Theme: The greatest is love

 

As promised, a new prayer sheet to bring our 2017 Advent series on Faith, Hope, Joy and Love to a close.

“And now there remain: FAITH [abiding trust in God and His promises], HOPE [confident expectation of eternal salvation], LOVE [unselfish love for others growing out of God’s love for me] … but the greatest of these is LOVE.”
(1 Corinthians 13:13, Amplified Version)


(Photo: Lindy Twaddle)


A. OPENING PRAYER

God is in our hearts!
God is in our lives!
God is in our world!
Thanks be to God!


B. PSALM

Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits — who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. (Psalm 103:2-5).

In the quiet of our hearts, or out loud,
let us thank God for all his benefits …


C. PRAYER OF CONFESSION

“Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion blot out my sins.” (Psalm 51:1)

Let us confess our sins …


D. READING

1 Corinthians 13


E. THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
(from http://www.stewardshipoflife.org)

“Love is the icing on our gifts. Love is the blanket that covers our imperfections. Love is the glue that holds our communities together to be witnesses to the gospel. And love should also open our mouths and loosen our tongues to proclaim God’s praise, to speak against injustice, and to tell others what God is doing.”


F. PRAYER OF COMMITMENT
(inspired by 1 Corinthians 13: 1-13)

Lord, because love is patient …
Help me to be slow to judge, but quick to listen, hesitant to criticize, but eager to encourage, remembering your endless patience with me.

Because love is kind …
Help my words to be gentle and my actions to be thoughtful. Remind me to smile and to say “Please” and “Thank You” because those little things still mean so much.

Because love does not envy or boast, and it is not proud …
Help me have a heart that is humble and sees the good in others. May I celebrate and appreciate all that I have and all that I am, as well as doing the same for those around me.

Because love is not rude or self-seeking …
Help me to speak words that are easy on the ear and on the heart. When I’m tempted to get wrapped up in my own little world, remind me there’s a great big world out there full of needs and hurts.

Because love is not easily angered and keeps no record of wrongs …
Help me to forgive others as you have forgiven me. When I want to hold onto a grudge, gently help me release it so I can reach out with a hand of love instead.

Because love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth …
Help me stand up for what is right and good. May I defend the defenceless, and help the helpless. Show me how I can make a difference.

Because love always protects and always trusts …
Help me to be a refuge for those around me. When the world outside is harsh and cold, may my heart be a place of acceptance and warmth.

Finally, because love always perseveres …
Help my heart continually beat with love for You and others. Thank you for showing us what the word love really means.

Amen.


G. LET US PRAY

Samuel, when asked by the people to pray to God for them, responded, “far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by failing to pray for you” (1 Samuel 12:23).

Let us pray …


H. CIRCLE PRAYER

Circle me, Lord.
Keep protection near
And danger afar.

Circle me, Lord
Keep hope within.
Keep doubt without.

Circle me, Lord.
Keep light near
And darkness afar.

Circle me, Lord.
Keep love within.
Keep indifference out.

Amen.


CREDITS

The following resources found on https://re-worship.blogspot.com/ and adapted for this prayer sheet:

E. written by Holley Gerth, and posted on Taking it one step at a time.


Prayer sheet prepared by Rev. Irene Bom, OLM in International Presbytery of the Church of Scotland.

First used in Scots International Church Rotterdam at the monthly prayer service in August 2015. Adapted and published on the Prayer Matters blog in December 2017 (Theme for 4th Sunday of Advent).


For more on “circle” prayers, see Circle me, Lord

More prayer sheets

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