Prayers  for  the  week 

Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to him [Jesus].  And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, “This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
So he told them this parable: 
“Which one of you, having a hundred sheep and losing one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one that is lost until he finds it?  When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders and rejoices.  And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbours, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’  Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.
                                                                                           Luke 15 : 1 – 7
Merciful God,
Thank you that your desire is to bring us into your kingdom.
Thank you that “the Son of Man came to seek out and to save the lost”.

You sent Jesus to seek us,
even in the forgotten corners where we try to hide in despair.
Gather us into your loving embrace,
and pour upon us your wise and holy Spirit,
so that we may become faithful servants
in whom you rejoice with all the company of heaven.

Persistently forgiving God,
we can be a stubborn people who try your patience;
yet, instead of giving us up for lost,
you seek us out until we return to you.
Break into our wilfulness
and bring us back from our wanderings;
take away our pride

and create in us pure and faithful hearts,
which rejoice in your forgiveness
made known through Jesus Christ.

Suggestions for your personal prayer times
Thank God for His Holy Word, that is “a lamp to our feet and a light to our path.”
Pray that God will bless us through our worship, prayer and teaching at our service today and that, as a result, we may have a close relationship with God and be enabled to follow His ways of love day by day.
Thank God that, through Jesus, He has made you free.
Ask God that, through His Holy Spirit, He will enable you to experience real freedom in Christ.
Thank God that he is our refuge and our strength – always.
Ask God for His help to know His strength, mercy and grace, working within you and through you.
Thank God that He never changes and can always be trusted.
Ask God to help you to rely on His love and faithfulness.
Thank God, that, in Jesus, He is our dependable friend.
Ask God to guide you to someone who is feeling alone, so that you can bring them comfort and friendship in their loneliness.
Thank God that He is Lord of all.
Ask God to help you in accepting that no job is too small and no dream is too big in His great kingdom, and that you will be enabled to do the task that He has for you.
Thank God for his blessings, including families and friends. 
Pray for churches across the world, including ourselves, as we prepare to meet and enjoy fellowship together in His name tomorrow.

A prayer for our nation
God of hope,
in these times of change and division,
unite our nation
and guide our leaders with your wisdom.
Give us all courage to overcome our fears,
and help us to build a future
in which all may prosper and share;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Our prayer for the vacancy

Father God, we ask for the continuing presence of your Holy Spirit to guide this parish. 
We pray for our new Rector, Brendan, and his family.  We pray that they will know Your hand upon their lives, in all their planning and preparations for their move to Frant, Eridge and Bells Yew Green.
As we await their arrival, keep us steadfast and united in love; patient and tolerant with one another. 
Send to each one of us the gifts of wisdom, knowledge and discernment in the coming days, that we may be equipped to sustain Your work in this parish during the vacancy ..........
and on into the future too.