Prayer For Unity in the Church Family
The need for unity in the church
by Matt Slick
“Make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose,” (Phil. 2:2).
One of the signs of apostasy (falling from the truth) in the Christian Church is the bickering and disunity among Christians. Jesus said that the world would know that we were His disciples by the love that we have for one another (John 13:35). In Col.
3:14, it says that love is the perfect bond of unity. The New Testament speaks about us being unified in Christ (Eph. 4:5). In response to Christians who follow after individuals rather than Jesus, Paul says that Christ is not divided (1 Cor. 1:12-13).
Though Christ is not divided, His body of believers is. Divisions in the Christian church can be a healthy and necessary thing: “For there must also be factions among you, in order that those who are approved may have become evident among you,” (1 Cor. 11:19).
But too much of a good thing isn't good.
It is all right to have differences of opinion on the non-essential matters worship styles or days, pre-trib rapture, post-trib rapture, Arminianism, Calvinism, etc. Whether you believe one or the other, do not affect salvation.
Yet far too many Christians use these non-essential differences as justification for division and sometimes even insight anger. When this occurs, the love of God in our hearts is sacrificed to our pride.
Instead of saying to one another, “I am right and you are wrong,” we should be saying something , “It is certainly possible that you are correct. Now, let's work together to glorify God and expand His kingdom.
” Perhaps this is too simplistic, but at least it displays an attitude of humility that helps to bring unity. It is the devil that wants us to fall into the self abuse of division and bickering.
Sometimes apostasy means remaining united
There is a time for division in the body of Christ. When an individual or a church group is denying clear scripture and remains unrepentant after being admonished, then it is time to break fellowship with that group.
Such is the case with the Metropolitan Community Church denomination which openly advocates the support of homosexuality.Also, the Evangelical Lutheran church is in risk of apostasy by entertaining the idea of accepting homosexual relationships into church as is also the case with United Church of Christ: “The United Church of Christ set up a $500,000 scholarship fund for gay and lesbian seminarians Friday and urged wider acceptance of homosexuals by other denominations.” (United Church Makes Gay Scholarship, CLEVELAND, Jun 16, 2000, AP Online via COMTEX). Or “The supreme court of the United Methodist Church was asked Thursday to reconsider the denomination's ban on gay clergy. (Church court of United Methodists asked to decide on gay clergy ban, NASHVILLE, Tennessee, Oct 25, 2001, AP WorldStream via COMTEX). Such movements by churches toward accepting in Christianity are clearly a sign of apostasy. If they don't believe God's word in such a fundamental issue, how can they be trusted to understand God's word in other issues?
Church groups this are in open rebellion against God and His word and it would not only be prudent, but it would be biblical to not fellowship with these groups.
What is it that unites us?
Primarily, it is the saving work of Christ that unites us. Secondarily, it is the essential doctrines that define orthodoxy. We have, as a common heritage, the blood of Christ that has been shed for the forgiveness of our sins.
True Christians serve the true and living God and we know Jesus in a personal and intimate way (1 Cor. 1:9). We have been redeemed by God himself.
Furthermore, we have the body of Scriptures which tell us the essentials of the faith and deviating from these essentials means to be outside the camp of Christ. It is the essential doctrines that we must know and unite in.
Why then, for all practical purposes, do we elevate the non-essential to the place of essentials? I believe it is because of immaturity and pride in various Christians.
Should we not sacrifice our “perfect” opinion on a biblical matter for being gracious to another brother or sister in Christ? Of course we should, but when that doesn't happen, we have denominational splits.
I cannot see how such a huge fragmentation in the Christian Church in denominations and sects glorifies God.
The Christian church, as a whole, needs to repent. We need to look at ourselves. We need to look at our churches. We need to look at one another and decide that we will stand on the essential doctrines of the faith and that we will be united against the enemy.Those of us who are united by the blood of Christ are not enemies with one another whether we be Presbyterian or Baptist or Lutheran.
