A Prayer for the Future of a Local Congregation

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Gracious God, persevering through the years, persevering to the end,

As we face the future as a community of your people in this place,
May we know afresh your faithful love, and see afresh your loving faithfulness.
May it be these – may it be You –
For whom we yearn in every season.
May it be your words of life for which we listen, and by which alone we live.

Wind of God –
entirely at home in this world, entirely at home here in this place, here among us.
You blow the world out of nothing into abundance.
You blow the church out of hurt and despair into healing and fresh expressions of faith.
You blow to make things new that never were.

Breath of God –
Rush us beyond ourselves,
Rush us beyond our hopes,
Rush us to follow Jesus wherever he may be found in this unstable world and its uncertain future,
Rush us to hold firmly what is too fragile on its own,
Rush us beyond our fears, until we enact your newness in the world.
Come, come, Breath of God.

With lightly-held reverence for our past, and with hearts of true flesh, help us with courage and wisdom and freedom to welcome and to pursue and to participate in the new things you are doing in and around and despite us, and beyond.
Continue to raise up leaders who will serve your people with humility, and with deep humanity bear witness to your Good News.
May we dare to dream and to risk what we have never imagined – free, unencumbered, joyous, just, obedient.
And along the way, save us from empty slogans, from senseless controversies, and from the delusion that we are at the centre of your work around here.

God before and God behind,
For all that has been – thanks.
For all the will be – Yes!

We pray in the name of Jesus, in whom we see you a little more fully and ourselves a little more clearly.

Amen.

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