Call to Worship – psalm 31:1-5 (NRSV)
In you, O Lord, I seek refuge;
do not let me ever be put to shame;
in your righteousness deliver me.
Incline your ear to me;
rescue me speedily.
Be a rock of refuge for me,
a strong fortress to save me.
You are indeed my rock and my fortress;
for your name’s sake lead me and guide me,
take me out of the net that is hidden for me,
for you are my refuge.
Into your hand I commit my spirit;
you have redeemed me, O Lord, faithful God.
Hymn 165 – Be Still for the Presence of the Lord
God our Heavenly Father,
God of all the Earth,
be present with us now,
in each of our homes,
as we connect together.
Build us into a spiritual house,
a holy priesthood,
offering spiritual sacrifices
acceptable to you
through Jesus Christ,
our risen redeemer and healer.
Supporting The response to the coronavirus pandemic
Rosamond Bennett, CEO, Christian Aid Ireland
Children’s Talk – Dave Thomas (Christian Aid)
Children’s Praise – The Lord’s Prayer
Reading – Matthew 6:5-15 (NIV)
5 “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
9 “This, then, is how you should pray:
“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.’
14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”
Sermon – How to Pray?
Prayer of lament and intercession
God our refuge,
we come to you with open hands,
some of us with hearts full of questions,
some of us bruised by bereavement,
some of us fearful of what the future holds,
all of us stunned by the events of this year.
Draw close to us now in each of our homes
as we place our honest questions and hopes
into your open, resurrected, yet scarred hands.
Hear the cry of our hearts, Lord,
silent and aloud,
for bereaved neighbours, near and far.
Comfort those pained by being absent,
and hold close those who are hurting alone.
On this Christian Aid Week Sunday,
we pray for and with communities
across the world who are
most vulnerable to coronavirus.
We pray for people living in refugee camps
and city slums,
with limited sanitation facilities,
who are unable to wash their hands regularly,
and have little opportunity to isolate from others.
We pray for Christian Aid partners
working to provide soap and buckets,
communicating clear, accurate information,
raising the voices of the most vulnerable
and ensuring they are kept as safe as possible.
We pray for much wisdom and resources
for those in local and national authority
for all frontline and key workers
both here at home and across the world.
For those of us who are self-isolating,
which can sometimes feel like
we aren’t doing anything,
remind us that we are all doing our part,
and saving lives by staying at home.
God in your mercy,
hear our prayers.
Hymn 491 – Be Thou My Vision
May the presence of the Creator refresh you,
may the comfort of the Son renew you,
may the inspiration of the Spirit restore you
to be love in action,
even from a distance,
in our neighbourhoods,
near and far,
this day and for evermore.