It may be difficult for many of us to look lovingly into the eyes of those of a different denomination without thinking in our hearts that they are wrong about this doctrine or that doctrine.
But, we need to be reminded that there is neither a Presbyterian nor a Baptist nor a Lutheran on the throne of God. All of us I am sure, will have our theologies corrected when we stand before the throne of God. Therefore, we need to seek to work together to further the Kingdom of God.
Romans 14:1-12 speaks about accepting Christians of differing opinions and to not judge them because, “To his own master he stands or falls; and stand he will, for the Lord is able to make him stand. One man regards one day above another, another regards every day a. Let each man be fully convinced in his own mind…
But you, why do you judge your brother? Or you again, why do you regard your brother with contempt? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of God,” (Rom. 14:4-5,10). The whole point is that we need to be united, not bickering.
We need to move beyond the denominational barriers of what separates us into the common ground of what unites us: Jesus!
Ask yourself what is most important in life. Is it your relationship with God? If it is, and it should be, should you not also be seeking the same thing that God wants? Should you not also be seeking to love one another as Christ commanded us? Love is the perfect bond of unity, (Col. 3:14).
Apostasy begins in our hearts when we put distance between ourselves and our brothers and sisters in Christ because of a difference of opinion on a non-essential doctrine. Apostasy means that we fall away from the truth. This falling away can be complete or it can be slight.Let's not commit apostasy in our hearts by abandoning the truth of God's call of unity and love within the body of Christ. Remember, it is the devil that wants us to fight each other so that he can be freed up to deceive the world.
If we are fighting each other then we are falling prey to His tactics.
I know that it is easy to speak these words and it is very difficult to apply them. That is true because true love is difficult to live.
But what if the world began to see the Christian Church uniting in spite of its differences? What if the world started to see how the Christian Church started to love not only their own church members but other church members? What do you think the world would say if the churches' bickering stopped? What do you think the unbelievers would say if they saw us living more and more the loving attitude and a sacrificial life of Christ across denominational barriers? It would be a tremendous witness for Christ. It would be a tremendous assault on the enemy and I know that God would use it mightily to bring others to Himself by his grace.
Apostasy begins with the individual. Apostasy begins in the heart and the mind. Whichever comes first is not important. Whether we think something wrong and then feel it or feel something wrong and then think it.
The heart and the mind are so closely related that we must guard them both. We must focus on the truth of God's word and let our minds be shaped by it.
We must seek to have our minds shaped by the love of God as we move not only to learn about Him, but also to carry out His desires.
What should we do to bring unity wherever possible?
We need to look at our own hearts and our own minds and compare them to Jesus and the Scripture. Where ever the two are not in agreement, it is we who need to change.
We need to pray that the Lord would provide opportunities to work with other Christians across denominational lines. We need to recognize that we have differences of opinions and worship styles and that that is okay.
But we need to lift each other up and be united in Christ.
5 Prayers For Church Unity
Here are five prayers that may help you pray for church unity.
Prayer for Unity in the Community
You know that we are called into a community of believers who are to have one mind, and that is to glorify You and to make disciples of all nations, even if we’re only able to reach those in our own community.
We realized that we cannot possibly have unity in our local community, the church, unless Your Spirit has His way with us. Until we are gathered together with one mind, we cannot be as effective as a church as we can be.
Until You send Your Spirit, our carnal natures may try to dictate what we think we should do, but please Father, help us to focus on the mission that You have for each one of us, and as one body, we can do more when we are working together and not placing our own opinions above those of others, than when we work alone.Help us to see that Your desire is for us to work together as a body does in doing what You have set before us to do, and I pray for You to open doors for us to walk through, but also that we might also see what we are to do in walking through that door and recognize the work You have purposed for us to do.
Truly, we know we must be striving to live a holy life and to make Jesus Christ the center of our lives, and only then can we hope to do anything for His glory, and not ours, and in the mighty name of Jesus Christ I pray, Amen.
