24th July 2022
Morning Worship – 24th July

Morning Worship

July 2022

Action rooted in prayer



Opening Prayer:

Come, let us worship the Lord,
the God of Abraham,
the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Let us seek God’s justice,
let us wonder at God’s mercy and grace.
Let us worship Father, Son and Holy Spirit.



Reading – Genesis 18:20-32 (New Living Translation)

20 So the Lord told Abraham, “I have heard a great outcry from Sodom and Gomorrah, because their sin is so flagrant. 21 I am going down to see if their actions are as wicked as I have heard. If not, I want to know.”

22 The other men turned and headed toward Sodom, but the Lord remained with Abraham. 23 Abraham approached him and said, “Will you sweep away both the righteous and the wicked? 24 Suppose you find fifty righteous people living there in the city—will you still sweep it away and not spare it for their sakes? 25 Surely you wouldn’t do such a thing, destroying the righteous along with the wicked. Why, you would be treating the righteous and the wicked exactly the same! Surely you wouldn’t do that! Should not the Judge of all the earth do what is right?”

26 And the Lord replied, “If I find fifty righteous people in Sodom, I will spare the entire city for their sake.”

27 Then Abraham spoke again. “Since I have begun, let me speak further to my Lord, even though I am but dust and ashes. 28 Suppose there are only forty-five righteous people rather than fifty? Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five?”

And the Lord said, “I will not destroy it if I find forty-five righteous people there.”

29 Then Abraham pressed his request further. “Suppose there are only forty?”

And the Lord replied, “I will not destroy it for the sake of the forty.”

30 “Please don’t be angry, my Lord,” Abraham pleaded. “Let me speak—suppose only thirty righteous people are found?”

And the Lord replied, “I will not destroy it if I find thirty.”

31 Then Abraham said, “Since I have dared to speak to the Lord, let me continue—suppose there are only twenty?”

And the Lord replied, “Then I will not destroy it for the sake of the twenty.”

32 Finally, Abraham said, “Lord, please don’t be angry with me if I speak one more time. Suppose only ten are found there?”

And the Lord replied, “Then I will not destroy it for the sake of the ten.


Reading – Luke 11.1-13 (New Living Translation)

11 Once Jesus was in a certain place praying. As he finished, one of his disciples came to him and said, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”

Jesus said, “This is how you should pray:

“Father, may your name be kept holy.
May your Kingdom come soon.
Give us each day the food we need,
and forgive us our sins,
as we forgive those who sin against us.
And don’t let us yield to temptation.”

Then, teaching them more about prayer, he used this story: “Suppose you went to a friend’s house at midnight, wanting to borrow three loaves of bread. You say to him, ‘A friend of mine has just arrived for a visit, and I have nothing for him to eat.’ And suppose he calls out from his bedroom, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is locked for the night, and my family and I are all in bed. I can’t help you.’ But I tell you this—though he won’t do it for friendship’s sake, if you keep knocking long enough, he will get up and give you whatever you need because of your shameless persistence.

“And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.

11 “You fathers—if your children ask for a fish, do you give them a snake instead? 12 Or if they ask for an egg, do you give them a scorpion? Of course not! 13 So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.”


Reflection: The Lords Prayer – Our call to action

What picture does ‘daily bread’ conjure up for you? Possibly a white-sliced or a small crusty granary loaf? If you were in France, it might be a long French ‘baton’, a croissant or a brioche that would spring to mind. And in the Middle East, a pitta or a flat bread, perhaps. All quite different but in the Lord’s Prayer it reflects the basic need to have sufficient food – physical and spiritual – to sustain us.

In the year ending 31 March 2021, the Trussell Trust distributed 2.5 million emergency food parcels in the UK, an increase of 33% on the previous year and of 128% since 2016. Other food bank providers reported similar increases. The Trusts’ chief executive, Emma Revie, called for an end to food banks, insisting that it’s not right that people should have to struggle for essentials. ‘The time to act is now,’ she said.

When we pray ‘Your kingdom come…give us this day our daily bread’, we are echoing Emma’s words and asking that everyone has enough to live on. And, when they don’t, those who pray Jesus’ prayer say with Emma, ‘The time to act is now.’

In the Lord’s Prayer, we remember that our daily bread is God’s gift to everyone, not our possession to hold or withhold.  We also remember that it is followed by our need for forgiveness, and our need to offer it – even to those who may not reciprocate. Grace and graciousness is not conditional. In short, we need God’s gift of the Holy Spirit to make us gracious in giving.

When we pray for God’s kingdom to come what do we mean? Do we have a role in bringing the kingdom in? Indeed, what is it? How do we prepare ourselves to ‘perform’ it? The Lord’s Prayer links the kingdom to the provision of daily bread. We cannot escape the implication that material well-being and spiritual well-being are linked. So it must follow that, as well as praying for it, we need to act in particular ways, or in particular areas of life, to bring in the kingdom.

God’s kingdom comes only when we remember our role in delivering it – our call to action.  But one that is rooted in prayer – to be gracious in giving, to forgive and to be forgiven.

A prayer of confession

Almighty God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
our prayers we have offered –
words spoken, erudite or muddled,
thoughts turned, feelings felt.
But all of this is nought
if we do not live out the yearnings of our praying.
All of this is nought,
if we do not turn our prayers to action.
In penitence and sorrow,
we offer now our lives to you,
seeking to know your forgiveness
and desiring to live by your ways.


The Lord’s Prayer:

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.

Your Kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.

Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours.

Now and for ever.  Amen


Closing prayer:

Lord, help us to think before praying,
and pray before acting.
May we see our community
and the people who make it up
as precious to you and precious to us,
as we seek to preserve all that is beautiful
and build up all that is holy and Godly.





May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,

And the love of God,

And the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all, now and evermore.