Gracious God: We pray for the Lubicon people in northern Alberta who are suffering from an oil spill by a pipeline company on their land. Grant them justice and healing and deepen both the federal and provincial governments’ resolve to negotiate a satisfactory land settlement for the Lubicon people. We also remember all other aboriginal peoples around the globe; that they would enjoy a better quality of life and that their needs would be met. LORD our Shepherd: C: Our cup runs over with your mercy and love.
P: Into your all-sufficient hands we commend all for whom we pray; trusting in your abundant life and all-embracing grace; one God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; who lives and reigns through all ages of ages. ALL: Amen.

Prayers 2 Easter Yr A

Prayer of the Church, 2nd Sunday of Easter, Year A

P: Ancient of Days: We praise and thank you for revealing your definite plan and foreknowledge of salvation through Christ to apostles like Peter who bore witness by proclaiming the Word. God of new, resurrection life: C: Hear our prayer.
P: God our Refuge: You show us the path of life. In your presence there is fullness of joy; in your right hand are pleasures forevermore. God of new, resurrection life: C: Hear our prayer.
P: Merciful God: Blessed are you for giving us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. In him our inheritance is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading. God of new, resurrection life: C: Hear our prayer.
P: Risen Christ: On that first Easter evening long ago, you appeared to the disciples—giving them your peace and breathing on them the Holy Spirit. In a world full of conflict and divisions bestow your peace to all nations and breathe new, Spirit-filled life into them—especially we pray for: Sudan and Uganda and our nation, Canada; may the citizens or our land exercise their democratic right and responsibility by voting tomorrow to elect a new government. God of new, resurrection life: C: Hear our prayer.
P: Christ our Life: During the Easter season, we celebrate your victory over sin, death and the powers of evil. Yet many doubt your resurrection like Thomas of old. We confess that we too have our struggles with doubt. May you work through all who doubt to lead them into a deeper faith in you, like you did with Thomas. God of new, resurrection life: C: Hear our prayer.
(Additional thanksgivings and intercessions may be included here, ending with: God of new, resurrection life: C: Hear our prayer.)
P: Holy One: You would have us live full, healthy lives—however, many among us are languishing and suffering from sickness and disease. May your healing presence touch them in mind, body and spirit; especially, we remember those whom we name either out loud or, in the silence of our hearts: PAUSE. God of new, resurrection life: C: Hear our prayer.
P: Have mercy and hear our prayers God our Father; Christ our Risen Saviour; and Holy Spirit our Advocate; one God, who lives and reigns now and forever. ALL: Amen.

Prayer of the Church 4 Lent Yr A

Prayer of the Church, 4th Sunday in Lent, Year A

God our Shepherd: we praise and thank you that when you look at human beings; you do not look on the outward appearance and you do not see as a mortals see. Rather, you look on the heart. Forgive us when we are too quick to judge others solely on the basis of their outward appearance. God of mercy: C: Hear our prayer.
God our Shepherd: we are most grateful for your abundant provision of our needs–whether they be for our mind, body or spirit. Even in our darkest hour, you are with us to guide and lead us. Your presence protects us so that we need not fear evil. As Host and Guest of Honour, we are privileged to dine at your abundant banquet table–even in the presence of our enemies. In love you pursue us with your goodness and we long to live in your eternal home forever. God of mercy: C: Hear our prayer.
God our Shepherd: grant us grace to live as children of the light by desiring what is good, right and true; discerning what is God-pleasing. Banish all darkness that with your life-transforming light. God of mercy: C: Hear our prayer.
God our Shepherd: Long ago Jesus gave sight to a man born blind. We thank you Jesus that you are able to see that not all sickness is punishment for personal or ancestral sins. Help us to share your compassionate, healing presence with all who suffer in our midst, especially those whom we name before you now either out loud, or in the silence of our hearts (PAUSE). We ask your blessing upon all benevolent organisations that serve the blind, including: the Canadian National Institute for the Blind, the Christian Blind Mission and various Bible Society organisations that provide the blind with Braille Bibles. God of mercy: C: Hear our prayer.
(Other thanksgivings and intercessions may be added here, ending with: God of mercy: C: Hear our prayer.)
God our Shepherd: pour out your wisdom upon our Queen, Elizabeth, the Prime Minister and Members of Parliament, the Premier and Members of the Legislative Assembly, and the governments of the following nations: Indonesia, Philippines, Timor-Leste, and Japan–endow them with a spirit of servanthood, that justice and peace may prevail within their lands.
God our Shepherd: in your mercy hear all of our prayers, thanksgivings and intercessions; and grant whatever else may be in accord with your holy will; through Jesus our Cross-bearing Servant; who, with you and the Eternal Spirit; we worship and praise; one God, now and forever. ALL: Amen.