Prayer for One Purpose
Great God in heaven,
please help our church that we have one purpose in life and that is to glorify You and Your Great Son, Jesus Christ.
Nothing else matters because You have said in Your Word that we will not glorify You in our lives if we are not striving to live in obedience to You, and to love one another, which is what we need to do to show the world that our love for one another is how they will know that we are truly Jesus’ disciples (John 13:35).
You have testified in Your Word that “everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made” (Isaiah 43:7), should be striving to bring You glory and to not rob You of glory for things that we do and ascribe these works to ourselves.
We must realize that we have nothing that we did not receive from You Lord (1 Cor 4:4), so if we boast, let our church boast only in You for all the marvelous things You have done for us, and that is our prayer and it is in the name of and for the glory of Jesus Christ, in Whose name we pray, Amen.
Prayer for Oneness of Mind
Blessed Father God,
You are so good to us, even though none of us deserve Your goodness (Rom 3:10-12), and that You alone are good, and so let us join together in one mind for one express purpose and that is to proclaim Your goodness to those who do not yet know You. Oh, God, that they would know You so that You might extend Your grace to them (James 4:6) that they might be saved.
Please help us take heed to Jesus’ Words in praying that we might be one, praying “Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one” (John 17:11), and that should be our prayer too Father.Let us be of one mind and have one purpose and that is to glorify You and to tell others that there is only one way that they might be saved, and that is through the Person and work of Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12).
Let us join hands and hearts in this single purpose for us to all have one mind and a mind that is focused on You for Your work that You have prepared beforehand for us to do (Eph 2:10), and it is for this that we pray in the precious name of Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.
Prayer for Mission
Holy God, most reverenced above all,
Please help us to focus on the mission You have given us all, and that mission is to reach the lost and to make disciples of all with whom we come into contact, and to teach them the same things that You taught Your disciples (Matt 28:19-20) and by their writings in Your Word, that we may be taught these very same things.
Oh Lord, Your Word stands forever, so let us put feet on our faith in doing what You have commanded us to do, and that is to help the poor, the widows and orphans (James 1:27), but also to visit the sick and those in prison, and to welcome into the family those who are strangers among us (Matt 25:34-35), because we understand that what we do for the least of these, we are really doing it for You (Matt 25:40), but also what we don’t do for others, we are not doing for You Lord (Matt 25:45). I know You take these marching orders seriously, so let us invest our lives into doing what You have commanded us to do, but always doing it for Your glory and not ours, and in the precious name of the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, Amen.
Prayer for the Body
God, my Father,
You have placed each one of us in the Body of Christ, the church, as it has pleased You and not us. Help us to recognize that it is You Who have organized Your church and have placed each one of us exactly where we need to be to do Your work and for Your glory.
If we can respect those who some might consider to be in a less-than-honorable position, then we can understand that even those who seem to be less in the body are actually those who are more honorable in Your eyes, just as Paul said that the “parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty” (1st Cor 12:23). We know that You have no greater respect or regard for one person over another, so help us to not have a higher regard for some and not for others (Acts 10:34), and for what we ourselves have been called to do for You. This is all about You Lord and not about us, so help us to prioritize our calling within the body and to respect all members as the same, as You also do, and in the name above all names, Jesus Christ, I pray, Amen.
Perhaps you could comment by giving us a much better prayer than the ones that I have written from the heart. There is such importance in our prayers and in particular, our corporate prayers as we send our requests to God through Jesus Christ.
May we be of one mind, one purpose, having one mission, and for our community of believers to all be in agreement in beseeching Your help in doing what you’ve called us to do.
That is to reach the lost, glorify You in our lives, and to show the world what the love of God truly looks in the hopes that they might be drawn to You and place their trust in You so that they too might be saved.
Read more about prayer here: Different Types of Prayer in the Bible
Resource – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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as: Church, church unity, community, corporate prayer, mission, Prayers, purpose
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Benedict XVI’s “Week of Prayer for Christian Unity” (2008) – Heresies
By Bro. Michael Dimond, O.S.B.
