Preparation to hear God's word, with a confession of sin, assurance of forgiveness, and praise

A song of praise to God as Creator and Redeemer is sung, or a song reminding everyone of the reason for gathering together.

Introduction:
We can approach God with our prayers and praises because the Lord Jesus has opened the way for us in his death and resurrection. We do so, however, as those who continue to sin, and need to seek God's forgiveness and help to serve him more faithfully. So, in the words of Hebrews 4:16, ‘Let us approach God's throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy, and find grace to help us in our time of need.'

Almighty God, our heavenly Father,
you are merciful and kind,
but we have gone our own way,
not loving you as we ought,
nor loving our neighbours as ourselves.
We have sinned against you in thought, word and deed
and in what we have failed to do.
We deserve your condemnation.
Father, forgive us.
Help us to love you and our neighbour,
and to live for your honour and glory;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Assurance of forgiveness:
God is slow to anger and full of compassion. He forgives all who humbly repent and trust in his Son as Saviour and Lord. There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Amen.

A song of praise, thanking God for the Lord Jesus and his saving work.

Listening to the Bible being read, and responding with praise and a confession of faith

As we come to hear the Bible read and taught, lets ask God to give us understanding and the will to obey him:

We thank you, heavenly Father, for inspiring all Scripture by the Holy Spirit. Help us by your Spirit so to hear your holy word that we might be equipped for every good work, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Bible is read and taught. Perhaps a time of discussion and prayer could follow, based on the sermon.

A song reinforcing the message of the sermon is sung and/or a creed is said together, to affirm our common faith in God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Prayer and thanksgiving. Intercessions may begin or end with the Lord's Prayer together.

This responsive form of thanksgiving may be used:

Gracious and generous God,
thank you for providing all our needs.
Make us truly grateful, Lord.
For families and friends,
we give you thanks.
For enjoyment of all that is good,
we give you thanks.
For the love of Jesus our Saviour,
we give you thanks.
For his life poured out in sacrifice for us,
we give you thanks.

Other thanksgivings may be added here.

Lord, keep us mindful of those in need,
that as we pray for them,
we may be generous to them,
as you are to us.
We ask this in the name of Jesus,
who alone gives us life eternal. Amen.

A concluding song encourages appropriate responses to the teaching conveyed in the service.

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