Prayers 7 Epiphany Yr A

Prayer of the Church, 7th Sunday after the Epiphany

P: Holy One of Israel and the Gentiles: We praise and thank you that in love for your people you gave us teachings that are practical for everyday living. Created in your image, we too are called into holy living; help us to be your faithful servants. C: Shine your Light upon us.

P: Holy One of Israel and the Gentiles: Your grace is poured out upon us and you give us understanding hearts and minds to desire and observe your commandments. Yet, there are times, we confess, that our hearts and minds are more focussed on selfish gain than on following your ways; forgive us. Help us to be your faithful servants. C: Shine your Light upon us.

P: Holy One of Israel and the Gentiles: The apostle Paul reminds us that we are holy thanks to the Holy Spirit dwelling in our bodies, which are God’s temple. In deep gratitude we are confident to practice our faith under all circumstances because we belong to Christ. Help us to be your faithful servants. C: Shine your Light upon us. 

P: Holy One of Israel and the Gentiles: In Jesus, our Perfect Example, you have called and inspired us to a higher righteousness. A righteousness that breaks the evil bonds of hatred and retaliation; violence and oppression; selfishness and greed. You have called and inspired us to the highest righteousness of loving You, our neighbour, and our enemy. Help us to be your faithful servants. C: Shine your Light upon us.  

(Other prayers may be offered here, ending with: help us to be your faithful servants. C: Shine your Light upon us.)

P: Holy One of Israel and the Gentiles: You are the Sovereign Ruler of every nation and you have called the leaders of nations to administer justice without partiality or corruption. Grant all leaders grace to provide for the needs of the world’s poorest and most forgotten people. Help us to be your faithful servants. C: Shine your Light upon us.

P: Finally, Holy One of Israel and the Gentiles: We pray for the whole Body of Christ around the world. May your Holy Spirit continue to bring unity within your Church; that all Christians would be gifted with the ability to bear faithful witness to your Good News in thought, word and deed. In the name of our Holy Triune God; Creator, Redeemer and Eternal Spirit, we pray. ALL: Amen.

Prayers 6 Epiphany Year A

Prayer of the Church, 6th Sunday after the Epiphany

P: Covenant-Making God: In ancient times you called the Israelites into covenant-faithfulness and promised them that you would bless them in the land that they were entering to posses if they chose life for themselves and future generations. We praise and thank you for your covenant-faithfulness, even though your people fall short and break the covenant because of their sinfulness–nonetheless, we turn to you for forgiveness. God of mercy: C: Hear our prayer.

P: God the Lawgiver: You gave your chosen people the law and issued your commandments for the well-being of the whole human race. Your laws are like a blueprint for the establishment and maintenance of peace and order in every nation. Yet, as sinners, we confess that we are unable to perfectly live up to and keep your laws and commandments. Forgive and help us in our weakness. God of mercy: C: Hear our prayer.

P: Gracious God: You feed and nurture us through your Word and the faithful servants of your Word who proclaim the good news to people of every background and walk of life. Grant us your Holy Spirit’s gifts and fruit that we may be a mature, spiritual people and feed on the solid food of your Word. God of mercy: C: Hear our prayer.