Read more of Benedict XVI’s Recent Heresies
Benedict XVI, Catechesis, January 23, 2008: “In these days, Christians of various Churches and Ecclesial Communities are joining in a unanimous chorus of entreaty to ask the Lord Jesus to re-establish full unity among all his disciples…In asking for the grace of unity Christians join in Christ’s own prayer… The patient journey of the search for full communion between all Christians continued after the Council… Thanks precisely to this spiritual ecumenism – holiness of life, conversion of heart, private and public prayer – the common search for unity has in recent decades recorded considerable development… And this is because, in praying together, Christian communities place themselves before the Lord… Prayer in common is not, therefore, a voluntaristic or purely sociological act, but rather an expression of faith that unites all Christ’s disciples. In the course of the years, fertile collaboration has been established in this field, and since 1968, the then Secretariat for Christian Unity, which subsequently became the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, and the World Council of Churches prepare jointly these booklets for the Week of Prayer for Unity; they then distribute them throughout the world, covering areas that they never would have managed to reach on their own.”
Notice that Benedict XVI states that the booklets for the Week of Prayer for Unity are actually prepared by the non-Catholics at the World Council of Churches and Benedict XVI’s Church.
The World Council of Churches (WCC) is an international ecumenical organization based in Geneva, Switzerland. The WCC has a membership of over 340 churches and denominations.
 So Benedict XVI is praising the joint publications made by heretics and his sect.
Benedict XVI, Discourse to members of the Joint Working Group of the World Council of Churches and the “Catholic Church” on the occasion of their visit to the Vatican, January 25, 2008: “The World Council of Churches and the Catholic Church have enjoyed a fruitful ecumenical relationship dating back to the time of the Second Vatican Council… On this day, then, we think back with gratitude to the work of so many individuals who over the years have sought to spread the practice of spiritual ecumenism through common prayer…”
Benedict XVI, Homily, January 25, 2008, for the conclusion of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity: “This evening I cordially greet the Rev. Dr.
Samuel Kobia, General Secretary of the World Council of Churches, who has come to Rome to join us on the centenary of the Week of Prayer. I am pleased that members of the ‘Joint Working Group’ are present and I greet them with affection.The Joint Group is the means of cooperation between the Catholic Church and the World Council of Churches in our common search for unity.”
The Catholic Church already possesses unity. The Catholic Church is one, holy, catholic and apostolic. The oneness or unity of the true Church is one of the four marks of the Church. Therefore, unity is something that already exists in the Catholic Church.
Pope Pius XI, Mortalium Animos (# 10), Jan. 6, 1928: “So, Venerable Brethren, it is clear why this Apostolic See has never allowed its subjects to take part in the assemblies of non-Catholics: for the union of Christians can only be promoted by promoting the return to the one true Church of Christ of those who are separated from it…”
But according to the statements above from Benedict XVI, as well as the official teachings of Vatican II, “Christians” are still searching for Christian unity and for the re-establishment of Christian unity. Such a notion is heretical.
We can also see how Benedict XVI promotes “common prayer” together with Lutherans, other heretics and the World Council of Churches. Praying in common with heretical sects and non-Catholic religions is a grave sin, but Benedict XVI does it and encourages it all the time.
Pope Pius IX, Neminem vestrum (# 5), Feb.
2, 1854: “We want you to know that those same monks sent Us a splendid profession of Catholic faith and doctrine… They eloquently acknowledged and freely received the regulations and decrees which the popes and the sacred congregations published or would publish – especially those which prohibit communicatio in divinis (communion in holy matters) with schismatics… They acknowledge that they condemn the error of the schismatic Armenians and recognize that they are outside of the Church of Jesus Christ.”
