Thanksgiving and intercession 31 January 2016

Almighty God

from before we were born, while waiting in our mothers’ wombs.

You loved us

we bless and thank you for this love

unconditional, total care

And we bless and thank you for all who have shown us your love

parents, friends, Sunday school teachers, our church family, all who have walked this path of faith with us

we recall before you, our King, those who struggle with faith, those who doubt your never ending goodness,

those who believe you are a fearsome and angry God, so do not know you love them.

May your holy spirit pour out on them, enfold them, comfort them, with your love

Christ our Lord

you never turned the children away, but embraced them in your loving arms

may we do the same, by embracing them as part of your church, by welcoming them and their parents, by remembering, though they are young, from the mouths of babes great truths are spoken.

We pray for all children who are abused, who are bullied, who are neglected throughout your world

We know your heart breaks to see children suffer

and our hearts break with you.

Grant the authorities, in schools, in social work, in hospitals to the courage and resources to help all children who cannot know love through abuse in any form

Christ, the head of the church

we pray for your church, here in this place, the Church of Scotland and throughout the world.

May it grow in faith

may it know hope which is beyond understanding

may it be love, shining like the midday sun at the height of summer, for all your people, everywhere.

We think of those who have turned from your church

because they have been hurt by human words

yet they still hold onto faith in you

may they know they are loved beyond measure and there is always a place in this family of faith

as they are united to us through their baptism

Holy Spirit

moving where God the father and God the son only know,

moving in ways and through people and situations we can barely imagine

move within us and you whole church to offer the world what it needs most

Love, the greatest of these, through Jesus Christ our Lord.