DEVOTIONAL SACRED SEASON
DAY 18 and 38 - 22nd June, 12th July
PRAYER TIME FOR DAY 18 and 38 - JUNE 22nd and 12th July
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.
REV. ANNE HIBBARD
Rev Anne Hibbard is a Minister of the Word from the Northern part of the Central Coast NSW. She is the national
coordinator of the ACC Prayer Network and the national director of Uniting Prayer and Fasting. She is also a long term member of the ACC National Council. She is a Teacher of the ACC School of Faith.
BIBLE READINGS: 1 John 3:1-3
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2 Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. 3 All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.
PRAYERS OF PRAISE AND ADORATION
PRAYERS OF CONFESSION
BIBLE READINGS: 1 John 4:9-11; Romans 5:1-5
1 John 4:9-11 (NIV)
This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
Romans 5:1-5 (NIV)
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
PARAGRAPH 16: BASIS OF UNION
The Uniting Church recognises the responsibility and freedom which
belong to councils to acknowledge gifts among members for the
fulfillment of particular functions. She sees in pastoral care exercised
personally on behalf of the Church an expression of the fact that God
always deals with men (people 1992) personally: he would have his
fatherly care known among men (people 1992); he would have
individual members take upon themselves the form of a servant.
This beautiful phrase “fatherly care” is in the original 1971 version of the BOU. The 1992 version “God’s loving care” doesn’t quite capture the amazing gift that we have been given that we can now share with others. That gift of abounding grace is the Father’s love. 1 John 3:1 says “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!”
Jesus taught us to call God “Father”, “Abba”, “Daddy” (Matthew 6:9). For many this is incredibly difficult. I too went through a season when I could not call God “Father” in a time when I was processing what happened to me as a small child. However later I have also had the incredible joy through Jesus Christ, of finding God as my father, and bringing to wholeness, that which was missing in my early years. God truly does deal with people personally in the depths of their being.
Every child needs a loving father and a loving mother. The good news is if you missed out, our heavenly Father can fill that gap and even more. That is the love and grace that we have to share with people as a church. It’s not our own love. We love only because he first loved us and gave his son as an atoning sacrifice for our sin. (1 John 4:10) We discover that love, by a gift of grace through faith in Jesus Christ our Lord. We discover not a concept but a relationship. Jesus opens the way for us to find deep rest and safety in the
welcoming arms of God our caring Father. We all need to find God as Father whether we grew up well or not. It is God’s love that the world is thirsty for. It is God’s love our church is thirsty for. The deeper we experience it the more we can lay down our lives as servants and together offer this abundant grace to the world in fresh word, deed and sign.
Heavenly Father, what a joy we have to be able to call you daddy. Thank you that through Christ’s sacrifice those who believe now have the power to become your children. Thank you that you have changed our hearts of stone by pouring your love into them so that your fatherly care permeates every part of us. Teach us as the Uniting Church in Australia that in our own strength we have little capacity to care for this world and make a difference in people’s lives. Reveal to us that it is when we receive your love in Christ; we are given power through the Holy Spirit to truly love and care for others, not just as individuals but also as the church. Thank you for choosing us, as the body of Christ to make your fatherly care truly become known among people. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen
PRAYERS FOR OTHERS
CONFESSION FROM BASIS OF UNION
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.
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’.
We joyously proclaim that ‘in Jesus Christ "God was reconciling the world to himself" (2 Corinthians 5:19 RSV)’,
and that ‘in love for the world, God gave the Son to take away the world's sin.’
We confess that ‘Christ…is the Word of the God who acquits the guilty,
who gives life to the dead and who brings into being what otherwise could not exist.’
Nb. The words in quotation marks are direct quotes from the Basis of Union
Prepared by Rev Rod James.