P: Jesus Teacher of Eternal Truth: In your Sermon on the Mount, you have taught us a higher way, which leads to life, health, and well-being in this world and life everlasting. Surround and fill us with your grace that our hearts, minds and lives may reflect your love and righteousness in all of our thoughts, words and deeds. God of mercy: C: Hear our prayer.

(Additional intercessions and thanksgivings may be included here, ending with: God of mercy: C: Hear our prayer.)

P: Ruler of Israel and the Gentiles: We pray for the heads of state in every land, today especially we remember: Egypt, Israel, Palestine, Namibia, Botswana, Cambodia, Taiwan, Australia, El Salvador, Bolivia, and Canada. Pour out your wisdom upon them that they may govern with justice and live in peace. God of mercy: C: Hear our prayer.

P: Into your all-merciful hands we commend all for whom we pray, O Triune God; and hear all other prayers that may serve your will and purposes in the church and the world; through Jesus Christ our Lord, and the Holy Spirit; whom we worship and praise; One God, now and forever. ALL: Amen.

Prayers 5 Epiphany Yr A

Prayer of the Church, 5th Sunday after the Epiphany, Year A

P: God of Justice: You are to be worshipped by acts of love and care for those who suffer from injustice. You have called us to free the oppressed; share our bread with the hungry; welcome and provide for the homeless poor; and clothe the naked. May your light shine in us: C: In your mercy, hear our prayer.

P: We praise you LORD our Righteousness: You bestow your blessing on those who are gracious, merciful, and righteous; who are generous and conduct their affairs with justice; those who remember the poor shall be blessed by the LORD.  May your light shine in us: C: In your mercy, hear our prayer.

P: God of Wisdom: The wisdom you gave your apostle Paul was Jesus Christ, and him crucified. You have given us your Holy Spirit so that our faith might rest not on human wisdom but on your power. Divine wisdom from your Spirit is greater than the perishable wisdom of this age or the rulers of this age. Help us Holy Spirit to understand and discern the gifts bestowed on us to serve your will and purposes. May your light shine in us: C: In your mercy, hear our prayer.

P: Jesus our Teacher: You have called us to be salt and light here on earth; make us ever mindful that we are your presence in the world and by so doing to live out our lives worthy of our calling. May your light shine in us: C: In your mercy, hear our prayer.

(Other prayers may be added here, ending with: May your light shine in us: C: In your mercy, hear our prayer.)

P: God of Every Land: We pray that you would endow grace upon Elizabeth our Queen, our Prime Minister and Members of Parliament, our Premier and Members of the Legislature, and the political leaders of the following nations: Laos, Malaysia, Nepal, Nigeria, Yemen, and Cuba. Reform all who govern by corrupt means that justice and peace may prevail in these countries. May your light shine in us: C: In your mercy, hear our prayer.

P: In your mercy, LORD God, hear all our intercessions and thanksgivings; and grant us whatever may be in accord with your holy will and purposes; through Christ our Mediator who, with the Holy Spirit we worship and praise; one God, now and forever. ALL: Amen.

Prayers and Benediction Baptism of Our Lord, Yr A

Prayer of the Church, Baptism of Our Lord, Year A

P: LORD God: we worship and laud you for choosing your Servant. We long for the day when your Servant will bring forth and establish justice in the earth. We are astounded by the gentleness with which your Servant loves the weakest and most vulnerable: a bruised reed he will not break, and a dimly burning wick he will not quench. We are filled with gratitude, that your Servant has made a covenant of life with us and is a light to the nations: opening the eyes that are blind, and bringing out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness. In your mercy: C: Hear our prayer.

P: God of heaven and earth: we ascribe glory and strength to you and worship you in holy splendour. Your voice speaks creation into being and is full of life and promise; for your LORD sit enthroned as king forever and bless your people with strength and peace. In your mercy: C: Hear our prayer.

