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Related Bible reading(s): Matthew 13.1-9,18-23

Welcome to ROOTS at home for adults

Worship-at-home resources to help you read and reflect on this week's Bible passages

ROOTS is a partnership of denominations and other Christian organisations and has been publishing lectionary-based worship resources online and in print since 2002.

Copyright
You are welcome to copy this material for use in your own resources e.g. printed sheets or web pages including audio/video recordings. If you do so, please include this acknowledgement to ROOTS:
© ROOTS for Churches Ltd (www.rootsontheweb.com) 2002-2020.
Reproduced with permission.

The world ablaze:
Prayers for difficult times

 

Opening prayer

We draw near to Jesus:
Lord, we are listening.

We calm ourselves and prepare:
Lord, we are listening.

We seek to root out the debris of our lives:
Lord, we are listening.

We cast aside the weeds that would choke your seed:
Lord, we are listening.

We seek to root your word deep within us:
Lord, we are listening.

Amen.

 

Introduction: From sown seed to bearing fruit

One of a series, this parable is known by several names, each, perhaps, suggesting a slightly different approach to what it is saying. The most common name is the ‘Parable of the sower’; it is also known as the ‘Parable of the seed’ or the ‘Parable of the four soils’.

Good soil is the result of hard work. It must be cleared of stones and pernicious weeds, fertilised and watered, dug and protected from trampling. The good ground in which the seed flourishes is well prepared and cherished; this is not accidental good fortune. How can we interpret this for our own spiritual flourishing?

The yields described, thirty, sixty or a hundredfold, are infinitely greater than the yield grown by using the farming methods of Jesus’ day. However attentive we are, we cannot yield such a great harvest through our own strength. We can bear fruit in God’s world only through and with God’s help.

 

PostScript - Jesus' sower

 

This week's Live your faith sheet

(Bible notes, prayers, a picture and questions for reflection, a live your faith action)

 

Activity: Reaching out

Hold an outreach meal to which you invite those who have had difficult life experiences over the past few months – experiences that might be described as seed falling on the path, among rocks, amid thorns. A sharing of God’s goodness though a simple meal may open the door for some to ask questions again.

You might consider developing this to helping to look after vulnerable people during the coming winter. July is a good time to start planning – even if lockdown is not over yet.

 

Prayers

A prayer for others

In the name of Jesus Christ,
we pray for those who follow the crowd,
looking for leadership and guidance,
for those who seek easy answers and simple explanations.

We pray for those with entrenched views
that prejudice them to the cry of those in need.
In the name of Jesus Christ,
we pray for those who sow seeds on rocky ground,
looking for instant gratification,
for those who seek happiness in the things they possess.

We pray for those who chase false dreams of wealth and fame.
In the name of Jesus Christ,
we pray for those who sow seeds among thorns,
looking for things that will not bring them peace,
for those who seek to escape from the pain in their lives.

We pray for those who are lost to themselves. 
We pray for wisdom, for happiness, for peace,
for all those we have prayed for this day,
in the name of Jesus Christ.

Amen.

 

A reflective prayer

Heavenly Father,
we are thin upon the ground in this secular age,
and constantly striving for survival.
We struggle against the harshness of life,
and the environment of hostility towards you. 

We fight against the ways of the world,
and seek to grow in faith and grace.
Though we are few in number, make us bountiful;
bring forth from us a harvest to grace the desert of this world. 

Although all around seems arid and barren,
yet we affirm the quiet working of your Spirit,
and surrender ourselves to your will being done in your time;
faithfully, fruitfully, awaiting the coming of your kingdom.

Amen.

              

A prayer of praise

Generous God, we praise you.
You sow the seeds of your love across the whole world;
you cast the seed of your word abundantly down the ages
and stand patiently by as it germinates and flourishes,
fades and dies.

We praise you, Lord,
for your patience and perseverance,
for your solidarity with your creation
and your people.
We thank you for the fertile ground,
and we praise you for persisting with the hard-hearted,
the fickle, the distracted among us.
Almighty Sower, we seek to be abundant for you.

Amen.

 

A prayer of intercession

God of all seeds and all stories,
we pray for the wisdom to apply the truth of Jesus' parables
to our own lives
and to our life together in this place where we worship you  
and this community where we serve you.
May we see you, may we hear you, may we know you care.

In the world, we pray especially
for places where climate change has brought drought…
for the places where it has brought floods …
for those whose crops have been scorched…
for those whose livelihoods have been washed away.
We pray for the people of Japan –
for those caught in the heavy rains there –
and for the people of Australia
and their wildlife endangered by the forest fires.
We pray too for those in our own country
who face continual upheaval and heartache through repeated flooding.
May we see you, may we hear you, may we know you care.

We pray for those whose life's seeds
are being choked by anxiety, poverty and hardship…
for those who have lost their jobs…
for those unable to feed their families
or to pay their mortgages and rent…
for those living without basic facilities.
We pray for those given hope by the emergency budget
and for those who feel hope-less
and for foodbanks and charities that try to help all who are struggling.
May we see you, may we hear you, may we know you care.

We pray for those unable to thrive because of illness…
and those denied the opportunity
to plant the seeds of their dreams in fertile soil...
for those hospitalised with Covid-19…
for those whose journey to recovery is long , slow and painful…
for those who nurse them…
for those who love them…
for those whose treatment has been put on hold…
We pray for those robbed of the opportunity to go to school,
for children in war zones, those in refugee camps,
those who have to work to find their daily food.
May we see you, may we hear you, may we know you care.

And we pray for those whose seeds are watered by their tears...
those grieving the loss of someone close to them…
those who feel forgotten…
those who are neglected…
those who are victims of injustice, abuse, or cruelty…
May they – and all in any kind of need today – see you, may they hear you,
and may know you care. Amen.

 

Listen and sing

Preview songs on YouTube, buy online and download.

Nobody, Casting crowns feat. Matthew West on Only Jesus
The potter’s hand, Hillsong worship on Ultimate worship
The story of your life, Matthew West on The story of your life

Traditional hymn(s): You shall go out with joy

 

Don’t forget that, as subscribers,
all the normal weekly and issue-based materials are available to you:
  • Bible notes
  • In conversation with the Scriptures
  • A range of adaptable prayers and activities 
  • PLUS The archive!

 

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