The Heresies of Benedict XVI file
Notes: L’ Osservatore Romano, January 30, 2008, p. 15.  Statement on World Council of Churches Official Website  L’ Osservatore Romano, February 6, 2008, p. 9.  L’ Osservatore Romano, January 30, 2008, p. 9.
Answering Jesus’ Prayer for Unity
Editor’s note: This is the seventh piece in our series on Christian Unity.
As a teenager reading the biography of D. L. Moody, I was highly influenced by a statement Moody’s friend Henry Varley made to the young evangelist: “The world has yet to see what God can do with a man fully consecrated to Him.
” As a boy, I said, “I want to be that person.” Now at 74, I still do! But even more, I want the world to see what God can do with a people who truly become disciples — His church on this earth, totally surrendered and committed to becoming an answer to Jesus’ prayers.
Believers living in supernatural unity.
Earlier in The Stream’s #ChristianUnity series I shared how God has led me to meet with many diverse Christian leaders who religious tradition and the opinions of others had taught me to avoid. During these times of sharing and seeking together to know God’s heart, I have never disregarded or knowingly compromised God’s Word — and I never will.
As a result, I have experienced firsthand the powerful truth of the psalmist, “How good and pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity” (Psalm 133:1). During these exchanges, I have many times felt what I perceived as the Father’s pleasure just as Betty and I experienced it when we watched our three children when they were young playing together in joyful harmony.
The same has been true with our eleven grandchildren.
God’s Children in Harmony
What Jesus prayed for His followers is perhaps what seems to many as the impossible dream — “that they may be perfected in unity” (John 17:23).
Knowing what I know about myself, other Christians, and especially ministers, this is the most difficult to see answered.If Jesus prayed it, however, it is more important than words alone can describe and obviously will be continually assaulted by the powers and principalities of darkness.
The thought of believers being perfected in unity and love — truly becoming a family of faith with hearts in harmony with our Father in heaven — causes the forces of hell to tremble. The church standing on this foundation will overpower the realm of darkness, deception and destruction, setting free all captives who respond to the kingdom reality Jesus prayed for.
Hope, Even When God’s Children are Split
However, God’s children are split. Not merely on denominational lines, but on whether to hold firm to or abandon God’s timeless truths.
When we look at God’s divided family, we need to consider the parable Jesus shared concerning the father in the story of the prodigal son. This boy took from his father money that he had not earned or helped produce. He left the father’s presence, moved his shelter, and wasted everything the father had provided and entrusted to him.
He damaged the family’s reputation with no regard for it, squandered his wealth in riotous living, and found himself in want. He was in such desperate need that of all things, this Jewish son had to live in a pigpen feeding unclean animals and eating what they ate.
Because their laws and customs forbade contact with pigs, this was the lowest place a Jewish person could sink.
What was the response of the father concerning his son’s rebellion? He certainly didn’t condone it. He didn’t approve of it or continue to enable it. He didn’t act as the federal government often does by funding him while in rebellion in order to make him more comfortable. He prayed continually for the son.
He cared deeply for him. The father’s love never diminished and he looked with a longing in his heart every day for that boy to return to the shelter, shadow and security of the father’s house.
Sure enough, the day came, and he rejoiced to see his son come home! In love he embraced him, covered him and confirmed his sonship.This should be the attitude of every Christian toward other believers even when they are defeated by sin or turn from the Truth.
While not approving their actions, we continually pray for and long for a repentant heart leading to a return to the watch care of the Shepherd.
In order for us to be perfected in the unity Jesus prayed for, we must have the love of our heavenly Father for one another. This is absolutely crucial.
Becoming Perfected in Unity
Consider the part of Jesus’ prayer that we be one with the Father as He is (John 17:22). Think about that a moment. Jesus was continually seeking to do only those things that please the Father. He moved as God directed His steps. He would separate Himself from the sounds of the world to know clearly the Father’s mind and be able to live in sync with His heart.
Can we not do the same?
