Sunday, 13th September

Together in Prayer

O Lord, open our lips
And our mouth shall declare you praise!

The night has passed, and the day lies open before us;
let us pray with one heart and mind.


As we rejoice in the gift of this new day,
so may the light of your presence, O God,
set our hearts on fire with love for you;
now and for ever.

Preparing our hearts
Almighty God,
to whom all hearts are open,
all desires known,
and from whom no secrets are hidden:
cleanse the thoughts of our hearts
by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit,
that we may perfectly love you,
and worthily magnify your holy name;
through Christ our Lord.

Psalm 8
1 O Lord, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth!
Your glory is higher than the heavens.
2 You have taught children and infants to tell of your strength,
silencing your enemies and all who oppose you.
3 When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars you set in place,
4 what are mere mortals that you should think about them,
human beings that you should care for them?
5 Yet you made them only a little lower than God
and crowned them with glory and honour.
6 You gave them charge of everything you made,
putting all things under their authority,
7 the flocks and the herds and all the wild animals,
8 the birds in the sky, the fish in the sea,
and everything that swims the ocean currents.
9 O Lord, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth!

Thought for the week: Rev Joe Knight
In 1989, Dimitrios, the Patriarch of the Eastern Orthodox Church appointed the 1st September as a day of prayer for creation, the day when the Orthodox church celebrates its new year with a celebration of God’s creation of the world. Today, this commemoration has grown into what’s known as the ‘Season of Creation,’ a time in the church calendar between September 1st and October 4th (the feast day of Saint Francis). This season is celebrated by all major Christian denominations and grows each year. It’s a great time to think about, and pray for, God’s gift of this world.

Historically, this time of year focused not only harvest festivals, but to the harvest itself – whole communities would work the fields to gather in crops and prepare for winter. The knowledge of our dependence on creation and its creator was literally at our fingertips. Today, it’s not so tangible, but our reliance on the world’s resources, and our responsibility for its care is no
less important.

Recently, I had the chance to reflect on by writing a blog post for the diocese website. Here’s an excerpt…
One the most brilliant and evocative questions ever asked of Jesus must be that famous line, ‘and, who is my neighbour?’ In responding, Jesus outlines one of the most well-known parables, the one about the good Samaritan, who, we’re told, ‘showed mercy’ or ‘had compassion’ on the beaten-up
man on the side of the road. Crossing the boundaries of race, kindred and foe is a profound Christian experience rooted in God’s transformative love, a love for all he has made. And, in recent years, we’re remembering something in the church’s long memory, that Christian love extends
beyond the bounds human difference, but to all creation. It was Saint Francis, among others, who took the idea of loving one’s neighbour to mean
loving all God’s creatures. Chesterton wrote of the magnificent saint, ‘Francis was a man who did not want to see the wood for the trees. He wanted to see each tree as a separate and almost a sacred thing, being a child of God and therefore a brother or sister.’ Every created thing was, at the very least, a neighbour to be loved.

The focus of this year’s Season of Creation is Jubilee – that biblical sense of restoration. In the light of Covid-19, and in light of continual news reports of a struggling natural world (e.g. record breaking wildfires in the America, the 68% decrease of wildlife worldwide in the last 50 years, and more), the time is now to pray for restoration and to find new ways of living that helps restore our connection with God’s wonderful world. Also, we can pray
that restore that idea that loving God and loving our neighbour extends to all the God has made.

Collect for creation
Creator God,
you made the goodness of the land,
the riches of the sea
and the rhythm of the seasons;
as we thank you for your gracious providing
may we cherish and respect
this planet and its peoples,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Gracious God,
your amazing love extends through time and space,
to all parts of your creation,
which you created and called good.
Your covenant with the human family
is remembered in every rainbow in the sky,
symbolizing your promise of love and blessing
to every living creature,
and to all successive generations.
In Jesus, you invite us to enter into a new covenant,
to do justice, love mercy, walk humbly with you.
As people of faith, you call us to embody your faithfulness
and love, that extends to the whole creation.
Today, we pray for the restoration of our planet,
We pray that present and future generations
may enjoy the fruits of the earth,
work for its healing,
and join in with the song of creation
in praise of your name.
Lord in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

Lord, show us how to do things well today,
So that others may not suffer,
Here and there,
Now and in the future.
Show us how to make our contribution
As we change the way we live,
In how we travel, make, and consume,
How we buy and sell,
And how use energy
and the world’s resources.
Show us how to do simple things well in our homes,
Places of work and daily lives.

Show us how to protect the world you made,
In all its diversity and goodness,
From harm and destruction.

Show us how and show us why,
So that alone and with others
we can make a difference.
Lord may your kingdom come,
On earth as in Heaven
Merciful Father accept these prayers for the sake of your son our saviour Jesus Christ,

As our Saviour taught us, so we pray:
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.

The Peace
Follow the things that make for peace; and the peace of the Lord be always with you
and also with you

The Blessing
Lord, set your blessing on us
as we begin this day together.
Confirm in us the truth
by which we rightly live;
confront us with the truth
from which we wrongly turn.
May the power of God be about you,
the love of Christ enfold you,
the joy of the Spirit be within you;
and the blessing of the Lord, Jesus Christ
be upon you now and always.