DEVOTIONAL SACRED SEASON

 

DAY 12 and 22  -   16th June, 6th July 

PRAYER TIME FOR DAY 12 and 22  -  JUNE 16th and 26th

Especially designed for zoom prayer times during the Sacred Season of Prayer and Fasting but can be used in face to face prayer times as well.  Spontaneous prayer is offered in times of prayers of praise and confession from group members using if possible some of themes in the psalm or scripture reading.  The prayers for others can also be prayed spontaneously and can weave in thoughts from scripture reading, passage from Basis of Union and devotional reading. 

THE CENTRALITY OF CHRIST AND THE NEED TO CONSTANTLY APPEAL TO SCRIPTURE

REV DR ROBERT BRENNAN

Rev Dr Robert Brennan is the Training Manager of Wontulp-Bi-Buya (Wontulp-Bi-Buya College is to support the

development of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander church and community leaders through study programs leading to awards in theology, suicide prevention, addictions management & community development.) He is a Teacher of the ACC School of Faith.

Rev Dr Hedley Fihaki

OPENING PRAYER 

BIBLE READINGS:  Psalm 32: 8, 10-11

Reader 1:

 8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will

counsel you with my loving eye on you.

Reader 2: 

The Lord’s unfailing love surrounds the one who trusts in him.

11 Rejoice in the Lord and be glad, you righteous;

sing, all you who are upright in heart!

PRAYERS OF PRAISE AND ADORATION  

PRAYERS OF CONFESSION

BIBLE READINGS:  Psalm 32:8-11

Reader 1

 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;

I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.

Reader 2

9 Do not be like the horse or the mule,

which have no understanding

but must be controlled by bit and bridle

or they will not come to you.

Reader 3

10 Many are the woes of the wicked,

but the Lord’s unfailing love

surrounds the one who trusts in him.

11 Rejoice in the Lord and be glad, you righteous;

sing, all you who are upright in heart!

PARAGRAPH 1: BASIS OF UNION

Reader 1

The Uniting Church continues to learn of the teaching of the Holy

Scriptures in the obedience and freedom of faith, and in the power of

the promised gift of the Holy Spirit, from the witness of reformation

fathers as expressed in various ways in the Scots Confession of Faith

(1560), the Heidelberg Catechism (1563), the Westminster Confession

of Faith (1647), and the Savoy Declaration (1658).

 

Reader 2

In like manner she will listen to the preaching of John Wesley in his Forty-Four Sermons (1793). She will commit her ministers and instructors to study these statements, so that the congregation of Christ’s people may again and again be reminded of the grace which justifies them through faith, of the centrality of the person and work of Christ the justifier, and of the need for a constant appeal to Holy Scripture.

REFLECTION

Reader 1

As I write this I am marking student’s assessments on Reformation history. The enthusiasm of both the students and the teacher working through this unit is exciting. The issue for many Indigenous peoples around the world is not so much figuring out how European culture works but how it can even possibly work. Those of us who grow up in it are as blind to our cultural quirks as a fish is to water. For example how many of us realise that we enjoy our priceless freedom only because sometime and somewhere a government used absolute authority to say we can be free?

Reader 2

This class’ eagerness came from beginning to understand how and why

dominant culture (and the church) developed. They were beginning to see

western history through their own cultural lenses. That is important. Brad

Gregory’s Unintended Reformation argues that the influences of the

Reformation period on contemporary society, both intended and unplanned are more profound than we realise. We often see this period as dry and dusty and the Reformation witnesses as leathery old meat too tough for even a dingo to chew on. But they are not! The key is this. Their authors were trying to address seismic changes in their own cultures and societies. What were the issues that they were trying to address? What solutions did they apply? Finally, how did that work out? – Well? Badly? or Unexpectedly? Those questions are ones we face still even though the issues are different.  

 

Reader 3

Did the Reformers know what the best answers would be? Of course not! What each of these Reformation statements actually do, is to call us back to the centrality of the person and work of Jesus Christ and the need to constantly appeal to Scripture. This was especially when Scripture seems to say little or nothing about the changes they faced! The future is indeed an undiscovered country as Star Trek misquotes Hamlet. Our hope in Christ is that we have a sure guide for whatever the future brings. Our promise is that God’s grace will carry us beyond the faltering missteps we make. Can we be sure? If the last 500 years is anything to go by, Western civilisation has realised that hope and grace more often than not and somehow blundered past fatal and even apocalyptic mistakes. Somehow, it yet still stands. Surely the Reformer’s encouragement to look to Christ and appeal to Scripture is still worth pursuing in our own period of seismic changes in values, ethics, technology, society and the environment.

 

Leader

Prayer:

Father we face an uncertain future where many voices and emotions call to us seeking to guide our choices and directions. Act by your Holy Spirit to enable our spirits to trust in Christ and remember the centrality of his person and work when we have no idea how to solve the problems that face us. Increase our faith that we will constantly appeal to Scripture to guide us through the unknown future, especially in those times when the direction it points seems very different to the obvious paths. Let our hope in you Father and in your word be graciously realised in spite of our many failings and mistakes.

Amen.

PRAYER

Leader: 

Our Father, we pray that Assembly will be bold in helping the Uniting

Church to move forward together with the whole Church Catholic in sole loyalty to your Son, our Lord, Jesus the Christ, the living head of your Church. Amen!

PRAYERS FOR OTHERS

CONFESSION FROM BASIS OF UNION

Leader:

Within this fellowship of the Uniting Church in Australia, and as part of the Christian church around the world, let us confess Christ in the following words from the Basis of Union.

 

Reader 1:  

Today we ‘confess Jesus as Lord over (our) own life’ and ‘Head over all  things, the beginning of a new creation, of a new humanity’.

 

Leader:

We rejoice that the Uniting Church ‘preaches Christ the risen crucified  One

 

Reader 2:  

and confesses him as Lord to the glory of God the Father’.

 

Leader:        

Let us proclaim ‘the grace which justifies through faith,’

 

Reader 3:    

and uphold ‘the centrality of the person and work of  Christ the  justifier’.

 

Nb. The words in quotation marks are direct quotes from the Basis of Union

Prepared by Rev Rod James.

FINAL PRAYER

ABOUT US

The School of Faith is a ministry of the Assembly of Confessing Congregations within the Uniting Church in Australia

ADDRESS
CREEDS AND FAITH STATEMENTS 

PO Box 968,
Newtown, NSW, 2042

accoffice@confessingcongregations.com  

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