PRAYER FOR COMING ASSEMBLY
Prayer written to be used in the lead up to the coming Assembly of the Uniting Church in Australia (8th-14th July)
Prayer: The coming Assembly Meeting.
Lord God, who has faithfully led the Church through the ages,
who has spoken to us in these last days through the Living Word-Jesus Christ,
who speaks through the scriptures, the Holy Spirit and the
age long Councils of the Church.
Lord, who corrects the Church when it fails to listen;
when it is seduced by the pressures of the world;
when it loses its way and is distracted from the urgency of its mission.
Lord who chastens the Church of the Western world,
in your love and mercy reach out to us and renew the Uniting Church in Australia.
As national representatives of the church meet in Assembly to decide on complex issues,
as reports are presented, and issues ranging over care agencies,
bio-ethics, social justice, child abuse, gender-marriage and Frontier Services
are reviewed, help members of the Assembly and us
to discern your guidance and to be good stewards
of the faith and resources entrusted to us.
As the Commissions and Assembly decide on the church’s policies;
save us from the world setting the agenda
and save the church from twisting your word in the name of progress.
Save us from responses determined by popular trends and appeals to emotion.
Save us from being a mere hand-maid to government policies and funding.
Lord, we thank you for bringing your truth alive,
for the social reforms of the past that have emerged
from the Gospel and that have honoured you.
We thank you for people like Wilberforce, Bonhoeffer, Martin Luther King and Billy Graham.
Save us from activist’s and ideologies that demean Christian values
and those intent on exploiting the church as a platform for change.
We thank you today for the creative initiatives of ‘church-planters’
and that we are learning to affirm the ministry gifts of women.
Yet Lord, we see the church decline and its strength dissipating.
We cry out to you as we see churches fragmenting over moral issues;
Please save us from cynical attitudes, quick judgements and discouragement.
Renew our humble trust in you before we trust our programmes.
Remind us that our mission and response to human need
stems from the dynamic of the gospel that restores the lost.
Renew us in the integrity of sound doctrine and teaching.
Raise up solid, and strong leadership throughout the church,
to honour Christ and the Bible as the source of our authority.
Renew the Assembly and us with a new sense of your calling upon our lives
so we clearly know what it means to be your people.
Enlighten members of the Assembly to seek the way forward.
Equip us with compassion and a desire to be holy as you are holy.
Revive your Church and grass-root members
with life and power to bring wholeness, justice and peace
to the lives of many in our time.
In Jesus Name, Amen.
Rev E.A. (Ted) Curnow.