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Prayers and Stuff for March 14th

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CEV, NRSV, NLT and "The Message" versions.
(Follow RCL readings link):

Readings:

          1 Samuel 16:1-13
Psalm 23
Ephesians 5:8-14
John 9:1-41

Hymns:

Psalm 23:

The Lord's my shepherd  R&S 679
The King of love my shepherd is  R&S 552
The God of love my shepherd is  R&S 677
The Lord is my shepherd (chant)  R&S 678
In heavenly love abiding  R&S 590
Father hear the prayer we offer  R&S 495

John 9:1-41

Draw me closer, Lord; touch my eyes  SOF 81
Lord, I was blind: I could not see  R&S 358

Ephesians 5:8-14

Wake up sleeper  R&S 423


Opening Sentences:
(Ephesians 3:8-14)

You are people of the light.
Wake up from your sleep,
and rise from death.

We used to live in the dark,
but now we are people of the light.
As Christ's light shines upon us,
so may his light shine through us.

Prayer of Approach:

In the beginning, God spoke, "Let there be light!"
And there was light.  And because there was light, there was life, abundant life; swimming, crawling, flapping, creeping, slithering, galloping, wriggling LIFE!  Praise God for the light and life of creation!

We used to live in the dark,
but now we are people of the light.
As Christ's light shines upon us,
so may his light shine through us.

Through the ages, God has spoken to his people, "Let there be light!"
In Abraham and Sarah; in Miriam and Moses; in Isaiah and Ruth; in Hannah and Elijah; in David and Deborah; in Mary and Paul; in Martin Luther and Mother Theresa... In prophet and priest, mother and father, songstress and king, tentmaker and seller of purple, activist and carer... God has spoken, "Let there be light!" and light has brought life, abundance of life. Praise God for the light and life in his people!

We used to live in the dark,
but now we are people of the light.
As Christ's light shines upon us,
so may his light shine through us.

In the fulness of time, God spoke through his son, "Let there be light! The light of the world!"  And as babe in her arms, as questionning boy, as preacher and teacher, as healer and listener, as angry campaigner and friend of the lost; as suffering servant, as crucified Lord, as risen redeemer, as friend on the road, he came who was light of the world. And because he is light, there is life, abundance of life.  Praise God for his son, the light of the world!

We used to live in the dark,
but now we are people of the light.
As Christ's light shines upon us,
so may his light shine through us.
  Amen.


Confession:

The light of creation,
The light of God's people,
The light of the world -

They are shining around us, calling us forward to abundance of life!
Yet so often we prefer to dwell in darkness...

The darkness of fear,
The darkness of guilt,
The darkness of greed,

(silence...)

Forgive us Lord, lead us from darkness to life, from death to life.

Amen.


Intercession:
(John 9:1-41)

God of light, we pray for nations when they are blind...

The blindness that cannot see the tragedy of international debt;
The blindness that cannot see a way except for war and conflict;
The blindness that puts political power above the welfare of people;
The blindness that separates creed from creed and colour from colour;

We were not born blind, we have allowed ourselves to become blind. Heal us Lord, restore our sight, give us your vision for the nations.

God of light, we pray for our churches when they are blind...

The blindness that makes us turn inwards rather than reach out;
The blindness that prevents us seeing the needs of our community;
The blindness that traps us in stale dogmatic backwaters;
The blindness that holds us back from God's Mission in the world.

We were not born blind, we have allowed ourselves to become blind. Heal us Lord, restore our sight, give us your vision for the Church.

God of light, we pray for ourselves when we are blind...

The blindness that always puts our needs first;
The blindness that causes us to hold back in our discipleship;
The blindness that cuts us off from those we need to forgive;
The blindness that prevents us recognising that you really love us.

We were not born blind, we have allowed ourselves to become blind. Heal us Lord, restore our sight, give us your vision for our lives.




Prayers of Approach: