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Worship Sheet for Sunday 29 August Hearing and Listening

We’re leaving David and Solomon behind and looking at the letter of James for some lessons. I might pick up on the wooden bricks and tower idea – you know where you carefully pull out a brick and hope it doesn’t come tumbling down. Hearing and listening are the key words or bricks today. James is adamant that hearing God’s word isn’t enough – we need to be doers of the word too. Faith includes action.
Call: Listen up sisters and brothers! We are to be slow to speak. We are to be slow to anger also. We are to do more than listen. All: We are to practice what we hear. What is it that God wants us to hear? We are to take care of those around us and keep ourselves pure. Come as we worship our faithful God. Come before God with open ears and hearts.

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Listen to the 1st Prayer

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Pray : Eternal God, you never change in who you are and yet there is infinite variety in the ways in which we experience you, the new ways of believing and behaving that you invite us to explore. We give thanks for your constant love. We bask in your word, though when it becomes too hot we try to hide from it. We take assurance from your love, yet worry that we cannot fulfil its demands. Gracious God, we have not lived up to our own standards, never mind yours; we have said one thing and done another; we have spoken without thinking and caused hurt; we have talked too much and listened too little; and prided ourselves on being good Christians while neglecting the needs of others. Lord, you do not need us to be perfect; What you do need is for us to be filled with the life of your Spirit, living examples of your love. Work in us, transform us so we grow steadily more gentle, truthful, generous and kind; may we speak less and listen more; notice what needs done and get on with doing it; not looking for any reward other than knowing that we are doing your will. And as Jesus taught us we pray together saying Our Father…

Todays Bible reading - Listen by clicking on the image or using the sound bar below
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James 1:17-27.
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Thought- It isn’t a question about putting doctrine against practice, what we believe about God in our heads up against what we do for him in our daily lives. It isn’t one or the other, it is both/and. If we truly believe and trust the Lord Jesus, then we will allow his Spirit to shape our lives so that the way we live our lives will demonstrate that love for Jesus. James speaks about a man who looks at himself in the mirror then on turning away immediately forgets what his face looks like. We’ve got a pretty thin understanding of faith if when we turn away from worship, prayer or thought of God we immediately forget that his love is supposed to result in us being loving, kind, generous and caring towards our neighbour. Some of us have hearing difficulties, but there is good help available certainly here in Angus. Many more of us have difficulty listening – we hear the words, but we don’t take in the import, the nuances, the underlying pleas from family and friends – and, if James is right, we don’t truly listen to God – because, in the Bible, true listening results in action – in lessons put into practice, in demonstrable ways. We don’t earn God’s favour with lots of good deeds, rather he gifts us the ability to serve him and one another – but we do need to receive it – and use it. To hear is good, to listen well is better, to listen and act upon it, especially on God’s leading is best.

Praise: CH4 522 The Church is wherever God’s people are praising.
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Listen to the 2nd Prayer

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Pray: Listening God, you have promised to pay attention to anyone who comes to you in need, when ask for your help. Before pouring out our worries, we take a moment to be grateful for the immense privilege of being heard. Thank you for those who have listened to us— really listened—with their eyes as well as their ears; understanding the silences between the words; not presuming to know what we needed, but staying with us long enough so that we find our own way through. If we have received that gift, we recognise it as coming from you, and ask that your church may become a place where no-one is afraid to speak their truth, because they know that they will be heard with respect. When we disagree, may we do so graciously; when we are hurt, may we not lash out in anger, but seek the healing and forgiveness that are at the heart of who we claim to be. Loving God, we pray for ourselves because other people look at us and judge you on what they see. So, may our lives bear witness to the truth of what we say we believe; may we get on with living out our faith in lives of quiet service and steadfast resistance to injustice and evil. We pray today for those who cry for justice and are not heard. May we be their ears and their voices. We pray for those who are angry, and with good reason. May we work to change the systems that oppress them, even if it costs us. We pray for the widows and orphans of today— women and children bereaved by conflict; and men too; all who are on the margins and are therefore your special concern. May we show that your ways are different, and hasten the coming of your kingdom by caring for them in your name.

In our prayer walk this week we pray for those who live or work in Broomfield Rd, Gdns & Cres; Rosehill Gdns SILENCE Lord hear our prayers spoken and unspoken and answer them for the sake of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Blessing - May the Lord bless you. Amen.