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Related Bible reading(s): Matthew 11.16-19,25-30

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.

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 ( 2002-2020.
Reproduced with permission.

The world ablaze:
Prayers for difficult times


Opening prayer

Lord, we seek to approach you,
but we forget it is you who first approaches us.

We are the sinners, the tax collectors, the Gentiles of our day;
yet you come to us with your gospel of salvation.

We are the slaves, in thrall to a world of troubles and cares;
yet you come to us and invite us to be yoked to you;
you walk with us and share our burdens.

Lord, we seek to move ever closer to you:
come to meet us, we pray, in our worship.


Introduction: Are you with them?

If we were to adhere to the maxim of ‘judging a person by the company they keep’, what would we say about Jesus? A perusal of the Gospels shows that our Lord kept company with reprobates and outcasts, the sorts of ‘sinners’ that society shuns.

A church worker and a drug dealer were talking in the coffee shop. ‘How is it,’ asked the worker, ‘that you are so successful at recruiting customers and we offer so much for no money, and get so few takers?’ ‘Ah well,’ said the drug dealer, ‘when they go to the burger van at lunchtime, I’m there and you’re not; and when they sit on the park bench, because they have nothing else to do, I’m there and you’re not.’

Most churches offer a range of services and activities to the un-churched – but do we truly follow Jesus’ example of going out to meet them where they are?


PostScript - Lockdown relaxed?


This week's Live your faith sheet

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


A family activity: Where's Jesus?

Look together at some Where’s Wally? books, or go online and enjoy finding Wally. Then discuss together what a ‘Where’s Jesus?’ picture might have in it.

The Gospels suggest that he was often found with people whom others looked down upon. Create your own ‘Where’s Jesus?’ picture. If drawing is not your strong point, try using a computer with images found on the internet.



A prayer of praise

Praise be for the wisdom of the child;
for the arrow of enlightenment that pierces our dark adult thoughts.

Praise be for the innocence of infants;
for the word of simple truth that confounds our complex thinking.

Thank you, Lord God,
for revealing your meaning to those without pride or guile.

Lord, grant us the trust of a child.



A personal prayer

Lord, let me be yoked to you.
In all I say and do, be there with me.

Lord, let me be yoked to you.
Help me carry my load, share my burden.

Lord, let me be yoked to you.
Let me rest in your strength, until my labour is through.



A reflective prayer

Lord of life,
thank you for all that you teach us:
in the ways of your Son;
in the words of your Scriptures;
in the lessons we learn throughout life.

Lord of love,
when we encounter you on life’s journey,
let our eyes and ears be open to your teaching.
Help us to see beyond what we think we know;
break into our shuttered lives in new ways.

Lord of light,
shine your understanding upon our way;
lift our eyes from the mud to the stars.
May we not be earth-bound in our thinking,
but ever looking heavenward in hope.


A prayer of intercession

Loving God, as we reflect on the words of Scripture
and learn from the wisdom of your Son,
so we pray in his name:

for the people of the USA as they mark the anniversary of their independence;
for discernment for those who will vote in the presidential election in November
and for integrity for those who are standing;
for healing where injustice and racism have caused great pain and division
and for courage and unity where changes are beginning to be made;
for the nation as a whole as the rate of unemployment and the death toll continue to rise.
To you, God of love, we entrust our prayers.

We pray for all entrusted with the gift of teaching children and young people;
for those who struggle to learn and for those denied an education;
we pray for more resources, more opportunities, more equality.
To you, God of love, we entrust our prayers.

We pray for all who care for those with serious mental health issues;
for those who work with patients who potentially pose a threat to others
and those who feel bowed down with their responsibilities,
who are struggling under the weight of the decisions they have to make;
for those with family or friends who are depressed,
and for all those engulfed by mental turmoil.
To you, God of love, we entrust our prayers.

We pray for the people of Hong Kong, of Tibet and for the Chinese Government;
for the people of Israel and Palestine and their governments;
for all places where in the past there has been violence,
where today there is unrest
and where the future is full of fear and mistrust.
To you, God of love, we entrust our prayers. 

We pray for wisdom to learn from, and to act on, the mistakes of the past –
as a community and as individuals.
Where there have been disappointments may we learn courage.
Where there have been setbacks may we learn resilience.
Where there has been division may we learn generosity of spirit.
Where there has been self-centredness may we learn humility
To you, God of love, we entrust our prayers. 

We pray for churches throughout the world,
that we may learn new ways of sharing the gospel.
We give thanks for the vision and compassion, the integrity and faithfulness
of our national and international church leaders.
We pray for all leaders and pastors in our local church families.
We pray too for those who have been damaged by religion,
for one another in our daily encounters,
and for those we hold in our hearts who we would love to see come to faith.
To you, God of love, we entrust our prayers
in Jesus name.


Listen and sing

Preview songs on YouTube, buy online and download.

Who you say I am, Hillsong worship on There is more
God only knows (Timbaland remix), For king & country on God only knows
Written in the skies, Luke & Anna Hellebronth on Motions of mercy

Traditional hymn(s): Come all you vagabonds


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  • Bible notes
  • In conversation with the Scriptures
  • A range of adaptable prayers and activities 
  • PLUS The archive!


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