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MARCH 15 1998

READINGS:    Psalm 63:1-8    I will praise you as long as I live
                          Isaiah 55:1-9    Share God's feast!
                           Luke 13:1-9    Of fig trees and fatalities...
                          1 Cor 10:1-13  Watch out that you do not fall

Rejoice and Sing unless stated. MP = Mission Praise (Combined) SF = Songs of Fellowship

261      At the name of  Jesus (SF32: MP41)
365      Rock of Ages (SF488; MP582)
413      What a friend we have in Jesus (SF593; MP746)
511      O love that wilt not let me go (MP515)
697       O God, thou art my God alone
MP53    Because your love is better than life
MP423  Living under the shadow of his wing (SF346)
SF133   God is here, God is present
SF360    Lord make me an instrument (MP437)
SF521    Thanks be to God (MP637)

CALL TO WORSHIP: (based on MP423 and echoing Psalm 63)

Living under the shadow of your wing, O God
Standing in your presence now,
Bowed in adoration at your feet
Voices joined together that repeat our songs of praise

PRAYER OF PRAISE: based on Psalm 63:1-8

God, you are MY God. How wonderful you are!

On those days when I feel dried up, used up, useless,
I thirst for you, for your quenching love,
you reach out to me and I am revived.

On those days when I feel worthless, unloved, unwanted,
I long for you, for your constant love,
again and again you offer it to me and I am restored.

On those nights when I feel frightened for the future, lost, alone,
I call for you, for your presence with me,
You let me cling to you, hold your hand and I feel safe.

I will always sing your praises,
what joy fills my heart!
God, you are MY God. How wonderful you are!

PRAYER OF CONFESSION: (adapted from one by Moira Laidlaw)

Merciful God, we look at our lives and we see that we do not live up to our potential. Our thoughts are not your thoughts. Our ways, very sadly, are not your ways. But your mercy is so great that you keep giving us another chance to be people shaped by your thoughts and your ways.
Forgive us, O God, when we are tempted to be influenced by others.

We confess that there are times when we so lower our standards that we fail to take sin and its consequences seriously.
Forgive us, O God when we expect others to be sorry for what they have done wrong, but don't feel the need to say sorry ourselves.

We confess that there are times when we find it more comfortable to follow the crowd than to stand out as a Christian
Forgive us when we use the stress of  busy lives as an excuse to turn away from true discipleship.

O God you do not test us beyond our limits. Strengthen us with your Spirit, provide ways for us to turn our lives around and walk in  Christ's way.

If anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away, see, everything has become new.
The good news therefore, is this; In Jesus Christ we are forgiven.
Thanks be to God!

PRAYER OF INTERCESSION: based on Isaiah 55:1-9

Lord you call to all who are thirsty - come and drink!
We pray for all those who thirst for the gospel. For places in which to follow Christ is dangerous. We take being a Christian for granted, but it is not so for all people. May they have the opportunity to drink in the good news of your love.
We offer our support  IN PRAYER AND IN ACTION
Silent prayer

Lord, you call to those who are hungry - come and eat!
We pray for those who are always hungry. For mothers who have to go without so their children have enough. For those who suffer from malnutrition. For those whose hunger drives them to do things they never dreamt they would. We know much hunger arises from economic policies and we pray for all those who work for change - for aid agencies and for Jubilee 2000
We offer our support  IN PRAYER AND IN ACTION
Silent prayer

Lord, you call to those who have no money - come and buy!
We pray for those who suffer due to their poverty. For families ground down by long term unemployment. For people for whom every day is a struggle for survival and full of difficult choices. We pray for the homeless and those in bed and breakfast accommodation. For people seeking a safe haven in refuges.
We offer our support  IN PRAYER AND IN ACTION
Silent prayer

Lord, you call to those in need - come to me!
We pray for the lonely, the anxious, the depressed. We pray for the bereaved. We hold up to you those who are ill - whether their problems are chronic or acute. We name in quiet, those we know who are in  need of  love and prayer today...
We offer our support  IN PRAYER AND IN ACTION
Silent prayer

Lord, we hear your call, help us to reach out to others in your love, with prayer, in action, giving you honour and glory always. Amen.

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