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Related Bible reading(s): Matthew 13.24-30,36-43

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

Guided by your Spirit,
we have made the journey through the wilderness and desert,
trekking across rocky paths and dirt tracks,
and crowded city streets.

We have travelled alone.
We have travelled with those we love.
We have jostled with those whose company we have not always enjoyed.
But we have made it here, to this place, this moment.

And now we wait.
We wait upon you,
We wait for rest, for inspiration, for forgiveness, for hope, for love.
Receive us afresh, renew us and inspire us, Lord.

Amen.

 

Introduction: Wheat or weeds?

In contrast to last week’s parable, where we were the different types of ground, this time, according to the explanation, humanity is the seed:
The seeds that grow into good wheat are the ‘children of the kingdom’, while the seeds that become weeds are the ‘children of the evil one’.

With the wheat and weeds looking very similar, we might wonder how to tell the difference – not so much at ‘harvest time’ but now, each and every time we have to make a choice in life.

  • Are we choosing to be more like wheat or weeds?
  • What can we do to keep ourselves weed free?

 

PostScript - Watching the weeds

 

This week's Live your faith sheet

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

 

Activity

Time to choose

There are times when it is right to be the spoiler e.g. when we need to challenge unfair practices. Organisations such as Traidcraft, Christian Aid, CAFOD, Oxfam and others work to do just that.

The Fairtrade movement, founded by those organisations, seeks to gain a fair wage for those in the developing world who produce goods for Western consumers. Through pressure from consumers, what was once seen as a minority activity is now real business, and many supermarkets stock fairly traded essentials.

With shopping returning to our high streets, we can once again make choices. So, now is a good time to review the way we do that. Is it time to choose – always choose, or at least, whenever it is possible – goods that are fairly traded from companies and countries that deal justly?

 

Prayers 

A prayer of approach

We come to you, gracious God,
acknowledging that our life is filled
with both wheat and weeds.

Be gentle with us, and help us to help one another
as we journey together,
that your kingdom may come and your will may be done,
here in this place, in our communities and in our lives,
now and always.

Amen.

 

Prayers for others

As wheat and weeds wait and strive together

Deafened as we are by different noises and voices,
surrounded by different trends and fashions,
tempted by different modes or expressions,
seduced by easy promises,
we become cautious when we pray for the world.
We do not assume any moral high ground for ourselves,
but are conscious of our frailty and weakness.
In Christ’s name we want to build a better world.
Our prayers are of love and support, trusting your power in our weakness.

We pray for those who tramp roughshod over the beliefs and practices of other people,
those who are so absorbed in themselves
they have neither time to learn from or patience with those who hold faith.

We pray for those who, in their antagonism, provoke and damage things of importance,
for those who have no respect and no sense that everyone is of value and has worth,
those who mock but offer nothing. 

We pray for those who try to find their own identity, who use different thoughts and language,
for those who embrace other faiths and those who would bring them all together.

We pray for the Church trying to understand where society has so dramatically changed its attitude,
a Church torn between those who seek the security of the past and those who venture into new understanding.

As wheat and weeds wait and strive together,
we pray that the Holy Spirit will lead the body of Christ
into all wisdom and truth.

Lord, hear our prayers, offered in Christ’s name,
and in your hearing, let your Spirit give answer.

Amen.

 

Loving God, hear our prayer

Loving God, we pray for your world, 
so imperfect and yet so rich and so diverse.

We pray for those places where humanitarian aid 
is being distributed amid violence, fear and power struggles…
for volunteers, medical staff, peacekeepers, reporters 
and all who risk their lives to help others.

We remember those who continue to be affected
by the attack at the maternity hospital in Iraq...
for the people of Yemen, and Syria...

We pray too for those places where landmines
still lay in the crops of fields, in villages,
in places where children and communities
live and work and go to school
Loving God, hear our prayer.

We pray for discernment and wisdom
around the use of social media.
We give thanks for those who use it for good –
to fundraise, to highlight injustice, to share good news
and to keep in touch with family and friends;
but we also pray protection from, and for a change of heart for,
those who use it to incite hatred, to bully and abuse,
those who are predatory,
and those who initiate financial fraud and scams.
Loving God, hear our prayer.

We pray for our relationship with creation,
and we give thanks for birds and wildlife,
and those green spaces that inspire and nurture us;
but we pray also for those who live in places devoid of colour,
for all caged by their surroundings;
we pray for an end to practices that are cruel and inhumane,
and we pray for the welfare of all animals and creatures,
and for wisdom in our stewardship of the earth.
Loving God, hear our prayer.

We pray for the family of the nations,
for our own families and for our church family.
Where there is division – bring reconciliation.
Where there is mistrust – bring healing.
Where there is opportunity – bring courage.
Where there is a shared dream – bring joy.
Where there is discouragement – bring hope.

And, amid all the muddle of the best and the worst of humanity,
bring your grace, your love and your truth
We ask these things in Jesus’ name.
Loving God, hear our prayer. Amen.

 

We all need your love

Lord God, we pray for our world and its people. 
So many different cultures, colours, languages
– but we are all your children, all special in our own right. 
Whatever our gender, race, colour or creed, we all belong to you.
We all need your love.

We pray that we might learn to live in harmony with each other,
to recognise that even someone halfway around the world is still
our neighbour in your sight. Far or near, we all belong to you.
We all need your love.

With today’s technology we have access to news from afar,
almost before it happens. Help us not to become blasé about
the situations we see, but to pray and care faithfully for all concerned. 
In war or peace, we all belong to you.
We all need your love.

We pray for those near and dear to us: protect them, wrap them
in your loving arms, and in sorrow and in joy, be with them.
Near or far, we all belong to you.
We all need your love.
Amen.

 

A way into prayer

‘Taste and see that the Lord is good’.

One of the senses we rarely use in worship is taste. When you eat, be mindful of the people responsible for getting the food to your table: the growers, producers, financiers, transporters, marketeers and advertisers, shop assistants…and more.

 

Listen and sing

Preview songs on YouTube, buy online and download.

God’s not done with you, Tauren Wells on God’s not done with you
This is the stuff, Francesca Battistelli on Hundred more years
Heal our land, Kari Jobe on The garden

Traditional hymn(s): Lord of all hopefulness, Lord of all joy

 

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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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