Liturgy & prayers for all age worship

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1 Diocese of Bristol Daniel Jones Youth & Children s Adviser Liturgy & prayers for all age worship General opening prayers: Loving Father, we thank you for this opportunity to worship you together. Please help everyone here today to learn something new about you. Thank you that you know and love each one of us and you want us to belong to you. Amen Extend the prayer by adding Psalm 139 v1-6 & 13-14: God, investigate my life; get all the facts firsthand. I'm an open book to you - even from a distance, you know what I'm thinking. You know when I leave and when I get back; I'm never out of your sight. You know everything I'm going to say before I start the first sentence. I look behind me and you're there, then up ahead and you're there, too; your reassuring presence, coming and going. This is too much, too wonderful I can't take it all in! You shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother's womb. I thank you, High God - you're breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvellously made! Easy-to-follow Response & Litanies: Come close to God, and he will come close to you. The Lord our God is worthy to receive glory, honour and power and praise for he has created us and redeemed us Heavenly Father, in our worship help us to sing your praises, confess our sins, hear your word and bring our prayers to you, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen God our Father, we have come to church this morning to meet with you. We want to speak to you and listen to what you are saying to us Please quieten our minds, and help us to think about what we are doing There are things that we are sorry we did, because they were wrong. There are others things that we did not do, which we know we should have done Please forgive us for our mistakes, and help us not to make them again We thank you for life, and for sending Jesus into the world so that we can enjoy it even more. We are grateful to you for taking care of us from day to day Please accept our thanks and help us never to take your love for granted. Amen

2 Activity & Action: We have come together in the name of Christ Encourage everyone to look around and nod or smile a greeting to all in the congregation To offer our praise and thanksgiving Lift up hands high as an act of praise To hear and receive God s holy word Arrange the upward facing palms of your hands in front of your body, shaped as a V formation like the open pages of a book To pray for the needs of the world Put hands together, palm to palm and fingers pointing upwards, as for prayer And to seek the forgiveness of our sins Hold out your hands in front of the body palms up ready to receive That by the power of the Holy Spirit Link thumbs and gently flap the fingers imitating a dove a symbol of the Holy Spirit We may give ourselves to the service of God Put both hands across your heart and move them outward in a gesture of self-giving Easy-to-use Confession: Let us confess our sins to God and ask for his forgiveness. For all the wrong things we have done: in your mercy, Forgive us O God. For forgetting what we ought to have remembered, for failing to do as we promised, for turning away when we should have listened, for being careless when we should have been sensible: in your mercy, Forgive us O God For doing things we knew would annoy, for acting in ways we knew would hurt, for behaving in ways we knew would disappoint: in your mercy, Forgive us O God O God, when we look back we can see how foolish and wrong we have been. Help us not to do the same things again: through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

3 Action Confession: All We know that God is love and that God loves all that he has made. He loves you and me. Jesus showed us by his life and tells us in his own words that God will never turn anyone away who comes to him. However our lives are far from perfect. We know that we are not the best we can be nor the best God longs us to be. Sin has spoilt our lives and God's world. Sin is a deliberate choice to do what saddens God and we are guilty of this. God accepts us as we are but loves us too much to leave us as we are. This is why he asks us to come to Jesus his Son and say sorry. (Make a fist with your hand): We are sorry when we have got angry with other people. (Point away from yourself with your index finger): We are sorry for the times we have blamed others and seen things wrong in others without recognising how much is also wrong in us. (Close up your hand and hold it close to your chest): We are sorry for the times we have kept things selfishly to ourselves and not been prepared to give to those who need our help. (Put your hand over your mouth): We are sorry for the foolish words we have spoken which have hurt other people. (Put your hand over your eyes): We are sorry that we have deliberately chosen not to see the good things we could have done to help other people. (Put your hand over one ear): We are sorry for the times we have not listened to the cries of those who are poor or who suffer injustice. (Open palms upward as if you are waiting to receive) Jesus says, 'If you are tired from carrying heavy burdens, come to me and I will give you rest'. So we bring all that we are to Jesus - all our sins and our failure to love. Thank you that you died for us so that we might be forgiven and start a new life in the power of your Holy Spirit. (Trace the shape of a cross with the index finger on your other hand across the palm of the hand you are holding out) Father, we do this as a reminder that it is through the cross that our sins are forgiven. Amen.

4 Statements of faith We are not once a week friends We are the family of God We are not a cosy club We are the body of Christ We are not just strangers meeting We are temples of the Holy Spirit We are not here by accident Our Father has called us to worship We are not just filling up an hour Jesus wants us to know him better We are not just going through the motions The Holy Spirit has some special words for us So come; draw near to our God And God will draw near to us Do you believe in God? We believe in God the Father who made us and the world. Do you believe in Jesus Christ? We believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who came to this earth to be our Saviour. He died for our sins on the cross, rose from the dead, ascended to the Father in heaven and will come again in his glory as the judge of all people. Do you believe in the Holy Spirit? We believe in the Holy Spirit, whom God gives to all who trust in Christ. He makes us more like Jesus, guides and strengthens us in our daily life, and helps us serve God in the family of the church May Almighty God strengthen this faith in us. Amen.

5 Interactive prayers: Prayer pause: Father God, we thank you for all the people in our church and we ask that you will help us to grow closer to each other and closer to you. Picture the person sitting on either side of you. Ask that God will be especially close to them. We also remember those people who are not with us today, perhaps through illness or because they are on holiday. Let s remember them in our own prayers now. Father God, we thank you for the place where we live and we ask that you will help us to spread your love to our friends and neighbours. Let s think of one or two particular friends and ask that God will help us tell them the Good News. Father God, we thank you for the time we have spent together and we ask that you will be with us throughout this week. Let s think of the things that we are going to do in the days ahead and bring them before God now. Lord, thank you that you listen to all our prayers spoken and unspoken. Amen. Teaspoon Prayer: T = Thank you (saying thanks to God) S = Sorry (apologising for the things we have done) P = Please (asking for God s help, healing etc) Have a short time of chat and discussion focusing on what the congregation might want to say to God using these three words. Finally have a short time of open prayer weaving together all the topics mentioned in a closing prayer. Why not give younger children a plastic teaspoon to take home to remind them of these three basic categories for prayer. The hand prayer: The thumb : Thumbs up! Thank God for something friends, pets etc The fore finger: The pointing finger - say sorry for getting angry etc The Middle finger: The Strong one - Pray for God s help bullying, home etc Wedding finger: Give thanks for the people who you love and who love you Little finger = Pray for the weak and poor etc Give a piece of paper to everyone and ask them to draw around and cut out the shape of their own hand. On the four fingers they should write: - Something to praise God for

6 - Something to thank God for - Something for which they would like to ask God s help - Something they would like to say sorry about Children can fold down the fingers if they wish to keep their prayers secret. This leaves the thumbs up a reminder that God has heard our prayers. Conclude by praying leaving pauses for children to bring their own prayers to God silently.

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