Would you join me seeking to be one with the Father, perfected in unity so the world will know we are His disciples because of our love for Him, for one another, and for a world in darkness and pain? I may not know you personally, but I love you and I ask you to join with me seeking to be an answer to Jesus’ prayers so that the world may behold the glory of the Father and the Son in our lives! It is the manifestation of God’s love and our supernatural unity that can transform our nation’s leaders and citizens.
The Story of the “Prayer for Protection”
The “Prayer for Protection” is known the world over, and Unity is often asked how it came into existence. James Dillet Freeman explained once in his Unity Magazine column, “Life Is a Wonder”:
Let me tell you how I wrote Unity's “Prayer for Protection.”
When World War II was raging in Europe, we received many letters and phone calls from people caught in the conflict, but for a long time we did not have a prayer for protection that we were all satisfied with. This is how one came.
Silent Unity has always written a special Christmas Prayer Service just for Silent Unity workers. And in 1940 I was asked to prepare this service. We had never before needed a prayer for protection, but in 1940 we needed one, so I wrote one to go with the Christmas service. What I wrote was a little four-line verse:
“The light of Christ directs me; The love of Christ enfolds me; The power of Christ protects me; The presence of Christ upholds me.”
I had hardly finished this Christmas service before Silent Unity came to me again and asked me to write a protection pamphlet that we could send to people, so I did. It was called His Protecting Spirit.
A Prayer for Wartime
They told me they wanted affirmative prayers for protection on the back page. Among these was the verse from the 23rd Psalm: “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me” (Ps. 23:4 KJV).
One of the young women who worked in Silent Unity was reading my manuscript as I wrote it, and as she finished it, she came up to me and said: “Jim, if I were a woman in England and they were dropping bombs on my roof, or if I were a soldier and someone was pointing a loaded gun at me, I wouldn't want to feel I was walking through the valley of the shadow of death. Can't you do better than that?”
I thought, You want me to do better than the 23rd Psalm? You have to be your mind. But rolling around in the back of my mind was the little verse I had written as a prayer for protection at Christmas.
How the “Prayer for Protection” Was Written
I had written it just for Silent Unity, but now it came rolling up to the front of my mind and demanded that I pay attention to it. It enticed me to see what I could make of it.
First I took the rhymes from it. I felt it would be more universally received if it was not a rhyme. Then I changed Christ to God. It had been Christ because it was a Christmas prayer, but I felt if we were going to send it around the world, God might be more acceptable to more people. So the little prayer became:
“The light of God surrounds me, The love of God enfolds me, The power of God protects me, The presence of God watches over me.”
That is the way we first printed it. Then a line came to me that I felt would make the prayer even more powerful. The line was:
“Wherever I am, God is.”
I added it as the fifth line. The “Prayer for Protection” first appeared as a four-lined prayer in 1941, but when we reprinted it in 1943, it appeared in the form it has had ever since.
“The light of God surrounds me; The love of God enfolds me; The power of God protects me; The presence of God watches over me. Wherever I am, God is!”
God’s Message of Love
The “Prayer for Protection” came through change after change, not at all “I Am There,” when I felt that God spoke those words to me.
But what is the word of God? It is possible that no prayer Unity has ever printed has reached so many people as the “Prayer for Protection,” for not only has Unity printed it over and over, but almost every Unity church uses it to conclude its services. “I Am There,” it was carried to the moon.
On the very first flight to the moon, on Apollo 11, astronaut Col. Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin carried the Unity “Prayer for Protection” with him. He did not know me or Unity.
It has appeared in hundreds of different publications that have no connection with Unity, and millions of people have carried it around on cards that fit into their pocketbooks, pockets, and billfolds. It has been translated into many languages. Sometimes it appears with me as the author. Often no author is given. Sometimes other people are named as the author.
It has been changed and changed again before it reached the form that it now has that best meets people's needs. This prayer is the product of much thought and concentration and of a mind that was willing to stay open to receive divine inspiration.
I think Unity's “Prayer for Protection” is as much God's word as “I Am There” is. Sometimes God speaks to us when we don't even know it is God.
