Call to Worship – psalm 66:8-12 & 16-20 (NIV)
Bless our God, O peoples,
let the sound of his praise be heard,
who has kept us among the living,
and has not let our feet slip.
For you, O God, have tested us;
you have tried us as silver is tried.
You brought us into the net;
you laid burdens on our backs;
you let people ride over our heads;
we went through fire and through water;
yet you have brought us out to a spacious place.
Come and hear, all you who fear God,
and I will tell what he has done for me.
I cried aloud to him,
and he was extolled with my tongue.
If I had cherished iniquity in my heart,
the Lord would not have listened.
But truly God has listened;
he has given heed to the words of my prayer.
Blessed be God,
because he has not rejected my prayer
or removed his steadfast love from me.
Hymn 497 – Dear Lord and Father of Mankind
Scripture Sentence – Matthew 7:11
If you, bad as you are, know how to give good things to you children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good things to those who ask him!
Collect for the Sixth Sunday of Easter
you have prepared for those who love you
such good things as pass all understanding.
Pour into our hearts such love towards you,
that we, loving you above all things,
may obtain your promises,
which exceed all that we can desire;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who is alive and reigns
with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever.
Reading – Psalm 37:1-7 & 39-40 (NLT)
1 Don’t worry about the wicked
or envy those who do wrong.
2 For like grass, they soon fade away.
Like spring flowers, they soon wither.
3 Trust in the Lord and do good.
Then you will live safely in the land and prosper.
4 Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you your heart’s desires.
5 Commit everything you do to the Lord.
Trust him, and he will help you.
6 He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn,
and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun.
7 Be still in the presence of the Lord,
and wait patiently for him to act.
Don’t worry about evil people who prosper
or fret about their wicked schemes.
39 The Lord rescues the godly;
he is their fortress in times of trouble.
40 The Lord helps them,
rescuing them from the wicked.
He saves them,
and they find shelter in him.
Children’s Talk – The Widow & The Judge
Children’s Praise – Everlasting GOd
Reading – Mark 11:20-26 (NRSV)
20 In the morning as they passed by, they saw the fig tree withered away to its roots. 21 Then Peter remembered and said to him, ‘Rabbi, look! The fig tree that you cursed has withered.’ 22 Jesus answered them, ‘Have faith in God. Truly I tell you, if you say to this mountain, “Be taken up and thrown into the sea”, and if you do not doubt in your heart, but believe that what you say will come to pass, it will be done for you. 24 So I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
25 ‘Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone; so that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.’
Sermon – Does God always answer Prayer?
A prayer for hope in all the hysteria
God of the future,
for such a long time we have lived without hope.
Who needed it,
when our busy, distracted lives,
kept us living only for the present,
and provided ready escape from reality?
Now we do,
because frightening times have unnerved us,
death has a new inescapability about it,
our deepest insecurities are surfacing,
and a silence we find hard to bear gives us no place to hide.
Yesterday’s comfortable certainties,
have given way to today’s paralysis and panic,
tomorrow’s great unknowns darken our horizon.
We grasp for something solid,
to slow spinning minds,
soothe storm tossed hearts.
And we have this hope,
an anchor for our souls,
found in Jesus,
secured for us in heaven,
able to steady the ship,
sufficient to bear us to an eternal shore.
Help us to know and grow in it,
in our own lives.
May we show it and sow it,
as we move among others,
that the world may rediscover safety, security, serenity in you.
God of hope,
in this moment,
fill us with all joy and peace,
as we trust in you,
that we may overflow with hope,
by the power of the Holy Spirit.
In Jesus’ name.
Hymn 407 – How deep the Father’s Love for Us
Closing Doxology (Ephesians 3:20-21)
Now to him who is able
to do immeasurably more
than all we ask or imagine,
according to his power that is at work within us,
to him be glory in the church
and in Christ Jesus
throughout all generations,
for ever and ever!