P: God of Israel and the Gentiles: We thank you that you show no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears you and does what is right is acceptable to you. Fill us with your Holy Spirit, that we, like the apostle Peter, may be your faithful witnesses in our community and around the world; that Jesus is the judge of the living and the dead and everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness in his name. In your mercy: C: Hear our prayer.  

P: Heavenly Father: On this day we remember that Jesus was baptized by John to fulfill all righteousness; and your Spirit in the form of a dove descended and alighted on him as your heavenly voice spoke and said: “This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.” Today help us to remember our baptismal covenant and that you too have claimed us as your daughters and sons and are well pleased with us as we faithfully follow the way of Jesus by loving you and our neighbour. In your mercy: C: Hear our prayer.

P: Loving God: We pray for the governments and leaders of nations, including our own, in Canada: grant them wisdom and compassion as they work for peace and justice in the world. In your mercy: C: Hear our prayer.

(Other thanksgivings and intercessions may be offered here, ending with: In your mercy: C: Hear our prayer.)

P: Christ our Mediator: We repent of the many divisions within the whole Body of Christ; pour out your Spirit upon the Church universal, that all followers of Jesus may pray, work towards, and desire the unity of the Church, insofar as we are able; and in so doing, bear faithful witness to you and your gospel. In your mercy: C: Hear our prayer.

P: Christ our Healer: We pray for all who are sick, hospitalized, shut-in, lonely, depressed, and the dying and those in bereavement, whom we name out loud or, in the silence of our hearts, PAUSE: In your mercy: C: Hear our prayer.

P: All of these prayers and whatever else is in harmony with your holy will; we ask in the name of our Triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. ALL: Amen.

Benediction

Now may God the Covenant-Maker; Christ the Beloved Son+ and Light to all nations; and the Life-Breathing Spirit bless you and remain with you always.

Prayer of the Church 4 Advent Yr A

Prayer of the Church, 4th Sunday of Advent, Year A

P: Advent God: We praise and thank you for the word of promise spoken long ago by your prophet Isaiah; as he bore the good news of the birth of Immanuel–so may we be bearers of the good news that Immanuel comes to be with us. God of love: C: Hear our prayer.

   P: Shepherd of Israel: Like your chosen people who suffered at the hands of their enemies and cried to you in times of exile; so we cry out to you in our suffering and when we live in the exile of our sin and the powers of evil that threaten to destroy us. Restore us, O God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved. God of love: C: Hear our prayer.

   P: God of Prophets and Apostles: We praise and thank you for calling prophets like Isaiah and apostles like Paul who faithfully proclaimed your Word to Jews and Gentiles. We also thank and praise you for calling us to a life of faith; may your Spirit of holiness work in and through us to inspire us with your grace and peace to share wherever you have called us to serve you. God of love: C: Hear our prayer.

   P: Saviour of the World: We thank and praise you for the faithfulness of Joseph, who listened to and acted in faith as your messenger spoke to him in a dream; so may we be attentive to your messengers speaking to us that we too may act in faith to accomplish your divine purposes; trusting that Emmanuel-God is with us. God of love: C: Hear our prayer.  

   P: King of kings and Lord of lords: Grace the leaders of nations with your wisdom that they govern with justice, mercy, and peace; especially today we remember: Queen Elizabeth, our Prime Minister and Members of Parliament, our Premier and Members of the Legislative Assembly, our Mayor and Council Members, and the leaders and peoples of Haiti, Sudan, North and South Korea, Burma, and El Salvador. God of love: C: Hear our prayer.

   P: Great Physician: In love and mercy you stretch out your hands to heal those who suffer from all manner of illness and disease. We pray for all who are sick, shut-in, hospitalized, dying, mourning their dead, depressed or lonely, especially: [names]. God of love: C: Hear our prayer.

   (Additional thanksgivings and intercessions may be included here, ending with: God of love: C: Hear our prayer.)

   P: Into your loving care we commend all for whom we pray; trusting in your all-sufficient grace; through Jesus our Immanuel; who together with the Spirit of Holiness we worship and adore; one God, who comes to be with us in every age. ALL: Amen.