I think God has many ways of speaking to us and not only in words that we hear with our ears. I think God speaks to our hearts and minds, and sometimes God's message has nothing to do with words. God is love and intelligence and life.More than anything we say God is, or even imagine God is, God is the one universal Presence and Power and is seeking to express Truth and beauty and good through all of us and for all of us.
2. For all the Church Family
Type of service
¶ A non-eucharistic service designed for use when all ages are present throughout;
¶ Fully worked out sample, suitable for local reproduction;
¶ Designed to be suitable for regular use and for a variety of contexts.
This service follows the same structure as the Morning Praise sample service, but makes different choices of texts and uses headings of a different style.
If it is desired to make connections between this service and services of Holy Communion, the opening prayer printed here could be replaced by the Prayer of Preparation from Common Worship Order One.
The rubrics have been phrased to allow a hymn or songs either to replace or to follow the ‘Blessed is the Lord …’ responses.
No responses have been printed after the readings. This would not necessarily mean that they could not be used.
The Lord’s Prayer is used in this service to sum up the prayers of intercession.
The ‘Lord in your mercy hear our prayer’ response, and the concluding ‘Merciful Father, accept these prayers …’ have been included as options to facilitate connections being made between this service and celebrations of Holy Communion. If these forms are not used in communion services, other choices could be made.
The use of ‘Go in peace …’ is designed to connect with Holy Communion services. Other options could be used instead.
If it is desired to give a blessing, the section, ‘Let us bless the Lord …’ should be omitted.
Let us worship God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
The Lord be with you
All and also with you.
This is the day that the Lord has made.
All We will rejoice and be glad in it.
Words of welcome and introduction may follow.
All Lord, direct our thoughts, and teach us to pray.
Lift up our hearts to worship you in spirit and in truth,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Hymns or songs may be sung.
Silence is kept and the Collect, the prayer of the day, is said.
God our Father,
we come to you in sorrow for our sins.
For turning away from you,
and ignoring your will for our lives;
Father, forgive us:
All save us and help us.
For behaving just as we wish,
without thinking of you;
Father, forgive us:
All save us and help us.
For failing you by what we do
and think and say;
Father, forgive us:
All save us and help us.
For letting ourselves be drawn away from you
by temptations in the world about us;
Father, forgive us:
All save us and help us.
For living as if we were ashamed to belong to your Son;
Father, forgive us:
All save us and help us.
The minister declares God’s forgiveness.
These words may be said
Blessed is the Lord
All for he has heard the voice of our prayer;
therefore shall our hearts dance for joy
All and in our song we will praise our God.
A hymn or song(s) may be sung.
A psalm, hymn or songs may be sung between readings or before or after the Response.
This may include a sermon or talk, discussion, and activities for different age groups. It continues with the Affirmation of Faith and the Prayers.
Affirmation of Faith
Do you believe and trust in God the Father,
source of all being and life,
the one for whom we exist?
All We believe and trust in him.
Do you believe and trust in God the Son,
who took our human nature,
died for us and rose again?
All We believe and trust in him.
Do you believe and trust in God the Holy Spirit,
who gives life to the people of God
and makes Christ known in the world?
All We believe and trust in him.
This is the faith of the Church.
All This is our faith.
We believe and trust in one God,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Prayers of Intercession
The prayers may include one of these responses
Lord, in your mercy
All hear our prayer.
Lord, hear your people
All and answer our prayers.
The prayers may end with
All accept these prayers
for the sake of your Son,
our Saviour Jesus Christ.
The Lord’s Prayer
All Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours
now and for ever.
Going out to serve God
A hymn or song(s) may be sung.
This prayer may be said
Let us bless the Lord:
All thanks be to God.
Blessing, honour and glory be yours,
here and everywhere,
now and for ever.
Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.
All In the name of Christ. Amen.
A service from New Patterns for Worship. Compilation copyright © The Archbishops’ Council 2002.