shared at Christchurch, Estover, Plymouth, 2nd July 2015
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Gathering: Bless the Lord, My Soul
In the name of the +Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
O Lord, open our lips
And our mouths shall proclaim your praise.
Matthew 6 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
“Beware of practicing your piety before others in order to be seen by them; for then you have no reward from your Father in heaven.
“So whenever you give alms, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be praised by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your alms may be done in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
“And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
“When you are praying, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
“Pray then in this way:
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And do not bring us to the time of trial,
but rescue us from the evil one.
For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you; but if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
“And whenever you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces so as to show others that they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that your fasting may be seen not by others but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
This is the word of the Lord
Thanks be to God
Ritual: Let go
The Lords Prayer Challenge
Our Father in heaven.
Don’t say ‘Father’ if you do not behave like a son or daughter. Don’t say ‘Our’ if you only think of your self.
Hallowed by your name
Don’t say ‘Hallowed’ if you do not honour that name.
Your Kingdom come
Don’t say ‘Your Kingdom come’ if you are weighed down with material goods
Your will be done On earth as in heaven
Don’t say ‘Thy will be done’ if you do not accept the hard bits
Don’t say ‘as it is in heaven’ if you only think about earthly matters
Give us this day our daily bread
Don’t say ’Our daily bread’ if you have no concern for the hungry or the homeless
Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who against us
Don’t say ‘Forgive us our sins’ if you remain angry with someone
Lead us not into temptation
Don’t say ‘Lead us not into temptation’ if you intend to continue sinning
But deliver us from evil
Don’t say ‘Deliver us from evil if you are not willing to make a stand against injustice
For the Kingdom, the Power and the Glory are yours, now and for ever. Amen
Don’t say ‘AMEN’ without considering the words of your prayer!
The Lord bless you and watch over you
The Lord make his face to shine upon you
The Lord be gracious to you
The Lord look kindly upon you and give you peace
And the blessing of God Almighty, Father Son and Holy Spirit
be upon you and remain with you this night and always