Opening prayer 24 January 2016

God eternal

Creator and sustainer of Life

our eyes are dazzled by the sight of the mist circling around the wooded hillsides

seemingly as breath, as your breath, breathed out into all existence

our ears are attuned to the sound of birds singing to one another, and to the one from whom they came, preforming a rapturous melody of praise and thanksgiving more articulate than our human words can make

our touch, feeling the cold and the frost, in the darkness of winter, but even in the darkest of days,

sensing too the light of your Holy Spirit within and around us

Lord God, it is wondrous you have given us the capacity to sense your world in these, and many other ways.

You created so many sights and sounds and tastes and smells

to delight and inspire all living breathing beings to worship of you, their sustainer and redeemer

and we delight to come before you today, to hear again your word, to sing again of songs of praise to you, to offer this day our prayers, to grow in our love of you and our love of that which you love

May they be acceptable in your sight, o Lord our God

For these and all our worship is offered in reverence and fear for all you are, for all you have done, though we are like children, constantly in need of guidance and instruction.

Often drifting away from the way of following you, your Son, Jesus Christ taught.

We neglect to listen to what you are saying to us, through your written word and through the words of others

we neglect to look after and honour the lost and the least in our community of faith and wider community

we neglect to rest from our work, the things we think have to be done, and rest in you

Christ our Lord

in living with us, you know all so well our human frailties, and in dying and rising to new life for us, you showed we are loved and our sins are forgiven now and always.

May we trust in this promise and, guided in the Holy Spirit, walk in the path of our saviour and Lord, Jesus Christ who taught us to pray together saying: